So, got back from Montreal yesterday. Had a blast. Here’s what went down.
Had a rather protracted journey over to Montreal. Had to take Eurostar to Paris, then the Metro to Orly airport, then fly to Montreal, as it was cheaper to do this than to fly direct from London! Crazy! Still, it was actually a pretty easy, smooth journey and I surprisingly wasn’t too jet-lagged and tired when I arrived.
Headed over to Stade Uniprix to start stringing the next day. Had a comfortable first couple of days for practice and qualifying. Surprisingly the day before the main draw started we were quiet enough to finish at a sensible enough time that we could go take our time over a nice meal.
The first few days of the main draw were pretty brutal. 15 hour days, doing over 30 rackets each time. One day I worked from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. non-stop; didn’t even sit down during that time! Needless to say I needed a beer and lie-down after that! Once it got to Wednesday, it had quietened down enough that we could get outside for a few minutes occasionally to finally watch a little tennis!
Had two players in the quarters of the singles, but then they came up against Djokovic and Nadal, so no singles champion for me. And unfortunately my beloved Bryan brothers lost in the quarter finals (to the dastardly Trevor Lindstedt!). Did string for one doubles finalist though: Colin Fleming, who manage to carry the dead-weight Andy Murray all the way to the final ;).
Took a couple of days sightseeing after the end of the tournament. Walked all around the eclectic streets of St-Denis and St-Laurent, down to the Europeaneqsue (what a delightfully made-up word!) old town and went to the thoroughly enjoyable Museum of Fine Arts. Montreal is pretty famous for three foods: bagels, poutine and smoked meats. I managed to try all three, and a couple of them at the most renowned places for them in the city. Importantly, I also managed to try a few locals brews. My hotel for the last night was pretty much right across the street from the place that (according to them) had the biggest selection in the city. Didn’t know that when I booked there; just a happy co-incidence!
So, like I said I had a great time. I strung a lot of rackets (211), I saw some great tennis. And I saw some sights. Definitely not a bad way to spend two weeks.