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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not really sure if anyone will be interested in this, but I'm just excited and want to share it anyway. I get sidetracked a lot, so try to forgive my tangents.

The trip to the tournament was a bit of a bore... took about two hours even though I'm right outside of D.C. because of all the traffic. But, once I got there I knew that things were going to go my way. At the entrance, two guys approached my mother and I and said that their friends had ditched them, and they gave us two tickets. Getting in for free = sweet... it saved us a cool $50. We did end up giving them some money, anyway, though. Nice guys.

The day just started so perfectly. I was walking around at about 3:00 just after getting there, and I spot Karol Beck leaning against a wall all by himself! :D So, I go up to him, sweating nervously and twitching a bit, and tell him what a huge fan of his I am. He was nice and polite, I don't remember much of what he said because I was just so star-struck. He seemed to be very shy and a bit surprised that someone recognized him. After all, he was just standing there and tons of people were walking right by. I got a picture with him. Sweet! So my main goal accomplished, I was able to relax and now I can enjoy the rest of the tournament. I've finally met my favorite player! :D I can also say that while I never considered Karol one of the "hot" players, he is much more impressive in person. He's actually a really attractive guy up close and person. Nice smile and seems genuine. My mom liked him.

After walking around and watching Philippoussis practice for a little while, I went to the stadium court... nice cheap seats. Seriously... I think that the cheap seats have the best view. They aren't far from the action, you can still see the players faces and everything, and it's just a better atmosphere. More people, etc. I watched Nicolas Mahut vs. Giovanni Lapentti. Lapentti was just on fire from the beginning, I don't remember him missing much at all. Mahut didn't necessarily play poorly, but he just missed a bit too much and lost all of the close games. He got really frustrated with himself at the end and just lost all of his focus. Pretty easy and really fast win for Lapentti. My mom thought that Lapentti was adorable, and when I told her that he had an older brother that was also playing this tournament, I thought she was going to pass out.

After this match I snuck out to go down and watch a bit of Wesley Moodie... who was getting a tough test from Robert? Smeets. None of them seemed really impressive and I was most interested in Moodie, but the crowd seemed to be behind Smeets overwhelmingly. I didn't stay long because I couldn't miss Paul!

Paul was just amazing from the beginning, I think he maybe made 2 or 3 unforced errors in the entire match. He didn't hit amazingly hard or anything, but he was amazingly consistant. Alejandro Falla, while I like him, was totally unimpressive and unconvincing today. He really had his ass handed to him by Paul, who obviously was a crowd favorite... thought not as much as James Blake was, which I'll get to eventually. Paul won really fast and got a partially standing O... I stood up, at least. Go PAUL!

After that, I took off again because I wanted to see what was going on on the outside courts. I know that Simmonds bagelled Arthurs in the first set, and I couldn't believe it considering how he played the rest of the match. From what I saw, he had trouble getting the ball TO the net, yet alone over it.

But then was the fun part of the night. I say Nicolas Lapentti playing and pointed him out to my mum. He was AMAZING. He was playing a practice set against Brian Baker, which judging from reactions I think he won pretty easily. Nicolas was sweating a lot, and was wearing these short tight black shorts that were soaking wet and stuck to his perfect ass. I'll stop there before this turns into soft porn. I waited around a bit while they finished and chatted, and I caught Nicolas on his way out and got a picture with him. Of all the players I saw today, he was by far the most friendly. He seemed really down to earth and was just incredibly friendly, chatting with me and putting his arm around me. Really nice guy. Really hot, too. I never thought that much of him, but these guys (minus Arthurs... icky) all seem to look better in person.

After that lovely encounter I watched the first set of Blake vs. Lisnard. I like Lisnard and didn't see any of the behavior that some people claim to hate him for. There were a lot of people at this match but I was one of the 2 or 3 that ever clapped for anything that Lisnard did. The crowd was just stupifyingly pro-Blake, to the point of cheering for Lisnard's bad errors. I was a little put off by this, so I decided to leave after the first set. I have nothing against Blake, and I don't think the crowd meant any harm, though. I just felt kind of bad for Lisnard, especially after the drubbing he got last week.

After that, I decided to walk around a little more before I left and see who else I could find. I pointed out Karlovic to my mom, and she thought he was kind of boring. I agreed. Nice serve, but his groundstrokes, especially during the practice, all went into the net. He won though, and even broke serve a few times... so... I just don't know what to say other than that maybe old Kenneth needs to work on his serve?

I got my only other wish of the tournament (aside from meeting Karol) when I saw Paul Goldstein hamming it up for some fans. I guess he finished his match and was just walking around with some of his buddies, but he was having a good time talking to people and just shooting the breeze. He seems like a really nice guy as well. He was walking into a room and I feared my opportunity was lost, so being rather brazen as it is, I just shouted at him. He humored me and came back to talk for a second and take a picture with me. A nice smile on that guy, too. He was really nice but I let him go because I could see his friends were waiting for him. Score! I got pictures with both Karol and Paul, which was my main goal. Yippee!

I left after that. It took a long time to get back here because Mapquest sucks and sent us all over creation to get back here. Yikes, I really thought for a while there that we were just going to grow old and die trying to make it back, but it was all so worth it! My camera is the cheapest and crapiest thing on earth, so I don't know if the pictures I took will be any good or not. The only ones I really care about are the three I took with Karol, Nicolas, and Paul. I hope to get some pictures with some other players if I have the opportunity. Even if they don't turn out that great, it was just nice to meet them.

One thing that really made me happy is how nice all the players I met are to the fans. When I went to a futures event and met Brian Baker and Thomas Blake and some others, they were all pretty stand-offish. Brian Baker was the only player that would really talk to me, and he did take a photo with me, but he kept his arms crossed and kept his distance. I was a little fatter then but I don't think that had much to do with it. So with that experience, I figured the people that were even bigger stars (albeit maybe no the biggest) would probably be even more standoffish, but they really weren't. They were all willing to talk to me and more than happy to take a picture with me. Instead of just crossing their arms, they all put their arms around me for the photo and weren't afraid to touch me. It was nice, I didn't feel like I was annoying them or anything. I was wearing a pretty cute shirt today.

Oh! I also got John McEnroe's autobiography at Barnes and Noble for like $5 after my 10% off card. Sweet. I'll read it on the metro tomorrow.

Another side note is that guys here in the D.C. area are really hot. Maybe it's just tennis fans are, but I saw some really hot guys there today. I also think that 99.99% of the guys here are metrosexual... whereas in my town I think about 1% of the male population is such. It was really confusing to my gaydar, which normally sucks anyway... so I just tried to focus on the tennis instead of the cute guys.

I don't think I'm going to go see as much tomorrow. My mother wanted to do something else instead... going places with my sister after work. I do want to see the Holocaust Museum, but I'm trying to do that on Friday. I rebelled... and compromised. My sister is going to the tournament with us and I'm just praying that I'll get there in time to see all of Beck/Berdych vs. Goldstein/Partner(sorry). Two of my favorite players on the same court, I need to see it. That's the only thing tomorrow I'm terribly interested in. I did want to see Nicolas Lapentti play because he's just such a nice guy (I'm a new big fan of his obviously), but I guess since this is my mom's vacation too and she's paying for everything I'll try to accomodate her. Maybe I can catch the end of Nicolas' match.

Anyway, if you've actually read all of this I salute you, I don't know why anyone other than me would be interested, but you can certainly see that I had a great time! Seriously one of the best days of my life. I'll post more if I go tomorrow when I get back. Definitely want to see that doubles match! :)

Cheers!
 

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Vamos Mandy :)
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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

I love reading people's tourney experiences :D Sounds like you had a great day, I'm happy for you. Yes, Paul indeed seems to be a real nice, normal guy. So is Karlovic, btw, if you come across him, he was inordinately nice to the fans in LA. I'm not surprised James was such a favorite, he was in LA too - even when he played another American (Robby). He, too, though, is an incredibly nice person. In fact, I don't remember one person who WASN'T really nice. lol.

Have fun tomorrow and look forward to reading more about your experiences :) Is this your first live tennis?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

No, I've been to futures events before, but this is my first event with the "big time." :) So yeah, I was pretty excited!

I didn't get to meet too many players. Just the ones I mentioned, I also met Gilles Muller who was okay. Cute girlfriend. And I talked to a foreign blonde girl who must be a player, but I have no idea. Just idle chat because we were both watching Philippoussis. She was absolutely adorable and sweet.. really heavy accent though. I saw a lot of players, but didn't know who half of them were. Some I think maybe look like players but were just hitting partners and such. And some other people I say but wasn't really interested in talking to... like Arthurs who, while I'm sure is a nice guy, doesn't look too friendly. I also didn't try to talk to Philippoussis because the DIVA intimidated me, and Brian Baker, though a nice guy, seemed to be unhappy, so I chose not to bother him. I hope I see a few more players, but I'm totally happy with having met Paul and Karol. If I ever meet Rafael Nadal and Hugo Armando, my life will be complete! ;)

I hope this is only the first of many events I'm able to attend.

Per your comment in the other thread, Lisnard did play really well in spirts. James, too. They both started off the match really poorly though, I know James got broken i the first game. After that, though, it was really entertaining. It just got too crowded in there for my tastes. Everyone showed up to see James ;)
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

KarolBeckFan said:
Oh and Becca, I couldn't get close enough to Mahut to give him your message, but hopefully he won't bail and I'll see him around to convey it for you.
LOL

Don't get yourself arrested ;)
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

By the way, I'm so glad that you not only got to meet Karol, but that it was a good experience. I will drill you more about it when I see you on MSN again :)
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

KBF,
I'm very pleased for you after reading this report (which was well-written by the way). You scored both of your guys on the first day and not every one gets that lucky right off the bat. I hope your photos come out okay. Remember to wear your sunscreen for the rest of the week. :D
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

KarolBeckFan said:
I also didn't try to talk to Philippoussis because the DIVA intimidated me
oh c'mon she's tiny! lol, how can u be intimidated by her? she just looks like a diva, but poeple who have met her said she's really nice. A female fan asked mark for a photo at World Tennis the other week and apparently she walked over to take the photo of them and joked "this is my new job"...
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

Great report KBF. :)

Is awesome you met Karol and Paul. I bet it is sorta cool for Karol on the occasions he is recognized outside of Europe, although it can be nice to move around not noticed.
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

Oy, mommy Fee and her sunscreen :lol:
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

Thanks for the report KarolBeckFan! It was good that you met Karol
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

Thanks KBF :)

After that, I decided to walk around a little more before I left and see who else I could find. I pointed out Karlovic to my mom, and she thought he was kind of boring. I agreed. Nice serve, but his groundstrokes, especially during the practice, all went into the net. He won though, and even broke serve a few times... so... I just don't know what to say other than that maybe old Kenneth needs to work on his serve?
Funny, cause Kenneth's serve is usually one of his weapons, especially on grass and hard. I guess he just had an offday.
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

Great stuff KBFan :yeah:
Nice report :) seems like a nice day!
I guess I just wanna say that the Holocaust museum is great but u need to take more time to visit it (if u wanna read all the interesting stuff there)
Have fun :kiss: !
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

You sound like you had a great time! Loved your report.

As for tennis vs. tourism...I'd leave the family behind and let them do the tourist thing, and head to the tournament myself...lol!

The sites in DC are awesome, but tennis trumps them everytime! ;) Especially when your favorites are playing - I wouldn't even hesitate to say 'adios' to the familia... :devil:

As for senor Lapentti... :yeah: Great looking, nice guy, and does great things for his country.
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

NicoFan said:
You sound like you had a great time! Loved your report.

As for tennis vs. tourism...I'd leave the family behind and let them do the tourist thing, and head to the tournament myself...lol!

The sites in DC are awesome, but tennis trumps them everytime! ;) Especially when your favorites are playing - I wouldn't even hesitate to say 'adios' to the familia... :devil:

As for senor Lapentti... :yeah: Great looking, nice guy, and does great things for his country.
i agree the monuments will be there whenever but you'll have to wait forever to see the players again!!
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

KarolBeckFan said:
So with that experience, I figured the people that were even bigger stars (albeit maybe no the biggest) would probably be even more standoffish, but they really weren't. They were all willing to talk to me and more than happy to take a picture with me. Instead of just crossing their arms, they all put their arms around me for the photo and weren't afraid to touch me. It was nice, I didn't feel like I was annoying them or anything.
I think the players that are the stars who have been around for a while are usually comfortable with the idea that they have a lot of fans who come to see them, are used to signing autographs, taking pics, etc. Whereas some journeymen players (though I'm sure this is not the case for many of them) may think, "Why does this guy want to take a picture with me?" and not feel comfortable with the idea that people recognize them, want to take a pic, etc.
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

SwissMister1 said:
I think the players that are the stars who have been around for a while are usually comfortable with the idea that they have a lot of fans who come to see them, are used to signing autographs, taking pics, etc. Whereas some journeymen players (though I'm sure this is not the case for many of them) may think, "Why does this guy want to take a picture with me?" and not feel comfortable with the idea that people recognize them, want to take a pic, etc.
Yeah, this is true. For journeymen players and newcomers, it goes two ways:

Either they are stand-offish and a bit rude, or they are extremely friendly ;)
 

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Re: KarolBeckFan in the Big City - Day 1

Nicely written report KBF, I enjoyed reading it. I met Karol at Wimbledon this year and he seems a sweet guy. :)
 
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