Hola Madrid!

 

What a feeling it is to see your “old friends” once again after 6 months! The last time I saw pro tennis live was in Singapore last year during the women´s season ending championships. Madrid is one of the best chances to see many top pros live in a couple of days. Yesterday I even managed to take a decent photo of Roger Federer, something I don´t even remember doing for years… It´s so difficult to get close to the “King of Tennis”, there is always so much people between the practise court and yourself. There were parents holding kids on their shoulders so that their offspring could just take a look at the Fed.

During the first hour of my visit I didn´t even sit down. There were three women´s matches played simultaneosly on side by side courts featuring for instance Julia Göerges, Donna Vekic and Belinda Bencic. I just enjoyed the sun and walked about ten metres to change the court when there was a change of ends on one court. Then finally, when my feet got a little tired I sat down to watch Donna Vekic. Vekic is better on the faster surfaces, but now she surprised my somewhat on clay.

Suddenly it was about 2 p.m. and I hadn´t gone yet to see any tennis on courts number 2 and 3. These courts are a part of the real Caja Magica, The Magic Box, along with the Centre Court. The roof on all these three courts can be closed in case of rain. But now it was only sunny blue skies, so no fear of that!
After a quick lunch break I noticed there was a change of matches at court number two. For the first time I really sat down to watch one match. It was between an established star Karolina Pliskova and a young newcomer Dayana Yastremska. The quality of the match was very good. Pliskova was a break up in both the first and the second sets, but Yastremska came back both times. She took the first set with very forceful play. At the end of the second set Dayana had even three match points, but every time Karolina came back.

I left the match at one set all, because I wanted to see Sloane Stephens on court number 3.
I arrived just in time, because the match was coming to end. Just when I took my seat, I got company. Andrea Petkovic and her coach or boyfriend came to sit just beside me. Nice to see that a well-known player can sit among the ordinary crowd. But that also tells she is not that famous. She couldn´t probably do this in Germany, but Spain is a different story. There was a man sitting just in front of us who spoke to a mobile phone all the time. The companion of Petkovic tried to say to him that it´s better to stop, that using the phone is not allowed. After the man stopped the conversation, there was another kind of disturbance. A loud call from the loudspeakers interrupted play THREE times! Even the players wondered what was going on.

Stephens won the match and I headed for the outside courts for a second time.
I wanted to see Victoria Azarenka and Ashley Barty, because they formed a doubles pair. Vika isn´t a great doubles player and it showed mainly in her service games. But Ashley is probably a future star. I watched the first set of that match, then headed back towards the metro station. It was time to have a dinner!

 

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