Legg Mason reports (& no photos)
Saturday, July 30th:
I was at the qualifying all day (& will be at the tournament the rest of the week). I'll try to write a little report each day. I'm not really a photo person so any pictures I do take (with my disposable non-digital camera) won't be available for uploading anytime soon.
The most exciting part of my day was finding out that my credential entitled me to use the same transportation as the players. On the way there, I shared a car with Bianca, Giovanni Lapentti's girlfriend, who had just flown in from NYC. She was very nice (& happy to hear that we thought her English was very good). I almost ended up in a car with Max Mirnyi on the way there, but he had a baby & a lot of luggage so I took the next car (w. Bianca). Coincidentally, Lapentti came in & sat down right behind me at the Oudsema/Smeets match a few hours later. On the way home, I shared a car with Kevin Ullyett. He was very nice & we talked the whole way (it's a fairly long ride) about the Metro (which he rode for the first time last week even though he's been coming to DC for 12 years), how to get to the Canadian embassy (to get a visa for Montreal), his holiday after Wimbledon, my trip to India, etc. When I was at the transportation office to get a car home, Tim Henman came by with Paul Annacone to make arrangements for the next day.
Didn't see much of the first round qualifying matches since I was mostly walking around & watching practice sessions. I saw Radek Stepanek, Kenneth Carlsen, Karol Beck, Wayne Arthurs, Alexander Popp, Sebastien Grosjean, & some unidentified other players. I also heard a bunch of coaches discussing how Taylor Dent was wasting his talent by not being in shape.
I watched some of the de Chaunac v. King (Q2) match (mostly because it was in the stadium thus I could sit in the shade), but it was such a drubbing (by de Chaunac) that I left at the beginning of the 2nd set.
I watched the entirety of Oudsema v. Smeets (Q2). I was sitting right at the baseline (about two feet from the players). Both players were playing pretty solidly with only one break point in the first set. In the second set, there was drama when a ball girl collapsed from the heat & had to be wheeled off the court by EMS. Oudsema seemed to be a little distracted after the delay & was broken on his first break point of the set. Oudsema saved some break points later in the set, but couldn't break Smeets who held on to win.(Smeets only faced one break point the whole match.) I hadn't seen much of either of these players before. Smeets, perhaps as an homage to Clement, wore sunglasses the entire match. Oudsema has a really powerful down the line forehand, but just got too distracted & started missing a lot of first serves. (Polo must not manufacture tennis shoes since Oudsema, Polo's new poster boy, was wearing Reebok shoes & Nike socks.)
There was a lot of cheering coming from the grandstand where Heuberger was playing van der Merwe, but I forgot to check the score before I left so I don't know what it was about.
Last edited by smucav; 07-31-2005 at 10:50 PM.