Anne Keothavong’s Travel Nightmares

Anne Keothavong

English: Anne Keothavong returns

(born 16 September 1983) is a British professional tennis player. She is a former long-standing British number 1, however she is the current British number 2, behind Elena Baltacha and is ranked 73rd in the world (as of 16 January 2012).[1] So far in her career she has won a total of 19 International Tennis Federation singles titles, 8 ITF doubles titles and reached a career-high singles ranking of world No. 48 (achieved 23 February 2009).[2] She has also reached the semifinals of four International tournaments on the main tour and the semifinals of one Premier tournament.[3] – Wikipedia

In a recent posting on the web site “The Tennis Space” she tells of her five worst travel disasters.

1) The night I checked into a Mexican brothel.


Escaping from Lebanon, and over the Syrian border, with an armed escort.
“In 2008, I was playing in the Lebanese resort of Jounieh, when fighting broke out in Beirut [sectarian violence raged between Hezbollah, a Shiite militia, and the Sunni fighters loyal to the government]. It all kicked off just before my quarter-final match, and I was on the phone to my parents, and they were telling me to get home and not to bother with the tournament. I fancied my chances, though. I thought to myself, ‘If they’re going to carry on with the tournament, it can’t be that bad’. I think I was a bit naive.

“I didn’t warm up that morning as I was on the phone. In some ways it was easier to play. I was into the match, but at the back of my mind, I was thinking that if I lost the match, I could get out of the country. I didn’t want to be stuck. They closed the airport so there was no way of getting home. A group of girls took a boat to Cyprus. I was still in the tournament, and we were okay then, but obviously never sure about whether the fighting is going to spread or not. We played semi-finals and the final on the same day so that everybody could leave. I was scared because I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening.

“I chose to continue, and it paid off. Winning that tournament meant that I played Wimbledon that year for the first time without a wild card. It was an interesting way to do it. The British embassy weren’t that helpful, I was there on my own without a coach, and there weren’t any other British players there. The Spanish players were provided with transport and armed security, and I tagged along with them to get out of the country over the Syrian border. I think the security were the Spanish secret service. They had tried to leave the country the day before, and a car was shot at, so they had to turn back. There was a car in front and a car behind. I don’t think I fully understood what was going on, but it was okay once I got into Syria.”

3) Wrecking my back on a bench in Calcutta.

4) Sleeping with the cockroaches.

5) Problems in Britain. 

For more details visit the posting – CLICK HERE


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