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By now I'd seen A LOT of players practicing and not that much match play. Since the more interesting rounds are now going under way, I only saw actual matches for a change! Luckily it stayed dry all day, despite the drizzle in the morning.

I met up with Kath and her mom, who I both met at Rotterdam in February. We gathered at the start of Tomic v Stepanek. Tomic was one the few players I hadn't seen at all yet this tourney.

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Stepanek was most notable for wearing a hideous turquoise shirt that clashed with the blue court. Tomic seemed mostly disinterested and uncomfortable on the clay. I'm not surprised he lost. During the second set, we moved to watch Simon v Fognini.

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Simon was just losing the first set. Simon seems permanently pissed off when he's playing, whether he was ahead or behind. A lot of monologueing in French going on. Fognini was keeping up in Italian on his end :p
Fognini had a MTO for his ankle, though it never seemed to actually bother him at any stage. I was glad to see Simon get through in the end, even though he has the most awkward looking BH in professional tennis :p

Kathryn and her mom went to stadium 2 to see Nalbandian. My ticket didn't cover stadium 2, so I stayed put for Marcel v Berlocq.

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Aka, the match that tripled my followers count on twitter :p

I don't follow Berlocq, so I don't know if he always plays like this, but he was really smacking the ball and going for winners. At first Marcel seemed rather blown away by the force. Also, he seemed to have a lot of problems with his right shoe. He retied the laces a few times, then took it of and re-adjusted the sole about another 4 times in the course of the first set. Eventually Marcel regained his footing (haha...) and managed to squeak out the first set.
Berlocq mostly stuck to his game plan, pushing Marcel way beyond the baseline. Lines people had to continually move out of Marcel's way and he was almost tripping over them.
A few times Marcel was visibly getting frustrated as he lost the second set, muttering to himself. But he kept fighting in the third set, with most games either breaks or having BPs in them. Eventually Berlocq was getting too sloppy and Marcel did well to take the opportunies <3

He was very relieved by the win ;)



The dangers of being a linesperson at a Granoller match:



I moved court and dropped into the start of the second set between Verdasco/Marrero and Dolgopolov/Tsonga.

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Seriously the worst kitted doubles team on the circuit

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Dolgo and Tsonga were clearly not too invested in the outcome :p They were joking a lot and going for ridiculous shots (esp Dolgo). It worked well enough for them to get it to a match TB.

I met up again with Kath and her mom and we all stayed for Marcel/Marc v Raonic/Troicki.

(photographing straight into the sun at this point)
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It was clear Troicki was always gonna be the weak link here. Everybody else held comfortably. Marc/Marcel broke Troicki's serve once in each set and that was enough to get it done.

We + an American tennis fan next to us, were (ironically) the only ones with Spanish flags out and we got a shy little wave off Marc as they walked off court :)

I stayed on a bit longer cos I really wanted to see more of Serena. She powered her way through the first set against Pavlyuchenkova.

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Serena always looks disinterested when she's hitting winners. But she has the most comical reactions when she's missing.
And that was all for today.

My tickets don't cover stadium2 tomorrow either, so I'll be missing Delpo again :( As well as Marcel/Almagro :(
But I'm sure I'll keep myself busy and I do have Ferru to look forward to on CC!

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meobnal

February 2016

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