The Ball was in Chennai’s Court
I like watching Tennis and I play tennis in my Playstation and Mobile. This was the highest degree of relationship between Tennis and Me. I am familiar with a few names in Tennis and thats it. I don’t follow any players or any tournaments. My non-chennai friends called me and asked me to book tickets for Chennai Open and I booked tickets for them at the last minute. I actually got the season ticket but the tickets lay unused for any of the matches till Semifinal-Saturday and Finals-Sunday. But at the last minute, one of the friend(GowriRaman) was unable to make it to Chennai. So I had to go with the my other friend (Kannappan). Actually I planned to buy the single day ticket for the finals and semis and accompany my friends. But the tickets were sold out for all matches on all days. So I had no issues using my friend’s season ticket to watch the finals and me and Kannappan gladly marched on to the Stadium.
The first match we watched was 25 year old Mikhail Youhzny Vs 19 year old Marin Cilic. Youhzny’s excellant backhad returns won Marin Cilic, 6-2, 6-3. The match was good and cilic gave a good fight. Though the stadium wasn’t fully packed, the crowd cheered Youzhny and at the end of the match, Youhzny stood for a photo session with specially-abled children. He hit a few autographed balls into the crowd. He also saluted the crowd with his left hand with racquet over his head and right hand saluting. This was quite peculiar but sort of cute.
Next came in the Monsterous match between Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal. The spaniards were evenly matched and every set was decided on tie-breaks. By now the stadium was jam packed and the crowd were roaring and the refree had tough time controlling them. Apart from a few faulty line decisions and a couple of skids from Moya, the match went on smoothly. Nadal displayed great self confidence and killer instincts and Moya commented that he has a bright future ahead. Nadal won the match, 6-7(3), 7-6(8), 7-6(1) to move ahead to the finals to meet Youzhny. The match reminded me of the scene from the movie Gladiator, where the Spaniard makes a kill, throws the sword at the crowd and shouts at the audience..”Are you entertained?”…
There were 3 cheerleaders in the court and they were totally boring. They had only one step for the entire tournament. They were easily outdone by 3 cute kids in the stands. Though one camera man turned out to be a sick and terrific fan of the the 3 girls, the Television relayed the kids as most of the other cameras were focussed on these kids between every games and sets.
The next day, I didn’t expect to see a great match. I was of the opinion that Nadal will wash out Youzhny. How wrong could I be? Right from the first service till the last ball, Nadal was not Nadal. Youzhny easily wiped the match and the title away from the Spaniard to claim his 4th ATP singles title 6-0, 6-1. Very dissappointing to watch Nadal loose without any fight. The match ended quickly and I just wanted to leave after the trophies were given away. Stayed for for just one set in the doubles finals, and came back home. Rafael has promised that he will return to Chennai for the next season and I will also be there to cheer him.
Just a bit of advice: Don’t buy expensive tickets. I got the lowest fare ticket to seat me in the last row, but no one cared so we actually sat in the highest fare stand throughout the match.