Saturday, July 16, 2005


A balloon lady, a golden statue mime ( with a golden wood tennis racquet no less), a giant screen displaying photos of last year's action--there was a lot going on at the Doubletree Saturday. Oh, there was registration and a player meeting too. When 400 male teenagers are required to be in one place during an afternoon, it had better be a big, well-organized venue, and it was.

I never left the hotel, but I managed to talk to a lot of parents and players I hadn't seen since the Easter Bowl in April, or in some cases, the Orange Bowl in December. (It's amazing how much a 17-year-old can change physically in mere months). Some parents follow junior tennis very closely, others do not (and if you're reading this, I guess I'd put you in the former category), but most are just plain fun to talk to, so the conversations can be lengthy. This is the last day I could indulge in that luxury--tomorrow match coverage begins. And it's been four weeks since I last saw live tennis, so I'm more than ready for it.