It's 3:55am and just now settling down back at the hotel. There were some exciting matches today but really, it was all about Dina and Rafa. They were scheduled for the night matches which meant I was pretty much free to roam around all day.
- Got to the grounds after 11am and saw Chakky and Agi practicing (separately). Then sat up close and personal as Flavia and MaKiri warmed up for their doubles match. I'm not entirely sure how those two communicate, given MaKiri's limited English. But they make a good team. Flavs was awesome as per usual, gabbing on her cell phone on breaks. She left before MaKiri and graciously gave me an autograph, which consists of "Flavia" in cursive.
- Watched the end of Fer/PEHK. Nice match from PEHK but Fer kicked it up in the third. Dude is a monster these days. That Adidas shirt can barely contain him.
- Hung around to watch the first set of Murray/Disco. Saw that Disco's thumb/wrist was taped up. Muzz had some amazing scrambling points to take the first. I left before Disco retired. Had to see me some Flavs/MaKiri vs. Kleybs/Niculescu, which was entirely one sided. Flavs/MaKiri will play Bepa/Vika on Thursday.
- After that it was pretty much dead. It was much hotter today so the thought of sitting in the rafters to watch Nole/Stan wasn't appealing. Nor was I going to sit up there for A-Rod/Ferrer. So we just hung out by the player's eating area. Got some awesome shots of Dina eating dinner before her match. But I basically sat there in the shade for a few hours watching the players coming in and out. Kinda fun.
- The night session rolled around and we cheered wildly for Dina. I'm not sure if I was cheering hard because I wanted Dina to win or Vika to lose her shit. We definitely got on Vika's nerves a few times. Tough loss for Dina. She just couldn't find her game and couldn't figure out what to do against Vika. Vika was just jerking her around left to right. Very frustrating to watch. Here's hoping Bepa can avenge her countrywoman's loss. Vika sucks.
- And then it was Rafa time. He took the court around 11pm and the crowd had thinned dramatically. He started off shakily (Love All said he had been frustrated with his game during practice earlier in the evening) missing a few easy backhands. Nalby came out firing, painting lines and hitting cleanly and aggressively. I turned to Love All after Nalby went ahead 3-0 and said "No way Nalby can hang for three sets. Rafa just needs to hang in there." Well, Rafa dropped the first set and fell 3-5 in the second. People started leaving. But Rafa's comeback in the second was just awesome. He fought off at least 6 match points and came back to win it in a tiebreak. And you know what happens when Rafa has the momentum. He absolutely obliterated Nalby in the third in what seemed like 15 minutes.
- No Ana sighting today despite the fact that we were stationed by the practice courts at all times. We saw Craig and Marcin, but no Ana. She must have practiced off-site.
- Beer count: 8
(Pic for Forty Deuce by Love All)