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Old 10-22-2005, 11:39 PM   #1
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Smile Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Hello!

Firstly, sorry for my mistakes here. I've tried to speak to every player I met today in his language so my mind is very tired at the moment and I'm close to forget even my own mother tongue...

So yeah, I have been there today – just for 5 hours from 13.00 to 18.00 – but the feeling is like I’ve spent there 5 days.

When I came I went right to the court number 2 where had to play Norwegian guy Jan Frode Andersen. And he was there and even lead 6-2 2-1. While I was looking for a good place, taking some pictures and getting pleasure from watching tennis, Jan Frode defeated his Russian rival. But then he wasn’t going to leave the court. Contrariwise, he waited for his friends and then was talking to them for quite a long time. And his friends were Stian Boretti and Kenneth Carlsen (I have seen them only on pictures before but I’ve guessed who they are because they were speaking Norwegian language; but they stood not so close to me so I couldn’t hear them clearly). But finally Jan Frode took his bag and went to the exit of the court. I met him there and congratulated with the victory – in Norwegian too (but the guy answered me “thank you” in Englishhhh – I was disappointed). Then I realized there were his coach and Stian not far for this place so I asked Jan Frode to get a photo of him and his mates – in Norwegian again. And yeah, this time he answered me in Norwegian too.
- And can I get a photo of you? – asked me.
- Of us? – expanded he and stood near his coach.
- Stian! – called me.
- Stian!!! – called Jan Frode and poor Stian came to us.
After a getting a photo I wished Stian a good luck and said something else in Norwegian – getting pleasure they understand me.

Then I went to the court 1 and watched there a part of ElginIvanov-Smolensky (= I-S) match. I liked I-S more but in the first set he played not so good and Elgin had almost no problems with him. I sat near I-S coach who watched the match absolutely calmly and without special emotions. In the beginning of the 2nd set I-S activated his resource and began to play better but I didn’t watch what happened then because decided to go to the central court and watch there Jonas Bjorkman who won the first set was leading in the 2nd right to that moment.

It seemed Jonas is on the training, he had no special problems with his rival who tried to do everything that is possible. Nice that some people on the tribunes supported Bjorkman, not their Russian country mate. After the match I stood near the court's exit and waited for Jonas. Soon he went out but did it too fast that it wasn’t easy to stop him but I did it – well, in something middle between Norwegian and Swedish. I was getting a photo of him when two men (who heard me speaking to Jonas in Swedish) came and suggested me to stand near Bjorkman so they got a photo of us. That was very nice!

After Jonas left us I thought to go to the 2nd court and watch if somebody has a training there. During my way I met Stian and the coach who walked around. On the 2nd court I found Max Mirnyi who was finishing his training with Carlsen. I watched the training and got some photos. Then I left the court and noticed that those guys ElginI-S were still playing. So that wasn’t a surprise that soon I met Stian and his coach again. Being glad to the possibility to speak some more Norwegian I interested if Stian plays after Elgin and I-S and got a confirmed answer.

I walked around the courts, found nothing interesting and returned to the main court where were Jiri Vanek and Mariusz Fyrstenberg. Polish man always did a lot of stupid mistakes but from time to time his rival began to do the same thing so the match was quite strange. I saw several first sets and then though to leave this court because I couldn’t see from that comfortable VIP tribune the tableau of the 1st court and I won’t miss Stian’s match. But those Russian guys Elgin and I-S weren’t going to finish their match so I decided to come to 2nd training court and watch there Mirnyi and Carlsen. I didn’t find them there but saw Stian agaaaain and also Kiefer and another unknown for me player who looked like an Asian one.

Firstly I sat and got photos of Kiefer then I went to the court’s border where Stian ran and did some exercises. One more chance to practise the language, yippeee!
- Stian, seems you didn’t think you have to play so late?
- Yes, I though I play at 2 or 3 pm.
- And it’s almost 4!
- Aha...
- Have you ever been in St. Petersburg before?
- No, I haven’t.
- And have you already seen something here?
- No, we came right to the hotel. And haven’t seen something else because he went here. *Here he said a lot of things but this is the only one I’ve understood*.

After I have finally understood what he wanted to say, he continued to do his running exercises again. At that moment I’ve noticed there is 5-5 in the last set of ElginI-S match so I went to Stian and his coach (must ask tomorrow his name!) and asked who in their opinion will win that match. The coach fast answered that it'll be I-S and began to laugh and then the both told me something about that but I couldn’t understand, it looked like Stian bet on I-S or something like that. By that moment Kiefer who also was on this court finished to play and sat near the border. I called him. No reaction. Called one more time and then one time else. Finally he turned to me and asked what do I want. I said that I just want to get a photo of him if he could spend some more seconds with his face turned to me. He answered I have to wait for 15-20 minutes and then he’ll be free. I began our dialog in German, he continued in English, I was happy and tried English too but he returned to German. And right after our dialog that was Misha Youzhny who came to the court. I switched my attention on Mikhail and got some photos of him. Then returned to Kiefer because his training was very interesting. But in that moment I realized that there finished the charge of my camera’s accus. That was a very pity moment... Although the memory was also almost full.

So Misha didn’t seem to be injured, he has usual training. During the game he discussed with his coach last football news and was very surprised to hear that in the first round of UEFA the is the only Russia club won his first match – FC Zenit St. Petersburg. Misha began to ask and discuss then tomorrow’s matches of Russian Premier League (I know he supports a Moscow’s club, don’t remember which one).

Kiefer in that moment began to do some nice exercises so I even took my phone and got some pictures to it’s camera. I saw that Stian’s match was going to be started and I wanted to reserve a place near his coach but I wanted to know what else Nicolas is going to do so I stayed on the court number 2 for some more minutes. Soon Kiefer finished his training and the relaxing, stood up, came to me and asked if I wanted to get a photo of him. I answered my camera doesn’t work more today and he wondered what’s up. Then he said I can get a photo on the next day and I wondered if I can at least ask him for some question – in English. But after I asked the first one he thought for some time and asked himself if I speak German. I returned to German too and said that my one is not so good. After that he opened his bag and gave me his card with an autograph an the official website. And said with very proud face that if I understand German I can visit his page.

And finally I went to Stian’s match and found there on the tribune the coach and Jan Frode. I asked if I can seat near them and get the positive answer. Well, the coach was written the statistics during all the match. Jan Frode sat near, looked quite bored and tired (and yes, he said he is really a little bit tired). He talked from time to time to the coach, answered to some my questions and twice got a few money from the coach and went somewhere out. Although I set near them I couldn’t understand almost anything they were talking about. And they talked again about I-S. What a mysterious story... That was nice to seat with them but it was quite boring, I admitted that French players are more interesting and talkative. Anyway match was not so boring, Knowle was furious, crazy and mad. Oh, his poor racquets, poor balls, poor walls of the court... And finally he lost. And this guy has so doubles playing manner, it was even strange to see him playing without a partner.

So Stian won a match, his coach even didn’t forget to say me bye and went out. And I though to check the lists on walls because I forgot how the draws look like. I went to the wall but there were some people so I decided to visit the court 2 firstly. There I found many Russian players (I don’t know Russian players so good...) and Rusedski who finished his training and went out. I also thought to go out but have a look at the draws before. I came to the wall again but then returned and saw... Florent Serra. Well, I wanted to meet him but I was sure the earliest time I can do it is Monday. So I was absolutely surprised but sure wanted to stop him.
- Florent, salut!
- Hey!
- Emmm... Hmmm... Ugmmm... *shit, merde... and what to talk about now?!!!...* Do you speak English?
- Oh yes, I do! – smiled he. He was so nice, kind, opened, looked like he can stay there forever and answer all my questions. So I’ve asked him about 5-6 stupid questions those came in my mind that time. At least I know now why he is not is the Lyon’s list. Huh, that was the most interesting question for me, although the reason wasn’t very special – just that I guessed. He entered himself to St. Petersburg list at the first turn because had here more chances to enter to the main draw. And yes, after quite cold Norwegians Florent was just like a wonder. Hope I meet him tomorrow too, that will be his second day in St. Petersburg. When I caught him he just came in and was going to have a training. But I decided don’t wait for it because I was too tired and even without a camera. So I finished my dialog with Florent with the words “Allez la France” and went at home.

And that will be another day tomorrow.
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Last edited by Hangdog : 10-23-2005 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 10-22-2005, 11:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Pictures of the first day.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BjorkmanSPbOpenQ1.jpg (53.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Bjorkman2SPbOpenQ1.jpg (81.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Bjorkman3SPbOpenQ1.jpg (89.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bjorkman4SPbOpenQ1.jpg (46.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg BorettiCarlsenAndersenSPbOpenQ1.jpg (64.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg BorettiCoach-NorgeAndersenSPbOpenQ1.jpg (45.2 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg CarlsenSPbOpenQ1.jpg (40.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Carlsen2SPbOpenQ1.jpg (34.1 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Carlsen3SPbOpenQ1.jpg (29.7 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Carlsen4SPbOpenQ1.jpg (46.1 KB, 5 views)
__________________
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Old 10-22-2005, 11:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

More...
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File Type: jpg Carlsen5SPbOpenQ1.jpg (49.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Carlsen8SPbOpenQ1.jpg (45.6 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg ElginSPbOpenQ1.jpg (47.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg FyrstenbergSPbOpenQ1.jpg (68.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Fyrstenberg2SPbOpenQ1.jpg (54.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg FyrstenbergVanekSPbOpenQ1.jpg (54.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg GChukhlebSPbOpenQ1.jpg (43.6 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Ivanov-SmolenskySPbOpenQ1.jpg (52.2 KB, 8 views)
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"Those who are skilful and really the best ones don't have a bad luck [reasons of their falls are in themselves only]." - Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who is not just best of the best; he can do everything.

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Last edited by Hangdog : 04-02-2007 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 10-22-2005, 11:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

More.....
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File Type: jpg JFAndersenSPbOpenQ1.jpg (39.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg KieferSPbOpenQ1.jpg (32.6 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Kiefer2SPbOpenQ1.jpg (28.0 KB, 17 views)
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File Type: jpg Kiefer4SPbOpenQ1.jpg (48.0 KB, 2 views)
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File Type: jpg Kiefer8SPbOpenQ1.jpg (26.0 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Kiefer9SPbOpenQ1.jpg (39.8 KB, 4 views)
__________________
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Old 10-23-2005, 12:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

...and more.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Kiefer's presentSPbOpenQ1.jpg (28.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg KnowleKieferSPbOpenQ1.jpg (34.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg LedovskikhBjorkmanSPbOpenQ1.jpg (79.7 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg MirnyiSPbOpenQ1.jpg (49.6 KB, 1 views)
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File Type: jpg Mirnyi5SPbOpenQ1.jpg (51.1 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg YouzhnySPbOpenQ1.jpg (35.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Youzhny2SPbOpenQ1.jpg (49.5 KB, 6 views)
__________________
"Those who are skilful and really the best ones don't have a bad luck [reasons of their falls are in themselves only]." - Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who is not just best of the best; he can do everything.

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Old 10-23-2005, 12:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

And the last.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Youzhny3SPbOpenQ1.jpg (43.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Youzhny4SPbOpenQ1.jpg (46.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Youzhny5SPbOpenQ1.jpg (52.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Youzhny6SPbOpenQ1.jpg (45.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-23-2005, 12:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Thanks for all man
I like the court.. between Blue and Grey
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Old 10-23-2005, 09:21 AM   #8
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THANKS!!!!!
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Old 10-23-2005, 11:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Пасиба тебе большое и толстое!
Главное для меня - что Миша в порядке! Удаччч ему! А тебе побольше пойманных игроков
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Old 10-23-2005, 11:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Hangdog, respect for all you are doing... If it's possible keep us informed, please...

In kremlin it was near to impossible to speak to the players 'cause of security reasons. They had their secured zone with no enter for spectators, so I was unable to do something like you are doing...
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Old 10-23-2005, 11:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Thanks for the reports and the photos Sounds like you're having a great time - keep on enjoying yourself.
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Old 10-23-2005, 11:38 AM   #12
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Great job Hangdog!
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Old 10-23-2005, 11:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

To Druidman: you're wrong It WAS possible if you had premium or VIP tickets I was lucky to get a premium ticket on Wednesday so I managed to meet lots of players, talk to some of them, take pics and autographs It was really cool!
I felt real difference between ordinary and premium tickets lol And I hope to buy only premium ones in the future if possible of course
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:26 AM   #14
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Default Re: Thread of the proud citizen of Saint-Petersburg

Sunday’s report.

After writing the half of the night the previous report I woke up quite late and came to the stadium at 12.30 pm only. Firstly I noticed that there is already the second match on the central court in progress but on the first court there was still the first match I was interested in. So I went to my norwegians. I joined Norwegian coach on the tribune, asked him Bjorkman’s result and some questions about Stian’s match. By that moment Stian won the first set 7-6 and lost 1-4 in the second. The coach was in a bad mood but said me some things even in quite understanable Norwegian. And the match was very strange. Stian was nervous and angry, the only thing he could to do is to calm down and begin to play, but he couldn’t do it. And it seemd he couldn’t to play near the net at all. Ha, and after the second set Stian’s coach even stopped to write down his mistakes! But really both guys - Stian and Jiri Vanek showed not so excellent tennis. Vanek wasn’t so mad and nervous and he won.

Next match started on the same court and there was a too little pause between matches so I just had two minutes to check what happends on the second court. There were several players encluded Kiefer, Philippousis and Carlsen. I didn’t mind to talk to Kiwi again and ask him something else hard-to-answer but I had to return to the first court and watch there Jan Frode’s match against Gabashvili. I found my place and sat on. Soon the Norwegian coach also came in but he prefered to stand almost all the match near one end of the court. Jan Frode served first. Well, for me it was clear that Andersen is more experienced and more professional player but he played mostly against himself, he couldn’t concentrate on the game. During the beginning of the first set he always tried to do his two-hands forehand (athough I don’t know how to call this thing) and always did it to the net or to the out. Gabashvili was much more faster and did less mistakes. But he also wasn’t so perfect. He reminded me a little bit Richard Gasquet, but if to compare them Gabashvili is nothing. Still at least. Yes, an interesting player but he needs to get much more experience. Some games before the end of the match there were Stian and his friend who came to the tribune and sat between the coach and me but little bit higher. So the match was still very tight, Jan Frode from time to time stopped his mistakes, did everything well and shout “kom igjen!” but all the other time he was angry and not very accurate. What did these norwegians did the previous night?! So when it was 0-40 in the final set and Jan Frode did out by the first serve he just sevred his second ball to the net and finished match... Then I finally said my greetings words to Stian and saw that his friend is Nieminen! Stian asked me a stupide question about how am I and said about himself that he is not so bad. Don’t remember what I asked him then but he began to tell me some long story I didn’t understand. After all he and Jarkko went to eat.

And I went to the second court where found 4 players (mostly from doubles) were doing their training. I watched it a little and noticed that Knowle felt himself more sured than a day before. Then I turned my foots to the first court where were Youzhny and Kunitsyn. It looked like everything is ok with Misha and he had a usual training. Interesting that Igor Kunitsyn did his training with Misha’s coach too. And Igor was in a really good mood, always smiled and joked. There was his girlfriend on the court too - she just watch the training (of course if I don’t mistake and she is really his girlfriend, but at least they were everywhere together). Misha was more concentrated and serious during the training. I spent there about 20 minutes, got some pictures and though to go to the central court.

There very many people on the central court but the first one I saw was Serra. He was finishing his training with Saulnier. Some minutes late I met Florent near the court’s exit but didn’t get from him anything except “Bonsoir! Ca va bien”. Huh, but I did all my speech to him in French! Haha... Anyway Flo seemed very tired and the-rest-wanted. So I went back to the court and watch there one more training where the most active figured were Davydenko and a cute blonde guy who - how I saw late - was Robin Vik. I had a rest on the VIP tribunr and watched the training while Vik didn’t finish his one. Then I went downstairs, met Vik and got a photo of him. Little bit late I saw Knowle returning from the training and asked him to pose for a photo too. Knowle’s mate began to joke with “Cheeeeeese, smile guy!”. Anyway I got a very nice picture. But then I relized camera’s batteries died - it was when I thought to get a photo of Kunitsyn. Igor waited for a moment and then said there is not a problem, he’ll pose for me the next time.

So I thought it’s time to go home when I suddenly saw Tomas Johansson. Alive Tomas Johansson who went to the second court. Certainly I went there too and met him near the court entrace where he stood and waited while his coach and Mirnyi's coach were discussing something. I checked my camera and found it works! So I asked Tomas for a photo but in the last moment my cam died again. ToJo began his training from the football and in that moment I finally did a photo of him although a very bad photo. But I did it, hehe! I though to leave the stadium, buy new batteries for my camera somewhere outside and then return back but I realized that it wouldn't be possible. So after a football guys began to discuss where Jarkko is and if he is on stadium at all. But Nieminen came soon and some minutes late Fernando Verdasco came to this court too. So they all started their training. Jarkko and Max were on the one side of court and Tomas and Fernando were on another one. Athough Mirnyi's coach adviced them to change places and play two left-handed against two right-handed. In the pause of the training Johansson's and Mirnyi's coaches player one against another and, yeah, this game won Mirnyi's one. Max self had some problems with his fingers and twice asked his father-coach to bring him a patch. Verdasco did everything well but it looked like he still has some problems with his knee. Jarkko just played, didn't seemed so fresh after spending the whole day at the stadium but kidding with Tomas somethimes. Tomas was in the best mood, was the most talkative there, always joked, laughed. And he played especially accurate. Their training had lasted for an hour, not more.

When they were finishing their training that was Juan Monaco who came in and began his own training from the football too. So 4 previous guys left the court and Juan started to play with his two coaches. I remembered I had promised to get a photo of Monaco but with my died cam it wasn't possible. So I decided to watchhis training up to the end and at least ask his for some questions. But after about 20 minutes of the training Juan and his coaches left the 2nd court and moved to the first one (an interesting detail that he change his cap to the hair stripe before the moving). Some minutes late I did the same. I created an idea to find somebody else with a camera, earn the batteries and then get a couple photos of Monaco. I had a good luck because there were two men who came to the first court and one of them held a camera in his hands. He was kind to give me his batteries so I finally got some photos of Monaco and did my mission. But Juan's training was really different and interesting so I decided to watch it up to the end anyway. Soon Jarkko came to the entrance of our court and said: "Hey guys, there is nobody else training. Go back at home!". Late that was Max Mirnyi who came to the court and sat on a chair. And he almost didn't pay any attention on Monaco. Later Greg Rusedski also came to the first court and they with Max began to prepare them selves to the training (and Max finished his previous training just 1.5 hours ago!). Juan and his coaches moved back to the second court and Max with Greg began to play. Max noticed that this court is not so fast as the second one and Greg said this court is too slow anyway. Then Max' father came in talking to a man who were asking him hundreds of questions. They were talking about Max' junior years that he was a world's or USSR's champion during three years. Max asked his father for a patch again. And father asked the son where he is going to have tomorrow's training with Kunitsyn - on the central court or somewhere else. I left the first court and moved to the second too. Juan and his coach worked on the technical elements. Later they finished their training with the football (and had a lot of fun) and began to change their clothes right on the court. I noticed there were two other players on the first courts and seemed one of them were Pavel but I waited for Juan. One Monaco's coach went out and soon the same thing did another one. I went to the court's exit to wair there for Juan. But I realized that his second coach didn't went so far. He came back, collected the balls and gave me several of them. I didn't understand what does it mean.
- It's for me?- asked me.
- Yes, it's for you!
- Oh, gracias!
- De nada! - smiled he.
- But well, then your player must sign it.
- Ok, he'll do it. Look, he comes,- said the coach and went out.
- Hey, your coach gave me these balls, would you like to sign one? - said I to Monaco.
- Yes, of course!
- And you're Juan, right?
- Yeees, - answered he with no surence in his voice (hehe!).
- Haha, I'm genious then.
- Yeah, hehe.
- When did you come to the city, Juan?
- Oh, I did it on Friday.
- And so you had a training yesterday too?
- Yes, I do my trainings here (*so I missed him a day before*).
- And how many traings do you usually have?
- Well, usually there are two trainings.
- By the way, did you notice that the second court is not so fast like this one?
- Sorry, can you repeat?
- Well, Max Mirnyi said that this second court is faster than the first one. And how do you think?
- Oh, I don't know, not sure.
- Well... buena suerte!
- Gracias!
- De nada, - laughed his coach who returned to us.
- And do you play tomorrow, - asked me.
Juan wasn't sure but his coach knew more.
- No, not tomorrow, - answered he.
- Aha, so on Tuesday, right? And are you going to the hotel? - and the coach began to tell me who nice city St. Petersburg is that he loves it a lot and the hotel is a really gteat too. Juan who went forward waited us and wondered what we are talking about. Selv he said he likes everything around too but he hadn't visited anything except the hotel and the stadium and not sure if he is going to because it's too cold for him outside. Then coach began to study me sevaral Spanish words, then told me something else in Spanish and realized that I didn't understand, hehe. He left us again and we began to talk about Juan's next match.
- My rival is Gabashvili.
- Gabashvili?
- Yeah, do you know him? He is also Russian.
- Yes, I know but I don't very like Russian players.
- Oh, you don't like Russians?
- Yes, don't know why... And my favorites are Grosjean and Clement, - honestly answered me.
- They are good. And why do you like them? If it's because of their tennis?
- Yes! I like their game, their playing manner. Well, I like French tennis.
- Hey, let's go! - said the returned coach.
They were kidding in the doors because Juan chose the wrong closed door at first. But finally he found the right one and we left the stadium.

Another day comes.
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:21 AM   #15
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"Those who are skilful and really the best ones don't have a bad luck [reasons of their falls are in themselves only]." - Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who is not just best of the best; he can do everything.

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