Rafael Nadal was playing against Igor Andreev on Court 1 for the first match. He's my mom's & brother's favorite, so we went there first, even though it was not in Center Court. The tickets we had came with a grounds pass, which allowed us to watch any match on any of the courts. The match between Nadal and Andreev was amazing because it was free seating and our seats were only about 50 feet away from the court! I have never seen a big tennis match in person and it felt like we could almost reach out and touch the players. We had watched the entire Nadal vs. Federer match at Wimbledon on TV, but this was so totally more awesome than Wimbledon (pardon my grammar). Nadal's serve looked so much harder once you got close up (up to 197 km/hour). Plus, you could see the ball rotating really fast when he hit it. We could also see that the players were really sweaty with the heat and humidity. That must make it a lot harder to play well.
It was awesome that we could see both Nadal and Federer play in person on the same day! Even my mom, who doesn't play tennis, said it was like a dream come true.
On Thursday, Aug. 14th, we had gotten three tickets for tennis. We checked the schedule for the matches on the Internet and figured out who to watch--Federer vs. Blake, then Venus Williams vs. Li Na (China) and then Nadal's match, with the possibility of watching the Bryan brothers play Hewitt and Guccione. Each tennis ticket allows you in for four matches of the day!
But the rain didn't cooperate. We still went ahead in case it stopped raining, like last Sunday, as my dad really wanted to see these famous players play! The transportation didn't cooperate either - our taxi had to stop twice with engine trouble! Finally, we got to the subway stop. By now, we had the route to the tennis venue down pat.
We got there around 6:00 pm. It was still raining. They told us that if they canceled we would get a refund, but with such a tight schedule, they waited almost four hours and dried off the courts--they first used big squeegees, then big air blowers, then towels to dry off the surface of the court. The officials came out to check that it wasn't slippery and the players could finally start to play! We found out the next morning that the last match didn't end until about 3 a.m.!
We were sad for Federer that he lost to Blake 6-4, 7-6, but were glad that an American won! Then came the Li Na vs. Venus Williams match. It involved a lot cheering when Venus double faulted and screams of joy when Li Na won the first set. We left soon after that as it was after 11 p.m. and my brother was falling asleep. We hopped on the Olympic bus a few stops and got a taxi. It was after midnight when we got home. I went straight to bed.