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Blues Tour 2024: Florida

Wednesday 13th March

After a long journey the day before, we were excited to get on court in the sunny Floridian weather. In between our morning and evening training sessions (in which we acclimatised ourselves by completing consistency drills and points), we checked out the local attraction – Walmart. We spend almost two hours wandering the store, which was bigger than any shops we had ever seen.

Thursday 14th March

We woke up ready for a quick morning training session before we headed over to the USTA National Campus for an afternoon fixture against some of their academy players. After the fixture we explored the campus, which had almost 100 tennis courts! We also watched a division 1 men’s college tennis match that was taking place whilst we were there. Adding to a great day, we took home some prizes from a pickleball-in-the-bucket challenge.

Friday 15th March

After lots of tennis the day before, we had an off-court day, and visited Disneyworld. We really enjoyed seeing the castle and the evening firework show.

Saturday 16th March

Scheduling meant that our two non-tennis/touristy days fell back-to-back. We visited Universal Orlando, where we enjoyed seeing the Harry Potter studios, going on the rides, and meeting Captain America. Holly decided to teach us jujitsu while we were in the queue lines!

Sunday 17th March

Following two off-court days, and in preparation for our upcoming fixtures, we completed a 2.5 hour training session, consisting of both drills and match play. In the evening, we watched the Orlando Magic vs Toronto Raptors basketball game.

Monday 18th March

After an enjoyable period in Orlando, it was time to check out and begin the drive down to Miami. After some expert driving from Holly, we made it to Miami by the evening, and even had time in the afternoon to stop at Delray beach en-route.

Tuesday 19th March

This was the first of two intense days of training and competing at Midtown Weston Athletic Club in Miami. We spent 2 hours in the morning training with the academy players, before completing a 2.5-hour match play session in the afternoon. While we were there, we met ATP no. 30. Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who was training on the court next to us, and would be competing in the Miami open that week!

Wednesday 20th March

Our second day at Midtown Weston followed the same routine as the previous day, with the morning working on consistency and drills, and the afternoon match play. In the

evening, we headed over to the Miami Open to watch some of the first-round matches and players’ training sessions. We were able to watch Osaka’s first round win, as well as Medvedev’s practice session.

Thursday 21st March

We drove up to Boca Raton to play a fixture against D2 Lynn University. It was great to get a glimpse into US college tennis life, and this fixture, which consisted of both singles and doubles, was good practice for the upcoming varsity.

Friday 22nd March

Due to forecasts of rain, we set off early for the Miami Open, with hopes of catching some play before the rain started. Typically, when we arrived, the British weather had followed, and all tennis was called off until the evening. We spent the day exploring Miami, and when there was a break in the rain, we watched Andy Murray play Tomas Martin Etcheverry. We were able to find front row seats, and it was exciting to be so close to such a high-level match, albeit for only an hour before the rain poured again!

Saturday 23rd March

Sadly, the trip had reached an end as we checked out of the Airbnb, picked up some final souvenirs, and headed to the airport to fly back to London that evening.

Overall, the Florida tour was a fantastic and inspiring experience, and was great preparation for the upcoming summer season and varsity match. We improved our bond as a team, spending lots of time together both on and off the court.

We would like to thank the venues that hosted us; USTA National Campus, Midtown Weston Athletic Club, and Lynn University, and the players and coaches at each location. We would also like to thank all contacts within and beyond the club for their offers of help with the tour.

We are really grateful for the experience we had and are really excited to take on the grass court season!

Written by Anna Jones (Blues Tour Manager).


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