Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh, Tursunov!

Medibank International (aka Sydney Open) was the nearest thing to a Grand Slam or an ATP Masters event that I could see. So, I just had to go and watch it. Besides, the ground pass ticket isn't that expensive ($20).

Durra & I weren't supposed to go that day. That day, according to the original plan, was to be spent at MC. Nisa & I had something to post, and Durra & I were to buy the tickets at the Ticketek booth there.

Fate intervened.

I found out through the morning paper that Tursunov was slated to play that day at Centre Court. The day's weather seemed lovely; not too hot, not too cold. Suddenly, Durra & I were "inspired" to go to the Medibank International that very day.

Dmitry Tursunov

We went straight to the Olympic Park, hoping that tickets were still available. Thankfully, they were. And unexpectedly, we got the concession price of $15! Yippee!! :)

A Ground Pass entitles you to watch any match that's on that day except those on Centre Court. It was only the 2nd day of the event. So, the matches in all the other courts were generally between the relatively unknowns.

After consulting the main board, we decided to catch the action on Court 4 as Tatiana Golovin and Sebastian Grosjean were slated to play there. While watching the Golovin vs Peng match, we could hear the crowds' noise from Centre Court. Bestnyer!! We felt so envious and wished that we had bought the Centre Court tickets instead. If only we could upgrade ...

After the match, we went outside the ground to pray. On our way out, we saw a "Ticket Upgrade" booth (!!)

Yeay! We could upgrade!
Er ... but could we afford it??

After much contemplation, we decided to upgrade. By upgrading, we could see Hingis in action, plus Baghdatis, plus TURSUNOV!!! Tu yang paling penting tu ...

To those who are wondering who this Tursunov guy is, you could be forgiven for not recognising him. After all:
-He's not the number 1 player in the world
-He's not even in the top ten! (he's number 21)
-And he never won a Grand Slam before

Comel ke?

Well ... Not really. comel lagi James Blake, Marat Safin, Tommy Robredo & Mario Ancic.

So why do Durra & I want to see him so much??

Well, we are his fans ever since reading his witty Estoril blog (must read!!) and after seeing him in the Hopman Cup earlier this month. We think that he's very funny and likeable. And that package beats a very cute and talented guy any day of the week.

Anyway, we put in another $15 to upgrade our tickets (nasib baik tak mahal sangat). Tursunov's match is 6th in the order of play. It was already 2.30pm. But the 3rd match had only just started (Jelena Jankovic vs Martina Hingis). It was to be followed by Ernests Gulbis vs Marcos Baghdatis. Then: Dinara Safina vs Nicole Pratt.


Lama lagi tu ...
So, we watched tennis after tennis after tennis
Sampai mengantuk-ngantuk

Semuanya demi _______

Centre Court

Anyway, by the end of Baghdatis' match, we were so exhausted that we went out to get something to eat. Then, we prayed Asar & Maghrib.

We were gone for 2 hours. We thought by the time we got back, the Safina vs Pratt match would be over.

We were wrong. It WASN'T over. The match had gone into rubber set - Grr!!!

It took another 10-20 minutes for the match to end.

At last ...
This is IT ...
This is what we had come for ...

We took our seats and waited for the players to come in.

Then, there was an announcement. Uh-oh ...
I have a bad feeling feeling about this ...

And true enough: the announcement said that Tursunov had to make a late withdrawal due to his wrist injury.


Durra & I were gobsmacked.
It took quite a while for us to regain composure.
And the first thing we said was: "Tu la ... memang Allah nak tunjuk!!!"

That was to be our "mantra" all the way back to Epping.
It was all so surreal. After all that we've gone through ... to be denied the 1 thing that we wanted so badly to see ...


On this beautiful Wednesday morning, 2 days after the incident, I realised that, on the whole, it was an enjoyable outing. I've always watched tennis on TV with my dad and have always wished that someday, I could see all the action live.

And I did just that.
Well, sort of. It's not a Grand Slam but I get to experience the "feel" of it. I don't think I could afford a Grand Slam ticket anyway.

And it was exciting to be in the midst of the action, to spot the players, and to be in close proximity to them.

It was a day to remember; both for its good and bad moments :)

P/S: Just don't mention the name _______ to me this few days ...

I'm still recuperating :P