On Thursday the first match I went to was Malek v Stosur. The whole court was full of Aussies and Malek is one of my favourite players so again I was shouting against the crowd. Before the match even started the Aussies started randomly chanting "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah" quicker and quicker. Whatever, they were really up for it. Stosur though was not. She played a pretty ghastly first set and even though Malek didn't play very well, she won it 6-4. The second set was similarly woeful by Stosur (and many of her fans left the court to watch Hewitt) but Malek missed all sorts of chances to put the match away and in all honesty didn't play at all well herself. Very few points throughout the whole match were won from her hitting winners. Stosur took the set 7-6 and then finally started to play decent tennis in the third and won it 6-4. She broke to go 5-4 up with a fluky net cord and didn't apologise. So I boo'd her. The Aussies were unimpressed but hey, screw them and screw Stosur.
The next match I saw was Simon v Alves. I really wanted to see Gilles so was willing to wait in a long queue in crazily hot conditions for him. Well, the basics from this match are that Alves likes to grunt very loud whenever he hits the ball. He put up a decent fight but I joined it when it was already one set all. From then on, although Alves did break Gilles more than once, Simon was for the main in control. In fact, I'd say it was a pretty steady performance from Simon especially given the fact that he'd been pretty rubbish in recent weeks. Decent match to watch, unpredictable and the right winner. Things were looking up
. 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 with some real good points.
I then went to see Medina Garrigues versus Garbin. Garbin outdid Alves in terms of strange noises but that was pretty much all she brought to the match. I like Medina Garrigues but she's not exactly a flashy player. It was a solid match, not anything special. I was just happy that Anabel won, 7-6 6-3.
Next I somehow landed at another Petzschner match. Him and Zverev were starting their 5th set by the time I arrived so I didn't see much of it. What I did see was Zverev totally tanking the match. Phil played good stuff in the 5th but tbh didn't need to as Zverev didn't recover from losing the tie-break in the 4th. However, I really did appreciate Petzschner's shots, I was starting to have someone new to cheer in the ATP. For Zverev, never expect him to fight. 4-6 7-6 3-6 7-6 6-0.
I waited on that court as I could not refuse to see a little bit of Sexy Steps. Starace v Stepanek was next on. I wanted to see Pennetta so I only watched the first set of this one but what I saw was pretty interesting. Starace was great, like really really impressive in the first 4 or 5 games but after that just stopped. Stepanek was as entertaining as ever, some nice shots, cool rallies. I also came back to see the very end of the match in the off chance that Stepanek did the worm. No such luck, he did run around a lot from side to side with a clenched fist but he saved the worm till his next 5 set triumph. 6-4 4-6 6-2 4-6 6-3 to Steps.
I went to see Flavia Pennetta v Vania King next. I was before the tournament convinced that King is simply terrible. This match didn't change my mind. Unfortunately, me and adee-gee decided to discuss how bad she was before being informed that the people behind us were her fans or entourage or something. Ah well, they probably already knew. Flavia was pretty good, but it was an easy draw. By this time I was incredibly sunburnt and as such am sad to say that i was seen on tv...
I saw that Cuevas v Levine was now in a 4th set. On my way to the Pennetta match I had watched a little of this match and had heard two men, one who looked somewhat like Levine though was in his 40s (maybe his dad but i don't know), discuss that Cuevas wasn't showing up in this match and that it was a bit of a cruise. I quite like Cuevas and so was delighted to see that he had some fight left in him after playing qualies and winning a 5 setter in round one. After losing the first two sets easily, he had taken the third set and was playing very well in the 4th. There were some excellent shots in this match, very high quality stuff. In the end, Levine just had too much for Cuevas. With some exceptional tennis he won, 6-2 6-1 4-6 4-6 6-3.
After that I watched some doubles on Henman Hill but there was not much to say about that. The courts were crazily crowded at Oudin v Shvedova and Troicki v Gimeno (though an Ajde was shouted over to Troicki
) and there was no hope of getting in.
Friday was my last day and was the first day that I was on my own. Still, in some ways it was the most enjoyable.
I was pissed with the scheduling as I wanted to see both Cibulkova and Dulko and both were schedulde for second on their respective courts. I would have rathered see Almagro v Soderling than Sugiyama v Hantuchova but decided that since the WTA match would be over first, I could watch that, then Cibulkova and then still see most of the Dulko match. I was very wrong.
Sugiyama v Hantuchova was an ok match, nothing much to say about it, I like both women but don't care enough about either to get excited by it. Hantuchova won it pretty easily, 6-4 6-3. At this stage, my plan seemed to be working to perfection, but then came Cibulkova v Vesnina.
This was definitley the longest women's match I've ever been at. I don't now exactly how long it was, but it felt damn long. It was however, a very good match. Vesnina was much improved (annoyingly) from her last match and was rallying really well with Domi. Either woman could have won the first set, but in the end Vesnina took it 7-5 soley due to her good play. The second set was of a similar standard and toward the end of it, Cibulkova was playing like she was on clay or something, great shots coming from her everywhere and there was nothing that Vesnina could do. After that set, Vesnina took an injury time out. Yeah, she was probably injured but I've decided to dub her Fakesnina just cos she'd been playing well before the timeout and if anything played even better afterwards. Cibulkova's level didn't drop much and it became all about the big points. I'm usually pretty pessamistic where my players are involved but i really thought that Cibulkova would pull this out. It wasn't to be though and that was simply because Vesnina played great. 7-5 4-6 6-4
After finding out that Dulko had already lost, I just stayed on that court and watched another really strong performance, this time Schiavone as she put out Marion Bartoli. One of the more intelligent fans I'd heard over the weeks was explaining that Bartoli was French and very interesting to watch to her friend. In the first set, Bartoli was interesting to watch, it was fun to see her hit thin air between points as well as play pretty well during them. Schiavone though was playing like grass was her favourite surface, barely put a foot wrong all match and won 7-6 6-0 as Bartoli maybe tired a little in the second. Awesome showing from the elderly Italian.
I knew that Zahlavova Strycova was going to play mixed doubles soon and so went to see that. Unfortunately, when I got to the court they weren't there and I didn't know if they'd already played or were just about to. Anyway, I went back towards where the OOP was to see but as I walked up the hill, out of the locker rooms came Barbie and her partner... PETZSCHNER! So, I doubled back and walked right behind them, banging into their security guard
until just before the court. I went to take a seat as they went the long way into the court and so when they came out, ten seconds later I was on my feet applauding. I don't think at that stage any of the fans knew who they were so, I was the only one cheering or anything. So, soon Lipsky and Makarova also came out and the match got started. To begin with, I was the atmosphere, it's mixed doubles, no-one cares, but I was starting to like Petzschner and already liked Barbie, so I cared. They actually both played very well too. Halfway through the first set though, a group of Australians came to the court and decided that between every single point they would shout "Come on Barbora". She was so embarassed
. After a while, Petzschner demanded that they give him some cheers
and so they did. I don't know if the fans helped or not, but they were both really enjoying themselves and Petzschner was playing quite amazing. The umpire over-ruled one of Barbie's winners and Phil had a long faked "you cannot be serious" discussion. The cheers for that team were non stop and apparently the Aussies suddenly at 6-4 5-3 started to feel sorry for the opposition and suddenly all shouted "Come on Scotty" at Lipsky which made everyone on court laugh. Petzschner and Barbie joked with the crowd all match and everyone was delighted when they won. Indeed, the Aussies called over Barbie and asked her to sign their chests. She did it, still a little embarassed. Petzschner followed her over hoping they wanted his signature too
. In the end, he lifted a young boy out of the crowd (can only have been at most 10) and said that they should have a match. Petzschner gave him Barbie's racket and announced to everyone watching to "Give it up fo Asif"
. The Aussies then all shouted "Go on Asif". Anyway, the two had some rallies (the little boy was very good for his age, considering the pressure) and then, rather than let Asif win the "game" they'd been playing, Petzschner slammed down a shot and celebrated
. The guy really was a riot and kept playing to the crowd as Barbie watched on her seat. So, as they left the court I went over to Barbie and got her autograph (only one I could be bothered getting all week) though I'm too shy to get her to sign my body
. I said well done etc and she was very nice but was busy with other people. Petzschner though was waiting further ahead. i think he thought I'd want his autograph, but I just went up and shook his hand and congratulated him for his Wimbledon so far. He was very nice and thanked me for my support etc.
That was my Wimbledon