I discovered the Gem named Daniela at a Practise Session on the first Tuesday of the Australian Open this year.
Actually, I saw her walking with her coach to an outside court, and I was automatically drawn to her.
I watched the entire 2 hour session and fell in love.
It was her attitude on court that got me...it was shy yet confident.
There were only like 5-6 people watching her so I enjoyed a very private session, and often she'd look over and had this smile on her face all embarrassed as if to say "I can't believe your sitting there watch me train when you could be watching a match somewhere".
It was true, I knew she was special to me when I gave up a chance at seeing my favourite men's player, Carlos Moya play, who was on at the same time.
I went on to see her play 1 singles match and 4 Doubles matches live during to Open plus the matches on TV and have followed her ever since.
There is no doubt that I found out about Daniela by pure luck and perhap fate. I didn't know anything about her, didn't know her name, didn't know she was seeded, didn't know anything about her passed results, I came in fresh....and I think that was the best way for me, I had no pre-conceived expectation about her at all, and that was nice.
I was so happy to see Daniela win Indian Wells after following her for a few months and will keep on supporting her in my biased and non-biased ways until the end.
I admit that there are people out there that have know Daniela much longer than I have, but I doubt she has a bigger fan than me.
I adore my Angel...
And there is no question of my loyalities to her.
I love her as a player and a person, so if she succeeds this year or if it takes longer, I'll be here cheering her on.
Thats the only way I support players. I don't base it on there results. I have supported Carlos Moya since he appeared at the 97 Australian Open, and he has won the French in 98, but not much since, but he is still my favourite men's player and will be until he finishes.
The best of Luck to Daniela and Carlos during this tough Clay court season.
3.30pm on January 15th, 2002.....the moment my best ever discovery was made.