I am writing this report at the event itself, meaning that I have yet to attend the evening session. A report on that you can find in this thread, later. Probably not tonight when I get home though.
First of all, Players I saw today:
Rainer Schüttler (His coach is also coaching Yeu-Tzuoo Wang, at least for one practice session)
He must have really left now
Well today they didn't open Court 1 early, so I had to wait and couldn't watch much of practising. Then Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram played their match against Uros Vico & Ivan Ljubicic. I really wanted to watch this match and the Israeli duo was quite solid and good and I hope they can go far. They are just two of the nicest guys around and I took a picture of them two together! Vico was nice enough to sign and pose afterwards, but now he's lost in both singles qualifying and doubles, must be leaving Rotterdam soon.
I had already seen Andreev, Schalken, Kiefer & Hrbaty practising before that. After the match I saw that Andrei Pavel & Tomas Berdych & Tim Henman were all practising too. But Andrei left early and said that he was sick
So Tomas & Tim continued. I got Tomas' autograph and picture. He's a really friendly guy and everyone ignored him and headed for Tim (everyone but me).
After Erlich / Ram's victory I headed for centre court with Bovenbuuf, to watch David Nalbandían versus Radek Stepanek. When we arrived, Peter Wessels had just crashed out to Michael Llodra in three sets. Mika was clearly happy with his win, but shy in front of the camera.
Then David's match started, and although I was rooting for him, I never wanted him to win the match when I saw how Radek was playing. There was only one player there that deserved the victory and that was the Czech. In the first set he played some brilliant volleys, serves and passing shots. In one of his service games in the second set he suffered from some kind of mental lapse, for he hit three double faults in that game, causing him to drop serve and then Nalbandían could, with difficulty, serve it out. Nalbandían did play better in that second set, but it still was nowhere near his best. In the third set, Radek played like in the first set again and got rid off David quite easily. When David was serving at 5-0, Radek got a match point for a double bagel. Fortunately for the Argentine, Radek didn't take advantage of the opportunity offered and David held serve. I believe Radek then won his service game on love. He played extremely well and will be a tough contender for anyone playing him. He sounded a bit weird in the camera and he wasn't very comfortable speaking like that, especially when people started laughing cause they couldn't understand him.
After that, I got my Romanian flag out of the bag and started cheering for Andrei Pavel and his partner Tomas Berdych against the two local favourites, Peter Wessels & Raemon Sluiter. That was quite a disappointing match. Pavel and, especially, Berdych, were not playing well and the quarter finalists of the AO rapidly lost the first set, 1-6. Then Andrei called for the trainer and he called it quits for the match...
I hope he'll play his match against Schalken anyway.
That was the last match of the day on centre court, meaning that EVERYONE was heading for Feliciano Lopez - Olivier Rochus on Court 1. I had to queue for ages to get on the escalator and then to get to the practice courts. It was too busy for me to try to get on Court 1, so I watched Andy Ram & Jonathan Erlich practising on Court 2. Karol Beck and Dominik Hrbaty were on Court 2. Just when other players were there to practise (Roger Federer, in a yellow outfit and carrying a red envelope --> the one that Yvo handed him yesterday??; Yeu-Tzuoo Wang, Roger's sparring partner for this session), we had to leave the court cause they were closing it down. I was waiting to get Karol to sign a picture and to get a new picture of him, but he wasn't fast enough to leave so I missed out
Hrbaty had already gone though..
Well that leads me to where I am now.. At the computer in the Plaza here. I am anticipating the doubles match F. Lopez / Verdasco versus Andreev / Davydenko. And after that I will go to watch Ancic - Dent. I have not seen Ancic practising at all this week
Oh I also saw Joachim Johansson leaving the court. I got an autograph, but couldn't get a portrait picture. I did take two pics though, so I hope they turn out well. It was when everyone was at Court 1 and the practice courts, so it was really crowded. He had signed and posed so much that he just wanted to leave, but I managed to get hold of him (in a friendly way, that is
) and congratulated him on taking the title in Marseille
Well that is it for now.. Will post something about tonight later, I hope..