DC final day: report & photos

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!

55 Responses

  1. Ch F says:

    Thanks a lot miri! Happy you enjoyed it! Have a safe trip back. Sad to read Rafa was in a bad mood. Hopefully it’s not an injury or some other problem distracting him. We want him healthy, fit, happy and determined for the new season!!!

  2. mary says:

    I have to go to work now, but I did read & saw the pics. Muchas gracias for taking us on your experience. Your pics are equal to some of the best pics I’ve seen floating around on the net. They come with feeling. Must fly, but will comment on them later.

  3. patzin says:

    Your photos have a unique perspective. Sounds like you had a great time. Davis Cup sounds to be a genuinely unique experience as a fan. What a great opportunity to go to Spain and see the boys play in the dirt.

  4. Atch2 says:

    R you kidding me Miri, if you has written a Phd thesis about your DC trip I would have read every word even if there were no coloured pictures :)

    And what’s with these beautiful guys and tots? They are not just the hottest looking DC Team, they are so Rafadorable, and Felidorable, Nanodorable, Fererrdorable.

    In my country we have a 5 second rule, which means that we either have stronger stomachs or we like to take risks.

    Glad to see you caught the standing shirt change and the 6-pack.

    I thought that Ferrer looked out of place with his white shorts, so I was so glad when he was putting them on during the ceremony, of all places. And sweet Rafa was going to get it for him.

    I have never seen a DC finals ceremony but last night was awesome. I grin the whole time. So much happiness in one place. Seeing Rafa so so happy made me want to burst into tears. I think after that ceremony, they ran out of confetti in Spain. It was coming down so thick and for so long I thought the salad bowl was going to fill up.

    FYI, I think Feli and Nando are getting a place together after this. LOL.

    Thanks miri. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

    • mary says:

      Atch2 we sometimes leave it more than 5 seconds. We’re just nuts!!!! Devil may care type people!!!! Or as you say just incredible tough stomachs.

    • Phyzzie says:

      Feli and Nando so definitely need to get a room. Supposedly Feli has had a long-standing girlfriend…. she must be very understanding!!

      • aRafaelite says:

        Sorry but Feli will have to wait – Fernando has a long-standing engagement with me ;)

        Anyone know why Rafa was so grumpy? Back pain, hangover, both?!

      • Eliana says:

        In defense of Nando, Feli is a really pretty boy. Just yesterday I was watching some Armada players photos and there’s a particular one were Feli totally looks like a beautiful woman. I felt so envious since I’m a woman and don’t look nearly as femenine as he looks in that photo!

        • aRafaelite says:

          I remember watching some ATP video clip where a player (can’t remember who, not Fer) was asked to comment on the current level of hotness amongst male tennis players and who he thought was the most attractive, and he said that a lot of the guys thought that Feli Lopez was gorgeous – lovely eyes, chestnut curls were mentioned I think! He really sounded like he meant it! I don’t get it myself but I thought it was very funny!

  5. teejustice says:

    Thanks again Miri! Great photos and great insight into the Davis Cup experience. Have a safe trip home!

  6. sia says:

    GREAT photos miri … thanks for sharing your DC experience with us. Will you stay in Spain for a few extra days or do you need to get back?

    • miri says:

      I go home Thursday morning. I’m off to enjoy Park Guell today!

      • dutchgirl says:

        Lucky you! That would the first place I’d go to if I’m in Barcelona. You will make great photos there, I’m sure.

        • miri says:

          It was going to be my first place to go, but I was tired and it was grey and cloudy out, so I went some place closer and less hilly. I spent all morning and a good chunk of the afternoon there today.

          • dutchgirl says:

            Well, you still have a couple of days left and I’m sure there’s lots of other beautiful places (I actually have been to Barcelona for one day, back when I was 17, but I can’t remember much more than feeding some pigeons…).

          • Dolcefuga says:

            Last summer we did the Fat Tire Bike Tour and it was so much fun.
            It was 4 hours of easy biking throught the city of BCN and fully guided, narrated and really fun way to see the city. The tour ended up on the beach for sangria and light snacks. It’s 22 euros and can be reserved online or just show up at the meeting place at Plaza Sant Jauma. Have fun and thanks for the posts and pictures.

            • miri says:

              Hahaha! No, really, it sounds like a lovely idea….but I haven’t been on a bicycle since I was in college and that was, uh, before Rafa was born.

              I have a sunburn. Yes. Only I can get a sunburn on a December vacation. (I also got a sunburn when I went to Ireland once!)

  7. Eliana says:

    Miri, thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us. Hope you had a great time, because me reading your “journals” was like being there with you!

    I was watching now the replay of Rafa’s match and have to say, got me a little worry because he looked like he was in pain during the match. I know he has said that as elite athletes they mostly play in pain, but we as spectators can almost never tell; during this match, we could. I just hope that he gets good treatment and take care of himself.

    Also, I get so mad when people are so inconsiderate! Going to the players’ box DURING a match to ask for an autograph, what’s that about?!?! During the DC semis Rafa had the same problem, and again, made him all mad. Not cool people, not cool.

    The photos are great!
    -I’m enamored with the Feli/Nando bromance. I think I would watch a show about that.
    -Rafa’s wedgies just make me happy :)
    -Costa’s 2 magic tricks in the 6th photo-NICE
    -Armada Española + niños make me have their kids so bad!
    -Rafa’s smile WILL bring World Peace

    THANK YOU MIRI!!!!!!!

    • killian says:

      Great response, Eliana—everything you say is SOOOOOOOO true! And thank YOU, Miri. Your photo titles have me on the FLOOR laughing. What a great gift you have for sharing your experience with us. THANK YOU!

    • Nic says:

      Hahaha right on!

    • Rafangel says:

      “Rafa’s wedgies just make me happy :)” – me too, bless his eager buttocks

  8. Necitas says:

    Nice one Miri! Your blogs and pictures got us closer to the real DC experience. Thanks a lot! It’s a breath of fresh air to see Rafa so relax and happy…and I’m so happy looking at him that way! I enjoyed most the pictures of Feli and Nando teasing around… great fun boys. Hayz, YES to HAPPINESS!!!:D

  9. CC says:

    I love it all so much!!! The story AND the photos. Rafa checking out the confetti machine is fantastically dorky and my favourite, for sure. He just doesn’t have a clue how sweet he is… ;)

    I thought that Rafa seemed a little subdued during the trophy ceremony as well, but I guess he’s normally pretty reserved. Well, compared to Feli and Nando, no?

    • Nic says:

      I loved seeing rafa attempt to bite the trophy many times but then backing off when it doesn’t work out or someone gets in the way haha. He’s like a little boy who can’t wait to do his favourite habit. Aaww what a cutie. He truly does not know how adorable and lovable he is. My phone screensaver is now a solo pic of rafa cheekily biting the trophy. What a load of awesomeness in one scene.

      • Ch F says:

        Haha yes I noticed that too! Before they lift the trophy, Rafa is trying to bite it, sort of approaches it, but then they all lift it up and he can’t do it! So funny!

    • Atch2 says:

      For the guy who has everything, I now know what to get Rafa for his next Birthday. A Confetti machine! He’s so facinated by it. Like you say CC, it’s Rafadorkable.

    • dutchgirl says:

      Haha, that’s my favourite as well. He’s so cute doing that. I can totally see my own son (12 years old) doing the same thing, always figuring out how things work.
      I hope Rafa keeps these boyish habits forever!

      Loved everything you’ve written about DC, miri, it’s great stuff to read. I can totally imagine it’s been a special experience, so much different from the usual tournaments.
      And thanks again for the pics, they are, as always, great! Like someone else said: your pics have a special perspective and I like it a lot!

  10. Emma says:

    Picture 27 – hi-fiving with the tot is cute. The storyline in my head goes:

    Tot: I want to marry you when I grow up
    Rafa: Deal
    *Rafa and Tot then hi-five to seal the deal*

  11. faeaki7 says:

    I hope he gets his back issues sorted out! I agree though Miri, unlike some other tennis fans I love the Davis cup and watching Rafa play at one must be the ultimate experience! so glad they one so easy this is just what Rafa needed just hope he gets himself fit again! great read, thanks for all the pics and updates you really put it together well! Keep up the good work!

  12. Nic says:

    Hey miri thanks for letting us live vicariously through your fantastic DC experience. It just helped make the weekend come to life. I’m so glad you had a great time, I could really hear your enthusiasm throughout all your daily reviews. Sounds like such an emotionally charged experience compared to everything else you’ve blogged on.

    Btw I burst out laughing so hard when I saw your ‘get a room’ caption above feli and nando’s pic haha. And I love the unicorns and puppies reference. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy for rafa :)

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday in BCN! I miss it so much. Such great memories I had just a few months ago. Make sure you check out sagrada familia – it’s magnificent. And Gaudi’s La Padrera. It’s gorgeous. Oh yeah and have fresh seafood and tapas at la broqeuria market. It’s cheap and fantastic. Happy birthday miri and thanks for the memories :)

  13. Rafangel says:

    Fantastic pics, miri, they are the best I’ve seen.

    “David is missing his pants.“ – Big British lol, loving that image! And flove Rafa’s shorts, which are just so informative ;-)

    Heh, and you think Feli and Nando need a room? Seems like Rafa and Charly Moya already took that advice: I got a great pic of them cuddling in bed looking really VERY happy :-)))) Shame Moyini couldn’t be there *sniff* anyone catch a glimpse of him anywhere?

    “Rafa’s smile WILL bring World Peace” – spot on, Eliana, and fortunately for him, that’s what he wants this Christmas :-) Merry Christmas, Rafa, and may we have some nudity to ice our Christmas cakes with, please? (Rafa naked on my fruit cake *yum*)

  14. CC says:

    Oh, I love the look on Fernando’s face in pic 10, like he’s thinking: “Dude, you seriously need to stay away from that tequila if it’s going to make you this pissy every time…” ;)

  15. An says:

    Yeah Miri, thanks for informing us and for all the wonderfull pictures.
    Trough youre blog and youre lenses i lived the experience that i so badly wanted but couldnt have for reasons the most off you know:)
    Loved it!

    And CC, LOL…
    I’m sure he’s thinking just that!;) Rafa and i might have had some sort off the same feeling yesterday with the only difference he had to play a tennismatch and i could hang on the couch the whole day…
    Poor Rafa!

    • CC says:

      Heh, yeah, I guess they went out last night as well, the boys. SO wish I could have been there! And SO Wish I’d woken up with hungover Rafa this morning… I’d even have put up with his morning after tequila breath. ;)

      • An says:

        Oh yes, i wanna wake up with hungover Rafa with morning after tequila breath evry time!!;)
        I would be verry sweet Rafa… taking care off evrything that bothers you, getting lots off water for you to drink and just hold you’re poor head till it stops spinning… After that we could take care off that grumpy mood, No?

  16. rafandready says:

    Great report Miri, that first paragraph made me laugh my head off! Poor Rafa being pestered by people for autographs, but the trouble is that it is so rare to get anywhere near him and everyone loves him so much…how can you resist?

    Love the photos too, it’s all brilliant and what a way for Rafa to end the year. Hope he has a good break over Christmas (from tournaments if not from the practice court), and here’s to a fab 2010. Vamos!

  17. somarem says:

    thank you miri for sharing your experience…

    love your pictures as always…

  18. Gottakeeprunning says:

    Loved reading your report – it was almost like being there, oh wait a minute – I was!! But your writing adds a whole new aspect! Your photos are fantastic Miri, they really are – and I love the captions that accompanied them.

  19. Holly says:

    I’m finally getting caught up enough to read…Miri thanks so much for the blog and the pics~ We really DO need to send you to all things Rafa!
    Lovely to read about it from someone that was there :)


  20. nereis says:

    Thanks a lot for your recap, it’s wonderful!!! And of course, the pics. I’m glad you had a great time :D

  21. Lil says:

    What a birthday present! Spoiled or what by the Chicos.
    Thank you for sharing with us your adventures. The pictures are great, back or front, with or without shirt on. Glad you remembered my spcial request for Feli and Daveed … what happenend to Berdych? ;-)