Hi all, this is so sad seeing as how this will be my last report from the tournament.
Ok lets get started....
So I got to the park around 10:30 and it was already raining when I got there and I was fearing that the matches would be delayed for a good amount of time, but fortunately the rain let up. Since all the courts were wet, I just decided to head over to the grandstand and take a seat and wait for the Clijsters - Suarez match.
The court was dried and the sun came out ablazing. Clijsters and Suarez appeared shortly afterwards and were ready to get down to business. They started their warmup and both were looking a little tentative. The match started and Kim was missing a lot of points early on, but each held serve until finally Suarez lost her serve and the set. The first set was topsy-turvey. Paola has a nice serve and was consistent with it, but her groundies were a little off. She really wasnt threatening Kim. Kim on the other hand was really odd, her first serve was a tad on the weak side, and not going in. She also doesnt hit hte ball as hard as I thought. She hits it strong, but neither side is really penetrating ala the Williams sisters or even Shaughnessy's forehand.
The second set was similar but Kim started to cut down on the errors and handily won the match. Paola was a little angry during the match, but at the end she was smiling. I think her and Kim get along well. Both players left with a nice round of applause from the audience.
I decided to stay put for the next matchup with Moya and Verdasco. I had seen Verdasco on Monday when he took out Waske
So I was surprised he was able to take out Mirnyi and Kucera. I had a feeling Carlos would know how to handle him. They also announced the scoreline of the Juanqui - Rios match and my heart sank. He was out on the staidum and I had a feeling since he had dropped that first set he wasnt going to make it.
But I took it in stride, at least I got to see him win his first match
The two players come out and Moya is wearing one of the Nike sleeve-less numbers. He has great arms and can definitely pull that shirt off. Moya seemed a little off in the first set and neither one was producing exhilirating tennis which is why I was actually dozing off
. Verdasco got an early break and held for a while until Moya broke him to go 5-5. Both players held serve and then went into a tiebreak. Verdasco can hustle well, and has a very nice forehand, but everything he did Moya could do better. Carlos really strikes the ball wonderfully. He was also very nice to the ballboys saying please when asking for his towel. Hes so nice
After Moya won the tiebreak I decided to head out since I knew he would take the second.
I walked around the grounds for a while and saw Mark P. practicing topless. Hes kinda flabby, but its not bad.
Hes really tall though. I got a few shots of him. Then saw Babsi practicing on an outside court and took a couple of her. James and his brother were hitting on a nearby court, but didnt really stop to watch. I caught some of the Corretja/Costa doubles match. And then on the court next door to theirs I saw Ginepri practicing again. Without his shirt no less
So I took some quick photos of him. Noone was watching him either
I then caught some of the Iroda match and snapped a few photos of her. I only caught a few points but Iroda was really mad at herself and constantly was looking up at her coach, but it looks like she pulled it through in the end.
I then decided to head back to the grandstand for the Fish - Escude match. I had inadvertently seen every Fish match and was getting tired of him beating players he shouldnt. I was going to press my luck and see if my last day would end well. I got the court and the place had filled up as the players were warming up. I decided to take a seat in the upper bleachers. I knew everyone in there was pro-Fish. The match started and there was this great French guy who must have been Escude's coach and friends cause they were hooting and hollering like crazy screaming 'ALLEZ ALLEZ!, ALLEZ NICO!' It was wonderful because then the stupid Fish supporters would scream out his name. The match started and was pretty even. Escude was not hitting very well, at least not like in that match against Agassi. Fish was also serving hard. I wanted Nicholas to take a few steps back when returning that so Fish wouldnt get so many free points.
The held serve at 3-2 and then the rain came pouring down. I put my poncho on and just sat out in the bleachers since I didnt really feel like moving
The rain stopped but soaked everything so it took a while for the ballkids to mop up the water.
They got through with that and play resumed. Both held serve in the first set until late when Mardy was serving to stay in at 5-6, but Escude broke him. His fan club roared and sang in French
Unfortunately some stupid American shouted 'Shut up Frenchies'
When the second set started everyone was screaming 'Go Mardy' or 'Go USA'. BLECH. Luckily Nicho got an early break and both eheld serve until Mardy was serving at 3-5 and lost it. The play was pretty good, not like the Safin Sanguinetti match, but Nicholas was providing some great serve and volley. I dont know how Fish wins. He has no variety except the occasional s&v which he doesnt really do all too well. No drop shots, no slices, no pace changes...just hit the ball and hit it hard. Oh well that's the American motto of how to play tennis
So they left and I went and got a clsoer seat for the Davenport Pannetta match. Lindsay and Flavia came out and I was amazed at how tall Lindsay is. She's really tall, and really fit. She was wearing the Nike sheer shirt/skirt combo in navy which was nice. Her game wasnt as nice as the dress though. She was making horrible errors left and right throughout the first and second set. Props to Falvia because she strikes the ball well. There was one rally where both girls struck fiercely to each other's forehand like 5 times and Davenport came out the loser in that
, but it was a nice rally. It got boring in the second set as Davenport was completely off the wall with the errors and netting all her groundies and double-faulting. I was dozing off so I just decided to leave since it wasnt too entertaining.
I headed over to the practice courts and saw Meghann playing with some small kids. It was really sweet she was hitting with them and having a nice time. She is such a great girl. Hardly anyone was watching her, but she posed with the kids for their dad and I wished her luck and she said thanks. Very nice
She also signed autographs for everyone that was there. It was going on 7:30 and I decided it would be better if I left since I needed to get home and do laundry. So I didnt stay for the Serena match...judging by the scoreline I doubt it was that entertaining
So that was it. I hope everyone has enjoyed my little reports and was able to come away with a sense of what it was like to be here at the tourney. Perhaps I will take a trip to the USOpen later this year and do something similar...we will see