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13th September
2004
written by kat

original article from ynet.com – translated by kat
13 September 2004
The reporter was waiting for JC in court 3 yesterday (following the practice schedule given by the China Open officials), only to find out his practice had been moved to centre court.
Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, JC appeared on centre court. On the opposite side there were fans screaming “JUAN CARLOS!” and then fans who gathered outside the players lounge also screamed “FERRERO!” in return. (co-ordinated ladies!) Within moments, the area outside the players lounge were swamped with fans and it was extremely difficult for JC to get out even when protected by security.
During the 1st part of practice JC didn’t react much to the fan’s cheering and clapping. He was concentrating on hitting shots with his hitting partner, and also having a few words with his coach on the side. After 20mins of warmup, JC rested on the side of the court. At this time, on the western part of the stands, there were fans wearing red T-shirts which spells out F-E-R-R-E-R-O standing in a row, waving the Spanish flag and screamed “JUAN CARLOS!” JC surely would’ve been moved by the gesture, but he didn’t do anything to show it. When the 2nd part of practice started, JC seems to be more relaxed and more at ease with all the fans there. When a stray ball ended up on the stands, fans (mainly female) started screaming. It only ended when a volunteer picked up the ball. JC also looked relieved at the person who picked up the ball.
Unknowingly, the lights around the court were turned on. But JC kept going with his volleys, smashes, and practicising serves. After every great shot, the fans clapped, coupled with girls screaming. Some fans who got in the courts quietly were hoping to get his autograph.
When JC was warming down (stretching), fans started screaming “SAFIN! SAFIN!” JC got up and said hi to Marat and they chatted for a bit. As JC packed up his gear and headed towards the exit, there were already heaps of fans there waiting.
With the help of security JC was escorted through another exit, but some smart fans still sneaked in and got their autograph. Those who didn’t get it ran outside for a 2nd chance. Then something interesting happened. A group of fans gathered outisde the southern exit and then more and more of them gathered. When JC finally got into a car, a girl’s crying became clear, the girl said…”I’ve been waiting for him for over 2 hours… and I finally got his autograph!”
JC said the court conditions in Beijing are quite good. The lights at night are just right but he’s surprised by the passionate fans.

*Original article (in Chinese) can be found here*

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