Quintana Roo, Mexico – Day 10

The girls made the cut for this week’s tournament and qualifying starts tomorrow, although their intro to pro tennis comes with its attendant difficulties. With both men and women playing here, the warm up court is a converted basketball court with no fences and a pretty shaky net, which mean there’s a pretty good chance of getting skulled by a 90mph forehand at some point in the day and the way some of these guys chase down balls reminds one of a little kid running away from his mother at the park.

For those who’ve never seen pro scheduling, matches do not have start times, but rather, court assignments, meaning “you are the sixth match on court 4 and matches start at 10am,” and since you don’t know whether matches will take an hour or three, scheduling your warm-up is a bit like global warming – you are aware of things happening, and you think you should do something about it, but there’s a lot of people who think otherwise, and well, maybe I’ll just wait around and see. Tomorrow’s scheduled sees one player who will probably start around 5 p.m., while the other one will take the court sometime between 10 p.m. and sunrise. For those inclined to complain about stuff like this, this is Mexico and they have prisons.

Due to the tournament director’s generosity, one of my girls made the tournament draw, and while that may sound unscrupulous, it really just means she pulled a bunch of chips out of a bag and let the referee fill in the draw sheet. To her though, getting a behind the scenes glimpse of professional tennis’ inner workings was invaluable. To me, who spends time each day explaining how important fitness is, the whole idea of starting a tournament by pulling chips out of a bag just gives me the howling fantods.

Anyway, tomorrow they play their matches. As a result of this week’s hard practice sessions, they are playing much better, but one never knows what psychological issues will arise when thrust into a bigger pond.   They will be prepared for many of them, but the human brain certainly has a will about it – reminds me of that grocery cart wheel.

I’ve noticed a few things about the resort employees lately. Will update you in tomorrow’s blog.

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By ccxander

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