Miami: Day one

“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!

35 Responses

  1. jba says:

    i love how the raindrops in pic 6 make the picture so artsy. not really keen on his ‘re-use’ of the waffle shorts but at least they’re just for practice now. i like his outfit for game play but isn’t that supposed to be what he’s going to wear at RG?

  2. CC says:

    Wow, your self restraint IS admirable, miri. ;)

    Thank you for photos. My thoughts:
    1. Marc! looks almost…almost a little bit hot with that scruff going on.
    2. Yay to Rafa’s brown shorts still being there. I still love them.
    3. Nay to Rafa’s new outfit. I can only think “wishy-washy” when I see that ensemble. Don’t like the blue with that yellow, don’t like the shorts with that tee, don’t like the shoes with the rest.

    So Rafa didn’t offer to protect you from the rain, towel you off and keep you comfortable, miri? Poor form, Rafa. Poor form. :D

    • An says:

      Ah, glad to see i’m still not alone in the fan off “the shorts” club!
      I was typing my comment when you posted yours CC, hihi!

    • Nic says:

      CC I gotta agree, Marc! looks kinda hot when scruffy and especially in that pic! Methinks rafa has the best looking entourage in the ATP :)

      • Atch2 says:

        True true. Male dominated too, except when Mama Nadal, Sis and Xisca come along, and they are good looking too.

  3. faeaki7 says:

    Like yellow but the blue shoes reminding me of djokos smurf get up!!! woooried about Nalby especially if he is playing well he is a nightmare opponent for Rafa!!! hold strong RafaI haven’t seen you play yet!!

  4. An says:

    I absolutly love pic 6! Obviously because its Rafa but also because its a verry lovely composition, background dark grey, the rain drops and the only colour brought to it is the subject…. Verry nice!

    Oh, glad to see the shorts still there. Absolutly regret it that they went after one tourney, love them still and i would have loved to see him wear it longer with a plane withe or orange shirt. Well at least BF liked them too and i order the brown version for him…… Verry curious what they look and feel like in flesh;)

  5. A_Gallivant says:

    Great report and lovely pics. Sweet deal staying at one of the hotels with a shuttle. Can’t wait for me. Hope you get some Feli/Nando action as well.

  6. Serene says:

    Thanks very much, miri for sharing with us the details of your Rafa encounters. Read them over and over again. Glad you were there to support Rafa as we could only see the scoreboard this morning (the match was about 7am Sat morning in Singapore)and there was no livestream.

    Did Rafa receive a lot of love and support during the match as Dent should be supported by the home crowd.

    Really appreciate reading your report and looking forward to more on Rafa. Thanks again.

  7. shuis says:

    Thank you, miri. Your report and pictures are great!
    Enjoy the tournament and VAMOS Rafa, make us happy once and for all, bite that trophy!

  8. Atch2 says:

    Rafatime is good, rain or shine. Luv him in brights.

    Pray for dry weather so your sneakers can dry out for tomorrow’s matches Miri.

    Hope you are only teasing us and you have a whole series of photos of Rafa’s shirt changes and towelling yet to show us.

  9. SpanishRNfan says:

    Thank you very much for the great report and photos, Miri!

    Your hard work and tireless dedication to Rafa is really appreciated! :)

  10. Nic says:

    LOL to those crazy brown checked shorts making a reappearance at the practice courts. Thought they’d be gone forever haha. I did kinda like them initially but got really exhausted watchin rafa play in them towards the end. Just too much going on for my eyes. On the other hand, a little disappointed with the combo this time. Love love love the yellow tee, it’s a great lemony shade on rafa, but the shorts are so grandpa pyjamas. Couldn’t they keep it a bit more simple? Sigh. Also, similar colour matchup to his USO’09 combo, where’s the imagination. But yea, they can get pretty carried away too so maybe I should just be satisfied with this. Ok ok enough talk bout how he looks (I could go on for ages about his gorgeousness), just ‘appy for the victory yay!! Luv you Rafa.

    Thanks for the report Miri as always, and for the pics! Btw, doesn’t Nole’s bum look pretty nice in that shot? :D

    • CC says:

      More like grandma’s kitchen towel, than grandpa’s pyjamas. I don’t know why I’m not keen. :)

      • CC says:

        Oh, and the fit of the shorts is baggy and awful, from the little I’ve seen.
        So, to sum up: major Nike fail = Rafa has to play naked.

        • Atch2 says:

          An extreme but logical answer Nike’s failure (even though I like the outfit, your suggestions sounds interesting).

    • Eliana says:

      “Btw, doesn’t Nole’s bum look pretty nice in that shot? :D”
      Hey Nic I was thinking the same thing :P

  11. tiemyshoe says:

    Hee hee, Rafa’s humid is hard comment always cracks me up. Lovely to see your blog, even though I know you must be writing it late at night and exhausted!

    Still can’t believe Djokovic got bounced by the “Belgian hobbit” (tm CNote)- it’s a day of triumph for hobbit-y players everywhere, in the land of Freaky Talls.

    I’m shocked that Marc! looks older than 12 in that photo. Hubba hubba.

  12. Eliana says:

    Thanks Miri for this entry! I think Rafa put on those pants to piss you off…I’m surprised that he’s still wearing them after he commented in one of the pressers that he wasn’t to keen of them.

    Love Rafa’s leg glistening in pic 10! Don’t know why but find it extremely hot.

    The new getup-Rafa looks great in vibrant yellow, and I really like the yellow-blue combination. The pants, eh, maybe more suitable for sleepytime that for playtime. Love the shoes but not with those clothes. Maybe I’m in the minority, sue me!! I live in a tropical island as Rafa does so I always favor bright color combinations!!!

  13. raulla says:

    Great, great site! Congratulations Miri! It’s one of the best Rafa’s site.
    Rafa is my favourite player. He’s the best competitor and the most humble guy out there. Plus he’s sexy and sweet and adorable all the time. Vamos Rafa! Good luck in Miami!

  14. Zooni says:

    Thanks for this Miri, always appreciated!

    I *love* the yellow/blue combo he’s got on for Miami, he works it like no man’s business from the pics I’ve seen. Also love the shoes. I salivate over those shoes. Is that weird? LOL.

  15. SallyO says:

    Rafa is hot as hell. Rafa in that outfit is hot as hell.

    Period.

  16. Phyzzie says:

    I don’t know where to ask this but – now that both Murray and Nole are out where does that leave Rafa as far as gaining points on those two? Can he retake either #3 or 2 at this tournament??

    • Zooni says:

      I think already he’s back up to 3 and a significant margin. If he wins Miami, he’ll be only 10 points behind Novak. Number 2 is there for the taking really, the way the other guys have been playing recently.

      • Phyzzie says:

        Thank you. I thought that he would take back 3 as he didn’t have that many points to go. The important thing is to regain his calm…..

  17. mary says:

    Hey guys just taking the liberty to remind us of his greatness with all his current stats & of course there is a little vid to the right of a quick interview
    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Rafael-Nadal.aspx?t=mr

  18. espigolpluma says:

    Thanks for the first hand report Miri!

  19. Kathy says:

    Rafa looks wonderful,like a ray of sunshine and love his kit.
    Um…pic 12 of Nalby–that IS a ball in his left pocket, right? I hope Rafa can kick some Nalby butt tomorrow.

  20. miri says:

    Finally got up my photos from day 1. It’s a lot, but this was culled down from the, uh, 1200 I took. Here ya go.

    • Nana says:

      Great pix as usual! A nice distraction from the knee for me, ~phew~

      BTW, the waffle cone-giraffe shorts feel like a lifetime ago. How tennis time flies!

      What’s rafa gonna wear for the red clay?

    • CC says:

      Ah, the Rafa towelling off series would look so good framed on our bathroom wall. And the wiping pit before wiping face comment cracked me up. Rafa loves the smell of himself, I’m sure. ;)
      Roig scratching his pasty thigh is another highlight, although not quite as exciting.

    • Alix says:

      “He always looks so goofy happy during this that I get carried away with the photos”

      No, Miri, you didn’t get carried away with the photos :)
      That is always a special moment when he has just won and gets to thank the audience.

      He said he loves the crowds in Miami. I think you really captured the appreciation he has for the audience.

      I’m happy to be carried away by these kind of pics. Many thanks for sharing!

    • tiemyshoe says:

      So great! I love that ‘goofy happy’ series. He really cares about someone catching that ball, doesn’t he?

      Looking forward to the rest!

      • CC says:

        Yeah, his expression in those photos is kind of childishly joyful. Shows how he truly enjoys being where he is and doing what he does. :)