My eyes are open and I feel awake and I look at my phone to find it is 4am! I think they call this jet lag – anyway I am up now the brain is ticking, the adrenalin is running for the day ahead. I spend time dealing with e mails then get to speak to my wife back in Spain before settling in with Man City Wigan Monday night football at 6am on a Tuesday – kinda weird! The day started badly – Sergio Arguero did nothing and he is my main man for my fantasy football team.
Anyway, on we go to the court and prepare to do battle in the round of 16.. Logistics are key for me today, as I have Josh in Traralgon and he plays 2nd match after 9am and I have Valeria in Melbourne at the open playing 3rd after 11am. It’ll be fine, Valeria follows 2 men’s matches! Anyway Josh does not get onto court till gone 12 due to the 2 girls spending more time with their towels at the back of the court and their seats at change of end. Oh yeah, and they had bathroom troubles judging by the ‘breaks’ they were taking!
Josh put in a decent performance, but came across a strong French player who is already established on the Men’s tour. It was a great experience for Josh and the end of a strong week going into the Junior Open. From there I jumped in a taxi and made the 1.32 train to Melbourne. The bad news was the first match on Valeria’s court was 6-0 6-0 6-2, I mean when does that ever happen- seriously! No problem, I will be there in 2 and a half hours and Malisse vs Bennateu will definitely be close to that. Halfway through the journey Valeria texts me to say Malisse has retired after first set and she is on in 20 mins- tough for Valeria to have that put on her in her first grand slam, but even tougher for me who is stuck in a hot train while desperately wanting to be there for Valeria and support. I get off the train, manage to grab a taxi while checking the score on my phone.. I arrive at the court as the officials are leaving- I have missed it. Never in a million years will there be a 6-0 6-0 6-2 men’s match followed by a retirement, and never in a million years will two girls play a longer match than they did in Traralgon earlier in the day.
I was gutted to miss it, but I got the scoreboard photo to prove I was there and got to de-brief Valeria after her match. I then took the opportunity to get familiar with Melbourne Park as it is my first time here, and I was very impressed with the set up and atmosphere, not to mention the heat!
I then had an afternoon of meeting one old friend after the next as well as seeing Rafa and Roger in action on the practice court. I chatted for hours with Aisam Qureshi, Jean Julian Rojer, Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen who were all good friends when I played on the tour.
Director, SotoTennis Academy
Inspiring Excellence | Tennis Academy Spain