“The humid is very, very hard” – Rafael Nadal
He’s a wise man that, Rafa. Even wiser when the humid turns into full blown rain causing small lakes to form throughout the tournament grounds and miri to be soaked to the core. Because it wasn’t worth going back up 28 floors to get that umbrella in the morning, now was it? *sigh*
Anyway, despite the weather problems, it was a pretty fun day. It started off with meeting the lovely and nice Kate. We had breakfast and then took the bus over to the tournament. First on my agenda, was David Ferrer on the Grandstand. Kate agreed and off we went. David wins and I’m very happy. Towards the end of the match, I heard from Sapphireswell. We meet up, she give me my very expensive Rafa Foundation hat and we think…hmmm…might be time for someone to practice. So, off we go towards the practice courts.
As we were nearing the turn off the main pathway to court 10, I see Roig and Marc! I turn to the rest of the ladies, but didn’t want to shout, “LOOK! Roig and Marc!” So I made my best, “Hey, look that way” face and took off as fast as my fat little legs would allow. I was just two steps behind Marc! and didn’t accost him or anything. I’m rather proud of my self-restraint. As we pass another cross-road, Sapphireswell sees Rafa (and I hear security people saying, “No autographs, don’t block the path, keep moving”) and she runs on ahead (because she’s speedy) and finds a place as close to the fence on court 10 as possible. I catch up to her and try to squeeze in, but it’s already so crowded and there’s a rather tall man between me and Rafa. Again, my self-restraint was admirable, if not exactly conducive to good photo-taking or RafaDrooling.
We were on Marc!’s end of the court and he was looking all smiley and scruffy. I wanted to jump the fence and pinch his cheeks, but settled for a few photos. The guy between me and Rafa bent down for a moment when it started raining, so I risked drowning my new lens to catch a few shots of Rafa in…those shorts. *sigh* The rain really started coming down and the guys fled – they got in less than 10 minutes of hitting and even that was a bit sketchy because it was sprinkling the whole time. Sadly, I forgot to change my ISO for the weather and I think all my photos are blurry (still taking them off the card).
We thought we’d wait it out by the court a bit in case it let up and they came right back, but no. A downpour started. There was quite a while of wandering around looking for shelter and we all split up – each trying to figure out our own ways of dealing with the rain delay. After quite a long time during which I was soaked through (mmmm…wet socks in wet sneakers), they started clearing things up for play. Sapphireswell went into the main stadium for the Djokovic match and tweeted that the schedule had changed and Rafa would follow the match. I figured, no practice time then and went in to watch Nole stink up the whole stadium with a horrid display of tennis and a bad mood. I haven’t read the presser yet, so don’t know if anything was bothering him, but he just looked so out of it.
After Nole sucked up all the good light, we finally got RafaTime. Rafa looked fresh as a daisy and lemony bright. I saw no problems in the match at all except for some difficulty on picking up Dent’s serve. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see him convert EVERY break point chance. The match left me feeling good and confident about his chances. Rafa was definitely suffering from the humid a bit, though. His shirt change included an extensive drying off routine and he was very “glowy” all match.
Next up, the world’s worse smelling port-o-potty. It will haunt me for the rest of my days.
Lastly, caught the end of the Nalbandian/Troicki match. The guys were almost more amusing to watch for their body language, cursing and pouting over line calls. Nalby looked to be playing pretty well and it will be interesting to see what happens when he plays Rafa in the next round. By interesting, I hope I don’t mean nail-bitingly frustrating.
A quick selection of photos:
It’s 2:30 AM and I need to be up at 8 AM. I’m going to bed!