I was in Rosmalen on Saturday - Wednesday. For Sat and Sun I already wrote two reports, which you can read here:
I got a player's guest pass from Maria Elena Camerin
And let me tell you, it was a bizarre, unique and great experience!
I had to get some pictures developped for Maria Elena, so I only made it to Rosmalen at 14h (2 PM), when play had already started two hours ago. I really wanted to watch this sweet girl Aravane Rezaï against Denisa Chladkova and it looked like I was going to be on time. Mandy [
] told me the scores on the train and she had actually won the first set
But I had to wait ages for the taxi to arrive at Rosmalen station. Met a very nice US linesman called Joe there, who was also going there. Told him that he should call all balls in favour of Tommy Robredo, should he do one of his matches
He just came from an ITF event in Allanstown or something, won by Varvara Lepchenko, who beat Lindsay Lee-Waters in the final.
Anyways, we took the train taxi together and when we walked to the grounds, I saw Aravane Rezaï's mother and psycho father. I figured the match was over, but when I asked her mother if she had won, she said troisième set
. So a third set. I wondered why they were not watching, but apparently they couldn't handle the pressure. I told her in French I hoped she'd win and her mother and father said that was really nice of me
I was a bit shocked her father could say something nice
But when I got in, she had already lost! Good effort though.
I sat on Court 2 to watch Virginia Ruano Pascual against Evie Dominikovic. Not a very good match, but Evie is a really animated player to watch! "What the fuck are you doing Evie?"
were common expressions
Vivi was the better player in the first set, cause she managed to dictate the game from the baseline and sometimes she went to the net. Her volleys were off today though, which was sad. In the second set, it was completely different. Evie was way more dominant and found an answer to Vivi's slice balls. She made fewer mistakes and deserved to take that set. I expected her to go on and take the third, but somehow she couldn't deal with the slice anymore and Vivi was better. Very weird match. I felt kind of sorry for Evie, who really didn't deserve the loss, but neither did Vivi. Vivi was really happy after the match
Also Evie seemed to have injured herself to her arm and the physio was doing some really odd massage. The injury never seemed to trouble her though.
Then when I left the court, I saw Maria Elena's coach and asked him if Maria Elena was practising. She was, so I gave her the pictures and she was really happy
She asked if she really didn't have to pay and I said no and told her to just win her match
I really wasn't getting my hopes up though.
I saw the first three games of Kveta Peschke & Julia Schruff v. Beti Sekulovski & Cindy Watson. Kveta and Julia really got off to a bad start
They were down 2-0 in no-time, could have been 3-0 too but they avoided that.
I heard that Arthurs - Sluiter had finished on centre, so Tommy was up next and I got my ass to centre court. With my guest pass, I could sit in the player's box which was a weird experience
These seats are so much better than the normal seats though. Way more near the court. Tommy played good, solid tennis and was joking a lot with his coach. He seemed to be talking to him a lot, but not about the match. After two games he gave Mariano a sign that I interpreted as "It's OK, I will win this easily"
. Well, he did anyway. Gilles is an OK player on grass. He relied on his serve, but that was not good enough to get him through. He didn't really have a shot in most of Tommy's serve games. There were some really nice points in this, mostly from Tommy. But Gilles was complaining about bad calls all the time ("Elle ne couche pas la ligne"
), but that didn't help him much. After one call, a part of the crowd agreed with the Luxembourg player and took his side. I saw Eruwen and Lady Carlita with their Spanish flag
Anyway, a really easy, quick and good match for Tommy to start with. Last year it was way worse, with the horrible match against Lars Burgsmüller
He only won that one in three and with really ugly and poor tennis.
Saw some of the last games of Peschke/Schruff v. Sekulovski/Watson then. It's fair to say that Julia sucks at doubles. Really, the girl had no serve, no volleys, no passing shots. Actually, when I come to think of it, she didn't really have anything that day
Kveta was playing good tennis, but was really unlucky with a lot of shots that went just long. Watson was average. She looks a bit unflexible, I'd say. Sekulovski was extremely good
That girl should be in the Top 40 in doubles what with the way she was playing that match. Great volleys and just a great shot selection. If there had been two Watsons, Kveta and Julia would have won. Had there been two Sekulovski's, they would have lost in two quick sets.
After that, I went to watch some players practise and I went into the player's lounge
I could go there with the pass and I figured I needed something to drink and eat. There it was free and good, so I'd be stupid not to go there. It was so weird to be there. In the three days I went to the player's lounge, I have seen almost all players. It was really packed at times too. Mark Philippoussis wants his pasta with only tomatoes, Gisela Dulko was at the pinball machine and Lucie Safarova, Jean-René Lisnard and Paul-Henri Mathieu spent quite some time at the laptops. Also, Safarova is one of the few players who actually talked to Misa Krajicek. No one talked to Navratilova
Grönefeld was there a lot. Schaul and Benneteau joked, as did Tommy and Vivi and later Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Vivi. Coría showed quite some interest in Tommy's match against Burgsmüller; Anabel Medina Garrigues looked extremely pissed after her loss to Krajicek; Dinara Safina was smiling a lot in the player's lounge, whereas Maria Kirilenko never got rid of the bitchy look on her face even when among players. Oh and Coría eats a lot
. And the Czech players seem to be closest to each other. Hernych, Safarova, Koukalova and Benesova are all on good and very friendly terms with each other. Most other players are rather on their own; there wasn't a whole lot of talking and chattering going on in the player's lounge.