My day began on Court 1 for Fognini v Dodig. One thing you do notice watching tennis on these smaller courts in the amount of players that mutter to themselves. Fabio was jabbering away in Italian from the start. I left this match with Fabio up a break at 5-4. I made my way now onto Centre court for Berdych v Verdasco. This was another chance for me to see if Nando likes me. Alas the answer is no. He did make a little bit of a fight back but it was not enough. Highlight of the match was Mo (Umpire) getting an overrule wrong, much to the delight of the crowd you gave him some playful jeering, all taken in great spirit.
Back to Court 1 next for Kei Nishikori. Never seen the young Japanese player so I was looking forward to this. First thing I noticed is that Kei is not as short as I expected. He is also very nippy around the court and has a nice game. The next match on Centre featured last years surprise semi finalist in Michael Llodra so back once again I went. By now the security guys knew who I was so I didn’t need to keep showing my pass. I enjoyed what I say of this match. Once again we had volleys, S&V and some nice tennis.
On the off chance of trying to catch a bit of Tomas’ press conference I went to the Media Centre, just in time for the announcement that Roger Federer was on his way for his pre tournament presser, what great timing. As expected the room was packed but I managed to get myself a seat. Questions varied from how he felt after his win in Basel at the weekend – “once in the semis having won three matches in Basel I was kind of more relaxed again. I could really concentrate on just playing tennis and not all the promotional and media, all that kind of stuff, plus the pressure of having to win matches was a good feeling to have” to is Murray the man to beat – “He’s probably going to be one of the favourites here and in London next to Rafa, Novak and myself” “I think Andy is strong enough right now and I think he’s gonna have a really good next year as well”.
A quick hop back to Centre saw Lopez in firm control of the 2nd set at 3-0. Shame for Llodra after the run of last year. I wonder how much the surface change affected him?
I went to stretch my legs and have a look at the HEAD stall as I fancy treating myself to some Novak dampeners and new grips.
Quickly back to Centre for Roddick v Benneteau, not sure if I have ever seen Roddick win a match. Bongoman was in place though not sure if he had a bit of RSI or sore hands as he was not quite as “vocal” as normal.
Once again I was off to Court 1 for Isner v Wawrinka, in fact I actually followed Isner onto court. Wow, another tall player. Would not like to stand next to him along with Cilic, Karlovic, De Schepper etc, I would feel like an Ewok. Both players had early chances to break but could not convert. I wanted to go to Roddick’s presser so I left at 4-3. There was a 25-minute wait for Roddick but I decided to stay in the media centre and watch the Isner match on the TV. From here I saw that Stan won the first set on the TB.
So it came time for Andy’s press conference. I had jotted down a few questions that I would ask if given the chance and a chance I did get!! Here is my question and response:
Q. Is there any extra motivation because you’ve not qualified for the O2 this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Any extra motivation for next year?
Q. For next year, yeah.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I’d be lying if I said I thought about it a lot. You know, the writing was on the wall midway through the year when I hadn’t played much. It would have taken something pretty big. You know, so it’s not something I’ve concerned myself with too much.
You know, I don’t really need to prove that I can make Masters. I’ve done it nine times. So it’s one of the last things I need to show someone that I can do.
You know, I’m more concerned with, you know, being focused, being concentrated, and feeling good about the way I’m playing and the way I’m competing. That happens; normally the other stuff takes care of itself.
I was so chuffed that actually managed to get the words out of my mouth. Andy was really attentive when answering too, lots of eye contact, which I thought was nice.
I floated back to Court 1 for the end of the Isner v Wawrinka. It got back at the right time, right time for an Isner shirt change!! After a very tight match Isner came though and right on cue. I made it back to Centre just in time to watch Tsonga walk out onto court to the sound of James Brown’s Sex Machine.
A slow start from Jo with the 7th game taking an age to finish but that seemed to wake up Jo and he broke the next game. To try anfd get the crowd more pumped the ball kids decided to have a go at a Mexician wave. It took a few tries but eventually we managed to have a few laps before the 2nd set started. A little wobble in the 2nd set but he managed to try it around and won in straights.
I spent the break between matches charging my phone as it was nearly out of juice (I forgot my mobile charger) I watched Gasquet v Anderson but by this time I was starting to feel tired so I left as Richard won the 1st set.
Not a bad day in all. I got to attend a Federer press conference and I asked Roddick a question. Once again my photos will be updated tomorrow.