So there we are – with our usual terrific luck. We have tickets for the PNC Bank’s Hospitality Suite – which means courtside seats, food, uncrowded bathrooms, simpatico folk, special parking – and it’s the best line up of the entire tournament! We had given our series tickets and parking to Diane’s nephew, soon to leave for college.
Actually, the best line up I’ve ever seen at this tournament. The top 5 players in the world in matches one right after the other, from 11 a m until 9 or 10 p m. Lots of other good singles and doubles play, too. My guy, Roger Federer, will play at 1, and Diane’s guy, Rafael Nadal will play near the end of the day session – maybe 5 p m. Actually there was rain just for a few minutes a couple of times – so the day session folk ran into the evening session folk. Gridlock everywhere – parking lot, food court, seats to watch matches, just trying to walk around. The day session ended about 7:30, the night session started about an hour later – should have begun at 7.
The Novak Djokovic match against Ivan Ljubicic (we had watched Ivan practice with Roger the day before) showed clearly that the Djoker was ready to win the tournament. He was not as much of a hot shot as last year, but showed better shot choices and more focus on tennis and not testosterone. Good play.
Then Roger, with a match where a couple of times he was clearly practicing – drop shots, overheads – just to see how they would work out when the tournament got tougher, and to see how the court was playing. Very fast, they all said later. Next up, Andy Murray against Nicholas Almagro – Andy had improved everything by leaps and bounds since last year – there were clearly good reasons why he’s number two in the world.
It was late and rainy / windy when Rafa came out to play Andreas Seppi. There were no straps below his knees, he was bouncing around kicking up his heels as usual. But his energy and shot choices were just not quite as good. An easy win, nonetheless. The evening match featured favorite American Andy Roddick against up and coming American Sam Querry – pretty much one of those tree people, who moves a bit better than most. Andy has dropped weight, added a coach and improved his fitness. He’s one of my favorites – with his brash energy and willingness to say what he thinks. Andy’s experience was the key – he knew what to go for and when.
An excellent and incredible day. Ahhhhhh.