After the defeating Feliciano Lopez in the Double Your Pleasure Match, I went to Rafa's presser. He gives a lot of the same answers to the same questions, so I thought I would change it up a bit and ask about Davis Cup (since I'll be going.) So here was the Q & A, and within the parenthesis is my added commentary to explain our.......misunderstanding:
ME: Are you planning to play the upcoming Davis Cup tie in Austin?
RAFAEL NADAL: Remain a lot. (Pause....I look at him confused) Remain a lot. (Pause....I continue to look at him confused and now he realizes he needs to explain.) Remain a lot of months to go there and a lot of things can happen. We will see what's going on here, in the clay season, grass season. Is difficult for me. Too important things for me to come to think about the Davis Cup next round, no?
I smile and nod. We're now on the same page.
Here are some photos from the presser. Rafa gives good face.
I couldn't get the Doublemint gum commercial out of my mind while watching the Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez match today at the Sony Ericsson Open.
I mean, COME ON, was there a more sexy match on Stadium Court? And it seemed like every pose I got of Rafa, Feli tried to to one-up him:
Rafa and Feli trade who's got the better thigh pics. I think it's a tie.
Here's the competition to get the most cat-calls. Rafa won.
But.....when it comes to who's more EMO.....? It's Feli every time! (click to enlarge to see facial expression is mandatory)
Andrea Petkovic delivered one of the biggest upsets so far, taking out #1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open. It was an exciting match to watch, with Petko "mixing it up" and being aggressive with her shots. But of course, the MAIN reason I was watching is that I wanted to witness the Petko Dance, (which will be unfortunately going out of style) in the flesh, and let me tell you, it was 10 seconds of pure fabulousness.
It's interesting how a player's personality can affect the entire media room, and the moment Petko stepped in after a tense Caro presser, I felt my whole body relax. She's smart, funny, personable, and just has that "IT" factor that so many players lack. Her post-match press conference is still being talked about in the media room as I type this at 10:00 in the morning. It was classic. Pictures and highlights of the interview (with my question about her next Petkorazzi video) after the jump:
During Maria Sharapova's post-match interview, after her defeat of Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-1, she was interrupted twice with family calls on her cell phone. It's nice to see players laugh and smile and not take themselves too seriously, and you begin realize they actually have a life outside of tennis. She talked about her shoulder injury and the linking of her website with Kei Nishikori's to raise money for Japan. I asked her a question about her shoulder because I had heard reports that she still felt pain/numbness since her surgery, and I am still getting a kick out of my questions being on the interview transcript:
ME: Do you have any pain remaining in that shoulder or numbness at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. No, numbness anymore, no. It sometimes depends on the conditions. If it's cold and one day it's warm and all of a sudden it's cold, I just have to make sure I do an extra warmup. You know, sometimes if I play for seven, eight days in a row and don't have a break, it's you've got to take it easier a little bit than the other days. Just things like that. Nothing too overwhelming
Q. Your website is linked with Kei Nishikori's at the moment about the Japan charity. Can you talk about that a little bit or how you became involved or wanted to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Well, it's obviously a huge tragedy around the world right now. Japan just is one of my favorite countries to visit. First time I went there I think was 13 or 14 years old playing a junior tournament, one of the outside cities. I've just had such memorable times there. To see the country struggle so much as it is now, I think everyone is trying to do as much as we can. Kei and I are trying to set something up for the tournament later in the year to help raise as much money as we can. Yeah, I just hope that, you know, with the radiation, that gets taken care of as soon as possible so it doesn't spread and cause it to last really long.
I can totally see why she can be intimidating on the court, because even in her interview, when you ask her a question, she makes SERIOUS eye-contact and even I was wiggling a bit in my seat. Here are some photos from her presser after the jump.....
My little Novak Djokovic crush started back in 2009 at the US Open when I saw him play for the first time at Louis Armstrong Stadium, and then it was solidified when I saw this:
It was one of the first blogs that I posted, and I remember it clearly. There was something about this kid that I really liked, but I had conflicting feelings at the time because although everyone knew he had potential, he was much more known for his multiple ailments than his tennis. Plus I was a die-hard Rafa fan and really didn't have a lot of room in my heart for anyone else. But as time has progressed, the little space in my heart that Nole possesses has grown. I mean really, REALLY, how can you not love his sheepish grin, the charm that oozes out of him, and of course if you are a tennis fan, his amazing level of play this year.
Last night Nole demolished James Blake in the 3rd Round of the Sony Ericsson Open 6-2, 6-0. He's now 20-0 for the 2011 season which is 3rd in the history books for the best start to a season (thanks Shelley) behind Lendl and McEnroe. I was determined to go to his press conference to see what this kid was like in person. He was fashionably late, (I almost missed my hotel shuttle because of it), but when he arrived, it seemed like he was right on time. He's funny, cute, and completely approachable. To sum it up in very non-professional terms. He's awesome.
Clearly I'll be on Stadium court ALL DAY.
ORDER OF PLAY - MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011
STADIUM start 11:00 am
 S Stosur (AUS) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) - WTA
 C Wozniacki (DEN) vs  A Petkovic (GER) - WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  J Monaco (ARG) - ATP
 R Nadal (ESP) vs F Lopez (ESP) - ATP
Not Before 7:30 PM
 A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs  J Tsonga (FRA) - ATP
Not Before 9:00 PM
 A Ivanovic (SRB) vs  K Clijsters (BEL) - WTA
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
C Berlocq (ARG) vs  T Berdych (CZE) - ATP
[Q] O Rochus (BEL) vs  M Youzhny (RUS) - ATP
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) vs  J Jankovic (SRB) - WTA
Not Before 4:30 PM
 F Schiavone (ITA) vs  A Radwanska (POL) - WTA
 G Simon (FRA) vs P Cuevas (URU) - ATP
COURT 1 start 11:00 am
[WC] S Stephens (USA) / Y Wickmayer (BEL) vs  B Mattek-Sands (USA) / M Shaughnessy (USA) - WTA
M Mertinak (SVK) / D Norman (BEL) vs  R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) - ATP
 R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) vs J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) - ATP
S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS) vs  M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) - ATP
 V Azarenka (BLR) or  D Cibulkova (SVK) vs  A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) or  P Kvitova (CZE) - WTA
COURT 2 start 11:00 am
S Peng (CHN) vs  A Dulgheru (ROU) - WTA
P Petzschner (GER) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB) - ATP
 N Almagro (ESP) vs F Mayer (GER) - ATP
 M Bartoli (FRA) vs  J Groth (AUS) or  V Zvonareva (RUS) - WTA
Not Before 5:00 PM
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) or [WC] R Harrison (USA) / J Sock (USA) vs O Marach (AUT) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) - ATP
COURT 3 start 3:00 pm
Not Before 3:00 PM
A Kleybanova (RUS) / Z Yan (CHN) vs S Peer (ISR) / S Peng (CHN) - WTA
L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs  J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) - ATP