©Colette Lewis 2007
Another trip, another piece of evidence that the airline industry is in about the same state as James Blake's game right now. Hotel check-in at 2 a.m. with a 9 a.m. breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne scheduled for this morning gave us darn little time to work our way into the Miami pace of things.
It was a lovely, breezy morning though, and the chance to catch up with friends made the sleep deprivation seem unimportant. I expected to see players dining at the Ritz restaurant, I was just surprised (number 1) that one of them was Andy Roddick (and friend). The temptation to order room service has to be overwhelming when you're faced with eager kids asking for giant tennis balls to be signed at 9 a.m..
Surprise number 2: seeing Marcos Baghdatis walking across the street that divides the parking lots from the main entrance gate. No one seemed to recognize him, probably because it is unimaginable that he wouldn't be squired around by the tournament's courtesy cars.
Once we got in and got our credentials (surprise number 3: decidedly low-key security), we checked out the media center and got entranced by the match on Stadium Court between 18-year-old Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Martina Hingis (seeded no. 5) that was going on right outside the glass. Surprise number 4: Radwanska taking the second set after a marathon game when she was serving at 5-3, and then (surprise number 5), the third set 6-2. Radwanska's backhand was in fine form, and Hingis came up with her usual array of beautifully unexpected shots, but somehow it didn't seem like the fire was there for Hingis. Another multiple Grand Slam winner, Serena Williams, who we'll see play tonight, can summon that will to win, but few have that capacity.
Surprise number 6 is the purple courts. I'd heard about the change, but sorry, I'm not a fan. I'm sold on the US Open blue.
Sunday, March 25, 2007