Antigua Tennis Week Day 2 (Monday)


Although every day has its own itinerary and tempo, there are some similarities.  All days start with breakfast in the garden area, either with either friends you know or those you’ll know soon.  You order from a menu, and they have some local favorites, including pastries with an island twist.  Each day you also have a chance to get on the water.  You can take a catamaran sailboat out, or if you want guided tours, you can join in either a deep sea fishing trip or a snorkeling trip.  The guided tours are offered twice a day, every day.


Lunch is always on the beach.  By lunchtime, people have played an hour or two of tennis, so drinks start flowing at the bar.  Lunch is buffet style, and again you either grab a table with your date, or you join some other friends for a meal.  The buffet is really fresh, and always includes a salad bar with local fruits and vegetables, a fancy cheese display, a carvery, and a pasta station where the chef will create your own masterpiece (like they do at Mongolian Grill, but the view is better).


Every day also includes high tea at 4pm, back in the garden area, but in a more intimate setting than the breakfast. I only visited the first one, but it featured some traditional English items like those little sandwiches.  Like all high teas, I resist the urge to collect six little sandwiches at once, and put them on a hamburger bun to eat.  I pace myself.


And of course each day includes tennis, as much as you want.  Sunday and Monday featured clinics in the morning and doubles play in the afternoon.  There was a little mixed doubles, but mostly not.  The clinics are run just like Tyler runs our junior program.  Each court stresses one or two things, and the players rotate through the four courts. You’re assigned to players of similar ability on your court.  You’ll sweat a lot, because the heat/humidity is a step up from what we’re used to in May.  But you have all the drinks, ice, and towels you need at the tennis cabana, where we get all our instructions.  Steve Contardi, who runs the company behind Tennis Week in Antigua, sets up the matches as people arrive in the afternoon.


Last night they divided us into two teams, for more organized matches for the rest of the week.  I’ll post more on that as it plays out.  Most of the men are low 3.5’s through 4.0’s, with a few 4.5 players.  The women span from beginners through 4.5’s.  Everyone is very impressed with the quality of Sheryl’s play, and I’m told daily that I should volley as well as she does.  Then, they ask me why my strokes aren’t as smooth as Don’s.  Other than that, Antigua is great!


1. This is the restaurant on the beach, we eat lunch here every day!  Monday night they do a casual beach party for dinner.

2. Sunset.

3. The primary beach for loungers, hammocks, water sports, swimming.

4. Nice view of court 4, with Sheryl at the ready.

5. Fred Stolle and Owen Davidson offer encouragement to a happy camper.

6. Under the not-so-watchful eye of Davo, Kayla Ruark, a tennis beginner, gets in the swing.

7. Back at the ready, Sheryl Ruark prepares to volley.  Warm temps and refreshing ocean currents seemed to miraculously heal an otherwise bothersome knee.

8. World’s Largest Bouillabaisse, served at the Barefoot Beach Party, Monday night.  Note – may not actually be world’s largest.

9. Evidently we’ll go with a silhouette of the first couple of Simsmore Tennis, taken at the Bluff House, a private residence with a panoramic view of Atlantic and Caribbean Seas.