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Posts Tagged ‘steve darcis’

Image is Everything: D Cup Sunday

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

I can’t believe it’s time for my final Davis Cup picspam. God, I love this event so much. It should be played every weekend.

czech republic

“My work here is done,” he seems to say.

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Happiness is a champagne-soaked Belgian.

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I’m a sucker for behind-the-curtain photos.

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I’m also a sucker for Jo.

netherlands

Back to the dustbin of tennis history with you, Thiemo de Bakker.

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Allez Les Bleus.

TENNIS-DAVISCUP-GBR-POLAND

Murray searches for an escape hatch to another country.

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Pole dance.

serbia

That’s pretty much how I reacted to the GB-Poland results.

Except without the laughing. And my hair’s not as shiny.

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If there was a Crazy Cup, Serbia would win it hands down.

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I feel as if I’ve interrupted Robin’s dance routine.

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Gratuitous ass shot #1.

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Gratuitous ass shot #2.

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Bless you, Somdev.

SOUTH AFRICA INDIA DAVIS CUP TENNIS

Yuki’s eyebrows really deserve a picspam of their own.

Posted in andy murray, christophe rochus, davis cup, janko tipsarevic, jerzy janowicz, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, michel przysieny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic, olivier rochus, robin soderling, roger federer, somdev devvarman, steve darcis, thiemo de bakker, tomas berdych, viktor troicki, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

D Cup Sunday: Who’s Staying Up, Who’s Going Down

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

So what was the craic today? In the dead rubbers remaining of the semi-finals, both defeated nations salvaged some pride and a point, with Lovro Zovko defeating Lukas Dlouhy and Feliciano Lopez losing to Harel Levy in a result I deem genuinely Harel-arious.

israel

Andy Ram thinks it’s funny.

The other nation who were 3-0 up, Serbia, humourlessly crushed Uzbekistan 5-0 courtesy of Troicki and Bozoljac, showing a Federeresque lack of mercy. Speaking of Federer, he did his bit for the land of cuckoo clocks, overcoming a rain delay and the awesome powers of Potito Starace to seal the deal for Switzerland 3-1. Fognini won a dead rubber, by which point Fed was presumably in a hot bubble bath. Quite right too, as after the match Roger revealed he has been struggling with a leg injury since the US Open final. Hopefully nothing a little time off won’t fix.

switzerland

France won their tie with the Netherlands 4-1. And by my calculations, at least 2.5 of said points were contributed by a certain Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He backed up victories in Friday’s singles and yesterday’s doubles with a four-set victory over the bizarrely inspired Thiemo de Bakker to take the tie 3-1, with Jezza popping up handily to make it 4-1 over Huta Guleng. All of which is good, as it would be both sadness and madness for France not to be in the World Group.

france

A hearty “well done” to Belgium, who held off a very determined challenge from the Ukraine. After Stakhovsky beat Malisse (yeah, he still plays, apparently) 63 36 06 61 63, it was all up to Steve Darcis, who delivered a comprehensive beatdown on Sergiy Bubka 62 61 60 to keep Belgium in the World Group. Like it. I mean, how often does Steve Darcis get to be the hero? I’m betting that even if you include his self-penned comic book series, The Heroic Exploits of Steve Darcis, the answer is still “rarely if ever”.

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Robin Soderling was the hero for Sweden, beating Hanescu 75 61 60 to bounce Romania out of the World Group.

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I wish Mats was proud of me.

Huge congratulations have to go to India, though. They’ve been out of the World Group since 1998, and now they’re back, thanks to a victory by Somdev Devvaman, who beat Rik de Voest of South Africa 36 67(3) 76(5) 62 64. Devvaman came back from two sets and a break down in a match that lasted nearly five hours, and Davis Cup virgin Yuki Bhambri put the cherry on top by winning the dead rubber in three sets. Great stuff.

india

india3

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I don’t know why this makes me happy, but it does.

Oh wait – the ‘boks lost. That’s why.

As of now, it looks like Ecuador will also be in the World Group, with Nico Lapentti just one set away from securing the tie against Marcos Daniel. Jurgen Melzer has split sets with Massu in his bid to keep Austria’s chances alive. Fun scoreboards still.

Posted in andy ram, davis cup, gael monfils, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, potito starace, robin soderling, roger federer, somdev devvarman, steve darcis, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tuesdays with Murray

Posted by gauloises1 on June 11, 2009

So did I mention I went to Queens on Tuesday? I did?

In my defence, this was the first live tennis I’d actually been to since Wimbledon 2007 and I was totally over-excited – so much so that I forgot to bring a camera and was reduced to using my phone camera. So I apologise for the bad quality of the photos, but they’re mainly to prove I’m not making all of this up … I was also for most of the day one or more of the following: stressed, hysterical, shy, over-stimulated, drunk, drunker and very drunk. So don’t expect any quality stalkage or match analysis either.

One of the reasons I was so stressed was that I didn’t actually know which tickets I was going to have until I got there, which made it difficult to plan ahead. As it happened, they were Centre Court tickets and not half bad:

centre court

We sat here to watch all of Boss-Grosjean – although sadly the Big John had to retire – the second set of Roddick-Vliegen and bits of Monfils-Golubev. Tiny bits. Roddick-Vliegen was OK; A-Rod is such a fun player to watch, diving and rolling and all sorts, and Vliegen was playing to the crowd a little. Roddick does let the crowd bother him though; several times he turned and motioned the section of seats where I and Tennis Neophyte Friend were sitting to be quiet. I hope it didn’t have anything to do with me trying to explain the scoring system to TNF in a stage whisper. A drunk stage whisper (we’d had a couple of beers by this point).

The best/worst thing about these seats is that we were directly opposite the balcony outside the players’ lounge/whatever, which filled up with random as the day progressed, but during JCF-Grosjean was like a voyeur’s paradise. I saw Marat stomping past a couple of times; Grigor Dimitrov (who is striking even from that distance) with Lundgren; Gabashvili play-hugging Lopez, who was wearing an idiotic red hat and returned to watch Ferrero a little later; Paul-Henri Mathieu watching the whole thing – I thought to support Grosjean, but possibly to check out Ferrero, his next-round opponent. (Obviously he should have paid more attention). Oh, and John Lloyd and BBC sexpot Andrew Castle wandering back and forth.

We also spent quite a bit of time in the car park outside Court 1. There’s a spot where you can watch one end of the court:

ernie

 It’s also a great place for player-spotting as they all come and go. At various stages I saw British no-hoper James Ward (he once took a set off Marat Safin, you know), Sam Querrey (who is ENORMOUS), Ivo Karlovic (who kindly took a picture with me and my friend, who asked him to stoop down: he said “I never do that”), and Gael Monfils waiting for a car at the end of the day. Robby Ginepri stood watching Fish for a good five minutes before anyone asked him for a photo (which I took for a nice Japanese girl).

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Robby no-mates.

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Gael, his friends and his enormous clown feet. Love him.

There’s also Court 9, which we never actually sat on, but did stop in to watch at various points and from various angles; on the other side of Court 10, we watched some of Koellerer-Benneteau, at least until Koellerer shouted in a frightening manner in our general direction.

koellerer

Maybe he wanted his ball back …

Speaking of balls, we also took in some Court 9 action from the other side, stepping out from the tunnel to watch a little Darcis-Capdeville (I never actually saw Capdeville, but there was some loud swearing coming from the other end which I assume was him). A ball actually came off Darcis’ frame and hit me, so I promptly hid it in my handbag and looked innocent when he came looking for it:

darcis

I steal your ball, Steve Darcis. I STEAL IT AWAY.

Just along from this bit, there’s a tiny gap in the curtains you can use to spy on the practice courts while you’re trying to get through the crowds to the bar. I took full advantage of said gap to perv on Marat and Grigor Dimitrov, who were hitting together on the top practice court, to the best of my ability.

grigor lundgren

Grigor’s striking, even from a distance …

marat

Marat. He missed one forehand and threw his racquet. I’m serious.

You see where those people are standing to watch? This was the scene of my first meeting with TW’s Rachael. I nipped down to see who was there and suddenly found an embarrassment of riches: Gael Monfils hitting on the far left …

monfils mystery man

Unidentified ass in foreground.

Hutchins and some other people on the near left …

hutch ass

Now this I know to be Hutchins ass.

On the right court nearest to us, Frederico Gil and Andreas Seppi were both hitting with, er, people we didn’t recognise (Seppi’s hitting partner, who was hot, has been tentatively identified as Colin Fleming), while on the far right court, Murray was hitting with Gilles Simon.

seppi gil murray

Seppi, Gil, Murray.

In fact, Rachael and I were standing in the only free spot (actually IN the entrance to the court), so at various points Daniel Nestor, the Bryan brothers, Hutchins, Gil, Baghdatis and Mahut literally had to squeeze past one or both of us. I felt a little sorry for them, actually. It must suck to have to fight your way through crowds of fans ooh-ing and cooing at Murray and completely oblivious to you. (Rachael and I knew who they were, of course. But we were pretending to be cool. Actually, Rachael was just being cool.)

It had an odd sequel, actually. As Murray was leaving the court, everybody rushed up to the other end of the alley to get a picture. We decided (being, as aforesaid, cool) to stay where we were, wait for Seppi to finish and get Rachael a picture with him. However, our plans were frustrated by the fact that he blatantly saw us waiting and chose to leave a different way.

But just as we were lamenting this fact, Murray came down the path towards us with the security guards holding all the people who’d rushed up to see him. We were literally blocking the path, and the upshot was that I took a picture of him with Rachael … who hates him. She’ll tell you he was grumpy about it, I think he was quite nice. I will say that he is quite a specimen in person. Seriously, he’s hot.

After this, TNF and I got a little distracted by being given press passes and access to a free bar (NEVER give me access to a free bar), so tennis viewing from that point on was sporadic at best, I’ll be honest. However, we did race out when we got a text from Rachael, telling us that Cilic’s doubles with Ljubicic had been moved to Court 10 – which you can get right next to.

marin ivan

THIS close.

He was adorably serious and grumpy about the whole thing. I fell in love. More in love. Also, he isn’t quite as skinny as he looks on teevee, and he has a nice stomach. A *really* nice stomach, even if he’s crap at doubles …

There were only about 20 people watching, it was a nice way to finish off the day. Well, finish off the tennis-watching part of it and get back to the free bar, anyway …

Posted in queens | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »