As a Northern Virginia resident, and tennis geek, I purchase package tickets to all the sessions at Legg Mason. Last year I wrote about my experiences and posted pics, and since they were pretty well received, I thought I would do it again.
Day 1 was all qualifying matches, and though there were matches being played that interested me, I decided to pass since I knew I'd be spending so much time there this week. I wanted to see Treat Huey and Jan Michael Gambill, and sure enough, they both lost. Howoever, the kid who won the NCAA title, Somdev DevVarman, was playing, and he won! So I had hopes of seeing him play today.
Things to always take to Legg Mason:
*Water, but in a plastic bottle
*a towel, to dry off a wet seat, to cushion the tushie, to wrap around you when your skin is on fire from the sun...the towel is the most useful item in my bag!
*some snacks, unless you want to spend 6 bucks on a smoothie
*sunglasses, and or visor, since I'm still stuck on the sunny side of the stadium
So I packed my bag, and I was off! I drive to Rock Creek park, and then leave my car in one of the appointed parking lots and take the free shuttle to the stadium. It is a GREAT service that they provide absolutely free!
I spent a bit of time walking around, and glanced in at the practice courts. I saw Igor Kunitsyn and Leander Paes practicing, but didn't recognize or take the time to figure out who anyone else was. I headed into the stadium where Kevin Kim and Tomas Zib were on serve 2-1. Both men were serving well, and the first set went to a tiebreak. Zib was able to secure a few mini-breaks, Kim faded a bit, and that was the first set with Zib winning 7-6.
The next match featured Swede Thomas Johanssen and Columbian Santiago Giraldo. I figured it would be a somewhat easy win for Johanssen based solely on the fact that I had never heard of Giraldo. Johanssen, as expected, had a big serve, but his groundstrokes, in comparison to his serve and the groundstrokes of Giraldo, looked slow and off pace. Giraldo would be rallying with him and then KABLAM!, he'd hit a zinger with his FH. (Though, he was capable of doing the same with his BH) Only problem was that Giraldo would sometimes send the ball wildly out instead of zinging an impressive winner. He was fun to watch, though, and I hope to see more of him.
He did manage to break Johanssen, but then Johanssen broke right back, and the two were on serve when the sky opened up. I had just bent down to put my sun visor in my bag, and when I looked back up, it was raining!
Since I sit in the second tier, I can easily take refuge under the upper stadium seats. I spent at least an hour and a half under one of those last year waiting for the Blake/Safin match to resume after a few storms blew through. With DC humid summer weather, a passing thunderstorm, even a severe one, is hardly a surprise.
I figured today I would do the same thing...just wait it out. And sure enough, it stopped and the crews took to the court to get things dried off. But they didn't get much further when it started to pour again. I waited for about 45 minutes, then packed it in for today. I have no doubt they will get the matches in since Legg Mason is lighted, but I will just have to read about those matches on the internet. If the NCAA champ DevVarman won his match today, he would make it into the main draw!
Some pictures of the day's events:
Kim and Zib on a changeover:
Kevin Kim had 10 aces!
So did Zib, and though he had 10 less winners than Kim, he still won the match!
Giraldo's bullet-like groundstrokes:
Johansson warms up his volleys:
The rains came, and even a game of ring around the rosie wouldn't keep them away.