Oct. 1, 2008
Former Georgia Tech standout Kristi Miller will share her experiences on and off the court from Spain as she begins her professional tennis career on the women’s circuit. Miller is competing in various 10K and 25K tournaments throughout the country.
I’m currently in Les Franqueses del Valles, a small city about an hour from Barcelona. It is near the mountains and the courts are pretty nice. Today I have been in Spain for four weeks! This tournament I am going to play in is on hard courts, but my final one next week in Barcelona will be back on the red clay. Both tournaments are $10,000 in total prize money. I arrived here on Friday night, as I flew in late Thursday from Madrid and stayed with Viet Ha Ngo’s mom for a night before coming to the tournament. I had to qualify for this tournament, as it is a stronger field than Lleida. I was the number one seed in qualifying and won both my matches easily on Sunday and Monday to make it into the main draw. Yesterday, I played my first round main draw match and won 6-4 in the third set against an Italian girl. It was a very long match and although I didn’t play well, it was a good confidence booster for me to get through a three setter without playing nearly my best tennis. Today I didn’t play singles, but I played in the doubles semifinals. Unfortunately, my partner hurt herself in the match and wasn’t 100%. Under different circumstances I think we would make a very good team, so I was disappointed that we couldn’t play at our best level. We lost 6-3, 6-2. Hopefully next week doubles will be better and I will have a healthy partner. Tomorrow I play singles in the second round against a girl from Germany. I am not playing until 4pm local time because I am one of the feature matches. That means I will have to wait around all day and rest before my match.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about the rest of my week in Madrid! I had an amazing time there. I went to the Real Madrid futbol game last Wednesday night and they were playing a fairly weak team and I got to see eight goals. It was so exciting! Real Madrid won 7 to 1. It was a huge stadium and so much fun to be a part of it. It’s the first time I’ve been to a live soccer game. I also was able to hit at the Madrid Tennis Federation, which was great because I was really struggling to find people to play tennis with. It is a bit difficult sometimes being here on my own because I’m not traveling with another girl or hitting coach or someone to play tennis with. Luckily, people here have been really helpful! The next time I travel out of the country, I definitely will want to plan better and try to come with at least one other girl so that it will be easier for hotel, for travel and for practicing. Live and learn! But overall, though it gets stressful sometimes not knowing many people over here and worrying about finances, etc, it has been good for me to play in another country and experience different things. I’ll post again soon to let you know how this tournament pans out. Good luck to the Lady Jackets at All-Americans. I’m following all the Georgia Tech sports from here in Spain, especially my women’s tennis team.