Hey all, I'm back blogging after a short trip away and with Madrid still 7 days away I've been struggling for blog post ideas to fill the void. Luckily when I got back I had an email from Wanda in my inbox with a great recap of Monte Carlo.
It's always great to get courtside reports from fans who have seen Fed in the flesh and this is a really great piece which is both helpful to anyone visiting Monte Carlo next year or those just wanting to read about another Fed experience.
The blog now has Simon and Rita's Davis Cup experiences and along with this Monte Carlo Country Club report. Hopefully we can get a few more posted during the year, so if you see Federer live and want to write a short piece about your experience just email me it. Anyway, enjoy….
Courtside at Monte Carlo: A Fed Fans Perspective
I currently live in South of France less than an hour away from Monaco. Normally I have little interest in the Monte-Carlo Masters but as soon as I heard Fed decided to take a wild card, I tried to get the ticket online. Unfortunately not a single seat left in the Centre Court on any day.
Although I knew some tickets were available each day at the door, had no idea what's the chance of getting one. So I bought a ticket for the Court Princes on Wednesday online hoping to get to see Fed on a practice court at least. I picked Wednesday because it was almost guaranteed that Roger was due to play. But I would have chosen Thursday if I could as you can see most of the top players on the Centre Court on the same day.
On the day
Arrived at 8:15 am by the earliest train along with a bunch of ball boys and found myself the first in the queue at the ticket booth opened 8:30am. Got a good seat in the 2nd category for the Centre Court, behind the base line, a few row after the box seats for 67 euros (see the photo for the view from the seat).
The highest category was €115 by the way. After buying RF cap for the first time ever, strolling between the practice courts, not finding anybody interesting except Bellucci (anyone agrees he's quite hot!?). Then the Centre Court opened and omg…there Roger and Stan were practicing there! They were cute smiling, talking together and being photographs taken, sadly I only caught them for mere one minute.
I juggled between the Centre Court and the Princes and I saw Fognini, Roger, Dimitrov, Stan, Cilic, Monfils and Doglopolov.
Before the match, Roger was so relaxed chatting with the official as if he was a neighbour, looked just so smooth and elegant. It's very true what people say he is like strolling in the park or shopping mall on and off court, while the heart rates of his fans' shoot up like a rocket with excitement.
As you know Roger played solid and clinical, served flawlessly that day. No need of ‘HOLD' and ‘BREAK' mantra as he's got 100% BP stats both conversion and saving. Would have been perfect if it was a warm sunny day but I'm not complaining. I was so over the moon witnessing Roger's BH overhead for the first time!
I gave Rafa's match a miss (saw him twice there and Wimbledon, enough of him really) and tried to get a glimpse of Roger in the autographs session. Though no intention to get one myself, I'm too old and shy. But so many people there lined up and had to wait too long. It was the time for Dimitrov's match so I eventually gave up. Those people, kids and adults were all chanting “Rog! Rog!” hoping for him to come out from the building for God knows how long!?
Some info and thoughts on the venue – Monte-Carlo Country Club
It's worth visiting at least once for its beautiful setting alone. Easy to get there from one of the tourist cities along Côte d'Azur by train such as Cannes, Nice, Grasse and Monaco. The MCCC train station, a few minutes walk from the entrance, is only used during the championships with special discounted fare. And now you know it is not difficult to get a ticket on the spot as well. I met the couple from Canada who were on their holiday staying in Nice and just decided to come to see tennis the day before.
The Club, with several land levels, is not large because it is sandwiched between the sea and the rock mountain. So moving around the courts or trying to buy some beverage are not easy with lots of people doing the same. Not just everything is pricey in French Riviera but queuing up for food for ages between the matches is not an ideal so I brought my own picnic.
The weather in April is quite unpredictable and because of the sea breeze, it can get windy and chilly even on a lovely sunny day. So it was freezing without Sun.
You could see some of the most posh, gorgeous people there. A blonde model type with 15 centimetre stiletto or a gentleman wearing the soft panama hat, the pastel colour scarf and matching moccasins! But those people usually prefer socialising in the exclusive restaurant overlooking the Centre Court rather than watching tennis. You hear more Italian language than French around you. Because lots of Italian fans come to visit as the Club is closed to the border to Italy. Or perhaps they are more vocal than French. And I can tell you they love Roger! The crowds cheered him the loudest for sure.
Wish Fed played at the Court Princes, it was much better with the intimate atmosphere, close enough to get feel all the effort of the players. Therefore I really enjoyed Baby Fed's match. He was just a few metres away. It was fantastic to see his running FH live in front of you which was selected as the ATP's ‘Hot Shot' of the day. I must admit some of his shots were indeed Federer-like. I was pretty impressed how popular Dimi was, particularly after the match, being mobbed by a large crowds of fans screaming his name. And good to see that he was kind and patient especially to the kids for signing autographs, following Fed's footsteps, I guess.
Thoughts on Fed
When you are on the live chat watching his match, we all wish JesusFed to appear and get bakery products not any drama from him. But when you watch him live, you want to see more of Roger and as long as possible. I wished the match would continue for ever and I even cheered for Stepanek to fight harder.
I leave to describe Fed's tennis/match to the professionals such as you Jonathan. But there's a few things I can say about Fed as an amateur fan. When you are in the same dimension as he's in, you realise how incredibly perfect proportional body he's got. With the wide shoulder, strong legs and oh my God…the most beautiful ass! I tried hard not staring at it all the time 😉 I think many players look rather skinny in person.
And Roger's hair with the curls…I probably looked stupid with the mouth opened and the eyes shaped like heart mark. Felt as if I was melting away despite the cold temperature. Then I realised quite lots of people even guys around me on the stand were all looking at Fed with the same admiration.
His movement was unreal yet so gracefully natural, does it even make sense? The sequence of the motion formed by the perfect physique is just divine. He moves like nobody, doesn't he? There are incredibly athletic players out there such as Djokovic and Monfils but Roger is the only of its kind in my opinion. And not mention, the ball flying from his racket is a part of his creation, well…most of the times. And interesting to see clearly that he was intentionally crafting the points not just running and chasing the balls.
I amazed how the tennis pros hit the ball so hard and fast! No wonder lots of pros injure their shoulders and wrists. One thing I noticed while watching tennis live was the difference of the sound when the racket hit the ball. You can't get the reverberation of the impact from the screen just as watching fireworks on TV. I thought the noise sounded different in each players and of course I liked Roger's music better than anybody else.
Despite I had no personal contact with Roger nor any special episode to tell you, it was a very special day for me. Though my life-time dream of seeing him at Wimbledon still continues…