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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 09:15 AM   #706
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Haha ok then....the long story of the whole day coming up!!

I went along with Nick (waratahsrock).....we both were up and about in Melbourne pretty early (7am) infact I hadnt slept at all because I flew back into Melbourne that night. I got the paper and as usual it was filled with the usual media crap about a 'glamour final' etc and 'shrieky vs squeaky'....very little useful information but a couple of nice photos. After reading the paper and having a drink and being interrupted by some random weird German guy (who was keen to talk about his train trip to Sydney ) we went out to the shops with a couple of Canadian girls we met to waste some time.

When it got closer to lunch time the excitement was building and I sms'ed Andrew who was feeling the same way I dont know about Nick but I didnt really feel like lunch and didnt have anything to eat until after the match finished but we did find time during our walk along the river to RLA to squeeze in a couple of quiet bourbon and cokes in order to ease the nerves a little.

We each had a Russian flag and were looking for someone with face paint to brighten things up a bit but unlike the 07 final we couldnt find anyone and we gave up to go inside RLA and take our seats before the Australian Day ceremony...by now its getting pretty hectic (I tend to get pumped and nervous about big sporting events and this was one of the biggest). It was pretty warm (34'C or so) and we're happy to be in the shade for once becuase we were sweating enough from the anticipation . By the time Maria came on court my nails were getting a workout and we were trying to match the Serbian noise but werent getting a lot of help.

We were sitting in a fairly pro-Ana section of the crowd which was good in the end because the fat beer-drinking, peanut-eating guy next to me was silent from half way through the 2nd set we battled on and when Maria came back to take the 1st set after being in a little trouble at 4-5 00-30 we celebrated hard when it was locked away 7-5....from then on I was confident in Maria's ability to finish the match off strong! It wasnt until after breaking and serving at 4-3 that the nail biting again took over and I noticed I had a sore throat and was knackered but as is my standard for Maria matches I cannot leave my seat until the match is done and dusted (which almost killed me during the match vs Pin in 2007 ) Anyways when Maria held beautifully for 5-3 it was time as Ana threw in the towel and Masha broke. We were upstanding and 'Vamos'ing and high-fiving and generally celebrating like idiots but hopefully Maria noticed us...and the phone started going off

When she had finished the speech etc and walked with her trophy over to where Yuri and the guys were, we called out and stood up and Maria turned and lifted the trophy (see the pic in the photos thread) that was great

Overall I'd say the crowd would have been about 65/35 to Ana in the final....but they definitely appreciate Maria a lot more than in say 2005....and gave her a nice reception when lifting the trophy and making her speech. The atmosphere was good though a little quiet at the start. After the match we were trying to decide if we had actually just seen Maria win a Slam or not and on the way out of RLA (after passing on watching the mens doubles) we had a less than heated verbal exchange with a few Serbians but they accepted it well

A few more celebratory drinks and something to eat and the day was done....as well as a few sms's (one to a not so happy Ana fan AKA Langers ) That definitely ranks up there in my very top few sporting events ever attended!! We like to think we cheered Maria to victory but aside from calling out to her after the match there is little chance to congratulate her in person.

Next year I will physically come to Sydney and drag Andrew down there if he doesnt come...and anyone else that is able to get there....its such a great 2 weeks. Its not just the tennis either, theres plenty else to do afterwards.

We have now seen Maria in 2 slam finals for a 1-1 record Let me know if you want to know anything else?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:15 AM   #707
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Great story, Dan! I wish I can go to the USO this year. I've seen Maria win San Diego in 2006 and I know what you mean about celebrating like an idiot. Haha! Don't we all just enjoy that? I really want to witness her win in a slam though! It will probably take me to new cheering heights.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:18 AM   #708
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Great report Dan
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:21 AM   #709
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Graet report ! Good to know you had fun
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 01:53 PM   #710
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Dan great report mate!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 03:13 PM   #711
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Awesome report! I was at the final also(shitty seats up the back) but it was well worth it to see Maria take her first Aussie Open title!! I'll be going back next year to see if she can defend it.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:31 PM   #712
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Nice report Dan!
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #713
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Great report, Dan. thanks.

Did you find it easy to get final tickets and what sort of seats did you have? Getting tickets for the Wimbledon Final is just about impossible.

Also, did you carry andy signs or posters - or wear any special tee shirts? And what did Maria's play feel like in real life as compared to TV?
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #714
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Great report, Dan. thanks.

Did you find it easy to get final tickets and what sort of seats did you have? Getting tickets for the Wimbledon Final is just about impossible.

Also, did you carry andy signs or posters - or wear any special tee shirts? And what did Maria's play feel like in real life as compared to TV?
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #715
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xan View Post
Great report, Dan. thanks.

Did you find it easy to get final tickets and what sort of seats did you have? Getting tickets for the Wimbledon Final is just about impossible.

Also, did you carry andy signs or posters - or wear any special tee shirts? And what did Maria's play feel like in real life as compared to TV?
With 15000 seats it is quite easy to get tickets to the final....even the day before if you wanted to. We had good seats just above the concourse and looking down the court to one side.

This year we didnt have any special t-shirts but last year we did We just had a couple of Russian flags and those yellow 'LOVE IT' signs that you roll out When we went to the Maria v Davenport we wore colour coded shirts White for Jarrod, Red for me and Blue for Nick even tho Jarrod didnt cheer at all We surely must have been on TV during that match

Maria is great to watch in real life...especially from the front row. You see how much effort she is putting in and the pace and depth at which she hits as well as the variations she makes. You see things that you dont notice so much on TV (such as her preference to only take balls from the ballboys on the LH side etc). She is unbelievably consistant and can handle any pace which is a great talent to have. It was good to again feel the expectation of Maria to win most matches....that went away a little in 2007....it makes it more enjoyable. The best thing about being there is you can call out 'CMON MASHA' or 'VAAMMOOOSS' and be heard its easier to watch when you feel part of the match.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #716
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

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When we went to the Maria v Davenport we wore colour coded shirts White for Jarrod, Red for me and Blue for Nick even tho Jarrod didnt cheer at all We surely must have been on TV during that match
I think that i might have seen you on ESPN 2 . I'm not sure. I'm going to go back and look.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 11:37 PM   #717
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

great story, so you actually know people from wtaworld? cool
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 02:26 PM   #718
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan23 View Post
With 15000 seats it is quite easy to get tickets to the final....even the day before if you wanted to. We had good seats just above the concourse and looking down the court to one side.
You have it lucky there.

Quote:
This year we didnt have any special t-shirts but last year we did We just had a couple of Russian flags and those yellow 'LOVE IT' signs that you roll out When we went to the Maria v Davenport we wore colour coded shirts White for Jarrod, Red for me and Blue for Nick even tho Jarrod didnt cheer at all We surely must have been on TV during that match
I'll have to have another look at my recording. Luckily the BBC covered that match!

Quote:
Maria is great to watch in real life...especially from the front row. You see how much effort she is putting in and the pace and depth at which she hits as well as the variations she makes. You see things that you dont notice so much on TV (such as her preference to only take balls from the ballboys on the LH side etc). She is unbelievably consistant and can handle any pace which is a great talent to have. It was good to again feel the expectation of Maria to win most matches....that went away a little in 2007....it makes it more enjoyable. The best thing about being there is you can call out 'CMON MASHA' or 'VAAMMOOOSS' and be heard its easier to watch when you feel part of the match.
Yes. I hate not being able to do anything to affect the match that you get watching on TV. And you don't get such a feel for the pace of the play, and how fast the players move.

Someone will have to make up a chant for Maria fans like the one the Serbian supporters have (That "Come on Ana, Come on.")

One other question. Were you close to Yuri, Michael and the team?
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #719
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Thanks.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #720
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Re: Come on Dan23 give us the story...

Cool report,thanks for sharing.
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