By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, Calif. – The USTA Caribbean Section women’s senior 3.0 team had a special fan watching as the players took to the courts at the 2010 USTA League 3.0 Senior National Championships.
On a cool, sunny morning at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 88-year-old Rafaela Sotomayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, looked on with her son Eduardo, as her daughter-in-law and Caribbean team captain Ada Sotomayor played her first match.
"I am very happy to be here with my son and his wife," the elder Sotomayor said, who will celebrate her 89th birthday on Sunday. "We had planned the trip for some time now."
In addition to watching her daughter-in-law compete at the National Championships, one of the highlights of the trip for the elder Sotomayor was a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway aboard the world’s largest rotating tramcar.
She rode the tramcar from an elevation of 2,643 feet at Mountain Station through Chino Canyon to an elevation of 8,516 feet to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Sotomayor described her ride on the tramcar as a "delightful experience."
If her warm smile is any indication how she is enjoying her time in Indian Wells, Sotomayor picked a good time and place to celebrate her 89th birthday during the 2010 USTA League 3.0 Senior National Championships.