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Club coach at Peguera tennis club is Ali, a guy originally from Turkey, but with tour experience in USA, and with an odd German accent. But a really good player and top coach. So both Carole and myself enrolled for lessons.
For Carole his advice was for her to get a little closer to the ball before making the stroke. For me he said my shots just didn’t have enough juice and also I needed to plañ more carefully and hit the ball where my opponent wasn’t!

In the next tournament just down the road at the Costa de la Calma club I persuaded Carole to play singles and she did well losing to a very good Italian woman, but in her next match Carole was absolutely awesome winning 6/0 6/0!

Sadly, NOT one of the prizes!

I played an awkward German named Antonio and couldn´t get to grips with his game. A lefty with slice and huge high lobs on to the baseline. But in doubles with Christophe we combined well and got through to the final.

Carole ended up being runner up in singles and with Christophe we won the mens doubles in straight sets so more little Majorcan statues to fit into our luggage!

A fantastic over 35 mens singles final took place on Saturday – a crowd assembled on the balcony to cheer on two Spanish players who produced a match that one would pay to see normally. The standard was terrific and was won in 3 sets by the fitter of the two players. At the end they received a standing ovation lasting 3 minutes at least.

The mix of players here is amazing. Germans, Spanish, Italian, Irish, English – one guy living in England originally from Iran and a trained dentist was runner up in the over 50 singles losing to a brilliant Spaniard in a volatile match.

So far there has been one afternoon when the sun didn´t shine – really fabulous weather and it would make you wish to be here in our winters rather than suffer such cold weather at home.

The strange thing at the Cost de la Calma club was that I had to play two doubles matches back to back and when I asked about food they told me I could have two boxes of smarties to keep me going! How was I to get any juice into my shots with only smarties to eat!

Friday night was tournament night at a restaurant in Peguera. Tapas and payella was the food although to be honest I could have done with a huge T bone steak and a feed of spuds!

Sunday morning arrived and we headed by car to Porte Andraxt to watch the rugby World Cup final with friends. Mark and Althea who hail  from New Zealand obviously had a keen interest and we went to an apartment of  a girl who lives here with her father and 2 children. A bit of a dull match really with New Zealand grinding out a win.. To me the rugby tournament was ruined by the sending off v France of the Wales Captain in a very harsh decision. Wales deserved to be in the final and could have won it I believe.

It is half term and lots of families have taken the opportunity of a quick Mallorcan break. And lots of kids entertainment takes place at the hotels. At our apartment we have about 140 tv channels and we have been watching Strictly with interest  – Russel Grant is a hoot -and flicking occasionally to see Janet Devlin on X factor!

The experience here has been really worthwhile, learning to play on clay courts and using the different techniques necessary. The top players play here in Font de Sa Cala before going to Turkey for the World veterans championships, both team and individuals. Without the practice on clay, it is well nigh impossible to achieve any decent results, with the standard being so high. And of course even then it is really tough.

One thing I have learnt when playing on clay is to have a mindset of knowing that it may be 3 hours before the match is finished and you have to be patient. Fitness is key, mentally and physically.

So it is winding down time now and on Wednesday we head for home. Please organise some good weather for us!

I hope you have enjoyed these blogs  as much as I have in writing them- it has been fun.

Hasta luego.