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Elisse
Feb 21st, 2009, 11:48 PM
Hi everyone!! :D

This was the first time I had ever been to Dubai and with all the controversy surrounding the tourney this year, I wanted to write a report to show you all what the tourney and Dubai was really like. (LOL brace yourselves...this is gonna be long!! hahahha :p :lol: )


Thursday - Saturday
After leaving a very snowy London, set out on my 6 hour flight to Dubai. I admit I had pre-concieved ideas about Dubai before I went there and all of them were totally wrong. Dubai is a very clean, modern city which feels incredibly safe to walk around, even for a single female. All the people I met were so friendly, respectful and I certainly didn't feel like a 'second class citizen' being female there. Spent the first two days going around Dubai...sight seeing but shopping mainly!! hahaha :drool: :hearts:

Sunday -
Ok, on to the tennis ;) The tournament is set at the Aviation Club, which is a really beautiful venue :hearts: Full of little bars and resturants surrounded by trees covered in fairy-lights, a little lake area and gardens. The main stadium is in the center, with 3 smaller side match courts, 2 practise courts open to the public and all the other practise courts kept private. I thought the venue would be big, but it's pretty small, very friendly atmosphere..and I have to say, one of my favorites of all the tournaments I have ever been to!!!! :worship: At the end of the 3 days..I think everyone at the whole tourney knew me by name! hahaha :lol: ;)

First match I saw was over on Court 1 - Pironkova v Kutuzova. The side courts only have seating at one end, so at midday it's not the best for taking photos as you are facing straight into the sun. Pironkova played very well, pretty solid win for her. I think they both were getting slightly irritated with the Umpire who kept saying the names wrong and getting the scores wrong too! :tape: (That was a problem at the whole tourney...I think all the matches on the outside courts had the wrong scores at some time hahaha :o ) Saw Chakvetadze watching this match from the back of the stands. After that match I went to Court 3 watched some of Bammer v Koryttseva, then heading back to Court 1 for Dushevina v Yan. By this time it was pretty hot, so I headed round to the practise courts to get a bit of shade.....saw Monica Niculescu hitting with Agnes Szavay, both girls looked very relaxed. Wandering around outside the courts was Richard Williams and his gf, slightly later saw Venus heading off to the massage rooms. On the other practise court was Anabel Medina Garrigues with her coach, hitting tons of balls, mainly seemed to be working on her serve...lol think she was a little pissed off with him at one stage, but she was all smiles again by the time she was leaving the court.

Finally got round to going onto the main stadium for the evening session - stadium is beautiful!!!!! :hearts: And on the main ground pass you can sit anywhere...only problem though, they don't allow photography on the main stadium, so no pics from any of the matches on there :sad: First match up was Kirilenko v Pavlychenkova.....Maria played a pretty bad match, wasn't great..most for the crowd still seemed to be on her side though, but dissapointing performance from Kirilenko. Next up was Vesnina v Na Li....once again first set was nothing special, looked like Na Li would win easily...so I left at the start of the second to go back to the hotel. LOL never realised that Vesnina would make a mammoth fightback to win the match!! hahahhahaha :eek:

Elisse
Feb 21st, 2009, 11:48 PM
Monday -
Another beautiful day in the Dubai sunshine :hearts: Started off at the practise courts for the Kid's Clinic being run by Cara Black and Liezel Huber. Both girls seemed to really enjoy their time with the kids...and though Liezel took most of the control (as usual hahaha :p ) Cara really looked like she was having fun, she looked very happy. The clinic lasted about an hour and by this time the weather was very hot :o On the practise courts was Jankovic wearing orange and black....she seemed to be there on her own, just practising her serve, no one else with her. Saw Alisa Kleybanova walking through the grounds..she seems like a really nice girl, she was chatting and laughing with the security :) I headed to the stadium to watch Aga Radwanska v Ula Radwanska...I stayed there for the first set but it was so hot, I decided to leave and go over to the slightly cooler Court 2 to watch Monica Niculescu v Shuai Peng (I know on the board it's been mentioned about the poor attendance on the main stadium, but that really wasn't true, there were loads of people in the grounds...but in the day I think most people were on the side courts because the stadium gets so hot :help: ) Both girls played well and even though Monica was winning, she was crying...stayed calmer than the last time I saw her though :lol: But she has a very interesting game..you never quite know that she is gonna do next. Stayed at the side courts for a while...saw some of Schiavone v Dellacqua, Cirstea v Cibulkova, Stosur v Rybarikova. After went for a walk around the grounds - got a copy of the official programme...big glossy magazine which was free! :eek: (At Wimby they'd charge you £9 for the privilage of having an official programme :rolleyes: ) Sponsor stands.....Adidas, Barclays, Nintendo Wii, Dubai Duty Free (lol...I loveeeeeeeeeee Dubai Duty Free....as they say in the ads hahahahhaa :p :lol: ) and a stand giving out free packets of cigarettes :eek: LMAO.....so nice to see healthy lifestyles being promoted at a tennis tourney! :lol: ;) Headed back over to the practise courts to watch Akgul Amanmuradova and her dubs partner Chia-Jung Chuang - they were both working pretty hard but also a lot of laughing, I think they make a great dubs team :)

Stayed again for the evening session....Medina Garrigues v Klepac..very straight forward win for Anabel. The onto stadium for Ivanovic v Kleybanova. Tonight there was a huge crowd on the stadium...pretty noisey and all wanting to be involved in the match :lol: Though there was a lot of people cheering for Ana (mostly teenage boys lol ) I was really surprised by how many people were cheering for Alisa though...in fact, the majority seemed to be on her side hahahahaha :devil: It was a pretty funny match....with mocking shouts of 'Adje' and laughter coming from the 'cheap seats' :lol: At the end of the match, even though she lost, Alisa got a far bigger cheer than Ana...and believe me..Alisa sure knows how to work the crowd, she really looked like she enjoyed the whole atmosphere and the fact that so many people were supporting her :worship: (All of the tournament staff were cheering for Alisa too LMAO) Next up was Sania Mirza v Ekaterina Makarova - Sania seems to be the biggest crowd draw here, with most people coming just to see her...honestly, Sania wasn't playing her best so I don't think she really deserved all the cheers and admiration she was getting from the crowd, so I left and went back to the hotel.

Elisse
Feb 21st, 2009, 11:50 PM
Tuesday -
My last day at the tennis and in Dubai :sad: Another beautiful but VERY hot day in at the Aviation Club. Started my day over at the practise courts watching Akgul and Chuang, then headed over to the stadium for Jankovic v Niculescu. Today was kids day so it was very busy with loads of kids running around...lol big problems for the officials trying to keep them in their seats during play :lol: Then after that match headed over to Court 3 for Schiavone v Bartoli. There was loads of players around the grounds today......Kirilenko walking through the resturant area, Stubbsy and Sam at the practice courts, Poutchek and Nastya Rodionova also at the practice courts. Tammy Tanasugarn walking through the gardens. Errani heading to the massage rooms. Domi Cibulkova watching some tennis whilst she waited for her match. At 2pm went to Court 6 to watch Amanmuradova/Chuang doubles match - once again, the Umpire got the scores wrong :o (nothing different there then :lol: ) Great match from Akgul and Chuang!! They really worked well together, seemed to have a lot of confidence in their game and didn't seem in any doubt about winning. Watching the match was Tatiana Poutchek, Nastya and Arina Rodionova. After went for a walk again around the grounds, chatted to loads of people as usual...and ended my day watching Medina Garrigues/Schiavone v Poutchek/Rodionova.


btw - People at the grounds were talking about the whole Peer/Visa controversy and I have to say, everyone that I spoke to thought she should have been given the visa and that it was the WTA to blame for the whole incident, that it was their fault for not taking more care with securing her visa before hand. And though there were reports online about people boycotting the tournament if she had played there....I really don't think that was true for one minute. This is such a friendly tournament, I really think she would have had a lot of support in the grounds if she had played here :worship:

All in all, I had a really fantastic time in Dubai and at the Aviation Club, such a beautiful little tournament with a great atmophere!!!! :hearts: Sadly, I was told that the venue will change next year to the new Dubai Stadium on the other side of the Creek so it will be very different, much bigger facilities and grounds which is a such a shame as this venue seems to be loved by everyone who attends the tournament. But anyway, I really loved this tourney so much...and wherever it will be held in Dubai next year......I'll definatley be going back again!!! :worship:

Hope you all enjoyed reading my report (yeah sorry, I know it was very long hahahaha :o ) I'll try post some photos from the tournament for you all tomorrow!!! :)


:wavey:

HRHoliviasmith
Feb 21st, 2009, 11:55 PM
thnks. look frwrd to the pics.

cogent53
Feb 22nd, 2009, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the report. Sounds interesting. Can I be cheeky and ask if it was expensive to get into the tournament?

NeeemZ
Feb 22nd, 2009, 04:17 AM
Thanks Elisse! I really enjoyed that! :)

stefi62
Feb 22nd, 2009, 07:23 AM
Thanks for the great reports Elisse! ;)

TheBoiledEgg
Feb 22nd, 2009, 07:28 AM
aweseom report Elisse ;) :)
sounds like you had a great time.

pretty sure this location would still hold the ITF event.

kinseh
Feb 22nd, 2009, 07:42 AM
Awesome report, thanks! :D Dubai does indeed sound like a nice tournament.
How hot was it over there?

Ballbasher
Feb 22nd, 2009, 08:42 AM
Thank you a lot :D :worship:
I really hope Dubai will stay! :)

galadriel
Feb 22nd, 2009, 09:06 AM
Thank you :hug:

LegionArgentina
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the report.
Why pictures wasnt allowed on main stadium ?

pollison
Feb 22nd, 2009, 12:00 PM
wow effort...good work

nevetssllim
Feb 22nd, 2009, 12:45 PM
Sounds as though you had a brilliant time. Thanks for the report!

dreylau
Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:32 PM
thanks you very much!

Petkorazzi
Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:36 PM
Thanks :worship:

Exotika
Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:42 PM
Great report :cool:
I attended the tournement in 2007 and had an amazing time there too! ;)

Ellen Dawson
Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:49 PM
Thanks for taking us there. Enjoyed your info. :)

joeygoal
Feb 22nd, 2009, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the report.
I attended one night session in the quarterfinals (Venus vs. Dementieva and Serena vs. Ana) and was able to take photos no problem.

esdee
Feb 22nd, 2009, 05:52 PM
Stayed again for the evening session....Medina Garrigues v Klepac..very straight forward win for Anabel. The onto stadium for Ivanovic v Kleybanova. Tonight there was a huge crowd on the stadium...pretty noisey and all wanting to be involved in the match :lol: Though there was a lot of people cheering for Ana (mostly teenage boys lol ) I was really surprised by how many people were cheering for Alisa though...in fact, the majority seemed to be on her side hahahahaha :devil: It was a pretty funny match....with mocking shouts of 'Adje' and laughter coming from the 'cheap seats' :lol: At the end of the match, even though she lost, Alisa got a far bigger cheer than Ana...and believe me..Alisa sure knows how to work the crowd, she really looked like she enjoyed the whole atmosphere and the fact that so many people were supporting her :worship: (All of the tournament staff were cheering for Alisa too LMAO) Next up was Sania Mirza v Ekaterina Makarova - Sania seems to be the biggest crowd draw here, with most people coming just to see her...honestly, Sania wasn't playing her best so I don't think she really deserved all the cheers and admiration she was getting from the crowd, so I left and went back to the hotel.

Anyone we might know sitting in those seats?!:devil::devil::lol::lol:

Fab report Elisse, glad you had a super time in DXB.:wavey:

Ciarán
Feb 22nd, 2009, 10:31 PM
Thanks :D
Look forward to pics :yeah:

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:42 PM
Thanks for all your lovely replies and for taking the time to read my longgggggggggg report :kiss: :worship:

Ok, to answer the questions....

Can I be cheeky and ask if it was expensive to get into the tournament?

Tickets were pretty cheap - for the Sunday tickets were 30Dhs which works out to approx. £5.50 - that covers all courts and the night and day session....so very good value for money! :hearts: Monday I think they were 40 Dhs (£7.50) Tuesday 50Dhs (£9.50) :)

How hot was it over there?

Not totally sure of the exact temperature - but it was around 32 degrees/90 farenheit. On the side courts it didn't seem as hot because there was a little breeze, but on the main stadium it was baking hot, didn't seem to get any breeze on there. Even the local people I spoke to were all saying it was especially hot for this time of year.

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:43 PM
Why pictures wasnt allowed on main stadium ?

I have no idea, but on the first day they were even stopping people taking pics on the side courts too :help:I think I got stopped by security about 5 times on the first day - but each time when they contacted the main office, they said it was fine to take pics on the side courts, but not on the stadium. Never seen that before at any tournament :tape: They definately were stopping people using cameras on the main stadium...actually I even spoke to the assistant tourney director to get permission...she said that it would be fine as far as the tournament is concerned, but she said it was the WTA that wouldn't allow it. I did try :o

They also said video cameras were banned :tape:

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:46 PM
Anyone we might know sitting in those seats?!:devil::devil::lol::lol:


LOL hahhahahahhaa :lol: :devil:

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:55 PM
Sybille Bammer

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/9091/img9383.jpg

Katya Bondarenko

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/9284/img9726.jpg

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:56 PM
Viktoriya Kutuzova

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5703/img9308.jpg

Tsvetana Pironkova

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/7566/img9353.jpg

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:56 PM
Chia-Jung Chuang

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/6590/img0142.jpg

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/4481/img0226v.jpg

Elisse
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:58 PM
Akgul Amanmuradova

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/7180/img9935.jpg

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/7469/img9803.jpg

Elisse
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:00 AM
Agnes Szavay

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/323/img9394.jpg

Vera Dushevina

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8782/img9435.jpg

Elisse
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:03 AM
Cara Black and Liezel Huber

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8814/img9589.jpg

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1001/img9596.jpg

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/4176/img9612.jpg

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5382/img9637.jpg

Elisse
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:07 AM
Anabel Medina Garrigues

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1205/img9475.jpg

Shuai Peng

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/4669/img9689.jpg

HRHoliviasmith
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:07 AM
what camera do you use?

Elisse
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:09 AM
Monica Niculescu

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/8268/img9699.jpg

Jelena Jankovic

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/3328/img9646.jpg

Elisse
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:10 AM
Hope you all like the photos!!! :D I'll try and post some more tomorrow!! :wavey:

Elisse
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:12 AM
what camera do you use?

I use a Canon EOS 400D :hearts: :drool:

isabellea
Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the report and the pics

InsideOut.
Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:58 PM
Thanks. :) The Dubai crowd obviously likes chickens. :o

Calypso
Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the report Elisse, looks like you had a brilliant time!

I really loved Dubai when I visited, though when I was there (June) it was scorching hot, 42C/133F :eek:! Thanks again for the pics and report.

Sonja
Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:43 PM
Thanks Elisa for sharing your report and photos with us!