I think the natural forum name would be "Aravane's Caravan", but maybe that's cliche by now.
My name is Brent and I have been a tennis fan since *(#&%#*& (Haha, too old). Let's just say I used to be a big fan of "Chrissie".
I live in the U.S., in Florida, to be precise, and my favorite part of each year is the last week in March when I take my vacation and go to the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
I think the first time I ever saw Aravane was on TV in the match at RG in 2005 against Sharapova. I was (still am) a fan of Maria's at the time, but I could see Aravane had a lot of game and obvious other qualities in spades that superficial males like me often find appealing. A year later, I saw her match against Vaidisova at RG and how she was a great fighter, and I think that was when I started actively following her career. I especially liked how she was unique and different and had her own sense of style on and off the court.
When Aravane beat Maria in Istanbul in 2007, she officially became a fave, and it wasn't too long after that she ascended my rankings to #1. In 2009 I found out the night before Aravane's first match in Miami that she was playing the second match the next day, and immediately bought tickets and woke up at 4:00 the next morning to drive to Miami so I could see her play live (lost to Pavlyuchenkova after having 3MPs in 2nd set). I was crushed, but a few days later I saw a very beautiful and very brightly dressed young woman near the front gates and I did a doubletake when I passed her because I knew it was Aravane. I think she saw me turn around and stumble 'cause she giggled. Later that day, I was looking for photo ops on the practice courts and caught some of her practice. I asked her for an autograph and I think she was surprised that I knew her name. I wear my "Aravane" hat to all the tournaments now.
And I agree that Aravane is really sweet in person--she would have to be to pose for seven photos with
me. Elisse here at TF has told me stories about Aravane bringing presents to her friends at the various tournaments. I have no idea how those ugly stories got started, but they are obviously not true.
I hope that wasn't TMI.