Attending the tennis invoked so many fond memories of living here in Doha the past 4 of 5years. It is a reminder of the opportunity that exists here. We have been going every year with our son since he was almost two years old before they had rules about age for attendance. Back in 2006, all of the Tennis Championships, men’s and women’s were free to attend. Now there is a charge. But even still, where else in the world can you get tickets so readily and have seats so close to the court?
The tournaments have always been well done. I can see why our son has enjoyed them: the sights, the sounds, and the people. Not to mention he really enjoys watching the actual match now. During the first tournament we attended in 2006, Roger Federer was playing. Our son took great excitement when the ball was missed: saying “Oh, Oh OOOH!” louder and louder each time. We left even before they threw us out as there was no keeping him quiet. The following year, he received his 1st kiss from Justine Henin who went on to win the tournament. Sadly, he will never remember the kiss.
For the semi-finals last night, I don’t know why I was so shocked to see the stands only ½ full for the start of the first singles match: Belgium’s Kim Clijsters vs. Australia’s Stacey Stosur. Clijsters went on to win despite not seeming to be in the game for the first set; picking at her tennis racket and appearing fairly fidgety. This was completely understandable as she was in a car accident on the way to the match. That would do it for me. This is another reminder of why we are not so fond of living here at times. But all distractions for Clijster’s disappeared in the second set. Our son wanted Clijster’s and Zvonareva to win the semi-finals as they were “the prettiest” players. A good enough reason when you are 6 ½. The second set saw Belgium’s Caroline Wozniacki clean up!
Tonight for the finals, it was Wozniacki vs. Clijsters. Again the stands were approximately 85% full. It seemed as if Clijsters would easily win the entire match if the first set was any measure. The first set ended with Clijsters winning 6-3. She went on to take the lead 4-1 in the second set. But then Wozniacki made a fierce comeback to win 7-5. The 3rd set was the most exciting. You could see the players were fatiguing particularly Wozniacki. Who wouldn’t be fatigued after 2 hours of play? Not to mention the humidity which was affecting even us in the stands. During the breaks ,Wozniacki was putting ice bags on her head. Wozniacki definitely had the stronger of the two serves but it was Clijster’s talent that finally won out with a 6-3 win after 2 hours and19 minutes of playing time. Our son was pleased, his “girl” had won. Both players made very gracious comments towards each other when accepting their trophies. Now that is sportsmanship!