Sometimes things will not always go as planned. This is what happened within 24 hours from yesterday (April 2nd) round about noon.
I was going for a solo hit at my club at the Diepput, my flight was scheduled at 8:45 PM so plenty of time during the day to still have a hit before my first round qualification match the next day (April 3rd). On court for about 15 minutes when Cameron Pilley walks in, great for me, my solo hit got changed to a solid session with some condition games. Later in the afternoon Pilley texted me to have some coffee at the Peppermint, a local coffee bar in The Hague with him and LJ Anjema, who just got back from his six weeks journey in the States and Canada. During coffee Pilley asked me if the qualification draw was out yet. At about the exact moment I received a text message from Steven Finitsis who was texted I had a ‘bye’ first round of qualification, which meant I had a day rest, which could come in handy with the journey that was ahead.
I took my flight as planned at 8:45 PM to Dublin, I arrived in Dublin at 9:00 PM local time. From the Dublin Airport I took a three hour bus to Galway which departed at 10:15 PM. So I arrived at a bus station in Galway at around 1:15 AM, from the bus station I shared a taxi to my hotel with David Haley, a squash player from Wales, who appeared to be in the bus as well.
In the hotel Carlos Cornes and Leandro Romiglo should already be asleep as they should have arrived earlier that day. I tried to open the door, appeared to be locked, knocked on the door, nobody answered, knocked again, still nothing. Tried to open the door again, gave it a little push and it appeared not to be locked at all, I was in! But, nobody was in the room, where were Carlos and Leandro?! I walked back to the reception, asked if they even had checked in, they had not. I did not have a phone number, but the receptionist did, called Carlos, hoping it was his mobile number and not his home number, it was about 1:45 AM at the time. Luckily Carlos picked up his phone and explained to me that why he was not in the hotel, his flight got cancelled because of a strike in France, where his connection flight was. They were not coming at all. Which meant I had to check out the next day because a triple room alone is a bit expensive.
So this morning I had a great Irish breakfast, checked out of the hotel and walked to the Galway Lawn Tennis Club, a twenty minute walk with luggage. Arrived at the club, where Nathan Lake and Mark Fuller were getting ready to have a warming-up hit for there matches later today. Told them about the Carlos and Leandro, and was wondering if there would be a redraw. There was internet in the club so I checked my email, and yes, a redraw. Nothing had changed for me though, I still had a ‘bye’.
Now I had to organize a new place to stay, so I contacted Dylan Bennett, who I shared rooms with last week in Geneva. He said it would be fine if I could split his triple room to two double rooms. So walked to the B&B, which was next door luckily, to see if this was possible, and it was. While I was waiting for the room to be cleaned David Haley came downstairs, we got to chat and he told me there was another redraw and that I am now in the main draw. I thought he was taking the piss, but as it appeared he was not. Davide Bianchetti pulled out, which means I now play on April 5th against Joe Lee at 5:00 PM. Well this is of course if everything is going according to plan…