So yesterday was the last day at the 2012 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships for me and Mardy Fish. I can't be there any longer because I have to go out of town. Mardy won't be there because he was beaten by 136th ranked Michael Russell 6-3, 6-1. Russell is from Houston and, while the Clay Court crowd loves Mardy, they also love the hometown boy. Russell faces Ryan Harrison today.
I had to include the photo above because yesterday was one of the Fashion Show luncheon days held at this tournament. This is a photo of the ladies waiting in the valet line to get their cars after the luncheon was over. This photo really doesn't do a good job of showing you the reality of this event – LOTS of ladies in very fancy dresses, very big hats and very high heels who seem to have absolutely no interest in the tennis going on right next to their luncheon. It is a lot of fun to watch them but not much fun to try and drive through them during luncheon time. I had at least two players ask me why I wasn't at the luncheon. Maybe in Europe the tournament drivers dress a lot better (my uniform is one of the things that precludes me from going – baggy Fila shirt, khaki shorts and tennis shoes).
The best part of my last day? I got to drive Sam Querrey and he is definitely now one of my most-favorite players to follow. He was so sweet and laid back when I drove him so it just killed me to see him get beat in a tiebreaker with South Africa's Kevin Anderson. Here are my “action” photos of Querrey:
He is 6'6″ and seems huge when he's sitting next to you in a car but then it turns out all of these guys are huge and Querrey is not the tallest by any means (Anderson is 6'8″, Isner is 6'9″ and Ivo Karlovic, who is still alive in doubles, is 6'10”).
FYI – I am lately into using the Camera + app to take all my iPhone photos because I love the quirky little editing features – especially the Offset border I've been using for all my Clay Court photos. The photos aren't that great, but isn't the border cute?
Anyway, Querrey lost his singles match but went on to play doubles later with James Blake, beating the Number 1 seeded team of Alex Bogomolov, Jr. (Russia) and Scott Lipsky (U.S.). So Sam Querrey is still alive and plays today at 4:30 p.m.!
Other fun things – I drove some ATP scoring trainees to the tournament. I think that's what they were anyway. They had very thick French accents and when I asked them about some of the problems I had seen with one of the score boards, they told me, “Zat is not our fault! Zee net is not controlled by us! We are at zee mercy of zee net contractors!” or something like that. I have no idea what all of the jobs are that you can have with the ATP but that seems like a fun one.
I also got to drive a German doubles team to the mall. I'm not sure who they were and they may have already lost and just be hanging out. But they were very fun and had some great ideas about what is appropriate for college students to be drinking these days (sometimes you get to talk about things other than tennis when driving).
I am so sad that my time is up at the Clay Courts. I actually got a call last night asking me if I could drive some extra shifts (I guess I am a desirable driver. Or I am known as someone who will work for free.) but unfortunately I have to return to my normal non-ATP life. My final thought – good luck to Sam Querrey and James Blake in their doubles quest. That would be so incredible if they won!