Back in Prague

Prerov came to a dull end.  Dominick Starry, Sasha’s doubles partner got the dreaded flu and ultimately had to withdraw from doubles.  So we are heading back to Prague and will practice there and prepare for Safina Cup.

Now my rant for today.  I have been talking with ITF Board people about some of the problems that need to be addressed on the ITF Junior Tour.  Certainly this tournament in Prerov is emblematic of at least one of the problems that exists.  This is a Grade 1 tournament, one level below the Grand Slams and other similarly important tournaments.  And as is often the case, there are simulantaneous tournaments at the same level.  Certainly the ITF MUST enforce the basic standards at these events.  One cannot have one event in Costa Rica run at a high end club with plenty of practice courts, top facilities, great hospitality etc. and another run in Czech Republic on 3 courts (and one other that is a totally different surface) with no practice court time to speak of, cold awful facilities, the bottom of the barrel hospitality, etc.  The competition when viewed by ranking in Costa Rica (low), the competition in Czech (high).  The ITF has rules and standards and must enforce them.  The rules say all courts must be the same.  The rules say there must be an umpire on every court at a Grade 1.  There are guidelines for hospitality.  All these things must be enforced otherwise how are two tournaments of the same grade the same–bottom line, they are not.
We are back in Prague now and have an apartment for our stay here.  So I can cook, we can do laundry, plenty of room for stretching and it’s very nice in a nice section of the Old City.  We have practiced every day at least once (twice a couple of days) and tournament play begins on Wednesday for the Safina Cup.  Sasha should be seeded 5 or higher.

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