I arrived at the same time today, caught the 11.25 from Halle for my 2-minute train journey. Unfortunately it was 2 minutes too long today as I was stood near the smelly armpit of an oversized German man, yuk yuk yuk.
Thankfully the fresh air of the Gerry Weber Open was soon here and I managed to recover. My first port of call today was the ticket office to check out the ticket prices for a friend. I will compile a “Fan’s Guide” for both here and the French Open once I return home full of useful (hopefully) information should you decide to try out one (or both) of these tournaments for yourself next year. I also purchased some used tennis balls at the bargain price of €3 for 3. I am unsure if they are balls used here, as they are Slazenger Wimbledon balls that are stamped with the 2012 Wimby logo. I cannot see the container on court that holds the balls so if someone could let me know that would be great and much appreciated.
Slight panic at the start of the first match as my camera batteries ran out. I have 4 sets of batteries and 3 sets are dead. A mass charging will have to take place tonight; thank God I have two chargers and adaptors.
Two slight delays in the match during the 1st set when a banner advert fell down. They tried to fix it during a change of ends with the umpire telling them to “hurry up” then “stop, ready for play”. Another delay was when the roof was closed due to rain. Unlike at Wimbledon where a military operation goes into force, here it took less than one minute to close and play was hardly disrupted. Take note Wimbledon!
As for the match itself it was very enjoyable with lots of forward play and volleys, the kind of tennis that should be played on grass. A turnaround from Mikhail in the 1st set saw him snatch it with a break at the end for 6-4.
I went off for some lunch at the start of the 2nd set, remember I need to be quick otherwise I starve. Today’s offering was pasta in a cream sauce and spinach. I followed the game on the TV screen. I’m not sure what Mikhail was doing with his challenges but he had used them all by Game 4. The 2nd set followed the 1st in terms of entertainment. Stepanek was the player with the upper hand this time and we went to a decider. The match swung back the way of the Russian and despite an acrobatic effort from Radek he could not prevent Youzhny taking the match point.
Speaking of acrobatic tennis, before the next match there was an on-court appearance from Boom Boom Boris Becker before the next match. Naturally the interview was in German so I have no idea what was said!
Rafa was up next and what a tank. Taking nothing away from Kohlschreiber but you could see Rafa was not playing at full pelt and would not fight like he normally would. But like I said Kohlschreiber played a great match, one he has stated to be his best win though he knows Rafa was not giving it his all.
Rafa went straight to his press conference and as I did not fancy having to run to get there I did not bother. When the others returned they were saying that Rafa had pretty much admitted it in his presser and that he is now going home for a few days off, no tennis, then he will go to Wimbledon next week. I went to Kohlschreiber’s press conference and got to ask him a question.
“How positive do you feel going into your next match and further ahead looking forward to Wimbledon with this win?”
“Of course, I think inside I’m very happy and when I go back to the hotel for sure I will celebrate. And on the other hand I also know its not the end of the tournament. Now I’m in the semis so it’s a little tricky. The victory today is for sure fantastic but tomorrow it’s going to be a very tough day. I think Tommy Haas and Tomas Berdych are both fantastic players on grass. It is going to be for sure tougher than today because I’m going to celebrate a little today the victory but threes guys are also prepared well for the grass. I think it is going to be a very tough semi-final tomorrow.”
I stayed for the German part of the presser as I find it good to watch a player, his body language etc. Whilst starting this report and trying to get my camera to upload my photos Mirka, Roger’s Mum and the twins. They were on their way to drop off their bags and the kid’s scooters before making their way to the courtside. I could hear one of the kids saying “Papa”, how cute.
The match itself was a good one with young Milos more than holding his own against Roger. Due to the press I went to I only made it to the court for the final points of the 1st set tiebreak. Like the recent meeting in Madrid this went the distance and as then too the winner was the same. No shame for Milos whatsoever as he stood toe-to-toe again with Roger and played a great match. You can still see the rawness in his game; the wrong shot selection etc but you also see the talent, his serve and calmness on the court.
I was lucky to watch Milos at Wimbledon last year and I will be checking him out again later this month.
I started to get annoyed with my camera whilst typing the report, as it would not upload them to my computer so I had to mess around for 30 minutes trying to fix it! I started to watch from the 2nd set and the break at the start from Berdych drew a racquet and towel throw from Haas. No other breaks and we go into a decider, 3rd match today to go the distance.
A very long opening service game from Haas was finally held but which something I did not need, time wise not Tommy. My last train before 23.00 was at 21.25 and I did not need this match to drag on. So of course that is just what happened. No breaks meant I had to leave before the end of the match in order to get my stuff together and get to the station.
I left at 4-4 in the final set and as the train was pulling into the station I checked the live scores on my phone to see that the old man had done it, which is great.