I got in from Vegas last night, and I'm so tired because my return flight had some delay issues. But, forget about that, let's get to the TENNIS!
My mission this year as previously stated was to see Robby Ginepri (since he didn't play there last year). And YES, my mission was accomplished thanks to Robby making it to the quarterfinals on Friday (the only day I had planned to attend the Tennis Channel Open this year)! Robby played and heartily beat Ernests Gulbis to reach the semi-finals on Saturday.
Now before I get to Saturday, let me tell you a little more about Friday. The weather was great (sunny, breezy and about 58F), and with my cheap seat $40 ticket, I was able to sit anywhere I wanted during the tournament 'cause it never fills up there. So for Robby's quarterfinal match, I decided to sit two rows behind "his camp" (which included his coach, his agent, his trainer and a male friend). Anyway, Robby played really well (so fast and strong), and you could tell that his training was paying off. I, of course, cheered him on (Go, Robby!) and was thrilled that he won (for partly selfish reasons).
As any tennis fan knows, players who lose matches don't really want to deal with fans after the match. So, since Robby won and since I knew the post-match drill from last year's TCO, I strolled over to the fan area after the match where I knew Robby would be exiting. Sure enough, Robby was cool enough to sign autographs and take pictures. But being the lame photographer that I am, this is how the pic of him and me [yes, that's correct grammatically] turned out:
Since you can only see my houndstooth cap (on the bottom left), I admit that it's kind of a funny/bad pic and once again falls into the "Sixteen Candles" genre of photography (see my pic with my other beloved, Marat Safin, from last year). But, I'm so happy to have it nonetheless.
Anywhoo, Friday turned out to be a lovely day for me at the TCO. Aside from finally interacting with the foxy Robby Ginepri (yes, saying "Great match, Robby" and "May I trouble you for a picture?" and having him respond COUNTS as an interaction towards LH points), I got to see these following other pros (either playing a match or practicing): Evgeny Korolev, Kevin Anderson, Jurgen Melzer (apparently a fellow Chelsea fan), Guillermo Canas, Amer Delic (yummy), Michael Llodra (shirtless), Julien Benneteau, Jonas Bjorkman, and Jamie Murray (shirtless and sporting a cute retro headband and super smile).
Okay now, are you ready for the bad news? Saturday comes along, filled with a lot of hope for LHK sports. Chelsea was taking on Barnsley in FA Cup action and Robby Ginerpri was taking on South African qualifier Kevin Anderson in the semi-final of the TCO. But unfortunately, both of my favz lost, and it was another bad day for LHK sports. For the record, I didn't attend the Gineps semi-final match even though I was still in Vegas (I instead opted to spend the day with my lovely host and dearest friend since the 1st grade, Lady Shaunerd). Of course, I feel slightly guilty for not being there in person to cheer Robby on again, but I'll make up for it hopefully in Indian Wells this coming weekend, where Robby has thankfully received a wild card into the tourney. Can't wait!
P.S. On the Marat news front, I unfortunately had no sightings of him. BUT, I heard the commentators mention that he practiced with Kevin Anderson the night before Kevin's match and very-close win over Robby! Argh; that's not supposed to happen in LHK-world! I did however see this huge banner of Marat at the tourney (pic taken especially for Erwin and butter).