We flew from Copenhagen to Sweden because we wanted as much indoor practice time before the tournament.  The train is only 5 or so hours, but because of the holidays etc. we could not have gotten one that arrived before 3:50pm.  Sign-in ends at 6pm and I didn’t want to risk being late.  So Jan took us to the airport (no traffic since it was a holiday).  It’s a short one hour flight to Arlanda airport in Stockholm.  We took the Arlanda Express, then the metro to our hotel.




We are in an area of Stockholm called Alvik.  It’s very nice, on a lake and convenient to central Stockholm (10 minutes by metro).  We got off the metro and after a few wrong turns found out our hotel was directly across the street from the station.  We are at the Scandic Alvic.  

ImageA very nice hotel which is directly across from the Salk Tennis Club.Image

A very nice club, which is across the street from a VERY nice food market.  What else could we want.  We checked in to the hotel, relaxed a bit, got some racquets to the stringer and then got a practice court.  The courts at this club are lightning fast plexipave courts.  Sasha adjusted fine, I did not.  🙂  This tournament is efficient—check-in, totally smooth.  Check-in closes at 6pm.  Draw and order of play was published at 6:45pm.  Wow!  Here is their website.  They update it throughout the day.


On New Years Eve, Sasha and I had dinner in the bar downstairs since the dining room was fully booked.  We had a very nice steak with Potatoes.  There were lots of fireworks outside our window. Fireworks are popular around New Years in Scandanavia.  We came back to the room, sent out our New Years greetings to people and were asleep well before the calendar ushered in the New Year.  Truth be known, Sasha’s been a bit sick over the last couple of days–sore throat, cough, ugh.  So lots of tea, sleep and cough drops.  He was much better today.  Sasha’s first round match today followed a 10am match so we warmed up at 9:30 after a great breakfast.  I’m sure Sasha will take pictures of this breakfast buffet–it is huge.  There is everything one could ever eat for breakfast from 20 different breads, to 6 kinds of fish, to 10 different flavors of yogurt, to 4 different styles of eggs.  It just goes on.  Sasha went on at around noon.  Score was 6-1, 6-2.  He played very well.  Served big, court positioning was great, he was aggressive.  Bit of hiccup in the last couple of games of the second set, but overall, a solid match.

We came back to the hotel, stretched, ate lunch (sandwiches made from stuff from the market across the street which actually opened today to my surprise).  Also went to the sauna.  Then Sasha did three hours of calculus and I updated the blog.  🙂  We are about to go down to dinner.  As you will see if you click on the tournament link, he plays not before noon tomorrow.  So we have an easy morning.  As you will also see, he plays the 5 seed.  Should be a good match.


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