Friday, August 15, 2008

Bengali in Beijing - Star-gazing!

Okay, the IOC finally woke up to my existence yesterday and qualified me as an 'Olympian'. Yeah, all access. Total. Which means I can walk in anywhere and watch any sport, any athlete, whenever I want (obviously in competition). Now, being conscientious and all, I chucked Phelps and went to watch Leander and Mahesh - the tennis courts. Late evening after all the rain. Reached on schedule but the match against Federer-Wawrinka was yet to start. So I went into Centre Court...where Na Li had just stunned Venus Williams. And who was next? Yeah, Rafa!!!!!
Getting action shots with my small digital camera is next to impossible - but who cares!
All right, Rafa's the little red dot behind me on court. This one's just for proof - proof that I am not passing off someone else's shots as mine. And yeah, I'm looking unhappy because the guy taking the snap was taking ages.
And here's an interesting shot from the press area - lots of Rafas on screen and the original in the background - on court.
Okay then - we know what happened in that match against Austrian Jurgen Melzer, don't we? 6-0, the first set. The fun started from the first point itself. Melzer serves, Rafa returns, Melzer volleys, Rafa's on the run - sideways and backwards - and sends a precision forehand down-the-line that falls just inside the tramline. Game on! And it never went off.
But duty calls. And we had to leave the game midway to catch our boys in action - on Show Court Two.
Yes, they were important, but guess what - King Roger was at hand to take away all the attention and drain my camera battery.
Above - at practice - less than 20 feet from where I was.
Then at play. Manning the net with Stanislas Wawrinka for company. Lee and Hesh were knocked out in those 20-odd minutes before rain came down. 4-1 - no comebacks.
Yeah, the rain, the blasted rain. Which meant our Federer Experience was broken up over two days. Not a bad thing altogether, but Day Two was under a searing sun. Not happy at all.
And the usual proof shot. The smile is silly - but like I have been saying often of late - who cares!