Tennis Prose



Junior Boy From Spain’s Dramatic U.S. Open Match Account

By Carlos Di Palma

(Note: My friend Carlos Di Palma is part of the team for a young Spanish junior this week.)

This is a long email but I know you love tennis.

We had an unforgettable day at the Open.

After a slow start Jose Antonio Martin Salazar fell behind 3-0 to Hugo Di Feo of Canada but he came back
and lost a tight set 6-4, and he had his chances to prevail.

He started the second very strong, but being 2-1 up on serve,
he walks to the umpire and we realized that something was wrong.
Apparently in a ‘lost-in-translation’ moment the empire calls
for a trainer but he signaled to me and
(coach) Miguel (Perez) to get closer. Then he told me I don’t need a trainer.
I need a doctor. I feel very dizzy, my head is exploding with heat and I
feel like I am going to pass out. We called the doctor and he treated him
with some medication and ice and he told him not to drink water for at
least 10 minutes.

Now we had his mother telling us to taking him out of the court that in his
whole career he never had anything like that, but I told her not.
He started serving and he really looked bad physically, but he went for broke
making great shots and he was up 3-1 very quick. Before the other player was to
serve, he came to our corner and he told us that he was retiring that he was
feeling really bad. Javier, Miguel and I asked him not to do it. Just to hang on
for the next game, go to the chair put ice on his neck and cold water on his
head, and go out for the sixth game, and then we wouldn’t say any thing and it
would be his decision. His mother was arguing with us that she wanted him out,
and we asked her to be calm and we moved to the other side of the court. (the
doctor stayed in the court for all those games).

Jose took the advice and got ready to receive. It was extremely hot and humid
and now they were almost 2 hours in the match. He had 4 break points to to go up
4-1 but he didn’t convert and the score was 3-2. We kept encouraging him and he won the set.

The third set was a thriller with the opponent calling the trainer when Jose was
up 4-3. Both players played at their best in the third, with fantastic shots. It
was obvious that they physically diminished but they played great when they were
clearly exhausted. And after 3 hours and 6 minutes Jose won 6-3.

It was fantastic, and this kid could hardly sleep when we got back home. He
received 105 messages from Spain. He is in all the newspapers in Tenerife, with
pictures with Miguel and I. (I will forward the articles later).

We are going to the U.S. Open now, because he had to follow up with the trainer in
an injury in his ankle. He has been with ice since we got home yesterday, and
although it is a little swollen, he is going to wrap it and have a small
practice session with an Argentinian player. We gave the private coach, (that’s
what Miguel’s credentials read with his picture), the day off, because it is his
birthday today.

After the practice we will watch some matches.

Fortunately he has the day off today, and tomorrow he has to play with the #1
seed, that was the finalist and runner up last month in Wimbledon.

He will be practicing with Miguel before the match. If any of you is at the
Open, call me in the phone and I will tell you in what court and the time.
I will keep you posted.

Carlos Di Palma is housing young Spaniard Jose Antonio Martin Salazar in Pequannock,
N.J. for the U.S. Open.


  • Scoop Malinowski · September 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks Carlos I wish the email was even a lot longer! Great account of the match, what a thriller. Fantastic win for Team Jose. Sounds like he is a special player and a very smart and crafty one too. Look forward to more information about this young player.

  • Michael · September 3, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Me, I’m not sure I tell a young kid to go back out when he says his head is exploding and he needs medication. But congrats on the win.

    He’s playing Labor Day, Monday, third match on court 10 against 13 seed Liam Brody from Great Britian. I’ll try to check it out.

    I already saw Fed play Fish (third up on Ashe) the weekend before the main draw. Pretty sure Fed won. I don’t see that changing.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Carlos said Jose’s US Open heroics are getting big coverage in Spanish newspapers, The photo above is from one of the newspapers, two other papers did similar features. Carlos is the guy in the middle, Jose is on the right and coach Miguel is on the left. Let’s hope Jose can keep it going.



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