Pictures of Lindsay, including the one I took with her in Hong Kong:
It's 8 am in Hong Kong now as I write. I felt so ecstatic last night after meeting Lindsay at the autograph session in Watson's. So let me tell you guys what happened.
As Serena's match was cancelled due to her "injury", Lindsay and Venus played the first match of the day at 6 pm. Not many fans were frustrated about it since Serena signed autographs nevertheless. I suspect all the players have to do this, with the exception of probably Venus who dislikes signing autographs.
I rushed into the stadium from my hotel after making Lindsay a bright green sign to support her. However, upon reaching the venue, I forgot to bring the picture that Lindsay and I took at Stanford in 2004
So I took a 5 minute walk back to my hotel as it was only 5.15 pm. I came back into the venue at 5.30 pm, and entered the stadium that was not full yet. I proudly held on to my bright green sign and sat myself down in the first row, patiently yet anxiously waiting for the match to start. On occasions, I did flash my sign which read "LINDSAY ROCKZ!" and attracted a lot of attention since I was the only person holding a sign in the entire stadium
It was finally 10 minutes past 6 pm, and Lindsay and Venus entered the court. Immediately I flashed the sign towards their direction as they came in, and Venus sat RIGHT in front of me
I was kind of pissed that Lindsay wasn't sitting on my side of the court. But Venus saw my sign anyway. Haha. Then they warmed up and started the match soon after, which prompted me to flash the sign one more time thus attracting more attention from the cameramen across on the other side of the stadium.
Lindsay soon led 2-0 and the match continued to get more exciting as both players traded hard-hitting shots. Whenever Lindsay won a game, I would hold up my sign from the first row. And I kept shouting "Go Lindsay" at the start of between each game and occasionally between points
She seemed really focus and thus didn't really notice my sign. But I think she knows that there's people out there to support her - there were at least three people from the stands, along with me, that cheered for Lindsay between games. The groundstrokes were just as blistering as in any of their previous encounters, but Lindsay closed off the first set with some great serves which on some moments let her down. I felt like she had hit several double faults in her last two matches including this one. And again, I held my sign up and showed it to the crowd
The second set then began and many fans were starting to cheer for both players. I shouted "Come on Lindsay" just before she started to serve. She then held a strong 3-0 lead over Venus, making three SUPERIOR backhand passing shots in these games. It was like magic, the way she 'painted' the lines striking the balls so pure and powerful. Although Venus did try to step up her game, it was not enough and she then trailed 5-0. After every game in this set, I started cheering for Lindsay and whenever people tried to support for Venus I always shouted "LINDSAY" over them. It was the first time I felt so much pride in her and I cheered for her SO MUCH - and in fact the most amongst the crowd
Venus won the next game as she started serving better. It was finally Lindsay's turn to serve out the match and I yelled "Goooooo Lindsayyyyyyyy!!!!" right before she served. The spectators here in Hong Kong were not that responsive but there were always fans that would cheer loudly. I felt like I was definitely the loudest that night
The point was 30 all, and once again, the situation got more nerve wrecking. I was praying Lindsay would serve this match out quickly. They exchanged blistering shots and Lindsay led 40-30, attaining a matchpoint. I was so crazy at this point, but then also became more anxious. Lindsay served and they once again rallied not for long, before Venus' ball landed outside the baseline, and Lindsay took the Victory. I held up my sign and was really happy Lindsay won
She put down her racket on the chair, and proceeded to sign autographs immediately. I could get to the other side of the court easily as I was seated in the first row. I squeezed myself with the (annoying) kids who would always talk so loud and rushed themselves into the first row when they knew the match would soon be over. Lindsay started so sign from behind her chairs and then across, near the umpire's chair. She then came to me
And before she autographed my sign, she was like "Hiiii!!!!!!" and looked up to me smiling. I think she was really happy to see my sign! At this moment, I was so mesmerized and did not SERIOUSLY know what to think or say. And so I said "Hiii!" back to her
She held my sign and autographed across it, proceeding to sign for other fans that were just piling down the stands. I immediately left with Ginger and Tweedie (both WTAworld members), as we knew there was going to be an autograph session. I called in the day before to check that Lindsay was going to sign last night.
When we reached the Watson's booth and lined up, one of the Watson's staff came to us and said the autograph session had been cancelled. Obviously, I was disappointed. So we left to go to the bathroom, and when we returned, there were people lining up at the booth
I was sooooo mad because they lied to us about it, and kind of complained when one of the other staff passed us. She claimed they always had no clue if the player would decide to sign or not. Then I asked her if it was Lindsay that was going to sign later, to which she said "Yes." I thought it was my chance this time to give her a blue-coloured book that I had made for her the previous night - I stayed up till 5 am to make that scrapbook
She also reminded us there cannot be any picture taking since "the queue is too long." I was like
and ignored her. I figured that if I asked Lindsay and she agreed to it, the guard (who was standing next to Lindsay) as well as the staff, would have no say. The line moved quickly and I could soon see Lindsay signing all kinds of things. The fans lining up had to stand in front of her and was immediately told to leave by the staff after acquiring her autograph. It was like they tried to dump you out of that place as quick as possible. I told Ginger to take a photo of Lindsay and me, but the line moved too quick and Tweedie who stoood behind me, held my camera in the end and would take the picture instead. At this time, there were my bright green "LINDSAY ROCKZ" sign, the blue-book, and a printed copy of a picture I took with Lindsay at Stanford in 2004 (fresh off after her win over Venus). She briefly looked at me before two fans lining up in front of me. When it was my turn, I was just sooo happy. I was smiling soo much when I moved forward into her direction. She said "Hi! You're back
" and smiled at me. She just looked sooo happy. I was at that moment quite star-struck. I could only say "Hello!" and "Yeah!" She then asked me "How's it going?!" I can't even remember what I said, but I think I replied by saying "I'm fine" or "I'm good". I wanted to be polite and almost rushed my way through since there were just too many people crowding around the area. The staff was also trying to push people off the area to get the line moving. When I showed her the picture taken at Stanford, she mumbled something like "Where's this taken?" and I didn't really catch what she was saying and kept quiet
I watched her, and this time she looked up at me
and asked me "Where was this taken?" With a smile, I nervously said "Stanford 2004" She nodded her head and autographed the picture for me. After she signed it, I told her that "I've got something for you (her)" and showed her the blue-book that was just underneath the picture signed. She said "Ohhh this book is for me?! Thank You!" I smiled and said "Yes!" I took my chance and asked her if I could "please take a picture with you (her)?" She assuringly said "Sure!" I made my way to stand next to her and leaned in. Tweedie took the picture and we were also standing in front of a lot of people with cameras - It looked like they were trying to get tons of pictures of Lindsay. I left her by saying "Thank You Lindsay." when she turned around and said "I'm going to put this (the book) just behind me (on another table)."
All of this just happened TOO quick and by the time I was out of the booth, Tweedie and Ginger were already standing by me
I then said to them that "I cannot believe I took a picture with Lindsay!" Some people tried and forced themselves into taking pictures with Lindsay, but only to be pushed by the guards. I felt I was really lucky and I was just so glad that Lindsay happily wanted to take a picture with me. I looked at the picture in the camera and smiled so much. It was a GREAT picture. She smiled a lot and I smiled EXACTLY the same way I did in the picture taken at Stanford. I guess that conveys how happy I was at both times to be able to meet her. She's forever my pride and queen!
Okay, I know it's too long. But I felt like I wanted to share with you all of this
Oh, and I also mentioned TOP in my blue-book - pictures of which I will try and upload when I return to the States. I will also upload the picture I took with her.
The experience of meeting her went by so fast, and I wish I could have said something more personal to her such how her back is doing or when she'll return to the States. I wanted to be more meaningful because she's meaningful to all of us. Nevertheless, I'm really glad I got to meet her
and can't wait to let her sign this new picture
I can't wait to see her win this final today, and will bring the bright green sign to cheer her on again! Go Lindsay!
I decided to bring my green sign to the stadium for the final, so that Lindsay would be reminded of the continuous support she would get from me. For the entire first set, I was sitting quite further up - not in the first row anymore - at row F. I held up my sign the entire time she was on my side of the court. This time around, strangely enough, the support was not as immense as it was the day before. Perhaps, the Venus-Lindsay match attracted more attention. During the first set, Lindsay made a lot of errors whenever she tried to pin a backhand or forehand down the line. It just wasn't working out for her yesterday. I got kind of upset but kept my heads up and continued to hold up the sign, cheering for her at several points during the set. The first set went to Kim 6-3.
In the second set, I wanted to move myself to the first row, and decided to sit on the steps next to Ginger who was there. Ginger was like "Oh my god, I don't want to be on TV because of your sign."
I figured if I sat on the first row, I would be able to cheer for her louder and she'd see me better. Every time she walks on my side of the court I cheered for her continously with "Come on Linddssssayyy!"s and she stepped up her game to lead 5-3. Soon later, however, more errors crept into her game as her serves weren't going in. She threw in several DFs in this match and it really upsetted her - as well as me. I think she slumped twice, and even screamed at one forehand shot that she ought to put out into the corner. Kim caught up at 5 all and Lindsay started shaking her head. Kim started playing stronger too, and threw in some really good serves which won her the match. I hope Lindsay wasn't too disappointed, since it's only an exhibition. I really think Lindsay would've stepped it up further had it been a grand slam or a real tournament. On the other hand, today was just not one of those days where her groundstrokes were going in.
Although it was over, I proudly held up my sign during the presentation and shouted "Go Lindsay" when she was called the runner-up of the tournament. Before this, however, there were two girls sitting adjacent to me as I stood up and started giggling. It turned out they were looking at one of my badges on my bag which read "I TASTE so good you'll want the RECIPE" And I'm like, "it's amazing that you girls are the first ones to laugh at it"
I became a bit embarrassed, but nevertheless didn't care that much. They also cheered along with me when Lindsay gave a short speech to the crowd. When it was over, I decided to make my way over to near the changing room to see Lindsay.
When I reached there, there were 4 guards crowding around the area, and about three other fans waiting for Lindsay/Kim. I waited for about almost half an hour there before her coach was seen passing by and asking the guards where Lindsay was. She was still in the changing room and he left in the direction he came from. A few minutes later, Lindsay came out of the changing room
and asked for her coach. By this time, everyone that was strolling around the grounds were rushing over and tried to get her autograph. Even one lucky Japanese woman was even able to get a picture with her! I don't think she was in a bad mood. Fortunately, there weren't that many fans around her, as the next match was already starting. I waited for my chance to give her a print-out photo of her and Jon at Bali. It was a sweet picture
I quickly said "Lindsay, this is for you!" I reached out and gave it to her. She looked at it, and her face gleamed with a big smile and said to me, "Wow, that's really sweet of you." I just smiled at her and didn't know what to really say. I then asked her if she liked "the book that I gave you (her) yesterday?" She looked at me with her big smile once again and said, "Yeah! We looked at it yesterday!" It didn't really hit me until much later on that her coach might have remembered me from an email that I sent him. In that email, which was never replied, I asked if he was really Lindsay's new coach and if he was coming to Hong Kong with her. I felt, once again, slightly freaked out because her coach probably already knew about it
It seemed like she was really trying to look for her coach, and she asked again where he went. I told her that "he went in that direction (pointing finger towards the right)." She then asked, "Did he leave recently or a long time ago?" to which I replied, "Yeah, just recently." At this time, more fans poured in and wanted her autograph. At this point, I said "Good luck at the Australian Open!" and she said, "Thank You!" As she signed, I asked her, "So are you flying back to the States today?" and she said, "Oh we're actually going to Melbourne." That obviously made sense, and I told her that "I'll probably see you in the summer then." She then inquisitively asked, "Oh, are you a Californian?" and I said, "No, I'm from Virginia." And all I could do was smile because she was so sweet and nice. I finally concluded the conversation by saying, one more time, "Good luck at the Australian Open". She said, "Thanks" and continued to sign a bit more. She soon went back into the changing room and her hand still held the energy bar she was munching on earlier. I decided to leave and didn't want to keep staying there to look like her stalker
It was great to be able to chat with her again. She's such a cool and friendly person to talk to! I hope I'll see her again during the summer and I really really heart her
What an amazing person!
Any questions about anything, please ask! Oh and the Indian people were so crazy over Sania that this man wearing a turban (whom I tried to take a picture of at the tournament) was trying to get into the tournament office that Sania just entered with the security guards. He kept showing his VIP CAMERAMAN PASS to the guards because he wanted to get in. He didn't succeed! The Indian men were all over her!
She was rushed out quickly by the guards who said to everyone that "she needs to catch a plane"
Sania soon entered the car. Haha.
Tennis Clinic (Day 2)
When I arrived at the tennis clinic session, Lindsay was already on the court with Nicole near a bunch of kids wearing bright, green "Watson's" outfits. Soon, the kids crowded around Lindsay and Nicole to begin their warm-up, which I think is the highlight of this clinic! Lindsay started to do some star jumps with the kids and as she did it, she was laughing with Nicole and gestured, "My pants are falling down!" She stopped for a while, and adjusted her pants, continuing to do more star jumps again
Lindsay and Nicole smiled at the kids almost all the time, and both of them were sooo friendly to each other. It was obvious that Nicole had so much respect for Lindsay.
When both players walked over to the other side of the court, Ginger told me that apparently Lindsay asked on the kids if he spoke English. I can imagine the kid not knowing what to react, especially since I think these kids speak Cantonese - and little English, if they knew. The kids first lined up in two rows - the idea was that one row of kids would practise forehands, while the other hit backhands. The ball was fed by some guy, and Lindsay and Nicole stood behind each kid that came forward to hit a couple of forehands/backhands. At one time, there was a little girl who missed her backhands twice in a row, so Lindsay held her hands and demonstrated a backhand for her
I thought this was really sweet and funny. Nicole, on the other hand, as was said by Ginger, seemed a bit lost. She said words like "Good", "Ohh" or "Great", and never really instructed the kids what to do.
It was then time for both Lindsay and Nicole to switch back to the other side of the court. This time, each of them had to take turns to feed the balls to the kids, alternating after every stroke. The kids who missed a ball would be put aside and not allowed to drill anymore. This continued for about quite a while until at one point, one kid hit a ball that landed a metre from the net. It was a dropshot that Lindsay could not get, and she felt so embarrassed that she laughed so much about it! She decided to then sit on one of the linesmen's chairs against the wall, where a few moments later, she was bugged by two school teens that tried to ask for her autograph. She ignored them because they were so annoying as they persistently shoved their books from the wall demanding her to sign.
Lindsay continued to watch Nicole hit stroke after stroke with the kids, and the clinic soon ended after a while. They all took a group picture together, and as Lindsay left the court, I held out a photo of her waving, which was taken at a parade in Key Biscayne (The parade was specially held for her because she was the defending champion, and she was sitting on a car that was driven around in the parade.) She signed a bunch of other autographs and left the court, leaving Nicole.
I thought it was really sweet how Lindsay reacted to the kids on the court, applauding some of them that made relatively swift groundstrokes
It looked like she really enjoyed herself around the kids, and I can definitely see her want to have one!