So we got there and got our free center court tickets. We did the boutiques again, and then we headed onto center court for Llodra and Robin Haase.
As we were going there, players were coming out of the lounge to go practice, and I see Aspelin and Knowle on a cart. Knowle sees me and waves, and nods his head, and I was like “oh my god he remembers me!” and said hi back. I’m still kind of surprised!
It was a battle of big servers. Llodra came to net often enough, and well, there weren’t many long points. After Llodra blew set point, he was just out of it – he smacked a few balls into the net in frustration. I left at the conclusion of the set, to see if any players were practicing that I wanted to watch.
There was Davydenko with Canas which had quite a few spectators, and Safin was practicing and there were TONS of people, almost as many as Nadal. Safin broke a racquet during his practice which caused a lot of laughter in the crowd. There were too many people for me to get a clear view of him, though, so I left. I did quite enjoy watching them for a bit though, they have such nice technique, all of them.
I watched Max Mirnyi practice with Lee for an hour – it was fun to watch them go up to the net and play out points. It was quite competitive. And they both have really good serves – Max’s especially!! A bomb! I’m still shocked about how big a man Max is. He even has huge hands and feet!
Ferrer was practicing shirtless on the other court, causing many women to watch him without knowing who he was.
Haas was practicing with Blake when I left to go get Max’s autograph. Haas took his shirt off moments into the court. The fans started to come watch him, too, they probably knew who he was more than Ferrer. Some smart ones watched both with good positioning between the courts. Anyways, I was off to see Max. Some fans were taking pictures with him, which was no fair, that was my idea, only no one could take the picture for me. He signed for me and his thumb touched my hand!
Very important detail. I’m still working up the guts to have my photo taken with a player.
I believe I went to see Ianni play Grosjean after. It was a good match, that first set! So close. The crowd was of course backing Grosjean, and Ianni was sick of it. On set point a cheer had erupted, and Ianni was mimicking us! It was so cute. He just lost it in the second set, although the games and points were close. Grosjean got everything back with interest.
I went around again – I saw nothing that really interesting to me. I guess I was just stretching my legs. A bunch of fans were around this one court, like, insane amount of people. The way it is at the site is that X X | X | where X is a court and | is a passageway to watch. But the first alley is so small – it was packed, you couldn’t go through it to see other courts! Roger Federer was playing. All was explained by seeing that written! I think Murray was practicing with Baghdatis at this time, it may have been earlier on.
I went to watch Bjorkman and Stepanek, the marquee match for me, a big fan of Jonas. It started off shaky for Jonas, getting broken, but the next games were really nice. Competitive rallies, Jonas coming to net, good serves, and all. The crowd wasn’t into it, so my few and far between “Let’s go Bjorkman!” cries seemed random. I really love how Bjorkman’s ball stays low over the net all the time, I kept thinking it would go in the net. He has such nice technique. Radek hits hard and constant though, and moves well.
In the second set, he was so close, yet so far. When he lost, he looked so disappointed; I was disappointed for him too… I left to go see him up close, and took a photo of him. He seemed so sad… But I was glad to see him play and really love his style of play.
Next, I saw Nestor and Knowles for a bit, practicing on a court all isolated from the rest of the world. I look forward to seeing them in match play (or practicing again J) I saw Ancic hitting a bit (had trouble recognizing the guy!) with Jarkko Nieminen.
Roger was coming off his practice court, people were getting aggressive. Roger didn't look too happy, in fact I don't know if he signed many autographs at all... But I didn't really deserve one, I just showed up when he was leaving
Then I went to see the other marquee match – Gonzalez & Ljubicic against Blake & Jamie Murray. It was so good at first, so many nice rallies, nice volleys. Blake really is useless in doubles. Poor Jamie had to do everything! I mean, James had his moments, but Jamie had to take all the smashes. There was one point were Blake was standing there in front of a lob and Jamie ran over to smash it. And then another were Blake said “You” for the lob, and then he said it again when another lob came back, and then it came right at him and he said “me” as if he had no choice. Thankfully he didn’t miss it!! But really, James made a lot of mistakes, or at least more than Jamie, in this match.
Fernando and Ivan didn’t say much to each other, but they were an efficient team. Fernando has the ability to do whatever he wants with the ball without you knowing. Jamie and James had no idea where his volleys would go! Fernando made a lot of winning shots, all the while Ivan was constant. This idiot behind me said at the end, “Fernando won this match for the two of them.” But I couldn’t disagree more. I think Fernando came up with winners when needed, but Ivan was always there and barely made a mistake in the match! I was really impressed by this team =)
The crowd was really into this match, the stands were full, there were cheers everywhere. Whoever said doubles isn’t popular is surely wrong. The match tiebreak had everyone on the edge of their seats!
I ran to get Ivan’s autograph as I am now a converted fan of his, and he didn’t see me and I was too nervous to say an audible “Ivan, please sign for me!!” Finally there was way too many people blocking the entrance so they exited on the other side of the court. I had to run in my flipflops again to get to him and I was all out of breath when I asked him. He was really nice to me =)
We finished off the day by watching Clement and Bester. Bester made too many mistakes, but he hits well and hard and aggressively! Taking Clement to a tiebreaker is surely good, you know? Arnaud’s a good player. Anyways, the crowd was into it, or what was left of it anyways.
It was a nice day. So autographs from Max, Lee, and Ivan. I can’t wait to go back – depending on the rain, I don’t know when… hopefully the weather will change for tomorrow.
I still can't get over Julian Knowle recognized me - I'll have to cheer extra hard in their 2R match