I'm in Rotterdam for the SOLE purpose of watching Roger live. I just arrived and happily went for what I thought would be the first of three matches that he'd play in, but guess what he did? HE LOST.
Ugh. I could barely watch the whole time. He was so terrible - so many unforced errors and first serve was AWOL. He had like one ace and five winners or something ridiculous like that. When he was down a set and break, I was already planning in my head to go back to London on Saturday instead of Monday like I had wanted. When he broke back to level the second set, he gave me hope again...just to fail to convert 3 break points at 5-5, then got broken to lose the match.
Le sigh. I mean, I wasn't that sad about it though it was super unexpected (I thought, how would he lose to Benneteau? Shit) and I'm more disappointed for myself than anything. I was really looking forward to more matches. When Tsonga (projected QF opponent for him) lost in the first round I got all excited, thinking that my chance of seeing Roger in the final had just increased. Imagine how annoyed I am now that I don't even get a semi final.
I met up with a few people from the tennis forum that I used to frequent and morale was definitely low after the match. But we waited for him at the players' entrance in the freaking cold for THREE BLOODY HOURS and after the first 1.5 hours, I became a human Popsicle. I wore extra layers to prepare myself for the wait but they definitely weren't enough. The crowd was maybe 30 in numbers and the security guys at the Ahoy stadium let us wait sort of indoors after some time. But it wasn't significantly warmer because the door was opened, and it totally destroyed the fans meeting him. The area was really small so some people were stuck at the back, and when he came out he stopped and entertained a few people, but the ones at the back couldn't get to him. If we'd met him at the parking lot outside, there would have been a lot more space and it would have been a lot better.
He wasn't as nice as he was in London. I wasn't as excited about seeing him up close as I was in London. I was kind of stuck at the back with my friend who really wanted a picture with Roger (he's watched Roger live since 1999 but never managed to get a picture with him), and I wasn't about to let him leave without getting anything after waiting for three fucking hours; so I edged to the front where he was, stuck out the photo of us that was taken in London for him to sign, using my diary as backing. I bought a random gold pen from a random shop near the hotel and it wasn't very good; when he first tried signing the ink didn't flow...and he jabbed it on my diary, which I bought in Paris 5 years ago, to test it.
I was SO mortified when the pen didn't work and I was like, "Oh my god, I'm sorry the pen isn't working." I was about to ask someone for another one when I saw that he was moving his hand, saying at the same time, "It's working."
I asked for a picture. He said ok. I passed my camera to my friend, during which time someone else asked for a picture. I was actually kind of worried that he would forget about me and I began to panic, but after he was done with the other person he turned back to me and put his arm around my shoulder like he did the last time.
Oh my god!!! After that was done I told him that my friend wanted a picture with him too. My friend was so nice actually; he first got an autograph for a friend of his who's a huge Roger fan too, and he sorted that out before the picture. I took care of myself first before taking care of him, but well, we both got what we wanted in the end, which is great.
Like I was saying though, he was nicer in London. Today he was obligatory without being overly friendly. I can't blame him since he'd just lost a match and I don't think he needs to be nice to his fans and it was nice f him to entertain the fans. Still, I was happier after my encounter with him in London, where I had the cute exchange with him. Today was quite blah and I forgot to tell him sorry for his loss, which I had planned in my head beforehand.
Anyway, I'm not doing this again, at least not in the cold. The picture is pretty ugly as well; the first one was definitely much better. We both looked better in it and this picture is so overexposed. And the gold ink doesn't pop too well against the black background of the photo. I am a bit bothered by these imperfections but better than nothing, I guess.
I am so tired. Going to bed now. Was gonna go back to London earlier but I don't think I wanna pay £138 to change my flight. Dimitrov vs del Potro should be good anyway. But doubt I'll watch the final.
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