Yesterday I went to the tournament in Rotterdam again. I still had to buy a ticket so I went there early. Luckily I had a good seat again. I was in at 10.15 am and the matches wouldn’t start till 11 am so I went to check the practice courts. Stepanek and some other players who were still in doubles were there practising. I saw Richard Krajicek walking by again. This time he was dressed in a nice grey suit.
Before the start of the matches I went to the Tennis Plaza with all the little shops and the computers where there was a free internet connection. It’s ideal free internet at tournament venues!
At 11 am Rainer’s doubles match would start. He and Kohlman played against Erlich and Ram. Rainer and co were five minutes late lol. The umpire sent someone to look for them. I didn’t stay for that match, saw only the first three games. Before getting to centre court I saw Costa and Sjeng practising on court two and three. A few minutes later Lleyton and his coach came out too.
I missed the first set which Henman won 6-2. Henman played ok, but did miss some volleys. The match wasn’t all that, but there were some nice winners. Both players made some silly unforced errors. Although Henman didn’t play that good, he was good enough. Cakl is rank outside the top 200, but at times you couldn’t tell. He gave it his all. He was fast around the court, but played many balls wide. Henman won the second set 6-4.
The next match wouldn’t start till 1 pm so everybody went to the other courts. Rainer’s doubles match was still on, but there were more interesting things going on. Most players come to practise around noon. I saw Paradorn, Jonas and Fernando on court two, but court three was more interesting. Roger, Max, Alex and Tommy were practising there. There were many people standing around that court, but I did get a nice seat. At one time a ball came into my direction and I threw it back to Max and he looked at me and said: Thank you!!!”
In a corner I saw Mirka standing and I went up to her. She’s very pretty and it looks like she has dyed her hair again. I asked her in which issue of GQ magazine I could find Roger’s photo shoot. Some of you may have seen it on Eurosport. She said they would be in the March issue of the German and Austrian magazine. They still don’t know whether English GQ will feature Roger’s photo shoot too in the future. I got Max’ autograph after the session and unfortunately Roger left too fast.
I had my photo taken with Arnaud and I chatted a bit with him in French. He was really nice. I saw Juanqui coming out to practice and I had my pic taken with him too. Unfortunately the pic is a bit blurry. Alex was the nicest one of all. He took a pic with me and asked me to show him the pic first just be sure it came out well cause otherwise he would have made another pic with me. I asked him in Spanish to take a pic with me.
Juanqui was hitting with a guy I didn’t know. Tommy hit with Arnaud when Alex left. Juanqui’s gf was there again and she’s a real fashion victim. Another strange combination of colours. When Tommy left I asked him for a pic too. He gave me such a great smile when he heard me in Spanish.
Jarkko was playing Albert and was in cruise control. My brother’s friend was a ball boy at that match. Albert was having a real off day and kept mumbling in Spanish. I was sitting in the same row as his coach and heard him speaking back all the time lol. Jarkko played well and deserved to win 6-2 6-1. There weren’t many fans cause Lleyton was already playing on centre court, but the few fans who were there cheered for Jarkko. There were two huge Finnish flags in the stands.
I only saw the second set of Lleyton against Thomas. It was nice and both players played well. There were some entertaining, long rallies. The place was packed and even Richard Krajicek made time to see this match. I think Thomas misses the mental edge, but he’s getting there again. It’s no shame losing to Lleyton in two tie-breaks.
I went to court one again where Max was playing Davydenko. I didn’t see much of the match, but it wasn’t an easy win for Max. Nikolay had his chances, but Max played well in the tie-break. He won 7-6 7-6
Roger and Pavel were the last match on centre court. I came in at 5-5 in the first set and the place was packed again. Andrei had a breakpoint, but couldn’t convert. Roger made beautiful winners and was better in the tiebreak. The second set was nice too. Good rallies and excellent winners. It looked as if Roger was passing Andrei left and right, but it wasn’t always the case. Roger also made unforced errors. Rogers was spreading his shots very well and Andrei couldn’t get to all of the balls. He seemed a bit frustrated at times. The atmosphere was good and people were rooting for both players. Mirka wasn’t that far away from where I was sitting and there was a man next to her, who is travelling with Roger I think. Roger won the second set 7-5. Roger played one terrible return and was so ashamed to miss such and easy point that he hid himself behind his racket lol.
Tennis on centre court was over, but there were still doubles matches on court 1. I saw a few games of Tommy-Arnaud versus Alex-Albert. I came in at 5-5 in the first set. Both made nice winners and some unforced errors. From the few games I saw it was obvious that Alex and Arnaud were carrying their partners. Albert was still off, still mumbling, but Alex kept talking to him and try to calm him down. Clément made nice winners and made up for the errors of Tommy. Arnaud kept looking at Tommy and after every nice point he would say: “Bien joué!!”
A funny incident in the tiebreak was that the hostess who lets you in between points let the people in earlier. When players changed sides in the tiebreak tons of people came walking in lol. The umpire talked to them, but they didn’t really listen. Instead of staying there and waiting they walked behind the seats and stood on the other side. Players didn’t really notice it, but as a spectator it was funny to see. Tommy and Arnaud won the first set.
I couldn’t stay to watch the end of this match ( I left at 2-1 in the second set), but had a great day. I took some pics, but again the quality isn’t all that. A bad camera and a bad photographer don’t go together that well!
I’ll pic a few nice ones out, but still have to see how and where to post them.
When I do post pics you can take them for player websites or something if you like, but just give me some credit.
I saw myself on tv!!!! For those of you who have tv rijnmond, you can see me for two seconds