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Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:58 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 is 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 feltTodd was a sure goner, but Mariano hit everything out. Okay i am being too hard on old Toddy, he actually looked & moved very well.

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, first set 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 with some man, or, er woman. 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 and pedestrian. 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.

WtaTour4Ever
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:10 AM
Nice Reports ...keep us posted.

BTW ...who is that in the picture, 2nd row, 2nd from the left, is that two women, or a woman and a man....

and what happened to Marats arm in the first pic :-)

Chance
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:14 AM
lol- the golden girls
thanks for the report Mark

Meesh
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:15 AM
When I saw your title Weds in Miami I thought another player got married or something.... I guess I need another cocktail.

Sarasota Open is the same way w/ the senior citizens being ushers. Didn't you get stuck at the kids zone last year?

LMAO at people wearing their tennis skirts etc... do they think Martina is going to ask them to hit with her or play doubles with her? :eek:

Thanks for the GREAT report, have fun tomorrow!

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:17 AM
Hey WtaTour4Ever
I have no idea if that is a man or woman. i kept seeing them all afternoon and was wondering. I think it is a guy. Isn't that Harkleroad next to him. Marat kept fidgeting and all my pics of him are blurry.

Jessi
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:20 AM
thanks and please post more pics of Marat if you can :drool::drool:

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:25 AM
Yeah Meesh I (had my ass parked in the stadium watching every single match)...Ooops, I mean, I was in the kids games section last year. From toddlers to geriatrics!

Jessie those were the best Marat pics I have. The others were so blurry from him jumping all over the place (okay I was trembling from standing so close to him as well).

walee
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:31 AM
Great report. Thanks! LMAO @ Golden Girls and spectator wearing tennis outfit :D .

Jessi
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:46 AM
lol Mark. I think i'd be pissing in my pants and drooling like an idiot that i wouldn't be able to take pics. So you did fine under the circumstances ;)

thanks again for the pics :wavey:

bis2806
Mar 20th, 2003, 03:15 AM
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, first set for Koubek.

Even Gambill said last week at Indian Wells that he loves South Beach, a popular place for gays ;) (trust me coz i've been there)
So therefore this reinforces the fact that Gambill is gay :D

Jessi
Mar 20th, 2003, 04:21 AM
Mark, i have a question: who is Marat talking to there in the pictures? Thanks! :)

1jackson2001
Mar 20th, 2003, 04:40 AM
Thanks for the pictures. :)

rated_next
Mar 20th, 2003, 04:43 AM
thanks :)

Rollo
Mar 20th, 2003, 05:04 AM
Hi Mark You will just happen to let us know when you have a Capriati sighting won't you :cool:

Can you tell us anything about this Loit match? Was she really booed or are we just talking about a couple of jerks heckling?

anton
Mar 20th, 2003, 05:15 AM
Even Gambill said last week at Indian Wells that he loves South Beach, a popular place for gays ;) (trust me coz i've been there)
So therefore this reinforces the fact that Gambill is gay :D

:rolleyes:

Mark snap a pic of Jan-Mike as he is holding up the trophy.

I may be coming to Miami next week. I have a photo shoot Monday so after that maybe... :D

Mark43
Mar 20th, 2003, 01:53 PM
Jessie I am not sure who Marat was talking to. It wasn't anyone famous. Usually it seems to be agents/friends/hangers on.

Rollo, of course I am all about the Capster...hopefully I will have something to report soon. I didn't see the Loit match yesterday. I think it was one of the first matches up and I didn't get to the park until around 1pm.

The heat rule was in effect yesterday, so that let's you know how hellish it was. Last year I was at the park for 10-14 hours each day, but it has just been too hot this year. Miami has had 11 new record temps in March, according to this mornings paper.

Gallofa
Mar 20th, 2003, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the report! Sounds like you were having some great fun! :D I love how you post your pics all in one!

Keep us updated on any more drama! (or on the tennis anyway :p)

jmp
Mar 20th, 2003, 05:41 PM
Thanks for the write up and the pictures. Your first hand account was informative and very entertaining.