The individual world championships began at 9am this morning in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. SLP is north of Mexico City, about an hour by plane. It is supposedly a 5-6 hour bus ride…ours yesterday took 7 1/2 hours! Yesterday was Easter Sunday and daylight savings began in Mexico yesterday. We left Mexico City at 11am and arrived here about 6:30 pm, unfortunately missing the opening ceremonies. However Fran Chandler (women’s 45, TN) took an earlier bus and gave me some photos which are below. The bus ride….well we all arrived safe and sound and it wasn’t dangerous, but we left a few minutes late because all the baggage would not fit on the bus…so other arrangements had to be made. Then about an hour into the ride, the bus was pulled over…apparently it was missing a tag, and the driver was tested as well (standard procedure) and an hour later (and over the driver, several 100 pesos poorer) we were on our way again. The countryside between Mexico City and SLP was dry, desert-like and hilly. We saw lots of mesquite, cactus, and an plethora of strawberry and cream stands. There were also a number of vendors along the sides of the road selling pottery and copper pots.
We are staying now at the Camino Real in SLP, which is right next to a huge sports complex with a running track, hard courts (where the 35s are playing), gym, pool, and the hotel itself is quite nice and has free wifi.
Vesna McKenna from Hollywood, FL, and I hit early this morning on hard courts. The balls aren’t flying as much here since it’s over 1000 feet lower and it felt good to hit some balls and have them stay in the court. Susan Wright from the 50s team (from Colorado) and I checked out the site we are playing the individuals in the 50s & 55s, Club Deportivo, about 10 minutes by cab (25 pesos or about $2) from our hotel, and it saves us 20 minutes each way or more as opposed to taking the buses. I hit late in the day finally on the clay and it is more similar to clay courts I have played on in the past. The lines are nailed down and there is a lot more clay on the court, making them slower. They are however, still very dusty, but are watered between matches.
Joe Bouquin from Delray Beach had a really tough match today, against the 15th seed from Mexico. He fell 75 in the third. He said he just had a very tough time adjusting to the conditions here, especially the altitude. Erika Smith from Oakland won her first round in the 45 singles.
Tomorrow I still don’t play but most of the Americans do. The doubles draws were announced and my partner and I are the #2 seeds with Tina Karwasky/Mary Ginnard (Ft Lauderdale) the top seeds.