[personal profile] meobnal
Having lived off muesli bars and packets of peanuts for a week now, I decided to treat myself to some breakfast again. The OoP didn't start till 13:30 anyway, so I could take my time in the morning.

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The little café "Las Gargolas" is right across the Pont de l'Angel Custodi, one of the bridges over the Jardin de Turis, which had these huge gargoyles at the entrance (tho, from QI, I do know that these are not gargoyles, but grotesques!)

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With so few players still around it was slim pickings at the practice courts. One had a wheelchair match, the other had a brief session of Tursunov and Peers. Then is was time for the first SF, Bryans v Haas/Sa.

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This was very entertaining with plenty long rallies. The sets were almost carbon copies of each other; Sa got his first service game broken each set and that's all the Bryans needed. It's such a shame the doubles matches don't get televised, even when they're on a TV court.

Now there was an hour's gap till the next match. Practice courts were empty so I just got myself a seat in the sun and read my book till it was time for Youzhny v Tursunov.

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Dimi looked up for it at first, breaking to start, but once he'd lost that break, he seemed over the first set. The crowd was somewhat pro-Youzhny, though not by much, and it looked like Dimi was not enjoying it out there. That match was ok, certainly no classic.

Now there was an even longer gap till the night session. Hanging around and peeking through the windows into the players gym/lounge area you could see them all gathered on the couches to watching the Barcelona – Madrid match. I only recognized Ferrer and Ferrero. Nico come out to watch a bit, then went to practice.

Warming up with his music on
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The practice court is right behind the player gym/lounge, behind the black screen, so you could hear the ohhs and awws from those still watching. Nico was SO pissed when he heard Barcelona scored, knocking some balls right over into the Science Museum.

He didn't practising long so more hanging about aimlessly in the FunPark. Hey, at least there was a Salsa band!

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Then finally it was time for the night session and Ferrer v Almagro. Before the match there was a short presentation for Ivan Navarro, who, I take it, has retired. I remember seeing him in Madrid last year in some doubles match :p

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Then on with the match!

(smug about this picture :p)
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What can I say other than NID? Ferru was solid, Nico was not. It was short and relatively painless. Unlike their other match I've seen live in Madrid, where Nico had MP, the stakes were higher and the crowd going nuts, this was never all that close and all too predictable.

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Then there was also this.

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Some dude was trying to hit it with a serve. I'm guessing it was part of some sponsored competition thing…

Last and final SF of the day: Murray/Peers v Peya/Soares.

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I really liked what I saw of Murray/Peers in their QF. They play old-fashioned style doubles, with almost always both at the net. Which makes for some good rallies when all four players on the court are good volleyers. It got sloppier near the end of the second set as Murray and Peers were maybe trying to hard to make a comeback and Peya and Soares where trying to close it out quickly. Suddenly it was all DFs and service breaks. Peya and Soares got there in the end.
Not that the Bryans aren't the overwhelming favourite in the final anyway, but Peya and Soares have already lost to them 4 times this year, so I'm not expecting much from this final :/

On a side note, with the SF loss for Murray and Peers, Fyrstenberg and Matkowski have pretty much qualified for the WTF. Which makes me happy :D
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meobnal

February 2016

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