Wow, Im exhausted, but its a good exhaustion
Lets get started:
I got to the park around 11 and some of the first qualies had already finished up. I headed over to the courts and on the outside one I spot Rossanna De Los Rios who must have just lost because she was sitting on the ground crying. She was extremely upset and was being consoled by her coach. I didnt want to stare at her because she probably felt horrible.
So I headed over to the Harkleroad - Barabanschikova match. Both girls were very pretty. Harkleroad had attracted a semi-decent crowd. Her groundies were fairly good, I guess good enough to get by Olga. After a few games I decided to roam around to see who else I could spot. Caught some of the match between Dally and Jankovic, koulikovskaya and fislova, svensson and serra zanetti, and cargill - vlaluenko. Then I headed over to the practice courts.
Got some shots of the Rochus brothers, Elena ??? and an asian girl (Sorry still bad with the women
). Worked my way over to the grandstand where Schalken and Kiefer were practicing topless. They were playing a few games. Sjeng has the strangest service motion, but hey it works. Kiefer's groundies look like they need some work. He also seems to be getting some love handles there. Stayed around and watched them hit for a while which was fun. Sjeng can hit that ball well
Got another picture of Shinobu and this otehr girl who people will need to identify
. Then I caught Youzhny practicing with a topless Enquist. Mikhail looks to be hitting well. He was helping Thomas practice some volleying which he did nicely. I then stepped in and watched a couple of points for the Washington - Mandula matchup.
Decided I wanted to get back to the practice courts to see who had stepped in. The grandstand still had Sjeng, but it looked like Kucera had stepped in and was practicing now. I watched for a little bit and then who should I see coming up, but Farmer Timmy
. So I belted down to the players entrance (this was on the grandstand) and before Tim could start his stretching I got a photo-op with him. Hes cool, kinda dorky looking though up close. Wished him good luck and moved on. He really does have awful teeth
So the main match which I wanted to watch was with Alex Waske, so I headed back over there since he was coming on after the harkleroad match. I got back just in time cause they just took to the court. Alex has this monstrous serve, but his backhand is AWFUL! All he did was slice and pop the ball up. He can rip it but he needs to set himself up, and unfortunately Fernando Verdasco was keeping him on the run. In the middle of the first set there was this huge blast of thunder and then not two seconds later a torrential downpour. Everyone moved towards court1 which has roofed entranceways. Alex came and stood right by me
The rain halted and the players went back to the lounge until the all clear. I went and grabbed some food and roamed the grounds some more. About an hour and a half later I guess, play resumed. The break didnt really help Alex all too much. He started out ok, but began to stumble and when he completely mishit a forehand thats when I new it was over. But, I stayed like a fan to the bitter end unfrotunately it was bitter
So after his disappointing match, I headed back to the practice courts. Got some photos of Krajicek and more women I dont know
Out on the grandstand though I watched Barbara Schett practice with some other girl. Poor Babsi. She showed thes brilliant flashes of great play and the next thing you know she completely misses a ball. I mean miss, she swung and didnt hit the ball, and it was not a bad bounce
She was upset by it but she was practicing hard. Watched her for a good amount of time and saw Gambill and Pavel come into the court. When I saw Gambill I rolled my eyes and I think he saw me cause he kept eyeing me the entire time but he and pavel left without getting on the court since it looked like more rain.
Now the greatest part of the day came when I left the grandstand and headed over to practice court 2, low and behold look who its. JUANQUI!
I was so happy to see him practicing. I just started taking photos. His right ankle was strapped but it didnt lookt like he had any movement problems. He was also hitting the groundstrokes wonderfully. Its not wonder hes among the elite. Hes just great to watch. I was sooo going to get a picture with him but I chickened out at the last minute. When he left he kinda got bombarded by a few people and I decided that I didnt really want to bother him. Im kicking myself now, but its ok since Im just happy I got to see him play up close.
When he left Safina and another girl started to play. Safina and Ferrero are very friendly with each other (not in a gf/bf type of way), just playful. They tossed balls at each other which was fun to watch. I left the court and ran into Jarkko Nieminen. Hackie you are going to be so jealous, because he had just finished his practice and I asked him for a photo he was very nice and obliged. Hehe!
On the other court I stopped and watched Younes and Goran practicing. Those two are total clowns. Apparently Goran wanted to see how well Younes can serve so he decided to bend over shoving his ass up in the air and dared Younes to try and hit it. Younes coult back down and on the first try served it right straight into his butt. Funny Funny stuff. Also watching the practice was Marlene Weingartner, I asked her for a picture and she said sure. As her friend is trying to take the picture, I guess Younes looked over and yells for her to give me a kiss. She was so embarrassed
It was funny, I had to take like 4 photos because Marlene kept blinking
Very nice girl though.
Then as I was heading back to the showcourts, I saw another fave, David Nalbandian coming from the players lounge. Heee! So I followed him and he started practicing with Andre Sa. David gets very upset when he doesnt play to the level that he thinks he should. So David started getting angry and tossing the racket and yelling at himself in Spanish. *sigh* David control your anger! I dont have a good feeling about this tourney for him
Walked some more and found Martin Verkerk and Raemon Sluiter practicing. Took some nice photos of those two. There appeared to be this groups of middle-aged women oggling Verkerk. I thought ew, but hey whatever I guess tennis needs its groupies
Walked towards the grandstand then came across Iroda practicing. Sat down and watched her hit. She hits very hard, her groundies were looking pretty fine, but it started to rain shortly after I got there and I ran to the grandstand since they have some covering. Iroda came in there also to get out of the rain. I asked her for a picture and she was more than happy. She seems like such a nice girl. Better than Dokic!
It was getting late so I ran around some more, Saw Koubeck and Kafelnikov practicing, and then Stevenson also showed up on the practice courts. One of the few matches left ongoing was Greta Arn - Marta Marrero. Stopped in and watched the horrible first set where Arn was completely off the mark with all her shots. As I was leaving I saw Felix Mantilla who had just ended his practice session and got a picture with him
Hes a nice guy.
So all in all pretty good day. I wont be in attendance tomorrow so no report
Ill try and post some pictures tonight but Im kinda tired and may wait until tomorrow.