WSFG Masters or How I spent my days in Cincinnati - a blog [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

WSFG Masters or How I spent my days in Cincinnati - a blog

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 11:05 AM
Now I have the WiFi to myself I'll try to post a few pictures taken yesterday at the Cincy tournament. Actually I'm in Mason, Ohio but I guess someone figured no one would come if they call a tennis tournament the Mason Masters.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-001.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-002.jpg

I will be here for the week and will be posting pics as the tournament progresses. It started Friday, July 25th with the draw and a seniors tournament. Because of delays in flights, rental car pickup, and heavy traffic from the airport to my hotel in Mason I miss the events of last evening.

Yesterday was the first day of qualifying. In general the crowds were small. With no qualies interesting me I just wandered between practice courts. With Rafa still in Toronto you'll have to be satisfied with pictures of other players I enjoy.

Yes there are espenses involved in spending a day at a tennis tournament. Not to fear the directors have thought of everything.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-003.jpg

I'm rather doubtful I'll get to the groundst today. There is only and a daytime session and with Rafa's final to be played Not Before 1:30 p.m., I expect the day to be taken up with feeding and being in an air-conditioned place watching his match. For those who have always wanted to see Mason, Ohio I might be able to fill the gap between today and tomorrow's (Monday) opening day with a few pics of the area.

I do write but whenever possible I'd rather post a picture than subject people to a dose of my stilted prose.

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 11:23 AM
I think some of you have seen previous tournament blogs I wrote for another website. In general, I like to see pictures and sort of think so do most other people. What I post are resized from high resolution. Perhaps more than seeing a competition in person is the opportunity to see your favorite player practice that makes a day at a tennis tournament worthwhile.

So I'm going to start with Carlos Moya, one of the senior members of the Armada. There are few practice court locations surrounded with high fence and unfortunately Charlie was on one. So the pictures show some indication of the chain link.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-004.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-005.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-006.jpg

There are a number of Serbian tennis players current competing in both the ATP and WTA. My favorite in the ATP is Janko Tipsarevic.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-007.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-008.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-009.jpg

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 11:32 AM
Tommy Hass mainly because he was practicing with Marat Safin.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-010.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-011.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-012.jpg

Marat Safin who still has a game and a presence. Sometimes it is a good idea to be careful with off-hand comments. During the Marat's practice he included throwing a racquet. I made a comment about it to the young lady sitting next to me and later found out she is a pass wearing friend of Marat.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-013.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-015.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-016.jpg

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 11:48 AM
You notice a few players who need to get out in the sun more...

Jarko Nieminen.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-017.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-018.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-019.jpg

Robin Soderling who was practicing with Feliciano Lopez.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-021.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-022.jpg

Just one picture of Andy Roddick.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-020.jpg

cinamoon
07-27-2008, 11:50 AM
Oooh thank you, Lopaka. Especially for the pics of the topless players. Oooga. (drool) even though i'm not a mssive fan of Roddick anymore, the close-up is to die for.

looking forward to hearing and seeing more.:)

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 12:07 PM
I'll finish Saturday's player pictures with a few of an Armada member who seems to have a popularity beyond his tennis skills.

Feliciano Lopez.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-023.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-024.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-025.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-026.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-027.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-028.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-029.jpg

One nice fan feature is what you might call a players autograph gauntlet. It is the walkway from the player enterence and parking lot. If you are willing to hang around during the day there should be a chance to get your favorite player's autograph.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-030.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-031.jpg

That's it for my fist day. I don't think you want any pictures of or the words I said while trying to upload the pictures.

The important item on today's agenda is a successful finish to Rafa's Toronto tournament. Then safe and uncomplicated travel to Cincinnati.

nashty
07-27-2008, 12:24 PM
Wow. This is great. Thanks for sharing. Here's hoping to see pictures of our dear Rafito soon.:)

lara2.ribeiro
07-27-2008, 01:37 PM
OMFG!!!! Feli is so:drool:

thanks a lot, you'r so lucky!!!!

Forza
07-27-2008, 01:47 PM
:eek::eek::eek::eek:
Thanks to shering us the pics and tell us your blog!!!!

Hope to see more... :D

Minn
07-27-2008, 02:30 PM
Great pictures! I"m looking forward to seeing and reading more. The picture of Roddick is a great photo and Feliciano looked like he was posing for you in a few of them!

star
07-27-2008, 02:37 PM
:bigclap: :bigclap: :kiss: :kiss:

Thank you so much! That was very interesting. I think Jess is going to be terribly excited by those Tipsy pictures. :)

Bibberz
07-27-2008, 02:42 PM
You saw Tipsy and Moya! :worship: I appreciate the captions and random pictures (ATM :D) most of all, though.

Metis
07-27-2008, 05:57 PM
Great stuff Lopaka :yeah: Thanks :worship:


All those shirtless photos! :hearts: :drool: No David Pics Ferrer pics? :sad: :confused:

:rolls:

NaDALiTa
07-27-2008, 06:30 PM
thanks Lopaka for all these great piccies :drool:
I'm shocked by Soderling I never knew he has such a chest...but it doesn't match with his horrid face :rolls:

Tnn74
07-27-2008, 09:42 PM
Wow, thank you so much Lopaka! :hug:
Your Safin pics are priceless :drool:
I can't wait to see shots you'll have of Rafa :D

MariaV
07-27-2008, 09:59 PM
Thanks a lot Lopaka, excellent photos. :worship: :bowdown:

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 10:36 PM
I'm looking foward to seeing Rafa in person. I have my fingers crossed it might be tomorrow afternoon/evening with the start of his Cincinnati practice. Sure there is a concern about his level of tiredness but with improvements in his hard court game maybe it won't be that bad. Let's wait and see.

I went to the tournament for a while. After reading the match start time would be about 1:30 p.m. I chose to get back to my computer and then watch ESPN knowing the score. Since today was only a day session I did not miss to much.

Metis, I did not read your post until I got back from the tournament. Sometimes nice things happen for nice people.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-036.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-035.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-034A.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-033A.jpg

He had practiced with Stan Wawrinka
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-037.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-032.jpg

Lopaka
07-27-2008, 11:45 PM
I'm sure everyone has been concerned but Roger is practicing. I was told he was on the practice court twice yesterday. He and James Blake were on court about noon today. Needless to say the crowd around the court was 6 or more people deep. They were also standing on the top of a bleacher that over looks the court. I have pictures of Roger so I just pushed my way past.

I'm expecting the same type of turn out or more for Rafa. In his case I will try to get through the crowd. Tomorrow is "kid day" so the place will be crawling with "rug rats." Maybe I can get someone loan or rent me a little one. I probably should buy a bandana and I'm sure everyone is following my train of thought.:devil:

With the crowd all focused on Roger and James I was able to watch Carlos Moya for a while and get a couple of good shots as he left.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-038.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-039.jpg

Lopaka
07-28-2008, 12:07 AM
Rafa has won! I'm happy! I only have a few more pictures I would like to share. Then I think I will vist the hotel seller of adult beverages.

Tomorrow the regular draw matches start. The hotel WiFi is still very slow so it might be a day or two before I can post pictures again. I'll still be taking pics even if I can't post.

Richard Gasquet and Ivo Karlovic practiced together. When you are stand close to Ivo you realize how tall he is.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-040.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-041.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-042.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-043.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-044.jpg

Metis
07-28-2008, 03:41 AM
Metis, I did not read your post until I got back from the tournament. Sometimes nice things happen for nice people.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/Cincinnati-2008-036.jpg




Lopaka, you are the best :worship: :smooch:

Mimi
07-28-2008, 04:03 AM
thanks a lot Lopaka :D:worship:

avocadoe
07-28-2008, 10:31 AM
Lopacka, thanks, have a great day, I'm enjoying your pictures adn comments :)

VamosFeli
07-28-2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks you very musch Lopaka greats pics Feli !
Would that be possible (?)to put one of your pictures on my blog?
That or Feli smiles , it is most beautiful!
Sorry for my english
Billie
http://feliciano-lopez.skyblog.com

tennizen
07-28-2008, 02:04 PM
Lopaka, thanks for the pics:) And don't spoil Metis. She needs to concentrate on her work :rolls:

NancyIsabelle
07-28-2008, 03:25 PM
Hi Lopaka ! I am so happy to see you are doing a blog here :)

For those who don't know Bob (Lopaka) yet, you will find out he is doing great blogs with terrific pictures. You already had an appetizer :D

Thanks Bob for taking the time to share your thoughts, adventures and great pictures with us. Enjoy Cinci ! I will be following your blog while I am also at the women tournmanent at the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week ... so much tennis in two weeks ! :lick:

cinamoon
07-28-2008, 04:35 PM
Can't wait for the Rafa pictures! Just look at the quality shots of the other players. Bring it on, Lopaka.:devil:

NancyIsabelle
07-28-2008, 05:04 PM
Can't wait for the Rafa pictures! Just look at the quality shots of the other players. Bring it on, Lopaka.:devil:

Right ... great pics. Lopaka is a "pro". Can't wait to see his pics of Rafa :worship:

star
07-29-2008, 02:52 AM
Lopacka, thanks, have a great day, I'm enjoying your pictures adn comments :)

:wavey: I thought you were gone on a trip or something.

Metis
07-29-2008, 03:17 AM
Lopaka, thanks for the pics:) And don't spoil Metis. She needs to concentrate on her work :rolls:

What if I promise to stare at them only during my lunch break? :awww:


Besides, the reason I look at Ferru's shirtless photos is because they inspire me to work harder. They remind me of his dedication to hard work and the fruits that such intensive labor can produce. :worship:


:angel: :rolls:

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 12:37 AM
I'm still on the case. Next year I'm going to stay at some dump with WiFi and not a lot guests with computers.

I missed Rafa's practice last evening, darn. I had been at the Safin/Tursunov match but left because I thought I would either go to sleep or it would make sick. I had give up on Rafa practicing yesterday even though he normally does. Glad to know he got his first one of center court.

I stayed for a while at Rafa's practice today. But the crowd was large so I left the bleacher to give someone else a chance to have my seat. Near the end of the 2 hours Rafa took his shirt of but I was not in a good spot to take pictures. So if you want shirtless pics we need to use postive energy to keep him the tournament.

Rafa came on the practice just as the previous people were finishing. The audience in the bleachers all applauded Raf. You know I think it made him a little embarrased. He has said in one of his blogs he does not like his celebrity to disrupt another player's match.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-01.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-02.jpg

Uncle Toni
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-04.jpg

Rafa
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-03.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-05.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-06.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-07.jpg

About 30 minutes into Rafa's practice time some guy in a black t-shirt came on the next court to warm-up.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-07-29-08-07.jpg

Rafa checked it out
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal-07-29-08-08.jpg

lau-mza
07-30-2008, 01:31 AM
Great pics!!:clap2::clap2::clap2:

Thanks!:)

Metis
07-30-2008, 02:37 AM
About 30 minutes into Rafa's practice time some guy in a black t-shirt came on the next court to warm-up.


Rafa checked it out



:lol:

Thanks for the new photos Lopaka.

Uncle Toni :cool:

charliebrown
07-30-2008, 02:51 AM
Wow! Awesome pics, Lopaka :worship:

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 03:33 AM
What if I promise to stare at them only during my lunch break? :awww:


Besides, the reason I look at Ferru's shirtless photos is because they inspire me to work harder. They remind me of his dedication to hard work and the fruits that such intensive labor can produce. :worship:


:angel: :rolls:

As Martha Stewart might say anything that inspires you to greater decication and hard work is a good thing. Of course it should be used in moderation. If all goes well I will be at Ferru's match in the morning photographing more inspirational material

Yesterday (Monday) I did more than wandered around looking for Rafa. I went to a couple of matches.

The first was between Gulbis and Nieminen. Ernests seem to be the real deal. A bit wild but as he matures he should be a player to watch. He won the 7/6(7)- 6/2. He seems to have an easy going attitude. When he made a mess of a drop shout he gave a little shrug with a cute facial expression. He played an entertaining match.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG010.jpg

I'm not sure about the bulge in the side of the mouth but I suppose it is his tongue. I have more than one picture of with the same look. I guess you got to put your tongue somewhere.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG011.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG012.jpg

tennizen
07-30-2008, 03:47 AM
Gulbis:hearts: He is so cute. Thanks Lopaka. I am really beginning to fangirl him:hearts:

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 03:58 AM
After the Gulbis match I stayed in the grandstand for the Lopez/Seppi match. Andreas played fine but for Feli it must have been his difficult time of the month. I don't know anything about the doubles match played Sunday with Verdasco as his partner, except they lost. His appearance on Monday was less than inspirational. He received a coaching violation warning, then got all upset over a line call. Hey this hard court without Hawkeye. I don't look on Hawkeye as a 100% certainity. I sat next to one of the cameras in Miami, without knowing how they are calebrated, it seemed it would not have taken much of a tap to throw it out line.

Enough said; Feli made a great effort and was finally able to wrestle defeat from the jaws of victory. It must have been enough to be hitting partner with Rafa today.

Seppi done good.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG013.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG014.jpg

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 04:25 AM
My last little discovery Monday was something I found rather enjoyable. Ever since Andy Murray has left the "dark lord" (Brad Gilbert) I have began to rather like him. His Wimbledon matches were entertaining and his most recent match with Rafa in Toronto would have been worth the price of admission. There is no question about my admiration for Rafa or a desire to see him play and win memorable matches with members of his peer group. The stronger the rival the more it seems to bring out of Rafa. I've seen him win in person and lose in person. Win or lose are sides of the same coin or part of the tennis game. Eventually Andy will find a way to beat Rafa and sure Rafa will find a way to beat him back. Besides his change in attitude we share some of the same roots so I guess I find it easier to overlook his dismal side.

It may have been suggested by Rafa but I watched Andy with a couple of his team playing foot tennis (Rafa mentioned the game in his blog). Regardless Andy was smiling, laughing and seemed to be having a high old time.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG02.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG05.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG04.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG07.jpg

nashty
07-30-2008, 05:59 AM
Gulbis is so cute. Especially in the pic where he is serving.:) Thanks for the pics!:D And here's hoping for the influx of Rafa pics.:D

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 01:28 PM
Gulbis is so cute. Especially in the pic where he is serving.:) Thanks for the pics!:D And here's hoping for the influx of Rafa pics.:D

Rafa plays tonight so there should be some pics from the pros. If the madhouse I saw at his practice yesterday continues it is going to be difficult take many good pictures. I hope others who may have taken a few will also post.

With the exception of Rafa, Roger, and perhaps A-Rod it is fairly easy to find a good spot for picture taking at the practices. Of course for match pictures from me what you see will be based on my seat. I did not bring my big lens so you may get a better look at Rafa on television.

Pictures not withstanding my main focus is on hoping Rafa will win the tournament and make the ATP number one before he goes to the Olympics.

piscesperson
07-30-2008, 07:05 PM
Thanks Bob :)

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 08:24 PM
Thanks Bob :) No problem PP. One of these days we should dig a hole and bury some of the past verbal exchanges.

Sorry to say all I have to post are a few pictures of Rafa's practice. What I found most interesting this is the first time I've seen Rafa and Charlie Moya hitting together. Nothing particularly special they hit the ball back and forth over the net to each other.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0801.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0802.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0803.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0804.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0805.jpg

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 08:34 PM
Sorry I did not manage to get to Ferru's match I'll take the blame for his loss. After Rafa finished his practice and signed as many autographs as possible I went to Center Court to watch Andy Murray. Following a slow start Andy done good.

Considering Rafa's match is tonignt I don't expect to be back to the hotel early. So if I get any good pictures I'll try to post tomorrow.

These are the remainder of today's practice pictures.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0806.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0807.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0808.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0809.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0810.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0811.jpg

Metis
07-30-2008, 08:47 PM
With that bandana on, Rafa looks like a housewife ready to do some cleaning. :lol:


Uncle Toni in orange :hearts:

Metis
07-30-2008, 08:49 PM
As Martha Stewart might say anything that inspires you to greater decication and hard work is a good thing. Of course it should be used in moderation. If all goes well I will be at Ferru's match in the morning photographing more inspirational material.

I was actually teasing Hema about the shirtless pics being an inspiration. ;)


Gulbis:hearts: He is so cute. Thanks Lopaka. I am really beginning to fangirl him:hearts:

gold digger :rolleyes:

Castafiore
07-30-2008, 09:11 PM
That last picture is :worship:

Lopaka
07-30-2008, 09:13 PM
With that bandana on, Rafa looks like a housewife ready to do some cleaning. :lol:


Uncle Toni in orange :hearts:

It is sort of cute watching Rafa tie on the cleaning person hair scarf. The first time I saw him do it I started wondering if when he washes his hair if he ever does the bath towel turban look.

Perhaps the t-shirt is part of Uncle T's fall wardrobe.

Millor
07-30-2008, 10:21 PM
Great pics... looking forward to see the next batch appearing. Did you manage to catch any of Toni smiling by any chance? He is looking far from happy. Perhaps it is the heat and humidity? Bring the boy from my island some good luck tonight.

lau-mza
07-30-2008, 11:36 PM
Thank you so much for the wonderful pics of RAFA!!!

cobalt60
07-30-2008, 11:50 PM
I especially love your blog, Bob. Nice. Enjoy the matches and keep posting. It is appreciated :yeah:

cinamoon
07-31-2008, 02:15 AM
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal07-30-0811.jpg

:eek:brilliant, just brilliant.:worship:
was his girlfriend there with him?

NancyIsabelle
07-31-2008, 03:17 AM
With that bandana on, Rafa looks like a housewife ready to do some cleaning. :lol:


Uncle Toni in orange :hearts:

:rolls::rolls::rolls::rolls: Good one Metis !

Thanks Bob for all the great pics. Continue to enjoy the tournament; I hope it's not too humid over there.

Geezzz ... Rafa done good today and I guess he was not too exhausted after his match :)

star
07-31-2008, 04:31 AM
Thanks for the pictures. Hope you get some more time later to tell us about your experiences.

Lopaka
07-31-2008, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the pictures. Hope you get some more time later to tell us about your experiences.

Experiences! You mean I'm supposed to be having experiences?:haha: Heck, I consider it a special moment when I get up in the morning and all the body parts are attached.

After today things should start slowing and there will be time to write more. However, to be honest Mason is not a hot bed of swinging night life. It is a farm area that has become bedroom suburbia.

I did take some pics at Rafa match last evening. But my seat is so far away you will get a much better looks at our champion in pictures Veyonce is kind enough to post.

If you have not looked at the ATP website do. I think the are getting a bit too sensational "Rafa ravages..." from my point of view that is bit over the top. Anyhow you can be he judge. Following are a few pics to give you and idea of the center court before ESPN start showing the matches.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-01.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-02.jpg

I think Uncle Toni smiles but I have not seen him at times I could take a picture. Sorry but I'm not going to post any pictures of the other people in Rafa's box. Regarding who is there you are seeing Uncle Toni and I'm sure the television cameras will show you the rest. But from what I could see they were the usual suspects.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-03.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-04.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-05.jpg

The center court was nearly full and it was a nice evening during Rafa's match but it rained some later. Charlie's match with Davydenko was delayed. From looking at the OP I'm glad to see Rafa will be playing an evening match again today.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-06.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-07.jpg

After the match and an interview that was hard to hear. Rafa threw three autographed balls into the audienced. In the second picture he is not demostrating the "Can Can". He kicked one of the autographed balls and showed off his strikers mighty left leg.

I'll be leaving for the tournament shortly. Hope to get to see Rafa practice again today. I'm with some online Rafa fans I met in person this trip.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-08.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-09.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal2ndround-10.jpg

Metis
07-31-2008, 03:12 PM
After the match and an interview that was hard to hear. Rafa threw three autographed balls into the audienced. In the second picture he is not demostrating the "Can Can". He kicked one of the autographed balls and showed off his strikers mighty left leg.

:lol:

Great photos Lopaka! :yeah:

NancyIsabelle
07-31-2008, 03:26 PM
Very nice pictures,Bob. Thanks and enjoy the day !

piscesperson
07-31-2008, 04:39 PM
Thank you Bob for the gorgeous pics :wavey:

Millor
07-31-2008, 06:26 PM
Enjoyed the "cancan" pic. Great action shot Bob!

veyonce
08-01-2008, 02:44 AM
Thanks for sharing your pics with us, Lopaka!!! Nice to see you again. We wouldn't mind more Rafa pics. ;)

Lopaka
08-01-2008, 05:15 AM
Thanks for sharing your pics with us, Lopaka!!! Nice to see you again. We wouldn't mind more Rafa pics. ;)

Veyonce, I'm doing the best I can. I suppose I was naughty because I went to lunch with some people I know form on-line and did not get to the tournament until about 3:30 p.m. I don't feel it is my fault what happened to Roger. I would have gone to my seat in center court and cheered for Dr Ivo and perhaps the match would have ended faster.:rolleyes: I felt an obligation to a greater good was to stand by a fence for some 45 minutes so I could watch warm-up for the Haas match. He was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. but did not get to court till some 15 minutes later (probably watching the end to the Federer match)

These are pictures of his pre-match warm-up.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-01.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-02.jpg

Uncle Toni

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-03.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-04A.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-05.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-06.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-07.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-08.jpg

Mimi
08-01-2008, 05:21 AM
Lopaka :worship::worship:

lau-mza
08-01-2008, 05:43 AM
Thank you!!:):):):)

cinamoon
08-01-2008, 11:24 AM
Rafa's legs are ABSOLUTELY AM-A-ZING!!!! :p

Thank you, lopaka.;)

Lopaka
08-01-2008, 01:54 PM
I did not take many picture of the Nadal/Haas match. I figured Tommy might be more popular here than Rafa and I was right. Within a three row area around my seat most of the people seemed to be for Tommy Haas. Of the vocal minority cheering for Rafa there were only me and a father and 20 something son sitting in the row below me. There is one woman sitting two rows below me who I've seen before. She seems to hate Rafa with a passion and would probably cheer for Genghis Khan if he were the opponent. She and a female minions were really vocal, with the cheers and fists in the air everytime Rafa missed a serve or shot. She was jumping around below me like an original groupie at a Stones concert. Tommy became a bit flustered near the end of the match so did Brunhilde. Beyond the fan annoyances it was a good match. Rafa was obviously the better player.

The follow four pictures were the only ones I felt worth posting. I'm counting on Veyonce to post more from the courtside photographers. I'm posting Rafa interview (in the news thread) from his previous night's match it has some of his statements quoted in other articles.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-09.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-10.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-11.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-12.jpg

I'm not sure if it was planned or somebody forgot something, there was no autograph ball toss or post match interview with Rafa like the previous night. Perhaps because of the large body of Haas fans the organizers decided to avoid rubbing salt in a wound. Regardless they forgot to tell Rafa. After the match he sat down and waited for instructions. After a few minutes he got shrugged and through a towel in the stands (the last picture).

NancyIsabelle
08-01-2008, 04:19 PM
A bit strange what happened at the end (Rafa waiting for what to do ...). Thanks Lopaka for the pics ... they are great as usual :wavey:

Xristos
08-01-2008, 06:09 PM
Thank you.

Next time you see that women tell her to STFU.

piscesperson
08-01-2008, 06:40 PM
Thanks Bob :)

platinum
08-01-2008, 07:23 PM
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-05.jpg


http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-07-31-08-04A.jpg[/QUOTE]




:drool: :hearts: :drool: :hearts: :drool: :hearts: :drool: :hearts:

Metis
08-01-2008, 09:51 PM
I did not take many picture of the Nadal/Haas match. I figured Tommy might be more popular here than Rafa and I was right. Within a three row area around my seat most of the people seemed to be for Tommy Haas. Of the vocal minority cheering for Rafa there were only me and a father and 20 something son sitting in the row below me. There is one woman sitting two rows below me who I've seen before. She seems to hate Rafa with a passion and would probably cheer for Genghis Khan if he were the opponent. She and a female minions were really vocal, with the cheers and fists in the air everytime Rafa missed a serve or shot. She was jumping around below me like an original groupie at a Stones concert. Tommy became a bit flustered near the end of the match so did Brunhilde. Beyond the fan annoyances it was a good match. Rafa was obviously the better player.

:spit: :rolls:

raven gypsy
08-02-2008, 01:24 AM
Lopaka :wavey:
I hope that you get to be there when Rafa raises to #1 in the rankings.
That sure would be a terrific moment for any fan to enjoy. :worship:

Have a great time. Thanks for sharing.
Either you are a good photographer or you have a great camera
Or both...:angel:

Lopaka
08-02-2008, 04:48 AM
It is not secret, I'm using a Canon XTi digital with a couple of different lens for the pictures I've been posting. It was thanks to Andre Agassi I started using Canon equipment. He was their spokes person for along time.

Remember it takes a good photographer plus good equipment plus an exceptional subject to equal a memorable picture. Rafa is a darned good candid subject.

I'm only going to post one picture tonight. It is late and my spring is running down. Because I'm going to breakfast with someone it might Sunday before I can post more pictures for your enjoyment.

I did my "happy dance" all the way to the car after watching Rafa get a 2 set win over Nicolas Lapentti. Below was Rafa kicking autographed tennis ball in to the stands. But as far as I'm concerned it is Rafa doing his "happy dance."

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal08-01-0801HappyDance.jpg

letymares
08-02-2008, 04:54 AM
During Nole's match there were very few people, and at Nadal's the court was full, then I think people was there because of Rafa, no Lapenti, people love watching Rafa! so someone forgot the balls, there was a little incident at the begiinning of the math, some people were supporting so load to Lapenti that both players said something to the empire, and Mohamed, the empire, ask those people to be respectful

Mimi
08-02-2008, 04:55 AM
thank you so much Lopaka :D

well, you have a good camera, but if you don't have good skills and sense, you won't make such great photos, so, you are a great photographer :worship:

rafa is dancing? thats good, i will dance when i return home after work :dance::yippee::dance::music:

Millor
08-02-2008, 04:56 AM
Love the "Happy Dance" Bob. And on that note I shall happy dance my way to bed. It has been an exciting night!

star
08-02-2008, 05:35 AM
It is not secret, I'm using a Canon XTi digital with a couple of different lens for the pictures I've been posting. It was thanks to Andre Agassi I started using Canon equipment. He was their spokes person for along time.

Remember it takes a good photographer plus good equipment plus an exceptional subject to equal a memorable picture. Rafa is a darned good candid subject.

I'm only going to post one picture tonight. It is late and my spring is running down. Because I'm going to breakfast with someone it might Sunday before I can post more pictures for your enjoyment.

I did my "happy dance" all the way to the car after watching Rafa get a 2 set win over Nicolas Lapentti. Below was Rafa kicking autographed tennis ball in to the stands. But as far as I'm concerned it is Rafa doing his "happy dance."

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal08-01-0801HappyDance.jpg

That picture captures Rafa's joy perfectly!! Thank you so much!

NancyIsabelle
08-02-2008, 03:30 PM
Thanks so much Bob ...and you were there at such an important moment in Rafa's life ! :)

Lopaka
08-02-2008, 04:55 PM
Hi gang!

Not to worry I have more pictures to post. I'm sorry but some will be after the fact. My thoughts are on Rafa's match at 7:00 p.m. Cincinnati time and it is hard to think of pictures when something very real is coming up.

Regardless what happens I owe Rafa a big thank you for what he has given so far this week.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFGNadal08-02-08VamosRafa01.jpg

piscesperson
08-02-2008, 10:31 PM
Love the 'dancing pic' :) Thanks Bob :wavey:

NancyIsabelle
08-02-2008, 10:46 PM
Hi Bob ! Rafa must be tired (he mentionned it) but I do hope we will see a good match. Should be ... :)

Rafalover15
08-02-2008, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the pictures they are all great :inlove:

Lopaka
08-03-2008, 03:36 AM
I guess you all know about an hour and half ago (now 2230 Cincinnati time) Rafa lost. I don't think it was more of a problem than he was over played. It is obvious he has recently been successful on all three surfaces and was near a 30 match winning streak. I did not notice any physical problems except perhaps he was a step slower and some his shot lacked the usually control. Yeah like always when Rafa loses I'm a bit.:sad: It passes and I've had mixed emotions about this tournament so close to the Olympics. I really want to see pictures of Rafa winning a medal. There will be a chance to win Cincinnati next year.

Anyhow I will post these two pictures of Rafa leaving first after his loss to Djokovic. Either after I've had an adult beverage or starting tomorrow morning I'll post some other pictures from the tournament.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-Semiloss-08-02-08-02.jpghttp://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-Semiloss-08-02-08-01.jpg

Aenea
08-03-2008, 07:27 AM
Thank you, Bob. Very nice pics as usual. Too bad the last of the pics you post here are of Rafa leaving the court defeated :sad: I knew it was kinda impossible but I wanted to see him reaching the final here. If he were to lose to somebody I preferred it to be to Murray than Djoko.
Anyway he's the #1 now, this should be enough. Thank you again :wavey:

Mariska1980
08-03-2008, 11:21 AM
Hi Bob, I finally had the chance and the time to rad all your blog about Cincinnati. It's great to see all your fantactic pictures and to read your comments. Thanks so much for sharing it... Even though Rafa lost it was a great tournament, and now he has a little bitextra rest to be ready for that gold medal from the Olympics. :)

Lopaka
08-03-2008, 02:34 PM
Don't thank me yet. We still have a Cincinnati final today and I still have pictures to post to this blog.

In my case my glass is half full. The final I hoped for was Rafa and Andy Murray. Well I've still got our young Scot to cheer. It would make this a special week if I could take a few pictures of him lifting his first Masters trophy. He has played well this week and I think he has a good chance against Djokovic. Nerves might be his down fall as this is his first(?) Masters final but I plan to be shouting C'mon Andy.

In his match against Charlie Moya, Andy played well after he got through the first set.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-01-0801.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-01-0802.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-01-0803.jpg

I know I will leave for the tournament grounds earlier today. I got stuck in long ticket line and missed the coin toss. It is the bag search that slows everything down but I'm not complaining. Now I know to allow some extra time.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-01-0804.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-01-0805.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-01-0806.jpg

Besides wanting to see Andy win I'm also interested on which side the female fan sitting 2 rows below me will be. She is the one I previously mentioned as seeming not to like Rafa. Of course last evening she was cheering wildly for Novak. She was so worked up her left leg was twitching up and down. It remind me of a dog in heat or a bad case of fleas. I'm hopeful she will be caught on the horns of delemma because she was cheering wildly for Andy in the morning. Oh please let her have sensory overload.:devil:

:wavey:I'm wondering if Picesperson knows a good Scotish cheer.:confused:

maryan unfaitful
08-03-2008, 03:11 PM
Wonderful blog and pics, Bob.:crazy::rocker: Thank you. I've always enjoyed your blogs on RN OS. It's amazing how your memorable pics match your writing style. Always a bit of salt there and a verbal shot. :worship:

piscesperson
08-03-2008, 05:05 PM
:wavey:I'm wondering if Picesperson knows a good Scotish cheer.:confused:

Not any that are repeatable :lol:

Thanks Bob :)

NancyIsabelle
08-03-2008, 09:31 PM
Not any that are repeatable :lol:

Thanks Bob :)

:lol:

Lopaka
08-04-2008, 12:27 AM
Andy done good!

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-03-0801.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Murray-08-03-0802.jpg

More to follow after dinner.

Mimi
08-04-2008, 03:26 AM
thanks Bob :worship:

Lopaka
08-04-2008, 12:34 PM
I'm leaving for home tomorrow so will try wrap this blog up today. I still have a few pictures from this past week's adventure I would like to share.

I don't know who is driving the big blue bus with Rafa either in or on his way Beijing. I guess it is back on the road with someone behind the wheel and Johnny Mc singing traveling songs.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-01.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-02.jpg

I got to the Lindner Family Tennis Center yesterday while the doubles were still in progress. For those of you who I have inspired to come to Cincinnati next year following are a few pictures around the grounds.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-03.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-04.jpg

There is a small museum. I gather the location originally was a tennis club and the tournaments date back to the 1890s. The museum also has on display tennis memorabilia such as shoes used by Michael Chang and Andy Roddick in tournament wins.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-05.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-06.jpg

Of course there are the same caravan of white tents you find at other tournaments selling souvenirs, food, and drink.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-07.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-08.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-09.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-grounds-08-03-08-010.jpg

Tabby's had good hamburgers.

Lopaka
08-04-2008, 03:15 PM
With Rafa now in Beijing it is time to bring this Cincinnati blog to a close.

Like everyone I would have been happier if Rafa had been the player holding the winner's trophy on Sunday. Still I had a number of opportunities to see Andy Murray both on and off the court. I feel he is making a real effort to become a champion and a player who cares about his fans. I think he deserved the Sunday win and his first Master's trophy.

I also had a chance to see a new player from a country of which I know nothing. Regardless Ernests Gulbis has a ready smile and seems to head up the professional tennis ladder. For those planning a Gulbis fan club here are a couple of pictures.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-players-08-03-08-011.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-players-08-03-08-012.jpg

Anyone who saw Rafa this past week could tell he had played a lot of tennis. That being said he did all he could to give his fans winning performances. Off court it was hard not to get writer's cramp from just watching him sign autographs. He reminded me again why I continue to follow his career and cheer his Championship.

Following are few practice pictures taken before his match with Lapentti.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-08-03-08-013.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-08-03-08-014.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-08-03-08-015.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-08-03-08-016.jpg http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-08-03-08-017.jpg

Finally after Rafa's loss to Djokovic in the semis he still managed a smile for the media. I've made the flight to Beijing from Honolulu which is closer than Cincinnati. It is a long and tiring trip. I'm glad Rafa will have an extra day or so to recover. Let's all wish him well in his Olympic experience.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a147/bobby117/album1/WSFG-Nadal-08-03-08-018.jpg

Thank you for joining me at the 2008 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters. I hope I posted a few pictures you enjoyed.

Metis
08-04-2008, 03:36 PM
Thanks for all the photos and stories Bob :worship:



Looks like Rafa Maymo has had that notebook since he started learning the alphabet :lol: :p

Minn
08-04-2008, 05:54 PM
I've enjoyed all your pictures and descriptions, Bob. Thank you for doing all that!

Lopaka
08-04-2008, 07:34 PM
It will be interesting to see if the WSFG Master's Tournament I saw this year will become just another group of memories in the museum. If I thought things were expensive now I can hardly wait for the sticker shock when the USTA takes over.:rolleyes:

Monday, August 4, 2008 - 1:45 PM EDT
USTA buys Western & Southern Masters tournamentBusiness Courier of Cincinnati
The U.S. Tennis Association has acquired Cincinnati’s Western & Southern Masters tennis tournament from nonprofit Tennis for Charity, and plans to make it more of a national event.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, according to Sports Business Journal, a Business Courier sister publication, and it still needs an OK from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Tennis for Charity will continue to own the Women’s Open event.

Paul Flory, who runs the local tournament, will retain a minority interest and continue to play a major role, according to the story. The tournament is negotiating with its sponsor, Western & Southern Financial Group, for a renewal.

Arlen Kantarian, USTA chief executive of pro tennis, told the Sports Business Journal that it planned to expand the tournament’s broadcast hours on ESPN2, move the finals to CBS, boost marketing and upgrade the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, where the event takes place.

The deal doesn’t include the tennis center, which sits on 89 acres near the Kings Island theme park. The USTA will lease the property from Tennis for Charity.

Flory said in the story that the nonprofit wanted a partner to finance up to $20 million in needed capital improvements.

“We had one intent, and that is to build the event,” he said.

The Western & Southern Masters tournament was held from July 25-Aug. 3. The Women’s Open, a Tier III event on the international Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, will take place Aug. 9-17.

The tournaments have provided more than $7.7 million in charitable contributions since they began in 1974.

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2008/08/04/daily9.html?t=printable

NancyIsabelle
08-05-2008, 11:17 PM
Thanks for everything Bob and for sharing your experiences with us and posting your nice pics for our pleasure. Hope you have a good and safe trip back home.

As for the price of the tickets, etc. ... it was more expensive this year in Toronto (Masters) and Montreal (the women tournament) then last year. Considering they announced the total amount in prize money to the athletes will be more important next year, I even don't want to imagine how a good ticket will cost. The sponsors pay a part ... but I think we pay the other part. The best way to see a tournament will be to become a volunteer. ;)

piscesperson
08-06-2008, 12:04 AM
Thanks again Bob for the blog and pics :clap2:

lau-mza
08-06-2008, 12:43 AM
Thanks for your terrific pics, Bob! ;)

I loved them! :D