Had to get up early since I wasn’t sure what time the bus was today. I think the Czech lady said 10:15 (yes, I understand times better in Czech than Catalan – sad, no?), but I wasn’t 100% sure. I wasn’t in the mood to go downstairs for breakfast (I hate eating alone in public), so I called room service. I asked if the lady who picked up spoke English. She said “Moment” and then put the phone down, called someone’s name out and then said something that sounded like “puta needs someone who speaks English.” Woohoo! Just woke up and someone’s already called me a bitch. That’s the way to start the day.
Anyway, go outside once I see a bus out front (I can see the street from my room) and see the crazy Czech lady talking to the nice Spanish lady who seems to be in charge of the tour. I head the other way and sit on a bench since neither bus has opened their doors yet. After the two ladies talk, the nice Spanish lady (who also speaks wonderful English – yay!) comes over and asks me why I got on the other bus and never ride the Spanish one. I told her about the confusion the first day and then said that I got on the bus I was told to get on last night. She asks who told me and I try to describe her, but honestly, all the tour ladies a skinny lovely people with long dark hair, so I wasn’t exactly sure who it was. I told her she was wearing the red coat and carrying the sign. I apologized and said the situation was probably even worse because I had an Armada scarf on. She laughed and got a look like, “well, that explains it” and said not to worry. Just make sure to ask for the Spanish bus going to my hotel. Allrighty! I can do that. I am proud to say I was on the correct bus both ways today.
We were supposed to leave at 10:15, but don’t get rolling until around 10:45. Then, for some reason, it takes quite a while to pick people up at the next hotel. This means we didn’t get to the stadium until Rafa and Ferrer were well into a practice session. I hurry down to the lower level, drop my bag on a chair, switch lenses and start shooting.
Rafa didn’t seem to be in a great mood, but not as grumpy as he’d look later. There were a few smiles and laughs happening too. I kept wondering how much partying he did last night. ;) He grabbed his back a few times so whatever is bugging him, it’s not going away easily. He was hitting with Ferrer and they weren’t smacking the ball too hard. Only towards the end to Rafa really fire a few shots and then grimaced at where they landed. There was a lot of greeting of people and tot kissing before both guys walked off the court.
In between the practice and the first match, I finally find @AnaTennisGirl in the stands. *waves*
Rafa came out looking grumpier than in the practice. Grump mode would only get worse as the match went along. He was still grabbing his back and someone from the sidelines handed Costa something. Costa opened up the little packet and gave Rafa a pill – which he promptly dropped onto the clay. He bent over, dusted it off and popped it into his mouth. Rafa’s a three second rule guy. Why am I not surprised?
You probably saw the match and know, well, there’s not a lot to talk about. Rafa started out hitting flat forehands, but was soon back to buggy-whips. That’s about all I have tennis-wise. It was a low-key affair – especially after the excitement of the last two days. In some ways, I kind of wish they’d skipped today’s matches. I mean, yeah, I got to see more Armada, but it would have been so perfect to have the high of the trophy ceremony after a spirited win instead of after 2 “just getting things done” matches. Or maybe I’d just caught Rafa’s grumpy mood.
Speaking of which, Rafa came out during Ferrer’s second set. He sat down, talked to Fernando a bit and was then handed a bag of stuff to sign by Roig – this had been going on all weekend – people constantly handing stuff to the Armada to sign, but Rafa especially. It looked like he sighed and started to dig in, when suddenly there were two ladies standing behind him asking for autographs. I’m not sure where they came from or why they thought they could approach the player’s bench to ask for autographs, but them doing it started a trend. Rafa looked, well, pissed. He and Nando were signing as more people came up. They got shooed away when the next game started and Rafa got up mid game and left – gesticulating all the way. I’m not sure if it was the autograph people or what that ticked him off, but he didn’t look happy at all. He didn’t come back out until the trophy ceremony.
And that trophy ceremony was all unicorns, puppies and rainbows. Sadly, everyone had their backs to me during most of it, but that’s okay – I could still feel the happiness welling up from the court.
Shortly after the guys got up on the platform, I saw Rafa turn to Costa and say something and then start to walk off. I was confused – why was he walking off? Costa stopped him and pulled him back into line and then turned to the side lines and yelled something while Rafa was making odd gestures. Turns out, those gestures were Mallorcan sign language for “David is missing his pants.“ The message was finally understood and a pair of red sweatpants were delivered for David to put on over his white shorts.
There was confetti, lots of it. At one point, Rafa got curious about the confetti machine and was giving it a look over. Costas’s tots had a lot of very cute interaction with Rafa and Feli. Oh hell, the whole thing was just cute as possible. It’s all just one big blur of cuteness in my head.
So, that’s my Davis Cup experience. I’m so glad I came. It’s very different from any other tournament I’ve been to – both in feel and in practicalities. You don’t get to see as much tennis as you could squeeze in at another event, but what you do get to see will likely be packed with emotion and, if they are on the team, feature your favorite players. All in all, I highly recommend it as an experience you are not going to forget.
And as a reward for anyone who read (or scrolled) this far…photos!