ATP Masters 1000Fan StoriesMonte-Carlo MastersRoger Federer

A Surprise Fan Story – Monte-Carlo Heavenly Tale

It always hurts when Roger loses. Disappointed, annoyed, frustrated, sad, anticlimax, however you feel, we suffer, don’t we?

But I had a great day at Monte-Carlo Country Club on Friday. Surprise!

MC-Paradisiaque

I managed to take a day-off and jumped on a train in the morning. I got a second category seat in the Court Rainier for €90 (no other choice) and saw Fed in action. At the gate, there were around 20 people before me in the queue and more than 40 people after at 9 am. I had a pair of 1st category tickets for Wednesday but unfortunately I had to miss. I definitely wouldn't have given up if Fed was due to play on the day. But I had too many things going on for past weeks, particularly the first few days of the week were impossibly hectic and I was exhausted.

Therefore when Roger showed up in the practice court No.11 at 3 minutes past 11am with Ivan and Daniel, I was just…no words can describe the joy.

Fed Practice Monte Carlo 2016

At some point he was a metre away. It was the closest I had seen him as I was lucky enough to be in the front row. Didn't care the fence was between us. I heard his voice in person for the first time…it sounded deep and sexy, oh my god. Hey gorgeous! I forgive you for the haircut. You know, generally I am a calm and quiet person with dignity but I couldn't help myself not to bubble like a 17 year old. There’s no practice schedule clearly available to public like IW. So nobody seemed to know who would come to practice there. But I told a British lady who sat next me while we all waited patiently why I was sure it would be Roger.

The first in the morning I went to the Rainier because Roger practised last year. There was Andy Murray practising the serve endlessly making his usual funny noise. I waited until the next player. It was Rafa. No more practice session before the first match, I figured out. So I rushed out to the practice courts hoping to catch Roger.

There I saw Jo Tsonga hitting the volley at the court No. 7 but no sign of the Swiss anywhere. Half an hour later I spotted some movements of the people around the court No. 9 so I followed some fans with RF caps and T-shirts and managed to sat in the front. My heart was beating crazy with excitement. Then the flushing yellow came into my sights, it was the other Swiss! I hoped that Roger might still come and hit with Stan but he didn’t. I was happy though and enjoyed watching him practice. He seemed relaxed and smiley, looked well-built. Oh boy, he hits such powerful BHs. Though he shanked quite few balls into next door. That time I had no idea he was going to have a bad day in the office later.

MC-StanBH

I thought Roger would come after Stan but some Fed fans started to move to next door, No.11, while Stan was still hitting. But I must follow them. People, many Italians were asking around if Roger would practice here or not. But I was pretty sure he would come soon. The reason I told the lady next me were:

A) Other top guys had practiced already except him.

B) Security guards and stuff had started gathering.

C) The court had been swept and the players’ bench had been carefully wiped.

D) Photographers had come in. I actually recognised one who publishes some of the best photos of Roger during the tournament every year.

It has to be VIP. Got to be Roger! I was gushing. And I was right. Amazed to witness that he was one who’s got the loudest cheer for just appearing to practice. Nadal also had some claps as his name was called out but not so much for others.

The lady was fidgety because Andy was due for his match in the Rainier Court but wanted to see Roger despite she was a Nadal fan. Hah, no such worries for me. I was there for the one and only. I never took my eyes off from the man. Because of that, sorry guys, I didn't take many photos. Though I filmed him hitting BHs with my old mobile. Later at home in the evening my daughter teased me, “Mum, how many times you’re watching that?” I was on cloud nine all day. Ah yes, despite that he lost the match.

In retrospect, he probably wasn't physically great, I think. He looked subdued. You often see in the media that he is laidback, chatty, playful during the practice session, sometimes even being dorkerer. But he was rather quiet and wasn't twinkling. And I think he hardly practiced serve, hit only a few. When I saw he was bending the left knee at the start of serve motion in the first set of the match, I was freak out if his knee was hurting. Remember he played 2 days in a row on Friday for the first time after the injury. Quite possibly he was tired and struggled. Sure it's natural after being out from the game for long. Just happy he came back. Hope he will be fully fit soon. Perhaps more matches he needs.

I see some criticism in the comment section on the blog but Fed’s match against Jo was far the best match of the day. Andy played very well but it was too easy for him. (What’s wrong with Raonic, by the way?) Stan wasn’t himself and Rafa didn’t have to try hard, did he? By the time I watched a half of Monfils' match, had enough of tennis.

Anyway, after the practice he waved at us and said Bye-bye. I sat there alone for a few minutes like a stargazer. Thank you Roger, you've already made my day.

At the Rainier, I was next to a Canadian gentleman who came to see Rafa. He asked me why I liked Fed. Oh, does he really want to hear? All 1,000 reasons? Such as his lovely curls? No kidding, I said simply I loved him for his style of play, then this and that I continued. He did listen to my every words with great fascination and then he rooted for Roger, too. He told me that he was disappointed in Rafa-Stan match and enjoyed Roger-Jo match better. He asked if Fed looked restrained from moving, though he had no idea that Fed had a knee injury. So he was't surprised to hear he had an operation as he also had a bad knee himself playing the basketball when he was young.

The other side of me was a Frenchman who was a big fan of Tsonga. Each time Jo missed the 1st serve, he was so annoyed. We applauded each other for each players’ good shots which was lovely way to watch the game. We three were sandwiched by two diehard Roger Armies with RF kit so I put RF cap on without feeling embarrassed and kind of enjoyed being a part of the group. The cap was essential for keeping the beauty, ladies! And the guys were pleased to see a RF logo on my head. While I chanted ‘Hold’ and ‘Break’ mantra quietly, they were loud cheering, encouraging and shouting “Grojaaaaa!” all the time. Even called Stan ‘Roger’, though they were supporting Stan, too. It was such a fun, even at the very tense moments.

MC2016FED-JO

The weather was peRFect. The venue was stunning in sunshine. Got a ticket to see Fed. Managed to catch him practice and the match stretched to a 3rd set. All his match in the past went swoosh in the blink of an eye so I felt the money was well-spend this time. (But a 33cl bottle of water costs €4? Outrageous!) The most important thing – to get to see him play live whatever the outcome. And I made it. Now you see why I had a ‘Paradisiaque' – Heavenly day.

Having said that, he lost two years in a row. Am I his bad luck charm? Hope not!

By a Fed Fan Called 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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75 thoughts on “A Surprise Fan Story – Monte-Carlo Heavenly Tale”

  1. How spoiled are we getting to share in all the highs of being a Fed fan via your enthusiastic and interesting report Wanda. What a surprise treat and all the special aspects you highlighted not to mention your almost on court conversion of a Rafa devotee, really does make the heart sing. A really personal reflection of all the joy and happiness RF playing brings to so many, and all of us. Thank you Wanda.

    Let’s just hope the knee is strengthening and by not over playing at Monte Carlo, Roger is a strong contender for this clay swing, especially RG.
    Everything that happened since January has been unexpected and hats off to his flexibility and motivation to overcome the challenge of surgery and making a comeback when he was actually planning to minimise his clay play and rest. Onwards and upwards…champion effort so far.

  2. Loved your report..thanks! I am lucky enough to live in Melbourne so your writing brings back the intensity of emotions experienced whenever we are able to see Roger practice & play his sublime tennis.
    As you say .. onwards & upwards 🎾🎾

  3. Beautiul story Wanda, nothing like ‘stalking’ Roger. The feeling is unreal to be honest. It brings back my memories of watching Roger.

  4. Great great story, Wanda! Thanks so much for sharing. To see Roger in person on a tennis court is a long cherished dream!

  5. Nice story,glad you got to see Federer.
    Hope someday ,probably about retirement Fed gets to the blog and reads all these fan stories😃.

  6. Awesome Wanda. So glad you decided to go. One meter away from Roger and you didn’t jump the fence after hearing that “deep and sexy” voice? Too much security?
    Great report and happy that Canadian guy became a Fed fan, lol.

    Nothing like Fed in person. He has an aura about him, that’s for sure. Hope his knee is ok. He never really tells the whole story at times…think 2013 and the back issues all year.

  7. What an awesome experience you had Wanda! Monte Carlo looks like such a beautiful venue for tennis, would definitely be on my bucket list!

  8. Hi my fellow Fed fans,

    Many thanks for reading and leaving nice comments. And especially thanks to Jonathan for this great place to share Fed topics – the Heavenly blog? 😆

    Do you guys know a British magician called Dynamo? I read an interview of him on Telegraph sometime ago. He said;

    “Foe me, magic is actually a feeling, an emotion. It’s in all of us but it’s brought out when you witness something that to you personally is impossible – an almost out of this world experience. It’s that rush of excitement you get when you’re brought back to a childlike state of mind where things happen in the world that you just don’t quite understand.”

    Was he talking about Fed? You have that emotion when you see him play, don’t you?!

  9. Dear Wanda, sorry I’m a bit late to the party but thanks so much for your story. I saw him last at WTF in 2011 – an incredible experience. Unfortunately I have never managed to see him really close up – how fantastic that you did. I am so pleased for you as I know how disappointed you were that you had picked the wrong day. I’d have felt just like you 🙂

    1. In fact before I answered he said, ‘He is good-looking, isn’t he?’
      Ah no, but yes you could say that…I blushed and denied the claim and pretended I was a REAL tennis fan. Thanks to the blog, I learned a lot of Fed’s game!

  10. You DID get to, how awesome, and what a wondeful surprise for all of us too!

    What everybody else said, really. Although – I DID wonder why you didn’t write down every one of those 1000 reasons you shared, and your neighbor’s reaction to each one ! 😉

    1. Nice that some of these are recent.
      Hey, they are filming Prison Break down the road from me today. Roger’s favourite show way back when.

  11. Seriously guys, is this going to be a regular thing now for the next few months? Is that doped up Mallorcan MotheRafakers face going to be plastered all over ATPWorldTour? Should I just temporarily retire from following tennis?

    Help! Anyone?

    1. Make photos of Roger, tell stories of his tennis, place it on ATP – I think they also find Roger more nice to show on pics – or/and on this site, sharing your up-fed of Rafa and hunger for Roger with most of us here?

    1. Rafael Nadal, you are a world class doper, and took time off because you were under a silent doping ban. Sue me, you Mallorcan MotheRAFAking bitch!

    2. And, Lance Armstrong sued too. Then admitted to doping. And a comment on one of the posts reflects what I said.

      This whining Spanish whore is a doper, and that’s exactly why he is suing. I hope he gets tested well at the Olympics. Oh wait, that’s in Brazil, another land of dopers.

      1. I am not completely agreeing with Sid here but I think Nadal would have surely doped at some point. If he has never taken drugs ever I would be totally amazed.

    3. I’m curious, Sid. If they manage to go through the whole process and no glint of suspicion ever comes on Nadal…if he is cleared completely and in future all his test are made public and nothing comes up…will you still be so convinced?

      1. I’m beyond convinced that he dopes. Right after the Spanish court ordered blood bags destroyed, instead of handing them over to WADA, and they let Fuentes go with a slap on the wrist, I found all the answers. Remember Fuentes mentioned footballers, tennis players, and cyclists.

        You’re kidding right? A country where all forms of doping was legal not too long ago, and the not so in the distant past unraveling of the cycling world?

        You still don’t believe that the ATP is covering up its premier athletes?

        No, even if all those things you have mentioned become a reality, I will not be convinced. How will you convince me that the test results released are not tampered with? Will you and I personally examine the tests, and interpret the results?

        Nadal dopes in Spain. Spain will withhold all information, as it has done in the past.

      2. Roger’s suggestion to keep all tests for future examination with sharper future test analyzers should be agreed on, and DONE by all tennis organizers.

      3. I like this suggestion by Roger.

        I get the feeling Rio might not be as strict as London (where dopers were summarily warned). That would be advantage Nadal.

      4. No. He has never won the WTF. And the reasons behind it, including what Aunt Toni has explained are as follows: –

        -It’s not on clay. The ATP doesn’t want Rafa to win

        – It should be in the middle of the season, and not at the end of the year as most players, especially Rafa are too tired.

        – It’s indoors which is Rafa’s weakest surface. Yet again, a deliberate ploy by the ATP.

      5. Thanks for this explaining information, Sid. There could be more to it than that…? But if it’s the dope restrictive, it might clean Djoko? Or has he a better doctor?

  12. Roger has confirmed that he’s to play Madrid – yippee and yay!! I was starting to suffer serious withdrawal symptoms. Now something to look forward to – so happy. 🙂

    1. Withdrawal symptoms, these were the exact two words that came to my mind yesterday before Fed decided to play Madrid!

      1. It was so logical to play Madrid, so, well, really worrying with time drawing out for confirmation. I wonder really why he waited that long. To keep some (outside fan-world) in the dark?

    1. Even though I always thought Madrid is faster, from what was said last year – its only quicker through the air because of altitude. Rome was supposedly a much quicker surface.

    1. I’m really excited to know the answer for that… (telling me about avoiding or not some irrelevant learning …?) 🙂

      1. I’m thinking Roger’s knee is an issue. Why would he wait until the last moment to confirm Madrid and still no word on Rome.

        Draw must be out soon?

      2. I don’t think we should necessarily read anything into the lateness of the confirmation: he said he was going to rest after Monte Carlo.

      3. The draw is already out 🙂

        Nah Sue, I’m not going to Madrid this year, would have liked to again though. But got a few plans to see Fed later in the year.

  13. Djeezzz… That draw….
    Thiem is a guy I’m considering a dark horse for Roland Garros.
    And Nadal in the quarters…

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