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?