I’m sorry it had taken me this long to start writing this! It has already been 2 weeks since I got back and I had just been procrastinating. >< It’s really difficult to write since a lot had happened in the 11 days we spent in Valencia and I’m fairly certain I had forgotten a lot of the details. Ah well, my reports have always been rather crappy anyway. (Maybe someone here will remember the ones I wrote from 2004/5 which were super fangirl-y to put it lightly!!!)
Maybe it’ll be easier if I start by writing about the tournament itself. 🙂 I have never been to Valencia (or Spain, or Europe) before so I can only compare it with other tournaments in Australia/New Zealand. Since it’s an ATP tournament (by that I mean – mens only) it’s fairly small which is good for fans (or just people like me) who really don’t like walking around too much. 😛 There is one main court (L’Àgora) and Pista 1 – which (I heard) was temporarily constructed just for the tournament. The Agora is a part of the City of Arts and Sciences – one of Valencia’s main tourist attractions and if anyone had seen the pictures, it’s worth visiting whether you are a tennis fan or not. 😉
Most of the matches are played in the Agora, and outside there’s a “Fun Park” where various sponsors have stands to promote their products. There’re also bars which I think sold snacks – for anything substantial the nearby Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (let’s call it the Science Museum) has a restaurant and cafe. Interestingly, they also made room for three practice courts inside the Science Museum, and the rooftop area was where the photoshoots / press stuff were held.
I don’t know if they do this every year… but in the Corporate / VIP area they had some of JC’s trophies on display, including his World Number 1, Roland Garros and Davis Cup trophies. I took two photos of the 2001 Dubai one because…hrm, it says doubles??? LOL.
I promise the next post will actually include JCF!!!
I actually don’t have a lot to write about London – which is why I’m posting this first! On November 9, the ATP held a special ceremony for JCF in recognition for his achievements. 🙂 The ceremony was held after the Djokovic / Berdych match at the O2 Arena during the ATP World Tour Finals.
The ceremony wasn’t really ‘publicised’ beforehand, most people in the stadium didn’t know this was happening until they announced it after the match! It was short and sweet – they played a short video with messages from Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic (the same videos they played at the Valencia ceremony) – even with the Spanish subtitles LOL. There was a short interview with JCF and a lot of photo taking… afterwards JCF pretty much hopped on the next flight back to Spain!
I guess we were really lucky this time since we had planned to stop in London on the way home. We didn’t expect to see him again after Valencia so this was a real bonus. 🙂
*Leave a comment AND credit this site if you wish to post the photos anywhere else. 🙂
Here’s the video from the ceremony – sorry my hands were shaking so much!!! I was so tired that day. ><
If you’re here, you might have heard that JCF has announced his retirement from tennis – his last tournament will be at Valencia.
By some weird twist of fate – I had actually decided to go to Valencia this year… (I think there will be some gross sobbing from me, after all, I’ve watched him since 2001 and this website has been ‘online’ since 2002) How time flies.
THIS IS JUST AN IDEA FLOATING IN MY HEAD AT THE MOMENT – but is anyone interested in a “Messages to JC” type project? As the fans’ gift to him…for one last time? Let me know in the comments!
This Spanish big event clearly sets the beginning of great deals on clay. Yet, we won’t deny Nadal’s withdrawal makes JC’s chance of victory highly rising.
But this would be too easy to explain this favorable position as a mere question of opportunity. When you look back to Juan beginning of season’s, there’s well enough datas to catch the character: 2 victories and a final on the South American, plus, who will objet Ferrero was the most serious opponent Nadal had to face (especially for a courageous and quite unlucky 1st set from JC …) Besides, at the age of 30, it is clear JC’s now playing more relaxed than he used to over the past years.
His game evolved consequently, maybe less incisive than what he showed when he was world number one, but he managed to renew his game and sight of it, instead of falling to pieces to a chaotique retirment, as some players did. Juan is back. Being back after years of meanders and doubts can’t build a Nadal or a Federer. But in my opinion, a Verdasco or a Ferrer has less chance to be a good lieutenant than Juan is. His experience, his rythm is necessary to Spanish tennis and to tennis overall.
The press noticed it, and the echo of his possible victory is widely conveyed (For instance, Have a look to this Article from tennistalks.com)
As is first match again Russian Stakhovsky hasn’t started yet (should play around 5pm GMT), JC had the good surprise to be awarded a prize, rewarding his good beginning of season, labelling him the “Player 10”, as Juan managed to reach his current 16th rank (I think he yet even reached the 15th or 14th… any precise clue ?) You can see the whole article in the news, from the Official site of the tournament
That is why I solemnly put a coin on a JC victory or this Barcelona event ! What about you all ? See you for a debriefing after the match !
Y VAMOS JUAN CARLOS !!
Yesterday, It took 2h15 for JC to bring on another good performance to his overall good season, as he end out his season on a high standard victory against his countrymen, Nicolas Almagro, defeated 6/1 3/6 7/6.
Both tributor to the Spanish Davis Cup victory, their head to head was very intense, but yet, the former n°1 appeared dominative and offensive the first as he was the one who started the best the match, impressive on his serve on his first serve.
But more industrious in the 2nd set, Almagro made it up and became more agressive on his serve to obtain the 2nd round.
Eventually, this is a very tight final set which gave out a winner to this fight: JC made it strides to make a difference and win 7 points to. He succeeds to Verdasco on the charts of the tournament of this ever very raised-level tournament.
After his tough but steady victory (1/6 6/3 6/2) against Italian Starace, Juan was just mastering the whole match today, defeating Maxi Gonzalez 7/5 6/2. Everything turns out to be perfect after first break at 5-5 for JC. Then, the second set was just perfect, strewned with impressive shots and an agressive and offensive game.
What strikes us the most is Juan’s ability to reverse any situation and then to break strides so as to keep ahead.
He’ll now play in semis against another Italian, Andreas Seppi, a serious opponent on clay.
BUT we inform you that because of vacation, I won’t be able to write here until August the 22nd or 23rd. But be sure I’ll be cheering with you all along !
See you very soon for more JC news and carry on using our chat for an actual exchange about champion Juan Carlos Ferrero !!