My Report of the Ordina Open:
June 21, 2003
From the first minute, till the last minute, I had a fantastic day… I arrived at 10 am (while the matches started at 12 pm). Nicole (the one who came with me to visit the tourney) and I walked to the practicing courts, and the first player we saw was Justine Henin. I start to speak to two other girls, who did had lots of autographs, and they told me that they did forget their camera, I promised them that I would send them some photo’s if they would give me their address.
But because Justine did only practice and we couldn’t get an autograph at that moment we walked away and went to the training of Pierce and Petrova. But at that moment we saw that Justine stopped her practice, and was giving some autographs, but Nicole and I were too late. We walked to Justine, who was walking to the dressing-room to get ready for the match, and happily she did give us an autograph then!
After that Nicole and I were just talking, and we saw someone made a picture a few meters away of us, and we saw the guy who made the pic, was making a pic of Raemon Sluiter. We walked to Raemon and asked him for an autograph, he did give one, and then I came with my question: ‘Can I be on the pic with you Raemon?’ Happily Raemon said yes, and I gave my camera to Nicole, to make a picture. But Nicole had some nerves, and it take about a minute to make the pic, and Raemon was laughing about Nicole. Then I made a picture of Nicole and Raemon. When I saw the two girls (I met during the practice of Henin) walking, I said to them: Go to Raemon, and I’ll make a pic of you with him.
Just before we went to see the center court, we saw Nadia Petrova walking. I forgot to ask if I could be on a photo with her, but I asked her for an autograph. She was one of the friendliest players I met yesterday!
At 12 pm the matches started. I was very happy that Kim and Justine were in the final, because it has been a dream for me for a few years now to see them (especially Kim!). The matches started great, Kim was playing quiet good, and did take a break, but Justine was better when Kim was leading, and she did take the set in the tie-break! Then the second set started, Kim did take the lead with 2-0 when Justine did ask for an injury-break (what is the English name????). After it they played another game, and when Kim was leading 3-0 in the second set Justine did stop with the match, because of her ‘finger- injury’.
After the match Nicole and I did run downstairs to see if we could get an autograph of Kim, and I had to give Kim the letter Nath (Thalle on wtaworld) did write. It was really busy there; lots of people did want to have an autograph. I was waiting near the little ‘car’ which would drive Kim away of the court. And when she was in the car I did give her the letter and said: ‘this is a letter from a friend of me from Denmark!’ And Kim said: ‘Thank you’. Then I asked her for an autograph, I was one of the last people who did get one, Nicole was the last one!
We walked pack to our places, to watch the match of Sjeng Schalken and Raemon Sluiter. I was cheering for Raemon Sluiter, because since that morning, when he did want to be on a photo with me, I became a little bit a fan! But no, Sjeng Schalken, the best Dutch player had to win! This time we did not walk downstairs to get an autograph, because we already had one of Sluiter. After it the match of Clement against Vacek did start. All people were very quiet during that match. Because they were just waiting for the double match with Martin Verkerk and Raemon Sluiter. I did hate that it was quiet, these players did also deserved to have some applause etc. Usually I’m very shy, but at that moment I did do something what I’ll never repeat. On a very quiet moment, I called very loud: ‘Come on Arnaud!!!!’ Nicole did look at me and said: ‘What are you doing? This is not how I know you!’ Happily Arnaud did win that game, and he did win the match. Nicole and I walked downstairs, to get an autograph of Clement, but he was in a bad mood, and did nobody give an autograph. I think there was something wrong with him, because the on who would drive Arnaud away of the court had to drive very carefully!
And then the last match on center court did start. Martin Verkerk and Raemon Sluiter would play against Donald Johnson and Leander Paes. Off course everybody was cheering for the Dutch guys. But I did like Johnson and Paes too, because they made some great jokes. (Difficult to explain, but it’s great when you see it yourself.) And as expected did Johnson and Paes win, but it was a great match, and especially the second set did the Dutch guy play quiet well.
After the match everybody did jump up, and did ‘run’ downstairs, because everybody did want to have an autograph. Happily Martin did give us one. The two girls (I met during the practice of Justine) asked me if I did want to take a pic when they were standing close to Verkerk, and then asked Verkerk if they could be on the pic with him. Verkerk said: ‘Wait a minute.’ And we were waiting, walking very close to Verkerk, because we did really want to have the picture. I lose Nicole at that moment, because there were people everywhere, but happily Nicole did find me again. After ten minutes (we talked a bit to Verkerk and Sluiter) some people of the tournament said: ‘Verkerk and Sluiter will stay here, at this places, one by one, you can come to stand between them, and then you can make a picture. Because I was talking with them a bit already, I was the first one who was on the pic with them! (That was really great, if the photo looks good I’ll scan it, and show it to you). Off course I made also a pic of the two girls with Raemon and Martin, and of Nicole with the players.
And then the day was over…, we had to travel home and I had one of the best days of my live. Now I can’t wait when I’ll see the photos… I’ll see them tomorrow. Just one day to wait