Friday dawned fine and sunny… oh no wait, that’s a lovely start to a story but I can’t take my poetic license *that* far. Friday dawned in that fine way Melbourne does, with rain and clouds and a helluva lot of showers, basically waving the wet in the face of all the tennis-watching and tennis-playing hopefuls at Melbourne Park and snickering as they donned boots and jackets and brought umbrellas to the site… and waited for the clouds to clear.
That’s what happened on Thursday, and in a very un-Melbourne-like fashion, the clouds never cleared. Friday however, Lady M was back to herself, and showed us her favourite trick. At 12.36pm precisely, the clouds parted and – hola – what on earth is that? Oh yes. Blue skies. And LP’s carefully selected outfit of black tights, boots and a lovely cardigan over her dress was deemed obsolete as it was suddenly tennis weather again.
I love my city, and I adore the concept of Four Seasons in a Day. If anything, it’s great for scaring tourists. I was kinda prepared this time, not even getting dressed until the sunshine arrived.
And it was Melbourne Park time again.
First stop for qualies, we visited Miss Sabine Lisicki. A Twitter favourite of mine and sadly missed during 2010.
Highlight of the match was all the orange-clad people sitting next to me, who I proudly told LP next to me “Ooh look, Dutch people. Wearing orange” only to realise that we were, ahem, at a Dutch girl’s match. Brain scientist, I tell you. Sabine was also lovely and sweet and won her match and smiled at us and said hi when we congratulated her. All sweetness.
While the qualies had all been carefully scheduled for Courts 1 – 14, on the main side of Melbourne Park, closer to Garden Square and Rod Laver, Courts 16 – 22, namely the famed Court Sixteen and Court Seventeen, were being used as practice courts for the hallowed faces of our sport. They were accessible to media only.
That is, until a full day’s backlog – thank you, Mother Natch! – had the schedule filled to the brim, and including Courts 18-22 on the schedule. Which meant? What’s that? Oh yes, why wouldn’t we stake out Court 16 and see who might grace us with their presence?
As we did. Practice porn for y’all, namely in the form of one Deliciano (we passed Judy, heading in the other direction. Clearly she’d already her fill.)
Check the calves.
Question: Will I ever have too much Feli on this blog?
Actually not enough. Though aside from the multiple female complaints regarded his shirted state, LP and I were riveted by the hairstyle. A little half bun, secured by a headband? Cleo should help us recreate that look.
On the other side of the court, we were riveted to see none other than the Evil One himself, Mr Robin Soderling, performing an exercise that I am only familiar with due to a particularly slave-driving personal trainer who coined them “knee highs”.
But you can call them whatever you want. Because tee hee hee, he looked really funny.
We sauntered over to another court, checked out Simone Bolleli, the famous Grigor Dimitrov, and were about to head over to another side of town – when we dropped past Court 17 (home of our favourite concrete potplant, perfect for climbing to catch a glimpse of a crowded Rafa practice) to find none other than this lad:
The argyle has totally grown on me. To quote the girl next to me, “It’s growing on me as we speak.” It kinda suits his little Scottish personality, and it’s weird to imagine that it’s all athletic and dri-fit – it looks like it belongs on a sweater alongside the crackling woodfire hearth in ye olde highlands of Scotland. So I like.
Let me just say, for lovers of all things Muzza. I haven’t seen the boy up close – really, ever – and I liked what I saw. A few little new sideburns, a little bit of ranga coming through, and some bee-yoo-tee-ful tennis. I’m not going to pretend I understood what he was trying to work on, but he looks well and ready to get over that hump he faced last year. And it was hot, and his vampire skin held up real well. Which is always important.
And then he drank some water. Or maybe Powerade.