My adventure in Rotterdam [Archive] -

My adventure in Rotterdam

02-18-2004, 08:07 PM
Today I went to the tournament in Rotterdam. A friend of my mom was getting me in for free so we met up at 11. I called her and we went in by the VIP entrance. We had a drink first and then she gave me the ticket to go to my seat and the ticket that would let me in the VIP village. The place looked really nice and there were many cafes for the suits to do some business.
At noon I went to look for my place on centre court, but decided to check the practice courts first. I saw Jonas finishing his session and on other courts I saw Sjeng and some doubles players. I didnít recognise them lol. I was sitting two rows behind the box seats so I had a good view. On my way there I saw Krajicek and his assistant. He looked great in that suit he was wearing.

The first match that I saw was between Mirnyi and Sargsian. I came in during the first set tie-break, which Sargis won. In the second set I have to say Sargis was the better player. Max went to the net regularly, but Sargis kept passing him. When Max had his first breakpoint in the second set the umpire forgot which language he was speaking and said: ďtreinta cuarenta!Ē LOL. Max broke and served for the set, but got broken back. At 6-5 he had a match point, but couldnít convert. There were some nice rallies in the tiebreak. Sargis could have won, but Max hung in there and won the second set. I was in desperate need of a toilet break and left that match. I wanted to check the practice courts for a few seconds, but I stayed there. Max won the third set 6-1 I heard. Max is athletic and I have this feeling he would be a gymnast if he wasnít a tennis player.

I saw many people standing around court two and I wanted to see why. Two former number one players were hitting with each other. Ferrero and Hewitt!!! I was happy to see Ferrero since I missed him at Roland Garros. They had some rallies, practised their ground strokes and serves. At one point Hewitt almost hit Juanqui lol. Hewittís serves were on the line and luckily Ferrero stopped them all cause I really had the feeling one of those serves would hit me in the face. Hewitt left and Ferrero stayed with the three men he was with and his gf. IMO she has no taste in clothes. Nice shoes (Puma), nice dress or whatever it was, nice bag and nice coat, but not as a combo. Sheís pretty and looked interested at times, but she spent most of the time reading a book. At the end of the practice session Juanqui and co played soccer with a tennis ball and the losing team had to crawl to the other end of the court. It was funny to see and the gf took a pic of it. I have some pics of Juanqui, but donít know whether theyíre any good. He signed my magazine, but it doesnít look like a signature lol. It was more a scratch on a piece of paper.

It was kids day and I saw Jan Siemerink and Paradorn Srichaphan with the children.

I then went back to my seat cause Rainerís match had already started. He won easily. He played well and Radek made too many errors. Radek kept playing dropshots, but they were either in the net, or Rainer could return them. Rainer hit some double faults, but it was good all in all. He won 6-3 6-3. Radek kept looking at the umpire cause in his opinion the crowd was too noisy. I have this feeling he just wanted to be a pain in the ass cause he was losing.

Before Lleytonís match I went to check the practice courts again. I saw Alex practising. When he came on court he came to the fans first. He gave me a REAL autograph and I took a nice pic of him. When he signed for me I said: ďGracias!Ē and he was like: ĒDe nada!Ē He touched my thumb with the pen and apologised in Spanish. Heís sweet!!! His clothes were unique to say the least. Bandana, black shirt and some weird looking short.

I went to watch Lleyton versus Gonzales then. I donít know why, but I was excited about this match. I think I was interested in seeing the hardhitter of the ATP Tour. Hewitt played well and Fernando was too erratic. He hit powerful shots, but they werenít clean. Many backhands went in the net. He called the trainer in the second set, but I donít know why. I couldnít see whether something was wrong with him. It was a quick match, which Lleyton won 6-2 6-1. It wasnít what I expected it to be, but thatís not strange considering Fernando arrived in Rotterdam late Tuesday night. He might just had one practice session and was suffering from jetlag.

After that match I went to scoop the practice courts one more time and saw Robredo with his coach. He was practising his groundstrokes and wasnít too pleased I think. Why else would he throw his racket in the net. He likes to wipe hid face with his shirt, which I donít mind seeing.

Johansson was still playing then, but I wasnít interested in that match. I was also getting tired and needed to be home in time. I missed Bjorkmanís match cause I wasnít particularly interested in it.

I had a great day and hope that not ALL of my pics are terrible. I know Iím clumsy and canít take pics, but Iíll see. Iíll post them later. Good news is that Iím going again tomorrow, but I still have to buy a ticket and I already know I wonít be as good as todayís seat. Who cares, Iíll be there and thatís what matters!

02-18-2004, 08:14 PM
Tnx Ilhame!!

02-18-2004, 09:40 PM
good report, i wanted to see the hewitt match alot too, but from what you said im not bothered that i didnt see it on tv.

Pink Panther
02-18-2004, 11:47 PM
Thanx for the great report Ilhame. :) You're so lucky to have the chance to see so many great players. Please post some pix if you may. I'm sure anything will be better than the ones provided by the official website. In fact, I was surprised to read this article:

Website ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament attracts huge audience
The website of the 31st ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament is a resounding success. To date, the site has been visited by some 70,000 tennis fans each day ( Together, they accounted for 650,000 daily page-views. The numbers, which place the site in the Dutch top-5 in terms of traffic, do not take account of the highly-popular live scoreboard (:mad: the stats are screwed and the screen freezes occasionally) or the interactive game (:o yeah but it's only available in Dutch.)

A survey has shown that visitors are more than satisfied with the site, assigning it an average rating of 8 out of 10. (:rolleyes: phwor, I would give it a 2 out of 10 ) They are particularly pleased about the speed with which results, photos and match reports are posted which sometimes takes only a few minutes. (true about the speed but there's definitely a lack of photos...yes I have an insatiable demand for photos. :devil:)


02-19-2004, 07:25 AM
Hey sis! :wavey:

Glad to hear you're having a great time in Rotterdam. I'm looking forward to reading more reports.

PS Don't do something I wouldn't do in your "adventures". :lol: You have fun!

Action Jackson
02-19-2004, 09:08 AM
Great report Ilhame live tennis can be fantastic, it's even better when it's because of a free ticket.

Keep having fun.

Doris Loeffel
02-19-2004, 09:44 AM
thanks ilhame!!
Great one.

02-19-2004, 12:22 PM
hey guys. also a hi from me from rotterdam :) some things changed here to the past years. it's now'm allowed to see the practise. and thats what i'm really like. thank you richard *lol*

02-19-2004, 03:43 PM
Heyyyyy Ilhame! I may have seen you there, because my report would basically be the exact copy of yours, if not for some differences ;) (I didn't have a VIP ticket :o :(, for instance, and I went to the evening matches as well).

I won't write a huge report again on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I must say I have had a lot of fun.

I then went back to my seat cause Rainerís match had already started. He won easily. He played well and Radek made too many errors.

I actually have a different view on Rainer's match; I found it so boring, that I left for Court 1 after some games. Maybe he started playing better, but I can't imagine that ;)

Did you like Alex' clothes? I thought they were horrible, as they have been all days I've seen him this year.

I should be as fortunate as to have at least some good pictures. Had a diff. classmate with me on Wednesday (two on Tuesday) and he brought his camera on Wednesday so..

Blah, Tommy's practising was sooooooo horrible. I have never seen him playing that badly. Of course he was frustrated; even I started to get frustrated.

I missed Bjorkmanís match cause I wasnít particularly interested in it.

What I've seen of it (I have been walking on and off, really ;)), Cakl played really well. He did so during the qualies as well, but it was quite surprising to see him play this well.

He hit powerful shots, but they werenít clean.

In my opinion, it was just a plain common Gonzalez match. He tries to attack, but he makes lame errors, and just too many yesterday.

I'll be going back next year ;)

02-20-2004, 11:57 AM
Yesterday I went to the tournament in Rotterdam again. I still had to buy a ticket so I went there early. Luckily I had a good seat again. I was in at 10.15 am and the matches wouldnít start till 11 am so I went to check the practice courts. Stepanek and some other players who were still in doubles were there practising. I saw Richard Krajicek walking by again. This time he was dressed in a nice grey suit.
Before the start of the matches I went to the Tennis Plaza with all the little shops and the computers where there was a free internet connection. Itís ideal free internet at tournament venues!

At 11 am Rainerís doubles match would start. He and Kohlman played against Erlich and Ram. Rainer and co were five minutes late lol. The umpire sent someone to look for them. I didnít stay for that match, saw only the first three games. Before getting to centre court I saw Costa and Sjeng practising on court two and three. A few minutes later Lleyton and his coach came out too.

I missed the first set which Henman won 6-2. Henman played ok, but did miss some volleys. The match wasnít all that, but there were some nice winners. Both players made some silly unforced errors. Although Henman didnít play that good, he was good enough. Cakl is rank outside the top 200, but at times you couldnít tell. He gave it his all. He was fast around the court, but played many balls wide. Henman won the second set 6-4.

The next match wouldnít start till 1 pm so everybody went to the other courts. Rainerís doubles match was still on, but there were more interesting things going on. Most players come to practise around noon. I saw Paradorn, Jonas and Fernando on court two, but court three was more interesting. Roger, Max, Alex and Tommy were practising there. There were many people standing around that court, but I did get a nice seat. At one time a ball came into my direction and I threw it back to Max and he looked at me and said: Thank you!!!Ē

In a corner I saw Mirka standing and I went up to her. Sheís very pretty and it looks like she has dyed her hair again. I asked her in which issue of GQ magazine I could find Rogerís photo shoot. Some of you may have seen it on Eurosport. She said they would be in the March issue of the German and Austrian magazine. They still donít know whether English GQ will feature Rogerís photo shoot too in the future. I got Maxí autograph after the session and unfortunately Roger left too fast.
I had my photo taken with Arnaud and I chatted a bit with him in French. He was really nice. I saw Juanqui coming out to practice and I had my pic taken with him too. Unfortunately the pic is a bit blurry. Alex was the nicest one of all. He took a pic with me and asked me to show him the pic first just be sure it came out well cause otherwise he would have made another pic with me. I asked him in Spanish to take a pic with me.
Juanqui was hitting with a guy I didnít know. Tommy hit with Arnaud when Alex left. Juanquiís gf was there again and sheís a real fashion victim. Another strange combination of colours. When Tommy left I asked him for a pic too. He gave me such a great smile when he heard me in Spanish.

Jarkko was playing Albert and was in cruise control. My brotherís friend was a ball boy at that match. Albert was having a real off day and kept mumbling in Spanish. I was sitting in the same row as his coach and heard him speaking back all the time lol. Jarkko played well and deserved to win 6-2 6-1. There werenít many fans cause Lleyton was already playing on centre court, but the few fans who were there cheered for Jarkko. There were two huge Finnish flags in the stands.
I only saw the second set of Lleyton against Thomas. It was nice and both players played well. There were some entertaining, long rallies. The place was packed and even Richard Krajicek made time to see this match. I think Thomas misses the mental edge, but heís getting there again. Itís no shame losing to Lleyton in two tie-breaks.

I went to court one again where Max was playing Davydenko. I didnít see much of the match, but it wasnít an easy win for Max. Nikolay had his chances, but Max played well in the tie-break. He won 7-6 7-6

Roger and Pavel were the last match on centre court. I came in at 5-5 in the first set and the place was packed again. Andrei had a breakpoint, but couldnít convert. Roger made beautiful winners and was better in the tiebreak. The second set was nice too. Good rallies and excellent winners. It looked as if Roger was passing Andrei left and right, but it wasnít always the case. Roger also made unforced errors. Rogers was spreading his shots very well and Andrei couldnít get to all of the balls. He seemed a bit frustrated at times. The atmosphere was good and people were rooting for both players. Mirka wasnít that far away from where I was sitting and there was a man next to her, who is travelling with Roger I think. Roger won the second set 7-5. Roger played one terrible return and was so ashamed to miss such and easy point that he hid himself behind his racket lol.

Tennis on centre court was over, but there were still doubles matches on court 1. I saw a few games of Tommy-Arnaud versus Alex-Albert. I came in at 5-5 in the first set. Both made nice winners and some unforced errors. From the few games I saw it was obvious that Alex and Arnaud were carrying their partners. Albert was still off, still mumbling, but Alex kept talking to him and try to calm him down. Clťment made nice winners and made up for the errors of Tommy. Arnaud kept looking at Tommy and after every nice point he would say: ďBien jouť!!Ē
A funny incident in the tiebreak was that the hostess who lets you in between points let the people in earlier. When players changed sides in the tiebreak tons of people came walking in lol. The umpire talked to them, but they didnít really listen. Instead of staying there and waiting they walked behind the seats and stood on the other side. Players didnít really notice it, but as a spectator it was funny to see. Tommy and Arnaud won the first set.

I couldnít stay to watch the end of this match ( I left at 2-1 in the second set), but had a great day. I took some pics, but again the quality isnít all that. A bad camera and a bad photographer donít go together that well!
Iíll pic a few nice ones out, but still have to see how and where to post them.

When I do post pics you can take them for player websites or something if you like, but just give me some credit.

I saw myself on tv!!!! For those of you who have tv rijnmond, you can see me for two seconds ;)

02-20-2004, 12:00 PM
Martijn I liked to see Rainer since I've like never seen a match of him before and ditto for Fernando.

Alex has his own unique clothing style and it takes courage to go out dressed like him ;)

tommy sucked in practice and he knew it ;)

02-20-2004, 12:02 PM
my photos

02-20-2004, 12:03 PM

02-20-2004, 12:07 PM

02-20-2004, 12:09 PM
Look at how good I am at taking pics ;)

02-20-2004, 12:11 PM

02-20-2004, 12:12 PM

02-20-2004, 12:13 PM

02-20-2004, 12:15 PM
roger & co

02-20-2004, 12:17 PM
alex and coach

02-20-2004, 12:17 PM
hartelijk bedankt Ilhame!

02-20-2004, 12:18 PM
JC & the gang

02-20-2004, 12:19 PM
if you want to see pics of me with players PM me ;)

02-20-2004, 12:21 PM
Look at how good I am at taking pics ;)

:haha: You turned Rainer upside down :haha: Well, his name is shaker anyway!

02-20-2004, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the GREAT reports!

I enjoyed reading them very much. :)

02-20-2004, 12:27 PM
I took the pic upside down and my bro asked me to keep it that way to remind me of my qualities ;)

02-20-2004, 12:51 PM
thanks, the photos were fun...the clear one of Tim and Lleyton are nice...and the pale one of Juan Carlos is very sweet. It looks like an inviting tennis arena!

02-20-2004, 02:38 PM
Really cool report and photos. It is allways interesting to read what happend behind the scene. Can you post some Tommy pics?
And would be really interesting to see the new crazy combenation of colours of JC's gf ;)

02-20-2004, 03:33 PM
Hehe nice again Ilhame. I have some pictures too (some really blurred though :(), but it says they are too big to post them here! And they're not bmp but jpg.. weird!