©Colette Lewis 2009--
About two hours into registration for the 2009 USTA 18s Spring Nationals, the predicted rain finally materialized here, and five hours later, nearly two inches has fallen on the 60 courts of the Mobile Tennis Center.
This is no quickly passing spring storm, and depending on the source, there are predictions of rain through Monday, which would cause major scheduling headaches, even with such a huge number of courts. There are almost no indoor courts in the area, so there can be no relief on that front and at the beginning of the tournament, with so many matches the first two days, there's nothing to do but hope there's a window that allows utilization of all the courts at the site. That of course makes it difficult for a tennis journalist, who can watch two or three matches at a time, but not 40 or 50. So should I miss a big upset, I hope the circumstances will be considered.
I didn't find any must-see first round matches in the boys draw, but there are a few that caught my eye in the girls side. No. 6 seed and 2008 16s Easter Bowl champion Ellen Tsay faces unseeded Mary Clayton, the youngest of the Ft. Lauderdale clan that includes Chris, Alex and Missy. Number 17 seed Emina Bektas has drawn unseeded Chichi Scholl, who reached the round of 16 at the Orange Bowl and has been playing Pro Circuit events most of this year. The match between No. 8 seed Ester Goldfeld and Elizabeth Epstein, who was the eighth seed last year, could also be an entertaining one.
Watch the Twitter Updates section in the sidebar Sunday for weather reports, and, I hope, some first round match commentary and news.
Saturday, March 14, 2009