Believe it or not, today was the first time I've ever seen any of the ATP/WTA players up-front
I went with a couple of friends. First off, we went to see Sjeng in his match on an outside showcourt. well, it was a bit boring and the match was rather one-sided, so we left to roam the other showcourts. I saw Babsi, Daja/Meghann/Nadia in a doubles match, Jiri and Fabrice practicing.
Then at one of the back showcourts, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Ai-chan practicing with Leizel. And I was
when I heard Leizel-chan speaking Japanese! She's very pretty as well
There were quite a few Japanese fans (one of them had a tiny, screen-only digital camera). I got Ai-chan to sign both my hat and the official AO magazine
She's very sweet and mature. Plus her physical trainer is very pretty as well. After Ai left, Juan-Carlos took to the court for practice. I didn't stick around, b/c I didn't think it was worth waiting for another hour just to get his autograph.
Then we went to see who was on the other showcourts. I saw Martina and Lisa practicing. Martina looks really good
She's in shape and very mobile around the court. I also say Paradon practicing with Jonas Bjorkman and todd woodbridge. i also managed to get paradon's autograph
after that, we went to vodafone arena. it was packed, and we waited for almost 30 mins to get inside the actual stadium. we sat in the shade, and it was surprisingly cool and comfortable. it was the match b/w guga and ivan lubjicic. the match was OK - lots of errors on Ivan's side though.
After that match, we went straight to showcourt 3 for akiko vs nicole. And let me say, that was one of the best matches I have ever seen.
The Australian crowd were very generous and courteous. No-one made any negative remarks about Akiko and all were very supportive of Nicole.
I was surprised to see a couple of Australian Akiko-chan fans - one guy even went as far as going shirtless and having the word, "AKIKO" written over his chest, plus he also wore a white cap with the hinomaru (red sun) in the front-end
And Nicole really impressed me, b/c she was just so nice and looked so happy when she won - she even gave Akiko a hearty pat on the back.
And Akiko-chan is the nicest player I saw today
She never looked angry or frustrated. She even smiled and had a bit of a laugh when the Aussie crowd went a bit overboard in supporting Nicole (one guy called out "come on PRATTSTER" ...
). The crowd were really nice and all of them took the time to chat to each other about the match.
The only bad thing that happened was when some idiot yelled out "come on Nicole, work harder"
Then we went to margaret court to see Lindsay play against Emelie. Unfortunately, Lindsay wasn't playing at her best. Even though she broke Emelie's serve early in the 2nd set, she made so many double faults, she lost it 3-6. Then Emelie had to call a trainer after Lindsay led 2-0 in the 3rd set - apparently, she had a cramp. When the match finished, I didn't manage to get Lindsay's autograph though.
Sorry I don't have photos, cuz I forgot to take my camera with me. But I'll try and print the autographs I managed to get