Woke to the news that Novak had withdrawn from the tournament. Hardly surprising, slightly disappointing but understandable. Hopefully the extra few days will give him time to get himself more fit for London.
Paid my respects to the dead today, first at 11am and then at the Pere Lachaise cemetery. I managed to find a few famous people, Edith Piaf, Frédéric François Chopin, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, although Oscar is undergoing “restoration” right now.
Met up with my friend Jackie before the matches today. Had a chat about the upcoming matches etc, it was good to see her again. Made it into Centre court to find Roger finishing up his practice session. Went to drop off my bag, grab a croissant and watched the start of the match between Berdych and Murray. I wanted to make a quick detour to Court 1 for a bit of Doubles so I left at 3-2. Stayed for a while there and made it back to Centre for the end of the marathon 9th game with Murray blowing numerous set points. He managed to close out the set 6-4 but Tomas hit back with some great play in the 2nd to take the TB and into a decider we went. Both had their chances to win but Tomas was the one to come through. I could not hear the commotion when Murray got his warning but it was explained in his press conference, “I said bollocks” to a few laughs from the room. Not a bad reply considering his argument with Fergus Murphy concerned the balls
“ Well, I had two break points and Tomas decided the balls were too soft, which they weren’t. But he said they were too soft so the umpire gave him three new balls to serve with, which I wasn’t, you know, I wasn’t aware that they were just changing three brand new balls. Then that totally changed the way the ball plays and the court plays. That was what happened. I just asked, is it not normal to let the opponent also see the balls? Because they were brand new balls, and it wasn’t like he was serving at the start of the game with new ones. It was the previous game. But that was what I asked him. I personally don’t think there was any issue with the balls. It was the fact he was down on his serve.”
Started to write this report and upload the photos I had taken then it was back onto court for Federer v Monaco. Slight wobble at the start from Roger but once he started to “fight fight fight” and got it back then broke himself you pretty much knew the match was won. I seemed to spend most of the 2nd set taking photos, remember to check them out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/clare2904/ During the match I had Bongoman sat in the next section to me. I almost felt like going over and asking for an autograph. He really does get the atmosphere going in the arena, he should get free tickets!
Fuel stop was needed between matches so I went off for food & drink. Panini man knows me now, so much so that I don’t even have to order, they know what I want.
Once again I timed to just perfect for Roger Press Conference. Today marked Roger’s 800th win, only the 7th player to reach that milestone “I only heard about it yesterday, after I made the 799th, I read it somewhere, so obviously I knew going in today that this could be, you know, something special.” Roger also mentioned balls in his Press Conference.
“Here for instance, but it depends on what kind of surface you play on, you know. Balls definitely feel like they’re almost a bit wet here. You know, they feel heavy and fuzzy once you give them a lot of topspin. I don’t know. I think it’s just an unfortunate combination between the ball and the court this year, which I think they probably have to figure out for next year just so slight. I don’t think it’s a big problem, but it’s just something’s not working quite as they would have liked, I don’t think. I don’t think they did that on purpose.”
I was in and out of the Isner v Ferrer match but caught the end. Happy that John has made his first semi final in a Masters. Going to enjoy his next match against Tsonga. Stayed for his press conference, which started at 22.30. Whilst waiting I watched France v USA at football and the Doubles match playing on Centre (I’m a woman, I can multi-task).
Isner finally arrived for his Press Conference and as most of the usual journalists that hog the microphone had left I was able to ask the first question
Q. Your first Masters semifinal. How do you feel?
JOHN ISNER: I feel great. It was my first Masters quarterfinal, as well. I’m just thrilled to have won tonight, given that, you know, Ferrer is such a tough player. He’s No. 5 in the world for a reason. I played very well, and I’m very, very happy.
A great way to end the day.