ATP Masters 1000Fan StoriesMonte-Carlo MastersRoger Federer

Another FedDay at the Monte-Carlo Country Club

Hi my fellow PeRFect Tennis readers, Did anyone spot me on TV/stream looking particularly gorgeous for our Fed? Or 90 year-old Sophie? Yes, I was there to witness his disappointing loss to Monfils unfortunately.

I know Monte-Carlo Masters is not everyone’s liking especially for Fedfans. Monaco has never been on my bucket list as a place to visit, either. I’d rather go to Halle or Dubai if it’s just for tennis, means to see Fed of course. But hey I currently live more less next door to Monaco and if Roger is there, why should I miss seeing him? If I do make a trip to somewhere else, I have to plan ahead but it has to be guaranteed to see him. Since I failed to win yet another Wimbledon ballot (which is definitely on my bucket list) this year, I decided to take the easy opportunity here. Who knows if there’s another time?

The program of the day.
The program of the day.

As soon as Roger announced his participation, the Centre Court tickets were sold out. But I know they offer extra tickets daily at the entrance from 8:30 am. No need to book flights nor accommodation, I waited until when he actually came to the Principality, the draw was made and the weather forecast looked okay.

Last couple of times in Monte-Carlo, I saw Fed winning matches with ease in the blink of an eye. So I picked Thursday against Monfils wishing for a competitive match after he past Chardy easily, though still wondering if I should go for QF on Friday. A good decision not to choose Friday, hah!

Although there seemed a plenty of seats available in the Centre Court, the seats I was initially offered were not even those in blue boxes beside the court, but for 250 euros each! No way! So I got a ticket in the next available price category at the 2nd (after Super, Prestige and 1st category) for 68 euros. Apparently all the ticket were taken by the door open which is 9:00am, the day before. I considered myself lucky.

Last year, I was looking and waiting for Fed to appear in the practice courts for ages before the first match. Only later I found out that he was practicing at the Centre Court. So I went straight to the Centre Court this time. There were some guys practicing including Stan and Dimitrov but no Roger. They soon finished and all gone. Okay, it’s still 9:30, I thought and prayed. A few minutes later, all of sudden the atmosphere changed, a large group of spectators flooded in, then a loud cheer. Here comes our Fed looking smooth and relaxed. Surely I wasn’t the only one saw him in bright light under the grey sky. That moment alone made my day already.

I was so excited that I send a text to my husband who graciously accepts the fact that I might run away with the certain tennis player.

“Got a Centre Court ticket! Guess who just worked in for a practice?”.
“God?”, he replied.

Fed and Severin at the practice.
Fed and Severin at the practice.

Precisely. I was in seventh heaven. Even though his practice session with Sousa lasted only half an hour, I was so thrilled thinking whatever the result for the coming match it well worth a trip. Who else gets a standing ovation at the end of practice?

Great, I thought. My seat was located on extension line from a corner of the court therefore I could concentrate on the match without staring his beautiful gluteus muscles – Remember, I was behind the baseline last year. Yeah, I came here to see his beautiful tennis, right? Though I must admit I was still distracted by his physique and movement constantly. Call me a bad tennis fan!

The view of the Centre Court from my seat. The start of Roger’s match.
The view of the Centre Court from my seat. The start of Roger’s match.

Blue sky and a bit more sunshine could have been helpful for the photo. Also it would have been better if I was closer to the action. But I enjoyed the angle of the view. Because it was different from the views on the broadcasts. You can see clearly how the ball travels in the air. Often the ball Fed hits flies almost horizontal so it nearly touches the net and each times the crowds gulps in the middle of rallies. I was particularly impressed by how the slices fly above the net like a living creature in the air, then swiftly fall, land and barely bounce at an angle, wow. More slices please, I muttered. And the drop shots: it was really amazing to see how it unexpectedly actually drops. Judge by the spectators’ cheer, they (including me) definitely prefer watching the variety of the shots, specially volleys than the endless baseline hitting contest in the matches.

The first match was Stan vs Dimitrov. It was great to see one handed backhands against each other. Although I favoured Stan to do well as the defending champion, at the same time I didn’t mind if Grigor pulled an upset as I wasn’t keen on Roger to face Stan. The spectators were clearly on Dimitrov’s side which was surprising. Not sure it was because ‘Stan the Man’ didn’t show up so his fans were muted or simply Grigor is more popular. I thought he played well though and certainly made the crowds happy. Stan? I don’t know what to say…French fans just cried out “oh là là”. Who knows what was to blame.

I was still over the moon seeing Fed’s practice, so somehow it didn’t cross my mind that he would lose the match. He didn’t play badly, did he? Even after loosing the first set, I believed he would prevail in the end. I was, just like at the blog chat, nail-biting, fist-pumping, face-palming, HOLD and BREAK chanting…and wishing you guys were there with me. The serve seemed to let him down and he looked increasingly annoyed out there. Though he looked great in the outfit on the red clay. Gael’s? Hah, no words. I thought Fed was fighting tough. There was this noisy mid-aged blond nearby who was supporting Monfils. She annoyed everybody who were on Fed, with shouting, screaming and stumping her feet each time he wins the point. Arr, please! I wanted pull her hair, wishing the match would end like last year’s US Open.

The middle of TB in the second set, the digital score board suddenly went dead. So I couldn’t know what was actually going on. Was that in or out? Who’s got the point? Then the match was over abruptly. What did just happen? Wasn’t he leading 5-3 and serving?

So, was I sad? Well, no, not really. Exhausted, yeah. An anticlimax, maybe. Just sorry to let him go after any match, win or lose. You want to continue watching him, don’t you? I could have had some sushi with a glass (or a bottle?) of champagne as a comfort meal at the Japanese restaurant Nobu, couldn’t I? If only you didn’t mind spending 100 euros or so for that. Nobu was the newcomer for the tournament this year and the popular sushi bento-box was long gone by the time I looked at the menu for curiosity. Well, I had my own bento-box with me anyway.

I left the court which Nadal vs Isner match was about to start. Everywhere was jammed with people going for a toilet or a lunch break. I was still in the state of shock but I followed a group of kids holding the large tennis ball, hoping to meet Fed in person myself. After losing a match, perhaps he would not feel so great to face fans and sign the autographs? I should not bother him. But wouldn’t it be awesome seeing him close on the same grand level? You know, just to see how tall he is, how broad his shoulders are? I might hear his voice talking to his fans? I could even say hi to him? Whoa, not a chance. I felt embarrassed at my own thoughts (How old am I? 17?) so I gently pushed a little boy with RF cap in front of me and pretended to be his mother. A few players such as Cilic, Stan, French players passed by and took selfies with fans and signed autographs. Among them, Dimitrov was particularly lovely to the fans, so was Berdych – he’s very tall and yes Katyani, I must agree Thomas IS good-looking! Eventually though we were told by security guards that Roger won’t be coming out at any time and all people who’s waiting for him sighed and left. I guess I shall keep my wish for a dream encounter a little longer.

For Katyani, Thomas Berdych with the fans, taken by my mobile. Wish he was Roger!
For Katyani, Thomas Berdych with the fans, taken by my mobile. Wish he was Roger!

I wonder why this guy, a tennis player, makes me emotional? Why I endlessly want to watch him? Clearly because his tennis is a joy to watch? Absolutely. I know all the million reasons makes him one of the greatest athletes and a great person. But why on earth I want to know more about him? Why I even care what he is like as a person, what he says after the match or read what the journalists and bloggers say about him? It’s a mystery to me.

Loud cheer from the Centre Court. That was when Isner broke Nadal and took 2nd set. Maybe better going back and to see how the deciding set would go? Surely loads of Rafa fans out there but the greater portion of people were cheering for John. It might be just they wanted a competitive match. Though the 3rd set was disappointing. Not because Rafa won, it was simply boring to watch. I saw Rafa few times on both clay and grass (regrettably more than I saw Roger) and he won all. But it was far the worst he played. Does anybody hear the media talking ’R’ for Nadal as we have heard many times since 2008 for Fed?

Same for the last match, Djokovic vs Haider-Maurer. This was the first time for me to see Novak’s match live. Couldn’t help but yawning. It wasn’t Novak’s best day, he still bageled the poor guy. His tennis was not as unattractive as before, I thought. Although his net play was noticeably dreadful on the day, pretty impressive how he has improved all area of his game since a couple of years ago. He is doing great to keep Rafa at bay so I don’t mind him wining so long as not against Roger.

I left before the end of the match to catch the train back home not late.

“Shame Roger lost today” I said to the German-speaking guys at the train station. They must be Swiss! Both were wearing RF cap with the Credit Swiss logo.
“Not too disappointed because the match was competitive unlike yesterday against Chardy.” they said.

“He played well for the first clay tournament so he will be okay. But we are more worried about Stan.”

Agreed.

That is all. Sorry that I don’t have any ‘special’ story to tell you. He lost. The weather was pretty dull, so are the photos. Not a peRFect day but you know what? I had a damn good day at Monte-Carlo. I was able to watch Roger Federer live, people!

ANY Roger is better than No Roger.

Wanda

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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58 thoughts on “Another FedDay at the Monte-Carlo Country Club”

    1. Nice on G-Fed 🙂 Don’t worry Gaurav, you are not alone in this. There are plenty of us who did get the win one or twice, but ever since we peaked….. never again 🙂 Don’t stop trying….

  1. Thanks for sharing Wanda. It’s almost like a live commentary!!

    And so cool that you got a picture of Berdych for Katyani. Honestly wished Berdych would’ve buckled up and won the damn third set in the final!!

    1. Pleasure is mine, Gaurav. Haha he was so close to winning it, wasn’t he?
      How’s your book project doing? I feel guilty haven’t contributed anything yet…any time left?

  2. “Any Roger is better than no Roger” haha instant classic, Wanda. First time you wrote us a fan story? Very nice. 🙂

    1. I like that line too 🙂

      And Wanda is a 2 time Fan Slam champion writer, both at Monte Carlo.

      Buy a Debenture Wanda? 1 CC ticket for every day of the championship for 5 years, just £50k 😉

  3. BIG smiles here, this is GREAT Wanda. Yes of course it would have been even better if he’d won, but I love all your local colour comments & details about what’s going on at the venue & what you’re thinking about. Thank you so much for putting this down for us, it’s great. I could see myself doing the same as you with the kid in the RF cap! (Who me? Um, yeah, I’m his mom, he’s SUCH a fan… cough cough…)

    Don’t remember 250 euro tix from last year, is MC inflating their prices I wonder?

    1. Hey! Glad I made you smile, Thinker 🙂

      (Who me? Um, yeah, I’m his mom, he’s SUCH a fan… cough cough…) – haha exactly!
      I felt so silly standing in the crowds. I was even aiming for his autograph, though I had white RF cap in my bag, just in case 😉

      As for the tickets: yeah, I got a good Prestige category ticket for €67 last year, though it was on Wednesday. Maybe they took advantage of Fed’s early announcement.

  4. Hey, thanks Wanda – great to get your take, and I wish that you’d seen a winning match from the champ. But you saw him, and that’s what counts. You should have given that Monfils fan woman a kick! I love that you ‘used’ some random kid to try and get an autograph – better than Susie reversing a wheelchair out of the way (as per Jonathan). 😉 Lovely picture of Feds serving – picture of elegance.

    Nice you got a pic of Berdych for Katyani – he has got a lovely smile. Shame he couldn’t go the extra and get the win!

    1. Hi slamdunk 🙂

      Thanks for the wishes for me seeing him on previous posts. Glad you enjoyed the story. As for photos, wish it was sunny day with clear blue sky but it worked out okay as I didn’t want to miss any seconds of his movements, fiddling with camera.

      Yeah, he missed a big chance before his wedding, didn’t he?

    2. Didn’t know Berdych was married. Just seen an article on it now. Maybe he will really focus to win a slam now knowing there is a risk he’ll have to give up 50% of his prize money if things turn sour 😆 gotta win big to lessen the damage.

      1. Jonathan, you’re such a cynic. I hadn’t realised he was about to tie the knot – she’s so beautiful. But might give him added impetus I guess. 🙂

  5. Thanks so much Wanda. I really enjoyed your report and can identify with every word. I too have a long suffering husband who knows he comes a distant second behind the great RF. I also go to the Australian Open every year hoping to see him and read everything I can about him. And I am not 17 either! However, like all of us, I will continue to enjoy his wins and mourn (and renationalise) his losses while we can. Long live the King!

    1. Thank you for the comment, Tantejean 🙂

      Wow, you go to Aussie Open every year? Nice!

      My husband is a guy who prefers playing sports rather watching, though watches only rugby. Never interested in watching Fed on TV or listening to me praising him.
      One day some years ago, I noticed he’s reading a David Foster Wallace book called ‘Infinite Jest’ so I told him the author wrote an essay about Fed. He showed a bit interest so I let him reading it. He didn’t say much at that time but a few months later he came to see the King with me, aha!

  6. Oh my God sweet Wanda, you just made my day…or my night in this case. Hmm, one Roger fan almost a Berdych fan, down…. a few others to go 🙂 I will make “Tommy B Believers” out of you all, hmm… I will 🙂 Making you all like Serena is maybe too much to ask, but Berdych is doable, right?? Just kidding, before you all come down too hard on me !!! Oh and never been a bigger fan of Berdych than during the MC final. Take a bow Tomas…. unfortunately you couldn’t win, but Novak will not forget you on clay, that is for sure.

    And yes Wanda, he is soooooo goodlooking. Damn those blue eyes and that killer killer killer smile. Oh and yes, he is engaged, but don’t worry…. no one comes near the love of my life, nothing has changed 🙂 Did he cutt his hair by the way?? Roger… stop cutting your hair short !!!

    Ps: love your story and thank you for Berdych’s pic, sweet Wilson Wanda, you rock girl 🙂 Are you a writer??

    1. Hey Katyani,

      Glad you like the photo!
      “One Roger fan almost a Berdych fan”…hahaha that’s gone too far 😀
      Yes, I admit his blue eyes killed me. But only a second.
      You wanted us to be Bird fans, hah? Okay you have to choose: Roger or Tomas?

  7. Well done, Wanda. What a wonderful experience! It could have been icing on the cake, had Roger won. I kept chuckling away here with your sense of humour and can sense it that you surely enjoyed your day at MC. Cheers for sharing 🙂 .
    (I bet that your hubby was relieved after seeing your sight coming through the door at the end of the day). 🙂

    1. Thank you, Gang 🙂

      Here’s the texts between us afterward, in case you’d like to know.

      Can u believe he’s lost 🙁 glad came today, though
      – Yup good decision. Sorry he lost
      Have to beat u up later 😀
      – Looking forward to it

      1. haha, I thought beating your wife up after watching a losing football match is British culture? 😉

  8. Thanks Wanda! Love reading about your experience seeing Federer. I know exactly what mean about endlessly wanting to watch him. I can never get enough. Thank goodness you didn’t get tickets for the later date! And I definitely agree with your statement: any Roger is better than no Roger.

    1. Hi Fran,

      Yes, it was definitely a good decision not to go later days!
      If I had nothing I have to do, I would endlessly watch his past matches, highlights, interviews and tributes on YouTube, with my eyes shape like two hearts.

  9. Thanks, Wanda! I love to read fan stories. Monte Carlo isn`t exactly a shabby place to visit!
    They also have Nobu at Indian Wells. There are a few restaurants in the new stadium 2. I never did stop to check it out.
    Glad your husband knows who is #1.

    1. Nobu looks like a place to be seen. Is it nice?

      I picture it as a z list celeb haunt in London for those who like food seasoned with pretentiousness 😆

      1. Yes, Nobu was really good at Indian Wells. My daughter loves sushi so she had a great time. Good service too! It was just pricey. There are tables that overlook stadium 2 so you can watch all the action with your sushi. Otherwise they have a bunch of big screen TV’s with the matches on in the restaurant.

  10. Lovely Story Wanda! Thanks for sharing it… Really enjoyable! I wish you to see Roger close some day and get a Roger pic like the Berdych one!
    I will be at the London finals, I definitively hope to see him too exactly the way you described!!! 🙂 !!!
    Can’t wait to share my story with you guys!!!

    1. Thanks Nath 🙂

      Wow you’ve got tickets to go to London? Nice! That’s great news for us, the blog family, too.
      Hope you’d get a close-up pic of him for me…okay for all girls here 😉

  11. Awww Wanda, nice story. Came to the website to find something to lift my spirits because I am so depressed. I lost my lovely dad two days ago after a brief illness, I am so distraught. Just wondering if anything in life can ever interest me again.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that Utch. In some small way, I think I can say with certainty that we’re all here for you. Take care!

    2. Hey sweet Utch, I am so sorry for your loss. But maybe this will help a little bit: your dad may be passed away, but since you and your loved ones will always remember and love him in your heart and thoughts, he will never be gone and will always live on for eternity in your hearts and memories.

      And hopefully this will also comfort you… your birthday was not so long ago. So atleast, he got to see you happy and atleast you got to see him happy. Those memories are to treasure. Trust me when I say that, my dad passed away when I was 3, so I have literally no memory of him at all… so be thankfull you got a great time with yours.

      And Sue, so sorry to hear of your mom’s loss. Hopefully you got also a comfort out of what I wrote….

      And maybe, Roger playing and winning will help also a bit !!!

  12. Oh…Utch, very sorry about your dad.
    Roger will play tomorrow. Hope his beautiful tennis will lit up your heart again.

  13. So sorry Utch. I lost my mom a few months ago. It’s really difficult. You are not alone.
    Things that you are passionate about help. Think Roger Federer.

  14. Hi Wanda,

    Great post. It is always not enough to see Federer play, isn’t it? Win or lose, it is a pleasure to watch Federer play live.

    Dear Utch,

    So sorry about your father. hang tough.

  15. Dear Utch, Sorry about the passing of your father. The fond memories you have of him will carry you through the days when gloom will try to pull you under. Know that he will live forever in your heart.

    Roger won his first match in Instanbul. I see you smiling. Hang in there.

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