Swingin' in the rain:
Handling Orange Bowl delays
Arthur Kapetanakis | December 13, 2019
PLANTATION, Fla. – Mother Nature has wreaked havoc at the 2019 Orange Bowl, with rain heavily impacting play on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Wet weather put a stop to Tuesday’s action after less than two hours of play, with only eight matches reaching their conclusion across the 18s and 16s divisions. After a washout for the remainder of Day 2, Wednesday’s start was delayed until after 4 p.m., as rain continued to fall. A pair of two-hour playing windows unfolded between the rain drops, but storms interrupted proceedings once in the early evening and again around 9 p.m., spelling an end to the day’s play.
As tournament organizers scrambled to play catch-up and dry the green clay courts at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center, the players were left to manage their mental and physical energy as they waited out the weather.ADVERTISEMENT
Here’s how some of the top American juniors passed the time, along with a few of their strategies for staying sharp through the delays.
Gracie Epps (girls' 16s quarterfinalist): “I binge-watched three Hallmark movies in a row (laughs). Hallmark movies calm me. So I just watched a ton of those, and I got my mind in a good place.”
Martin Damm (boys' 18s No. 2 seed, pictured above): “We went out with some of the Czech team to the shopping mall and just kind of chilled and got some rest. There’s not much we could do. Just went to the mall and got some sleep.
“It’s tough, but it is what it is. I just try to prepare the same way that I would if it was sunny. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about it.”
Madison Sieg (2018 girls' 16s champion): “I try to get off my phone, because I usually spend a lot of time looking at it. And I just try to stay active and warmed up… and try not to cool down.
“I usually just pull out a deck of cards with my friends.”
Robin Montgomery (girls' 18s No. 5 seed): “I just stayed at the hotel and did some schoolwork and got some sleep.
“It was definitely clutch [to win my match on Tuesday before the rain]. It would have been so bad if I didn’t close it out before the rain. It would have been definitely mentally hard to get back into it, especially now that it’s raining again.”
Blaise Bicknell (University of Florida freshman): “It’s been a little frustrating, but that’s the way it goes. I just hung out with some family and friends.”
For complete orange Bowl results, draws, schedule and more, visit the official tournament website.
Previous 2019 Orange Bowl stories: