My DC tourney experience [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

My DC tourney experience

smitty8
07-29-2007, 11:42 PM
I guess this should go in here instead of GM. I'll just post my little reviews and pics (when I get to them) in this thread and update it day by day.
I wanted to go yesterday, but I couldn't see driving 2 hours there then 2 hours back to see one match, but I am kicking myself for it after all the rain we got today. I got there around 1:30 I think, started walking around because I like to check things out before I settle down, and found Marat Safin :kiss: and Tommy Haas practicing in one of the courts in back. Quite a large crowd, but I managed to squirm my way into a seat in the bleachers for about 20 minute or so, got some good pictures, then went to the stadium to watch Johansson and Giraldo. Watched about 5 games then decided to move around again. It was very cloudy, very humid, and I decided to watch Sa and Dev Varman on the Grandstand under the big shade that's covering the bleachers on one side. They were warming up and I saw rain drops and that was it. It just poured for quite some time, then let up, then poured some more, then let up, etc. :rain: When it let up a bit, I went to get something to eat, sat in the food court for another hour waiting for the rain to stop which it never did. After they announced play for the main draw was suspended, I left. Another 2+ hour drive home :drive: because the traffic was pretty bad. Oh, I almost got Marat's autograph when he finished practicing (right before I headed to the grandstand), he had quite a crowd around him. Hell, just seeing him practice up close made my day. :yeah: Now I need to get a few pics up and I'll post them on here.

smitty8
07-30-2007, 12:53 AM
http://www.imagestation.com/7931935/3898245309

My photos from today. Not much, but there wasn't much to watch.
Hold on folks, it's only giving me 1 pic and there are 8 in the album. I'm working on it right now!

smitty8
07-30-2007, 01:18 AM
Now THIS should get you to the album and not just the first picture.
http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2089189630&code=29217324&mode=invite&DCMP=isc-email-AlbumInvite

Svetlana.
07-30-2007, 01:25 AM
Now THIS should get you to the album and not just the first picture.
http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2089189630&code=29217324&mode=invite&DCMP=isc-email-AlbumInvite

Thanks for the pictures.

Also, do you know who that girl is that was seating with Marat and Tom during the practice?

smucav
07-30-2007, 02:07 AM
Also, do you know who that girl is that was seating with Marat and Tom during the practice?The only woman I saw on the court was Haas's girlfriend. Safin's coach & trainer & Haas's coach were there too.

Yappa
07-30-2007, 02:56 AM
Those are some nice pictures. And what can I say? Haas is a very fine looking man.

smitty8
07-30-2007, 12:52 PM
I assumed the blonde girl was Tommy's gf, I couldn't see her well from where I was because she was sitting down. Like it matters to me, I am not there to see girlfriends. Just the hot guys with their shirts off, lol.
Today should be good IF it doesn't rain. I think I'll be running around from Grandstand to Court 1 most of the evening. I have to get my errands done this morning and try to leave by 1pm (and knowing me, that really means 1:30, lol).

smitty8
07-30-2007, 01:22 PM
Updated my avatar. I tried to write "Marat" above his racket, but it is too small, damn. I don't think it's too bad for my first attempt at making my own avatar.

smitty8
07-31-2007, 05:25 AM
I made it home in record time and I have to write this down before I completely forget because I'm already half asleep. First of all, the beltway sucks. It took me 3 hours to get to the stadium today, all because I was running a bit late and hit rush hour, and I had to stop and get film for my one camera because I forgot to put it in my bag (and that camera wasn't working half the time, but I didn't know that until later, good thing for the digital). However, it only took me 1 hr 45 minutes to get home, so there's the difference traffic makes. First thing I did when I went inside was check the outside courts. Found A-rod practicing, took some pics. Then went and saw Economidis vs. Klizan for a little bit, then to Bozoljac vs. Capdeville, I think that was where Vince Spadea sat in front of me for, oh, a minute before he left (I saw him yesterday too, he's everywhere). Then I walked around to get something really cold to eat because I was burning up in the heat and who did I find? Marat practicing. Monfils came to practice next but I didn't stay. I tried to follow the crowd of kids getting autographs but it was nuts, those kids are crazy! However, I managed to get Becker's autograph, thank you dude, I know my hands were a bit full and yes, I actually knew who you were unlike the idiots next to me who I caught on audio talking shit. Oh, and I missed getting Marat's little racket throw on video, damn. Then I went into the stadium to watch a few games of Kunitsyn vs. Grosjean, then back out to grandstand for Korolev vs. Mello. I was torn at that point because I wanted to watch that match and the dubs on Court 1, Booty and Stretch. When I felt Korolev had a hold on his match, I went behind that court to see the dubs, had a great seat but my back was killing me even if I had something to lean against. I watched a few games of Haase vs. Bogdanovic, then I went back over to Grandstand to watch the very end of Erlich/Ram vs. Kerr/Thomas. Then back to the stadium to watch Bhupathi/Henman vs. Lee/Russell, fun to watch. Then I stayed for 3 games of Falla vs. Kendrick because I knew how long a drive I had ahead of me. Tomorrow, I'm staying till the end! Hopefully I'll get to the pictures later on in the morning because I'm ready for sleep! :zzz: I hope I didn't leave anything out. And I hate that this thread is all stretched out wide, it doesn't fit on my screen.

smitty8
07-31-2007, 05:19 PM
Hey guys and gals, I added a bunch more photos to my album (look above). I haven't had time to caption them. I tried to put one photo of each player I saw because there are just too many. Some photos are a bit blurry and that was the only one I took. I'm also not good at night photography, been doing this for 15 years and still haven't figured out how to do it without using a flash. And I DO mark my photos. I know some people hate it, but you've apparently never had people take your photos and sell them as their own and that has happened to me a few times before. Now I am off to another very long, very hot day of tennis.

SwissMister1
07-31-2007, 07:52 PM
Thanks for putting up the pics. It is really tough to take pictures at night, without a flash, of players in action with a digital camera. Nice pictures and reports, though. Looks like you were at a lot of the same matches I was.

smitty8
08-01-2007, 05:59 AM
I think I've been to every match that's been played. Well, almost. I saw bits and pieces of all the singles except for Llodra vs. Haase. I actually got to see the entire Safin/Hernych match tonight. Thanks Marat, I could've been home an hour earlier if you didn't have a brain fart in the second set. I didn't see any doubles today, there was just too much going on at once. I think I'm starting to know the people who work on the side courts a little too well now, lol. So, I started out on my trip about 20 minutes earlier and it made a big difference, there was still traffic problems in the same spots but it wasn't as bad. I made it home in record time, 1 hour and 35 minutes (I think I've made it home faster only one other time and that was because I drove 90 the entire way on the beltway and part of another interstate, I have a bit of a lead foot, lol). I got there right around 4pm and walked right up to where Tommy Haas just finished practice and got his autograph. If I had my camera out of my bag, I could've gotten a picture too, he was being very fan friendly. I actually like going to court 2 during the day, the bleachers are in the shade! The shade on Grandstand isn't very good during the day, the sun still comes in at certain times, but it's a terrific idea, maybe they'll cover both set of stands next year. I got my daily dose of Spadea, saw him watching the Sweeting/Moodie match for a bit (yeah, I saw you :p ). I had a plan on how to cover the 3 outer courts. I went to court 2, then to grandstand, then to court 1, then to Stadium, then started all over again. It's crazy, but that's what I did. I think I'll have to do it again tomorrow, there's just too much going on at once. I also learned from the last couple of days and brought my own food and drinks, the food there is awful and very expensive, so save your money and bring it yourself! There was a point before the sun started going down that the sun started getting to me, so I had to find shade and get some water and a snack, then I felt better. I'm not used to the sun (as if you can't tell by looking at my pale fair skin, hey, I'm part Irish, blame my relatives) and it's like an icebox where I work, so heat and sun aren't my friend. I think I'm rambling but I'm tired. Anyway, I took a TON of pictures, some video (but who knows if I'll ever get that online), I did get video of Marat throwing his racket at the end of the second set (thanks Marat, I was waiting for it, lol) but that video needs edited down. Oh, and I finally got to meet the people in my box tonight! Random people have been just sitting anywhere they wanted to and a few times they were in my seat, so I sat either behind or in front of them, but I had to take a stand for my proper seat tonight. OK, not sure when I'll get to pics because I need to leave earlier tomorrow. Now I must sleep. :zzz:

smitty8
08-01-2007, 02:55 PM
I'm adding some pictures as I'm getting ready to leave since it takes forever to load them. Just wait till about 3pm ET to go look at them or it might delay loading them onto the album. I don't think I'll get all of them from yesterday up, but at least half of them. I totally forgot to add that I sat beside a player girlfriend and a couple of times coaches yesterday. Totally random. I wish I knew a few other languages because I want to know what they were saying. I think the last time I was at this tournament was 9 years ago, it was right after I had sprained my ankle and a couple were talking about me in French right beside me, kind of rude too, and they didn't quite realize that I knew French and I let them know it. So people, before you start talking shit about someone, know their situation because you have no idea what is going on.

smitty8
08-01-2007, 04:55 PM
Ok, nevermind the waiting till 3pm, I finished uploading all of them. Just didn't get captions fixed. Enjoy. Let me know what you think of them.
I am heading out after I eat lunch.

smitty8
08-02-2007, 05:19 AM
Made it home, more traffic tonight than usual after midnight. I got there about 4:15 because they were doing some road work on the exit I needed to get off of and the beltway traffic was horrendous again, I really need to find another way to get there. First match I went to was Odesnik/Del Potro, then to Karlovic/Korolev. There is absolutely nothing like sitting right beside Karlovic when he's serving. It's amazing to watch and nothing like seeing it on tv. And don't sit on the first row of the bleachers near the ends, he might take your head off. I love courts 1 & 2, you really are right there beside them. I watched the end of that match, :hug: to Korolev. Then went to see the end of the first set of Spadea/Moodie, then back over to court 1 for some of Becker/Isner, then I saw the end of the first set of Fish/Berrer (kind of crowded). Then watched a few games of Benneteau/Nishikori and over to the stadium for the end of Clement/Johansson. Watched the entire Bryans dubs, thanks Bob for trying to give me the shirt but the old man grabbed it, who knows why he wanted it anyway, the ladies I was sitting with wanted to clock him, lol. Like I tell everyone, PUT IT IN MY HANDS, I can't catch anything. Ok, so then I watched the first few games of Haas/Falla, then went to the end of Hanley/Ullyett vs. Bhupathi/Henman and that was it for me. I'm exhausted! Not sure when pics will go up, I have a lot of things I need to get done while I'm home. Sorry I'm not all in depth with my reporting, but my brain doesn't function well this early in the morning. It's already in sleep mode. :zzz:

smitty8
08-02-2007, 02:23 PM
I know this is off topic, but this is my thread and I have to tell everyone how excited I am, I just found out I won a meet & greet with my fave musician the day before my bday!!! :music: :music: I have been trying for years to win and just found out about 20 minutes ago.

SwissMister1
08-02-2007, 10:14 PM
congratulations, that sounds fun. I didn't get to see Korolev play as I got there late, I like watching him too - although he got crushed by Karlovic it looks like. Have fun the rest of the tournament

smitty8
08-03-2007, 03:32 PM
Last night was tiring! I'm still half asleep and I slept pretty good. :zzz: I got there a bit after 4pm, went straight to the Grandstand top row to watch Karlovic vs. Spadea. From there, I could turn around and watch the end of Capdeville vs. Johansson. After Dr. Ivo finished, I went to the stadium to watch a little Monfils vs. Berrer, then back to Grandstand for Isner vs. Odesnik (I saw the first and third sets of this match, tiebreaks, what a match, stands were full by the end and I was standing behind the court looking though the screen). Isner looks a LOT like my little brother but 5 inches taller, they have the same build. After the first set of Isner/Odesnik, I went to Court 1 to see Benneteau vs. Lee and it was so hot and sunny that I left not long after, the sun just pounds on the stands there. Then back to stadium to see a little of Haas vs. Russell and just like his other match, I only needed to see a few games to know Haas was playing great and would win easily. Then I went back to the end of Isner/Odesnik match, then I made the mistake of calling a friend before the Roddick match started and she talked my ear off for 50 minutes and I missed the first set! So I finally got to my seat and saw the second and third sets and Stepanek was playing quite well, but A-rod prevailed in the end. The stadium was pretty full for Andy's match and it was still kind of full for the first set of Safin vs. Haase, then a lot of people left. I stayed till the end, 1 f'n am! It was an interesting match and from where I sat, there was a LOT of coaching going on in the second and third sets and that's all I'm saying about that. I got home and in bed by 3am, just woke up after 10am and my eyes are still not quite open. :zzz: I need caffeine! I just got the OOP and was worried that I didn't get up early enough to get there but I'm just going to miss a doubles match, one that I'd like to see, but I'll live if I don't. I still have to pack my cooler and bag before I go.

smitty8
08-04-2007, 04:53 AM
Wow, I'm back before 1am! Shocker! I left my house and went to the store to get some ice for my cooler and got caught in a massive downpour. I was in the store when it let loose and tried to wait for it to die down for 15 minutes and gave up on that and got completely soaked running back to my car. :rain: Funny, no rain in DC, but way out here got pounded. Anyway, I made it to the stadium right around the end of the second set for Isner/Haas, good match, before I went in I saw Monfils warming up. Then I saw Monfils/Safin. Monfils is serving very well, played well, not sure if Marat was still tired from his late night last night, but he looked a bit tired to me. It was also quite hot and sunny. After that, they cleared out the stadium (2 different session tickets, will be like that for Saturday too) and I changed my shirt and went back to my car to sit in the air conditioning and eat something, stayed there about 15 minutes and went back inside. I decided to walk around and saw a line at the little media center they have set up and I didn't have to wait long and Marat came out and signed stuff and took photos, I finally got my autograph (thanks Marat :kiss: ) but decided not to get a photo with him, however my photo of him turned out terrific. Then I went inside for Roddick/Lee and stayed to watch the Bryans doubles match. I was surprised at how crowded it was up until the very end, not many people left early, so that made getting out of the parking lot an experience. Now I am trying to get as much ready now as I can so I can leave a bit earlier tomorrow.

smitty8
08-05-2007, 05:53 AM
I'm back from what I hope is my last late night. I got there right in the middle of the second set of Erlich/Ram vs. Damm/Paes. I am enjoying the doubles when I get to see it, it's helping me with my picks for my fantasy team, lol, I didn't really know much about more than a few teams before this week. Then I sat in the hot sun for Roddick vs. Karlovic. A-rod hit a 151mph serve, I've never seen one that fast in person before, WOW. At one point, I thought they broke the radar, lol. Big serving back and forth.
All this week I kept thinking I would get sunburned, well before today, but I only got a tiny bit on my legs but only around my ankle and above my knees. I have been using a new sunscreen, so I thought it was really good stuff if it worked that well. However, today was sunburn city. I am massively red on my arms and parts of my legs and it's kind of splotchy in places. I could feel it happening and put my little towel over my legs to cover what I could, but my arms got the worst of it and I had nothing to cover them with. Back to tennis. After Andy won, they cleared out the stadium again and there was a few hours in between the day and night sessions. I decided to join the line over at the media center and after a bit, Andy went in to do his interview and not long after, he came back out and signed autographs, so that made up for my getting sunburned (well, for now anyway, lol). Then I went back to my car, turned on the air conditioning and drank some more water while reading the newspaper I had bought before I went inside. I turned off the car and rolled down the windows for about an hour then about 15 minutes before I went back inside the stadium, I sat in full blast A/C. Then I went inside, had a slice of bad pizza (at least it was warm this time) for $6, believe I got some food poisoning from it, so there's my warning to stay away from it. Then the Isner/Monfils match. Now that was good! Big serving from both ends, Monfils is definitely a character, Isner had his crew cheering for him, I went for the underdog Isner. Then I stayed for the Bryans doubles match, they won pretty easily, in under an hour. Then I came home and now I am very ready for some sleep!

Iza
08-05-2007, 10:07 AM
thanks for the report smitty :yeah: :yeah:
seems like u had a lovely time :D

smitty8
08-05-2007, 02:06 PM
thanks for the report smitty :yeah: :yeah:
seems like u had a lovely time :D

You are very welcome. I have had a great time. It's been about 9 years since I've been to a tournament and I forgot what it was like. I also know I'm buying box seats again! I've met some very nice people too. Now I am almost ready to leave for the finals!

smitty8
08-06-2007, 01:30 AM
This is the last day of my vacation and I need another week off to recover! I'm exhausted! I left a bit late and got there during the middle of the first set for the doubles final, good stuff. It was kind of sunny for that then it got very cloudy, but still humid. Before I left, I saw a line of thunderstorms coming from the west, it was over WV when I saw the radar, so I knew we would cut it close in DC. Luckily, it held off until I was on the beltway after it was all over! After the dubs, I walked around to the grandstand and sat in the shaded section just to stay out of the sun and look at my pictures because it's hard to see the little screen in the sun. About 2:55, I made it back to my seat for A-rod/Isner. It was pretty good, Andy's serve is just solid. Isner held up pretty good, he played well, he impressed me all week. So that's my tournament week! I am trying to upload over 500 pictures right now, will have to narrow that down for my album, let everyone know when they're up. And someone told me I should be a professional photographer and they didn't even see my good shots, hmmm. Yeah, I've been told that, I did a lot of tennis photography 10-13 years ago then went into concert photography (and I've been told those are terrific too). If money wasn't an issue, I would do it, but I don't know how to give up a good steady paycheck that I get now with my current career. Ok, the pics are uploaded, now I'm off to work on them.

smitty8
08-06-2007, 02:09 AM
Ok, folks, might be some time before I get more pictures in the album, I just looked at how many I took, over 900! There are a bunch of duds, blurry ones, hands or rackets (or other people's heads or hats) in front of faces and stuff like that, but a lot more good ones than I expected. I'm impressed with my digital camera! Sometimes when I use it for concerts, it's hit or miss, I either wind up with great shots or they are all blurry. I am going to bed, I'm too tired to mess with it all tonight, plus I have to go to work in the morning.

smitty8
08-07-2007, 03:27 AM
I added 27 more pictures to my album tonight. Have a bunch more to add tomorrow. Please don't take my pictures without asking me first.

smitty8
08-09-2007, 03:48 AM
I finally finished adding pictures to my album! Now I'm going to sleep! There are 203 pictures in there, narrowed down from just over 900.

CooCooCachoo
08-09-2007, 08:19 AM
Thanks smitty :cool: