Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by sseemiller, Mar 16, 2004.
That was a great report, and a great story! Seems like Nadal knows who Susan is now and forever. I've never had that kind of behind the scenes experience myself, and I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been. The closest that I have ever been to the stars was at the U.S. Open a couple of years ago when I was there on a business conference. I got to see many of the players on the practice courts the week before the Open, and I was awe struck. I never got a chance to see my idol though, Pistol Pete Sampras up close. I have seen him live in Arthur Ashe Stadium, but I was up in the rafters. Still, I must have been the loudest member of the crowd, cheering for Pete. I've always wanted to let him know, in a quiet, discreet manner, that I have been on his side, watching every match, living and dying on every point, since his 1990 U.S. Open victory. Maybe some day I will get the chance.
It really isn't that difficult to have fan encounters with players. The ones with Rafa, and earlier ones with Andy, are a bit unusual just because I work or worked on sites for them. If I didn't have a Rafael site, the coach wouldn't have gone out of his way for me. Also, there were just a bunch of coincidences with him -- such as being in the same elevator with him the minute I got to the hotel.
And then the next day, Jofre just happened to drop all those tennis ball, and I helped him pick them up, thereby gaining credibility in his eyes. And it was all uphill from there. :lol: He is an extremely nice man.
BTW, here's a photo of THE shirt:
We have some more stories to tell, although they are less personalized.
Max Mirnyi was enthralled with the juice machine at the hotel this morning. Caryn is going to write up that item later, plus some Haas stuff. So stay tuned . . .
Here's one of my fave fan encounter stories that just randomly happened a couple years ago.
I have a hat which many players have autographed. But only players I like. We used to have a running joke that players had to work hard to qualify to sign my hat.
At that point, every player I liked had signed it, except Lleyton Hewitt. Getting a signature from him is like pulling teeth and then some. Believe me, I tried, but no luck. I even tried in places as far off as Barcelona and Melbourne. :lol:
After a match at IW, I came back to the hotel, and went down to the Hyatt as they had a free computer in the lobby. I got a glass of wine, sat down and started to do my report for the day.
After a while, some people came into the lobby and sat down, and I didn't pay much attention. After about 20 minutes or so, a cute blonde girl approached me and asked how much longer I would be on the computer. It was Kim Clijsters, and she was with Lleyton and another guy. Kim looks so attractive in make-up and street clothes.
I apologized for not realizing they were waiting for the computer, and she was so sweet and told me to take my time. I told her I would get right off if Lleyton would sign my hat. (She had signed it a year or so before.) And we struck a deal.
Fortunately, I had my hat and sharpie with me, but couldn't find the sharpie. I handed the hat to Lleyton, who was all fidgety, and I kept apologizing for not being able to find the pen. He then focused on reading all the signatures on the hat -- bet he was pleased to see Kim's on there.
Finally, I found my pen, and Lleyton signed the hat. He practically sprinted out of his chair after that, but I got my autograph. :lol:
So you just never know what will happen when you go to a tournament.
That is a great story. Doesn't happen in some other sports. Gotta get home here on the east coast and see if Mr. Nadal's doubles match makes ESPN2.
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