Sunday, July 21, 2013

BB&T Atlanta Open 2013 - 1st day qualifying recap

I got to the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis venue at Atlantic Station a little more than an hour early for my scorekeeper duties yesterday; truth is, I thought my shift started at noon (as it does Monday), but it really started at 1:30 PM.  So, I posted my first picture to this blog shortly after I arrived, even though it was dated as having been posted on Friday.  Not sure how that happened, but I'm learning how to use my new smartphone to update blogger and twitter, so bear with me.
View of Atlanta's Skyline from BB&T Atlanta Open 2013 Stadium Court
In any case, as I usually do, I looked for and located my seating for the finals come Sunday, July 28, so I could see how things will look that day, and took a picture to share with my friend who will be attending with me.
3rd row seating - sweet!
Not bad, eh?  As luck would have it, someone already had the seat yesterday, so I had to wait until a break between sets (when he left) to snatch the photo above.  The new custom stadium looks great; the front two rows (much too pricey for me) have Lexus-branded seat-and-back cushions ... really nice!
Robby Ginepri & Andrew Carter taking warm up serves
Unfortunately, some rain started to fall right after Atlanta's own Robby Ginepri and Andrew Carter finished warming up, but that worked in my favor because - instead of starting my shift in the middle - my partner and I got to do the whole match.  I did the first set, which Ginepri won 6-3, and got to blog an update during the second set, which he won 6-1.

After Ginepri's match, it was time for another Atlantan - that normally receives a bye into the main draw of this tournament - to play:  Donald Young (vs. Romania's Catalin-Ionut Gard).  Again, I scored the first set, which Donald won 6-2, and then tweeted a picture of the lefty serving during the second set, which was interrupted for 4 hours due to the rain.
Kilwins at Atlantic Station ... only thing missing was Butterbeer
However, because we're at Atlantic Station, there is lots to do.  Firstly, we ate the catered meal for volunteers (Sonny's BBQ), then we ventured to Kilwins - which reminded me of Honeydukes in the Harry Potter series - for some chocolate delights!  Yum, yum!

Young's match resumed about 8 PM, and we expected that the rest of the day's scheduled matches would be played.  That meant we'd have two more matches after Young's (he went on to win the second set 6-2), and the prospect of a very late night loomed.  However, we then learned that wildcard Eric Sock's (Jack's older brother) match with Zimbabwe's Takura Happy (I kid you not) would be kept for an earlier-than-originally-scheduled Sunday morning start, which meant that the doubles specialists' match-up between Australia's Matthew Ebden and Mexico's Santiago Gonzalez would be the last match on Stadium Court.
Gonzalez serving to Ebden
Not many fans left for Day 1 of qualifying by 10 PM
By now it was pretty sparse fan-wise at the Stadium Court.  After a slow start, during which he fell behind a break, Ebden (who played here last year) took the first set 6-4 by breaking Gonzalez in the 10th game.  He then went on to win the second more easily (6-1) against his obviously dejected opponent.  Had I not stayed until the end, I would have missed this fireworks display, which appeared to be coming from Piedmont Park.

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