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Dav.
Feb 29th, 2008, 10:49 PM
Hey guys,

My parents just surprised me and told me they were getting tickets to this year's tourney and AI. It's my first time attending a WTA event, so I'm really excited. :)

I was wondering if anyone who has been to the tourney before had any tips or advice? BTW, I'm going on thursday or friday.

Thanks! :)

drgray
Mar 4th, 2008, 12:38 AM
I've been a couple of times. I had great seats under a tree behind the baseline. The view is good from anywhere really. And the line for autographs on Center after matches aren't too bad. Just get there a game or two before they end.

Davenselesport
Mar 7th, 2008, 05:21 PM
Stay at Amelia Island plantation in one of the villas, its an AMAZING resort.

Dav.
Mar 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM
Stay at Amelia Island plantation in one of the villas, its an AMAZING resort.
Absolutely. I stayed there when I was younger and it was one of the best resorts I've ever stayed at. How much do the villas typically cost per night?

I've been a couple of times. I had great seats under a tree behind the baseline. The view is good from anywhere really. And the line for autographs on Center after matches aren't too bad. Just get there a game or two before they end.
Thanks a lot! I told my dad this and he's going to try to get tickets under the tree. :lol: So you would suggest behind the baseline over along the sides?

drake3781
Mar 24th, 2008, 03:59 AM
You are going one day? And staying one night?

Dav.
Mar 24th, 2008, 03:30 PM
We're staying in Kingston (less than an hour away) for two nights and going to the tournament on Friday from 11-7. :)

I'm really depressed about Tati probably withdrawing, though. :sad:

surferchicka
Apr 1st, 2008, 12:05 AM
its an amazing tournament, and very intimate. i was a ball person the past 2 years. players just kind of chill anywhere the feel like it, so youll have a good chance of maybe even having a word or two with them.

drake3781
Apr 1st, 2008, 12:21 AM
I don't have a lot of tips.... I can think of a few things only. 1. Bring a small towel to use to sit on because the stands get EXTREMELY hot. 2. Make sure you have a visor and/or sunglasses.. I remember problems with the sun in my face at the main court. 3. Pro shop is a good break from the heat, and I found some clothes on clearance that I still use. 4. Parking is really expensive but since you will only be there one day don't worry about it. 5. I think you are allowed to bring in one bottle of water each. 5. Make sure you get the schedule/OOP and go around to all the courts; see as many players as you can. A lot more interesting than the main court, often. 6. If you are into autographs (I'm not, but I saw this) you will see where the players enter the main court, and if you wait there afterward you can probably get your autograph. It is the corner closest to the clubhouse.

I could say more about the "island" and things to do there but it sounds like you are taggin along with family who will be making the plans.

Have fun. Take pics for us!!

drgray
Apr 1st, 2008, 12:24 AM
I'm so mad that one of the few years i don't have tickets, there will be a great field of players there... :sad:

drake3781
Apr 1st, 2008, 01:22 AM
I'm so mad that one of the few years i don't have tickets, there will be a great field of players there... :sad:

I'm sure you can still get tickets. :shrug:

Sometimes people even give them away.

drgray
Apr 2nd, 2008, 02:06 AM
I'm sure you can still get tickets. :shrug:

Sometimes people even give them away.

No I cant go anyways. My grandparents don't live down there anymore. but I do still want tickets for the family circle cup. especially since Masha is playing!

MeGa-Fan
Apr 4th, 2008, 05:19 PM
hey sorry i dont have any idea bec i live in switzerland!

but if you could take some pics of Ana Medina Garrigues by chance, i would be very very happy :-D

thx

Dav.
Apr 5th, 2008, 02:31 PM
I don't have a lot of tips.... I can think of a few things only. 1. Bring a small towel to use to sit on because the stands get EXTREMELY hot. 2. Make sure you have a visor and/or sunglasses.. I remember problems with the sun in my face at the main court. 3. Pro shop is a good break from the heat, and I found some clothes on clearance that I still use. 4. Parking is really expensive but since you will only be there one day don't worry about it. 5. I think you are allowed to bring in one bottle of water each. 5. Make sure you get the schedule/OOP and go around to all the courts; see as many players as you can. A lot more interesting than the main court, often. 6. If you are into autographs (I'm not, but I saw this) you will see where the players enter the main court, and if you wait there afterward you can probably get your autograph. It is the corner closest to the clubhouse.

I could say more about the "island" and things to do there but it sounds like you are taggin along with family who will be making the plans.

Have fun. Take pics for us!!
Thanks for the great ideas.

I am going with my parents, but I'm the one making plans and etc, haha.

I was thinking of brining an OOP, but since I'm going on Friday (QF), I really won't need it, but it may be a good idea to bring one.

I've been to AI a few times before and it is very beautiful, so I will absolutely be exploring the island. You can't go to AI without doing so. :)

I will definitely take pics, but I'm not sure how I'm going to upload them, as my computer is hopeless and won't let me upload pics. I may have to go to a friend's house or maybe the library.

Thanks again! :wavey:



hey sorry i dont have any idea bec i live in switzerland!

but if you could take some pics of Ana Medina Garrigues by chance, i would be very very happy :-D

thx
If she makes it to the QF and plays in the day session, I will take pics of her for sure. :)

But I'm not sure if I'll be able to upload them. If someone cal help me with this, it would be great as I don't really know much about working with photos and my retarded computer doesn't help much either.

Jess3781
Apr 5th, 2008, 10:10 PM
I never went to that tournament but I go each year since 2002 to the Open here in Miami and the important thing is to have fun and really enjoy it I think :)
I hope you get the chance to watch great matches :) good luck :)

drake3781
Apr 5th, 2008, 10:14 PM
Probably on Friday, the players who have lost will have already started to head up to Charleston (or back home before Fed Cup)... but there might be a few stragglers practicing on the outside courts; take a walk around a few times during the day, and see who is practicing.

DutchieGirl
Apr 5th, 2008, 10:25 PM
We're staying in Kingston (less than an hour away) for two nights and going to the tournament on Friday from 11-7. :)

I'm really depressed about Tati probably withdrawing, though. :sad:

Do you drive from Kingston, or is there a bus? (Just wondering, coz I might be going next year, and staying on the island is freaking expensive). ;)

Dav.
Apr 5th, 2008, 11:27 PM
Do you drive from Kingston, or is there a bus? (Just wondering, coz I might be going next year, and staying on the island is freaking expensive). ;)
We're driving. The original plan was to stay on the island, but by the time we were going to make reservations, rooms were up to $400 a night and the Plantation wasn't much less, sadly. I can understand how you feel.

BTW, if anyone else is going on Friday, tell me as I would like to meet some of you! :)

I never went to that tournament but I go each year since 2002 to the Open here in Miami and the important thing is to have fun and really enjoy it I think :)
I hope you get the chance to watch great matches :) good luck:)
Thank you very much. :)

Probably on Friday, the players who have lost will have already started to head up to Charleston (or back home before Fed Cup)... but there might be a few stragglers practicing on the outside courts; take a walk around a few times during the day, and see who is practicing.
Yeah, that's what Venus did last year if I remember correctly. Thanks for the tip, as I really hope to meet a few players. :)

DutchieGirl
Apr 5th, 2008, 11:39 PM
We're driving. The original plan was to stay on the island, but by the time we were going to make reservations, rooms were up to $400 a night and the Plantation wasn't much less, sadly. I can understand how you feel.


Thanks. I was even looking at staying in Jacksonville, but I'm not sure if there's a bus from there (I'm Aussie, and not too keen on driving on the right side of the road, as we drive on the left here). ;)

sammy01
Apr 5th, 2008, 11:43 PM
this tournament is beautiful and its one that i would love to go see, oh well i'll stick to the ermmmmmm nice birmingham lol.

drgray
Apr 7th, 2008, 01:14 AM
Could some take some pics/video of:

Ayumi Morita
Maria Sharapova
Daniela Hantuchova

That would be great thanks!

Dav.
Apr 8th, 2008, 01:38 AM
Thanks. I was even looking at staying in Jacksonville, but I'm not sure if there's a bus from there (I'm Aussie, and not too keen on driving on the right side of the road, as we drive on the left here). ;)

:lol: We were going to stay at the Embassy in Jacksonville, but decided not to as it was 30 minutes out of the way.

this tournament is beautiful and its one that i would love to go see, oh well i'll stick to the ermmmmmm nice birmingham lol.
I've always wanted to go to Birmingham! :lol:

Could some take some pics/video of:

Ayumi Morita
Maria Sharapova
Daniela Hantuchova

That would be great thanks!
Absolutely, if they make the QFs.

Uploading will be an issue, though, like I said. I really hope I can get them up for you guys. I'll at least have match reviews for the QF matches I see. If it's like last year, I should be seeing three of the four QFs.

Dav.
Apr 11th, 2008, 02:18 AM
The matches that I will be seeing tomorrow are:
1. Singles: Quarterfinals
Alize Cornet (FRA) vs. Virginie Razzano (FRA) [13]

Not Before 1:00 PM
2. Singles: Quarterfinals
Maria Sharapova (RUS) [1] vs. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) [10]

3. Singles: Quarterfinals
Lindsay Davenport (USA) [16] vs. Agnes Szavay (HUN) [8]

I will be writing up a match review for all three and will take many pics. :)

(I really hope that I can get those pics up for you all!!)

MeGa-Fan
Apr 11th, 2008, 05:49 PM
if u go on saturday too than medina garrigues will play doubles ;-D take some pics by chance for me thanky :-D

Dav.
Apr 12th, 2008, 12:49 AM
Unfortuntaly I did not see Anabel at all, even practicing. I'm sorry.

Today was great though and I had a lot of fun meeting so many players and fans. I got autographs from:
Mattek (funny story to go along with that :lol:)
Uhlirova
Chan
Vesnina
Mauresmo
Cibulkova (:hearts:)
Davenport

I also took pics of most of the above players as well as:
A. Bondaarenko (practice and match)
Ruano-Pascual
Razzano
Cornet
Sharapova
Szavay (and her sister)
Voskoboeva
I took a picture with Chan, but it's on my phone.

I have no way to upload pics now (especially because I'm still in AI), but I should have them up within the next couple of weeks and I have a lot of stories to tell, some of them pretty funny, that I'll be writing soon. I'm so tired now, though.

This day was one of the best of my life and I'll really never forget it. :)

DutchieGirl
Apr 12th, 2008, 12:51 AM
:banana: Vladka. ;)

Dav.
Apr 12th, 2008, 12:59 AM
:banana: Vladka. ;)
She was soo nice. :)

DutchieGirl
Apr 12th, 2008, 02:48 AM
She was soo nice. :)

Yeah - she's one of the sweetest ladies on the tour. :D

RND
Apr 12th, 2008, 06:15 AM
Yung-Jan! :banana:

Thanks Dav. :yeah:

Dav.
Apr 12th, 2008, 11:56 PM
Here?s my review from Friday, QF day. Enjoy. :)
The day started for me at 6:00 AM when I woke up with excitement. I had spent the
whole night thinking of how I was going to my first WTA event. Once the rest of my
family woke up and got dressed, we left for the Amelia Island Plantation. It was about a
30 minute drive from our hotel, but it felt like 3 hours. Once we arrived at the resort
(earlier than almost anyone else), we boarded the shuttle which would deliver us to the
tournament site. First of all, I have to say that this is the most beautiful venue I think I
have ever seen. It's such a warm enviroment and the staff are as pleasant as they could be.
When first entering the gates, three men came out of the members only area and saw me
with my draw/schedule (:p) and walked over to talk to me. They asked about the
up-coming matches and about who was left in the draw. The oldest of the group took my
little brother aside and said, "Do you like NASCAR? Do you know Jeff Burton? Well, I'm
his father." My brother, who didn't like Burton, politely smiled and walked away. :lol: The
men thanked me for my help and went on.

We had arrived about an hour earlier than the first match so I toured the grounds with my
mom, searching for players. I immeditely saw Jill Craybas and yelled, "Hey, Jill!" She
turned around to see who was talking to her, saw me, gave a big smile and yelled,
"Hey!!!" Later, I would see Bethanie Mattek walking but I was too nervous to say
anything. I also saw Alona Bondarenko and her BF/coach and when I said "Alona?" (to
wish her good luck) she put hewr head down, completely ignoring me, and walked on.
Deciding that I probably wasn't going to see any more players, I took my seat in the
Stadium Court for the Cornet/Razzano match. Razzano started so well and really looked
to be in full control of the match, leading 4-1 in the first set. She was hitting the ball very
well and very deep. It was easy to tell that both ladies were at home on clay. After that
point, something in Cornet went off and she completely raised her game. She now, was
the one who was hitting the beautiful shots and it made for a few amazing rallies. She
really took full control from that point and eventually won, 6-4, 6-2.

A few times during the match I went around to see if any new players had entered the
grounds. I saw Agnes Szavay's sister practicing with a coach, or her father, on the
Grandstand Court and took a few pics. Stupidly at first, I thought it was Agnes and
wished her good luck today. She returned the comment with a look of confusion and,
probably thinking I was a creeper, looked away. I later saw many of the Spanish players
practcing together with, I think, Ai Sugiyama. The person who looked like Ai was the
farthest away, so I couldn't tell. I did recognize Ruano Pascual (with her 42-year-old
boyfriend) and Dominguez Lino. I took one pic of Virginia but the person I was with
started to get impacient, so I left before I took any more pics. After leaving the
Cornet/Razzano match again in the second set, I went to see "Agnes" practicing, still not
realizing who she really was. Afterwards, I found Alona practicing with her coach, and I
must say she looked amazingly good. If anyone didn't know, she has a huge tattoo on her
upper back, which is very appealing. I took a few pics, watched her hit the ball (and very
well, I might add) and wished her luck against Maria when she came up next to me. She
smiled and said, "Thanks" before I walked on. She seemed really nice, even if she ignored
me before. ;)

A funny thing happened while I was looking for more players: I walked past a staff
member who was "guarding" Mattek and Uhlirova while they practiced. I didn?t even
notice the players and when the staff member saw me with my unautographed piece of
paper he said, "There's two right here." I told him that I was too embarrased/shy to ask
them myself and he did it for me. Bethanie was extremely kind and laughed when she saw
how shy I was around her. We talked for a few minutes about her many outfits of the last
few years and she told me that she was fined for wearing a cowboy hat during one of her
matches at the USO a few years ago. I also told her that I had seen her famous Wimbledon
outfit on TV a few years ago. She laughed and later told me that she had something
planned for this year as well. I told her that I'll be looking for it and left, completely
forgetting that Vladka was there. I later felt so bad that I went back when she was alone
with a photographer and said that I had spaced out while talking to Bethanie and asked if
she would give me her autograph. She smiled and said sure. She was very warm and I
really was glad I went back to get her signature. I next saw Davenport practicing with her
husband, where Szavay's sister had been, and I took a few pics. Then I walked down to
the lower courts where the real Agnes was hitting with her coach. She was smiling when
she looked over at me, so I smiled back. She then gave the same look of "WTF" that her
sister had given me and walked to the back of the court. Is it wrong to smile in Hungary?
Just kidding.

There were a couple of men beside me who really wanted to see Lindsay so I told them
where she was practicing and tried to give them simple directions to the court. They
couldn't have followed them to save their lives so I had to walk them over to the courts.
One claimed to have taught Ashley Harkleroad when she was little and the other, a
creeper, had some sort of mental issue. We arrived at the court, and the first man
attampted to talk to Lindsay. She smiled at first, but when he said he knew Ashley and
that she wanted to tell Lindsay hello, she turned around and acknowledged the man. The
other man would not stop talking to me about getting autographs of players. He said that
Ivanovic and Golovin were very kind to him last year, but Hantuchova was "rude" by
saying maybe later and walking away. The first man used me to his advantage to escape
the other and I eventually tried to get away from him, but to not avail. I again said, "Well,
it was nice to meet you" and got out before he could respond. BTW, I later checked pics and
no, he's not Mr. Bean.

After that interesting experience, I quickly took a pic of, I think, Voskoboeva practicing
and hurried to the Stadium Court where Maria and Alona were about to enter. A score of
fans lined up to see the superstar enter and to get autographs, but she signed none and
every one went to their seats, dissapointed. My dad was offened by the fact that she didn't
even acknowledge the fans. Little he knows. :lol:

The match itself was the best of the day and I was so grateful that I was there to see it.
The first set started with Alona coming out firing and going up 3-0. Maria started to get
into the match at that point and leveled the socre at 3-3. There were fe breaks, if any, after
this and the tiebrake was very memorable. Both players were playing so well and the
crowd was really appreciative. Maria held multiple set points and Alona had one before
she finally closed out the set on her second. 7-6(9). At one point during the first set there
were about 10, "Come on, Maria." So I, rooting for Alona, screamed, "Come on, Alona!"
A large group of people around me laughed and one person a few rows in front of me
said, "Good for you." Maria really raised the level of her game and finally closed out the
match 6-7(9), 6-3, 6-2. Before the match ended, I walked outside to try to get Maria?s
signature again (as well as Alona's). I met a lady there who shared my opinion that Maria
wasn't too kind to her fans. It turned out that she was the wife of an executive of Baush
and Lomb, who joined her later. (We waited a long time together.) She told me about the
party last year and how Davenport was extremely kind and made sure to sign for everyone
there. She said that Golovin was also very sweet and a really wonderful lady. She signed
autographs for those there as well. The lady told me that she didn?t drink or anything as
she just wanted to talk to everyone. She asked all where they were from, etc. The lady
seemed to really have been impressed by Tatiana! Maria signed a few autographs after for
a few girls and she was walking directly towards me so I said, "Maria, please?" She
looked at me and started to stop, but decided against it and kept walking towards the
player area. Mary Joe Fernandez had walked by without me noticing her as I was talking
to the lady, but she interrupted and said, "There's the commentator!" as I had expressed
my desire to get her autograph earlier, but it was too late, she had already left through the
corridor. It was really dissapointing not to have gotten her autograph as I?m a big fan. I
did talk to the umpire, Lynn Welch though. She was actually really popular and signed
many autographs. When she walked by me I told her she was the best umpire on tour and
she gave me a big smile, followed by a "Thank you."

After that very high quality match, I left to see Szavay and Davenport enter the court.
Another large group of people tried to get their autographs but again failed as both players
were fixated on the up-coming match. To be honest I watched none of this match as I was
roaming the grounds trying to find players. I was told by my family that Szavay playec
really well and stayed with Davenport for the first set but wilted in the second to go down
5-1. She then started to go for her shots and somehow leveled the set. The tiebrake,
though, was all Lindsay who closed out the match 6-4, 7-6(3). I saw Cibulkova a few
times but I was so nervous and decided against talking to her, also for fear of being rude
when she was shopping. The next player I saw was Yung-Jan Chan who was practicing
with her French coach on a back court. Her mom was sitting in a chair on an outside court
and started to chat with her. I must say that she had to have been the nicest person I met
all day. We talked for around 30 min, or at least tried, as her English was not the best. :)
She did give me a lot of information, though, and was a joy to talk to. She even gave me
Chinese lessons. :lol: When I told her that I was a big fan of Chan she went and got her
daughter and asked her to sign an autograph for me. She was an extremely sweet girl, but
also very shy. When I sat back down her mom told me a bit more about Chan. She even
told me about her English name, "Latisha," obviously not knowing its WTAWorld
famosity. She said that Asian players call her Yung-Jan while the Americans call her
Latisha. It was a cute story and I was really glad I had met both of them. Before I left,
though, she asked if I would like a picture with "Latisha" and of course I said yes.
Unfortunately she took it on my phone so I can't share it with you all. It was one of the
best parts of the day, for sure. When I started to go back to my seat, I met my brother and
my dad. They said they had just seen a television interview that featured a tall, blonde
player and they attempted to describe her to me to see if I could identify her. They were
really bad and I had no idea who they were referring to. They took me over to see her and
it was Elena Vesnina! I was really excited and asked her for an autograph and she said
sure. Elena was very kind as well.

I forgot to mention that the group of people sitting around us at the matches were very
kind and we were very lucky to have people like that surrounding us. One man even was
helping me take better pictures as he was like a pro. They had expressed a desire to see
Amelie Mauresmo, so when I found her practicing I went up to get them. Amelie was
hitting with Loic and seemed to be struggling. She was missing many shots and expressed
her anger a few times. It was a relatively short practice and before she left, I asked for an
autograph to which she said yes. Before, though, she sat down and drank a bottle of
water. She was obviously exhausted and I felt for her. She autographed a few things for
various people and we thanked her and wished her good luck in the night match vs.
Cibulkova. It was no surprise to me that she lost as her form was nothing like that of the
Amelie who won two GS.

After seeing Amelie, I restarted my search for Cibulkova. She was one of my favorites left
in the tournament and I really wanted to meet her before I left. After a long time
searching, she finally showed up on a practice court. I shyly walked over to where was
talking to a friend and her coach and asked for an autograph. She was very happy to sign
for me and gave me a huge smile the whole time she was signing. It was really nice to see
how kind of a person she was. As I walked back to meet my family, my little brother
became angered at the fact that I didn't get him an autograph from Dominika like he
wanted so he got my dad to take him back to get one from her. They told her the story,
which she thought was pretty funny, said "No worries" and signed for my brother. I got a
perfect shot of my brother walking away with Domi beaming from ear-to-ear at his desire
for an autograph. She also looked extrenely beautiful.

Before we left for the day, I wanted to try and get Lindsay Davenport's signature after her
match (of which my brother took great pics for those who want them). That's when the
scariest part of the whole day occured. They were clearing a pathway for people so the
players could get through and everyone was kind enough to follow directions...except one
lady who walked in right before Lindsay was to come through. When asked to step aside,
she went ballistic and said she was going to the stadium and tried to force her way through
(heading towards Lindsay) and when security tried to physically stopped her she started
hitting them back! What made it even more pathetic was that she had a little girl with her
who was witness to her mother's behavior. She eventually was stopped by a large security
guard before Lindsay came through. It turned out she had a press pass, but she was still
supposed to stop for the players, like everyone else. Lindsay, unaware of the
aforementioned drama, signed many autographs before walking by me and signing for the
girl next to me. Before she left I said, "Lindsay, please" and she turned back and signed
for me. It was very kind of her as the staff was telling her to keep moving. It's very
sentimental for me to get her autograph as she was the first player I ever saw playing in
the Wimbledon 1999 final vs. Graf. I became a huge fan afterwards until recently when
Golovin became my favorite. Szavay had left before Davenport and when I said, "Agi" she
looked at me but kept walking, where her sister joined her and put her arm around her big
sister. They walked off together like that. I must say I was really dissapointed with
Szavay's behavior throughout the day. She acted very rude to many fans, but I can
understand how she feels as a professional athlete, constantly being under the public eye.
Also, she was told to keep moving by the staff the last time I saw her, so I don't blame her
for not signing.

There's really so much more I would like to tell you all but I'm trying to keep this short.
Yes, yes I know, stop laughing. But seriously, this was a day I'll never forget. I knew that
it was going to be a fun day, but I really had no idea. There were so many memorable
events and I'm sure it's a day I'll remember for the rest of my life. :)

(BTW, I took around 100 good pics and as soon as I am able to get them up, I will. It will
be sometime within the next couple of weeks, but I really want to get them up for you
soon, as I'm proud of the pics I took. :))

Dav.
Apr 12th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Not sure why the paragraphs ended up looking like that! Sorry.

Dav.
Apr 13th, 2008, 12:08 AM
Here?s my review from Friday, QF day. Enjoy. :)
The day started for me at 6:00 AM when I woke up with excitement. I had spent the whole night thinking of how I was going to my first WTA event. Once the rest of my family woke up and got dressed, we left for the Amelia Island Plantation. It was about a 30 minute drive from our hotel, but it felt like 3 hours. Once we arrived at the resort (earlier than almost anyone else), we boarded the shuttle which would deliver us to the tournament site. First of all, I have to say that this is the most beautiful venue I think I
have ever seen. It's such a warm enviroment and the staff are as pleasant as they could be. When first entering the gates, three men came out of the members only area and saw me with my draw/schedule (:p) and walked over to talk to me. They asked about the up-coming matches and about who was left in the draw. The oldest of the group took my little brother aside and said, "Do you like NASCAR? Do you know Jeff Burton? Well, I'm his father." My brother, who didn't like Burton, politely smiled and walked away. :lol: The men thanked me for my help and went on.

We had arrived about an hour earlier than the first match so I toured the grounds with my mom, searching for players. I immeditely saw Jill Craybas and yelled, "Hey, Jill!" She turned around to see who was talking to her, saw me, gave a big smile and yelled, "Hey!!!" Later, I would see Bethanie Mattek walking but I was too nervous to say anything. I also saw Alona Bondarenko and her BF/coach and when I said "Alona?" (to wish her good luck) she put hewr head down, completely ignoring me, and walked on. Deciding that I probably wasn't going to see any more players, I took my seat in the Stadium Court for the Cornet/Razzano match. Razzano started so well and really looked to be in full control of the match, leading 4-1 in the first set. She was hitting the ball very
well and very deep. It was easy to tell that both ladies were at home on clay. After that point, something in Cornet went off and she completely raised her game. She now, was the one who was hitting the beautiful shots and it made for a few amazing rallies. She really took full control from that point and eventually won, 6-4, 6-2.

A few times during the match I went around to see if any new layers had entered the grounds. I saw Agnes Szavay's sister practicing with a coach, or her father, on the Grandstand Court and took a few pics. Stupidly at first, I thought it was Agnes and wished her good luck today. She returned the comment with a look of confusion and, probably thinking I was a creeper, looked away. I later saw many of the Spanish players practcing together with, I think, Ai Sugiyama. The person who looked like Ai was the
farthest away, so I couldn't tell. I did recognize Ruano Pascual (with her 42-year-old boyfriend) and Dominguez Lino. I took one pic of Virginia but the person I was with started to get impacient, so I left before I took any more pics. After leaving the Cornet/Razzano match again in the second set, I went to see "Agnes" practicing, still not realizing who she really was. Afterwards, I found Alona practicing with her coach, and I must say she looked amazingly good. If anyone didn't know, she has a huge tattoo on her
upper back, which is very appealing. I took a few pics, watched her hit the ball (and very well, I might add) and wished her luck against Maria when she came up next to me. She smiled and said, "Thanks" before I walked on. She seemed really nice, even if she ignored me before. ;)

A funny thing happened while I was looking for more players: I walked past a staff member who was "guarding" Mattek and Uhlirova while they practiced. I didn?t even notice the players and when the staff member saw me with my unautographed piece of paper he said, "There's two right here." I told him that I was too embarrased/shy to ask them myself and he did it for me. Bethanie was extremely kind and laughed when she saw how shy I was around her. We talked for a few minutes about her many outfits of the last few years and she told me that she was fined for wearing a cowboy hat during one of her matches at the USO a few years ago. I also told her that I had seen her famous Wimbledon outfit on TV a few years ago. She laughed and later told me that she had something planned for this year as well. I told her that I'll be looking for it and left, completely forgetting that Vladka was there. I later felt so bad that I went back when she was alone with a photographer and said that I had spaced out while talking to Bethanie and asked if
she would give me her autograph. She smiled and said sure. She was very warm and I really was glad I went back to get her signature. I next saw Davenport practicing with her husband, where Szavay's sister had been, and I took a few pics. Then I walked down to
the lower courts where the real Agnes was hitting with her coach. She was smiling when she looked over at me, so I smiled back. She then gave the same look of "WTF" that her sister had given me and walked to the back of the court. Is it wrong to smile in Hungary?
Just kidding.

There were a couple of men beside me who really wanted to see Lindsay so I told them where she was practicing and tried to give them simple directions to the court. They couldn't have followed them to save their lives so I had to walk them over to the courts.
One claimed to have taught Ashley Harkleroad when she was little and the other, a creeper, had some sort of mental issue. We arrived at the court, and the first man attampted to talk to Lindsay. She smiled at first, but when he said he knew Ashley and that she wanted to tell Lindsay hello, she turned around and acknowledged the man. The other man would not stop talking to me about getting autographs of players. He said that Ivanovic and Golovin were very kind to him last year, but Hantuchova was "rude" by saying maybe later and walking away. The first man used me to his advantage to escape the other and I eventually tried to get away from him, but to not avail. I again said, "Well, it was nice to meet you" and got out before he could respond. BTW, I later checked pics and no, he's not Mr. Bean.

After that interesting experience, I quickly took a pic of, I think, Voskoboeva practicing and hurried to the Stadium Court where Maria and Alona were about to enter. A score of fans lined up to see the superstar enter and to get autographs, but she signed none and every one went to their seats, dissapointed. My dad was offened by the fact that she didn't even acknowledge the fans. Little he knows. :lol:

The match itself was the best of the day and I was so grateful that I was there to see it. The first set started with Alona coming out firing and going up 3-0. Maria started to get into the match at that point and leveled the socre at 3-3. There were fe breaks, if any, after this and the tiebrake was very memorable. Both players were playing so well and the crowd was really appreciative. Maria held multiple set points and Alona had one before she finally closed out the set on her second. 7-6(9). At one point during the first set there were about 10, "Come on, Maria." So I, rooting for Alona, screamed, "Come on, Alona!" A large group of people around me laughed and one person a few rows in front of me said, "Good for you." Maria really raised the level of her game and finally closed out the match 6-7(9), 6-3, 6-2. Before the match ended, I walked outside to try to get Maria's signature again (as well as Alona's). I met a lady there who shared my opinion that Maria wasn't too kind to her fans. It turned out that she was the wife of an executive of Baush and Lomb, who joined her later. (We waited a long time together.) She told me about the party last year and how Davenport was extremely kind and made sure to sign for everyone there. She said that Golovin was also very sweet and a really wonderful lady. She signed autographs for those there as well. The lady told me that she didn?t drink or anything as she just wanted to talk to everyone. She asked all where they were from, etc. The lady
seemed to really have been impressed by Tatiana! Maria signed a few autographs after for a few girls and she was walking directly towards me so I said, "Maria, please?" She looked at me and started to stop, but decided against it and kept walking towards the
player area. Mary Joe Fernandez had walked by without me noticing her as I was talking to the lady, but she interrupted and said, "There's the commentator!" as I had expressed my desire to get her autograph earlier, but it was too late, she had already left through the corridor. It was really dissapointing not to have gotten her autograph as I'm a big fan. I did talk to the umpire, Lynn Welch though. She was actually really popular and signed
many autographs. When she walked by me I told her she was the best umpire on tour and she gave me a big smile, followed by a "Thank you."

After that very high quality match, I left to see Szavay and Davenport enter the court. Another large group of people tried to get their autographs but again failed as both players were fixated on the up-coming match. To be honest I watched none of this match as I was roaming the grounds trying to find players. I was told by my family that Szavay played really well and stayed with Davenport for the first set but wilted in the second to go down 5-1. She then started to go for her shots and somehow leveled the set. The tiebrake, though, was all Lindsay who closed out the match 6-4, 7-6(3). I saw Cibulkova a few times but I was so nervous and decided against talking to her, also for fear of being rude
when she was shopping. The next player I saw was Yung-Jan Chan who was practicing with her French coach on a back court. Her mom was sitting in a chair on an outside court and started to chat with her. I must say that she had to have been the nicest person I met
all day. We talked for around 30 min, or at least tried, as her English was not the best. :) She did give me a lot of information, though, and was a joy to talk to. She even gave me Chinese lessons. :lol: When I told her that I was a big fan of Chan she went and got her daughter and asked her to sign an autograph for me. She was an extremely sweet girl, but also very shy. When I sat back down her mom told me a bit more about Chan. She even told me about her English name, "Latisha," obviously not knowing its WTAWorld
famosity. She said that Asian players call her Yung-Jan while the Americans call her Latisha. It was a cute story and I was really glad I had met both of them. Before I left, though, she asked if I would like a picture with "Latisha" and of course I said yes.
Unfortunately she took it on my phone so I can't share it with you all. It was one of the best parts of the day, for sure. When I started to go back to my seat, I met my brother and my dad. They said they had just seen a television interview that featured a tall, blonde player and they attempted to describe her to me to see if I could identify her. They were really bad and I had no idea who they were referring to. They took me over to see her and
it was Elena Vesnina! I was really excited and asked her for an autograph and she said sure. Elena was very kind as well.

I forgot to mention that the group of people sitting around us at the matches were very kind and we were very lucky to have people like that surrounding us. One man even was helping me take better pictures as he was like a pro. They had expressed a desire to see
Amelie Mauresmo, so when I found her practicing I went up to get them. Amelie was hitting with Loic and seemed to be struggling. She was missing many shots and expressed her anger a few times. It was a relatively short practice and before she left, I asked for an
autograph to which she said yes. Before, though, she sat down and drank a bottle of water. She was obviously exhausted and I felt for her. She autographed a few things for various people and we thanked her and wished her good luck in the night match vs. Cibulkova. It was no surprise to me that she lost as her form was nothing like that of the Amelie who won two GS.

After seeing Amelie, I restarted my search for Cibulkova. She was one of my favorites left in the tournament and I really wanted to meet her before I left. After a long time searching, she finally showed up on a practice court. I shyly walked over to where was
talking to a friend and her coach and asked for an autograph. She was very happy to sign for me and gave me a huge smile the whole time she was signing. It was really nice to see how kind of a person she was. As I walked back to meet my family, my little brother became angered at the fact that I didn't get him an autograph from Dominika like he wanted so he got my dad to take him back to get one from her. They told her the story, which she thought was pretty funny, said "No worries" and signed for my brother. I got a perfect shot of my brother walking away with Domi beaming from ear-to-ear at his desire for an autograph. She also looked extrenely beautiful.

Before we left for the day, I wanted to try and get Lindsay Davenport's signature after her match (of which my brother took great pics for those who want them). That's when the scariest part of the whole day occured. They were clearing a pathway for people so the players could get through and everyone was kind enough to follow directions...except one lady who walked in right before Lindsay was to come through. When asked to step aside, she went ballistic and said she was going to the stadium and tried to force her way through (heading towards Lindsay) and when security tried to physically stopped her she started hitting them back! What made it even more pathetic was that she had a little girl with her
who was witness to her mother's behavior. She eventually was stopped by a large security guard before Lindsay came through. It turned out she had a press pass, but she was still supposed to stop for the players, like everyone else. Lindsay, unaware of the
aforementioned drama, signed many autographs before walking by me and signing for the girl next to me. Before she left I said, "Lindsay, please" and she turned back and signed for me. It was very kind of her as the staff was telling her to keep moving. It's very sentimental for me to get her autograph as she was the first player I ever saw playing in the Wimbledon 1999 final vs. Graf. I became a huge fan afterwards until recently when Golovin became my favorite. Szavay had left before Davenport and when I said, "Agi" she looked at me but kept walking, where her sister joined her and put her arm around her big sister. They walked off together like that. I must say I was really dissapointed with Szavay's behavior throughout the day. She acted very rude to many fans, but I can
understand how she feels as a professional athlete, constantly being under the public eye. Also, she was told to keep moving by the staff the last time I saw her, so I don't blame her
for not signing.

There's really so much more I would like to tell you all but I'm trying to keep this short. Yes, yes I know, stop laughing. But seriously, this was a day I'll never forget. I knew that it was going to be a fun day, but I really had no idea. There were so many memorable events and I'm sure it's a day I'll remember for the rest of my life. :)

(BTW, I took around 100 good pics and as soon as I am able to get them up, I will. It will be sometime within the next couple of weeks, but I really want to get them up for you soon, as I'm proud of the pics I took. :))
I fixed the paragraphs. :) (I can't edit.)

Uranium
Apr 13th, 2008, 12:11 AM
dear god, that's a lot:lol:

Dav.
Apr 13th, 2008, 12:23 AM
dear god, that's a lot:lol:
Yeah, I didn't want to leave out much. :lol:

Dav.
Apr 13th, 2008, 12:23 AM
dear god, that's a lot:lol:
Yeah, I didn't want to leave out much. :lol:

DutchieGirl
Apr 13th, 2008, 02:59 AM
:lol: Long report, but a great read. :yeah: