I just came back from Gran Canaria where I played my first U14 Tennis Europe on clay.
It was so cool coming off of the plane and feeling the humid air even at 10 o’clock in the evening when we got there! The hotel was really lovely as-well and posh which was an added, unexpected bonus.
When we first got to the club it was super hot and honestly it took me ages to adjust to the heat and the courts were really different to the ones at home and I didn’t like them!! My movement was rubbish on the clay and it took me ages to adjust once again. I found it annoying but I had to deal with it!
As well, the courts were difficult to play on especially in the middle of the day, when the temperature was at its highest (average 26 degrees). This meant that the clay was really dry and so the ball bounced really high and was hard to control. Movement was also an issue at this time for me as I said before and one of the hardest aspects for me to get used to too!
Anyway, enough about the courts and my rubbish movement! The food was surprisingly very good (it was said to have some interesting meat choices).Everyday there was a lunch ticket that you would get as a player, meaning your lunch was free, and there’s were many options. Pasta Bolognese, Carbonara, Tomato, Cheeseburgers, Paella, (make sure not to pronounce the l or you’ll get in trouble) were on the menu. So I rated the food highly in the club. There were also other choices that you could have but I’m not going to bore you with the list!
Now onto my tennis experience in the actual tournament.
I got a bye first round as I was the number 1 seed, meaning I got straight into the second round of the tournament. I then played a local Spanish girl who trained at the exact club we were playing at, so she was used to the courts, and lost in three very tight sets. I won the first set 6-4 and then lost the next two sets by the same score. To be honest I was very upset, as I believe if I had more time on the clay to practise beforehand, I would’ve had a better chance to get deeper into the tournament. But that’s tennis! You win and you lose some and that for me, was a good learning curve.
However, me and my partner Annabel won the doubles event without dropping a set and In the quarterfinals, we beat the girl and her partner who I lost to in the singles which I was very happy about!
So overall, it was a very positive experience, winning the doubles event and getting used to the clay. I will also now get more points towards my European junior ranking which will give me more opportunities in the future to play higher ranked tournaments.
My next tennis adventure is travelling to the wonderful and sunny(not)north of England-Liverpool! I’ll be back!
Thanks for reading.