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Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:47 AM
Today was my first day of volunteering as an usher for the box seats in the stadium. When I arrived at the tennis park I ran straight to the practice courts and there were El-Annoyui and Sebastian Grosjean having a nice sweaty hit in the sweltering South Florida humidity. El-Annoyui and Grosjean are such opposites; one's short, one's very tall, one is a scrapper, the other all power. They looked to be having fun and El-Annoyui always has a smile on his face. He is deceptively quick, with those long skinny legs. I got a few pics...see attached.

After watching El-Annoyui/Grosjean I ran to the other practice courts and low and behold, Marat Safin was just finishing up and he walked right passed me. He is v. v. tall. He only signs autographs while briskly moving forward. they all do, otherwise a crowd gathers and they are stuck. Then all of a sudden freaky Marcello Rios storms by and this 45 year old woman runs after him asking for his autograph. He is such a jerk. He flat out said NO! and kept walking. I was embarrassed for the woman who was chasing him, but she was laughing at the whole thing.

By 2pm it was time to report to the crowded volunteer tent. I got there and felt like a spring chicken. The average age of ushers in at least 70! How these older people can stand on their feet for 5 hours in the miami sun/heat/humidity is beyond me. I almost passed out and I do cardio every day. Eeek. They all seem very sweet but jeez, I felt like I was in an episode of the Golden Girls.

Okay, what is with the crazy a-hole spectators that show up to a f*cking tennis tournament wearing actual tennis clothes. Like, are they crazy? It is humiliating. There was one old broad in my section that was wearing the shortest tennis skirt (I think it was old Chris Evert Ellese from the mid eighties) and tennis tank and I swear I coulda died! Hello.

As for the matches. I started my shift as Todd Martin was huffing and puffing to a 6-4, 6-4 win over Mariano Zabelta. I swear Todd was a goner, but Mariano hit everything out. Okay I am being too hard on old Toddy, he actually looked & moved very well, grey hair and all.

Next up was Svetlana Kuznetsova & Virginia Ruano Pascual. I was semi excited to see Ruano Pascual, as I love her delicate slice backhand, but she played like she did not want to be there. Kuznetsova is someone to watch out for. Often times she was up 40-0 or 40-15 and she would let Virginia back into the game before finally closing it out. She hits a nice flat ball. Kuznetsova won 6-3 6-2, and it was pretty ho-hum.

Pretty boy Jean-Claude Van Gambill was up next in his black socks and shoes. He played Stefan Koubek and looked to be headed back to the bars in South Beach before you could bat a (heavily mascared) eyelash. 6-2 was the score for Koubek.

Luckily it was time for my break so i headed over to the practice courts and got a glimpse of all time great(est) Martina Navratilova practicing. MN looks absolutely amazing. Her body is f*cking timeless. She is fitter than Andre!

On my way back to the stadium I saw Ashley harkleroad hanging in the outdoor players lounge. Is she still in the tourney?

When i got back Jean-Claude had turned up the heat and it actually became a good match. Winners were flying off his racket left and right. Or is it right and left...I can't tell cause he is double handed on both sides. I think this impairs his progress up the rankings. If he is pulled wide he has to resort to a one handed forehand , and like Seles, it seems awkward. After several aces and a few volley winners Gambill won 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

It was my cue to hit the road. i could have stayed for the night matches but they didn't sound too exciting. Besides it was very hot and I think I was a little ripe after sweating like a pig all afternoon.

Tomorrow I work the night matches...Yay, Keifer and Kournikova. Chang's swansong.

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:51 AM
Oops. Here is a quick collage of my pics. I know it sucks but my camera has a limited zoom and I was all sticky from sunscreen and barely able to manipulate it. :)
:wavey:

Julian
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:51 AM
By 2pm it was time to report to the crowded volunteer tent. I got there and felt like a spring chicken. The average age of ushers in at least 70! How these older people can stand on their feet for 5 hours in the miami sun/heat/humidity is beyond me. I almost passed out and I do cardio every day. Eeek. They all seem very sweet but jeez, I felt like I was in an episode of the Golden Girls.

Okay, what is with the crazy a-hole spectators that show up to a f*cking tennis tournament wearing actual tennis clothes. Like, are they crazy? It is humiliating. There was one old broad in my section that was wearing the shortest tennis skirt (I think it was old Chris Evert Ellese from the mid eighties) and tennis tank and I swear I could died! Hello.

I was my cue to hit the road. i could have stayed for the night matches but they didn't sound too exciting. Besides it was very hot and I think I was a little ripe after sweating like a pig all afternoon.

Tomorrow I work the night matches...Yay Keifer and Kournikova. Chang's swansong.

LMAO! Hilarious comments. Must have been a great day ;) GRRR at Marcelo Rios..what else can you expect from him? lol But anyway what do you think of Sveta? Will she go far in this tourney? Also have fun tomorrow night, I would die to see those two matches!

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:57 AM
Julian, Sveta has solid groundies and she looked impressive but I think 4th round may be the furthest she can go. Of course I have no idea what her draw looks like. She played well bu Virginia did not, so it is hard to say. She has a very powerful forehand!

butch
Mar 20th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Thanks for the report. :) Hopefully you will see Amanda Coetzer as well... how I wish I could be in Miami right now... :drool:

Doris Loeffel
Mar 20th, 2003, 12:29 PM
Geee all these great reports make me want to be there too!!
But instead I have to sit in the office..

King Aaron
Mar 20th, 2003, 12:37 PM
Thanks a lot. :) Looks like you did have some fun besides sweating like a pig. Do you think Jelena can beat Sveta? By the way, was Marat showing you the finger? :o

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:57 PM
Yeah i think Sveta has a pretty good chance against Jelena, if they are playing next. Jelena always seems to have a tough time in Miami and she has not played well, of late.

omiGhad...That's why Marat's arm is all blurry, he was waving the finger at me!
Naughty!
;)

King Aaron
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:07 PM
Yes, Jelena is playing Sveta next. It would seem to be a Sveta victory because Jelena isn't playing well and Sveta is very much on form. I just hope Jelena pulls it together.

:o Ha! Now wonder it's blurry. ;)

lokon
Mar 20th, 2003, 05:08 PM
Mark what gate will you be ushering by...Ill stop by and chat if I get a chance. :D

Bella
Mar 20th, 2003, 07:56 PM
Your pictures are good! I was expecting them to be all blurry after what you said. Thanks for sharing and the report.

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 08:19 PM
Thanks Bella.

lokon I am not sure what gate I will be at. They change every night, but I was at 122 last night. It is in the stadium on the 100 level (box seats)! Hope to see you there. Quick shower and I am off. I hope I see Jen/Monica/Venus/Lindsay or Serena practicing!!!

Amin Lalani
Apr 11th, 2006, 08:09 AM
Maria, I wish you all the best for the upcoming tournaments.

No matter who wins or lose, we simply concern the best game comes from you. Avoid late night parties for fresh appearance at the court !! Cheers....Your Fan, Amin Lalani.