Following my match on Sunday, mentally I was in a bit of a bad place. I wasn’t thinking rationally and I was incredibly negative about everything. Honestly, when you’re on the road, in a hotel room, by yourself, it’s very easy to get negative. I felt like I had wasted a good opportunity and now I would have to pay for a hotel room for a week for nothing and just hang around and wait for the next tournament.
After practicing in London all week, I arrived in Manchester ready to hustle through three rounds of qualifying. Unfortunately, the afternoon before play started we were hit with a bit of a bombshell. Due to the rain and the cold weather, the groundsman felt that the grass courts needed a few days to dry out. Therefore, the qualifying rounds of the tournament were to be played on the synthetic courts.
The best way I can describe a synthetic court is terrifying. What they are is basically a carpet covered with a thin layer of sand. They are incredibly slippery. Unfortunately, I could only get a 30 minute practice in as there were so many players trying to squeeze a hit in on this foreign surface. I hoped that if I could somehow just get through my first two qualifying matches they might move play to the grass courts the following day.
Since arriving in London I’ve been very busy. Although the weather has not been exceptional, I have managed to get a few good days of practice in. Unfortunately it has been difficult to find grass courts that are dry and in good shape. I had a practice scheduled today at the Hurlingham Club in Putney, but the fabulous English “summer” had other plans and its been raining for most of the day.
Hurlingham is supposed to have some of the best grass courts in the country, but because of the weather they’ve been closed and covered for the day. So today I am going to have to practice indoors and hope that I can come back some other time and experience the grass courts.