Carolina and I went to Memphis on Friday to watch part of a tennis tournament that benefits St. Jude's children's hospital. It happens every year around this time, and there are always some good stars around. This was my third time to see Andy Roddick, but my first time to see Venus Williams. I'll break my thoughts down into a few tidbits:
1. When we first walked through the place on the way to the court, we were walking past a huge black man who looked strangely familiar, then I saw someone stop and tell him how much they love his daughters. It was Venus Williams' dad. I had to squeeze past him to go down the stairs, so we smiled and nodded at each other. That was cool.
2. Andy Roddick is a lot of fun to watch. He is very aggressive and passionate. He was playing against some guy named Y. Lu who gave him a real run for his money. Roddick won the first set but almost lost the second one. It came down to a tie breaker. Carolina had her camera out and we managed to get a video capture of Andy on the last point of an important game that he lost. He had been getting mad and fussing to himself, then hitting the ground some with his raquet. When he lost this game, he slammed it and broke it, then got out the next raquet and threw it on the ground, too. Check out the video below, we got it all! I think later, they got the raquet that he broke out of the trash and auctioned it off for charity.
After this game, he came back with a lot of desire. He served three aces in a row, then double faulted, then lost a point. As soon as he lost the point, I was expecting to hear some expletives, but instead he shouted, "AWESOME!!!" at the top of his lungs. He's good at entertaining the crowd. Especially when he gets mad and gives dirty looks to the line judges.
3. Venus Williams. Seeing her in person is so impressive. Carolina happened to be at the right place at the right time and managed to snap this close-up, really good picture of her. I've never seen someone be so huge yet so graceful. Her technique is beautiful. She has extremely long arms and legs, but consistently did great at returning the balls that would have seemed too close for her to get with her long stature. She's very classy and graceful. I'd like to see her play again some time.
If you have never gone to a tennis match and live around the AR-TN area, this is a great one to go to. The place is fairly small, and as you can see from the video, you are really close to the action, even in the cheap seats.