Anyone for tennis?
This evening I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of three tickets to the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Cup held at UCLA. Steve, Nick and I went expecting to meet up with the work-folks who provided the tickets, but somehow that never quite meshed. I'll remember to bring the cell phone next time. In fact, I'll remember to bring the camera too.
I had a great time, but first let me start with the disclaimer that I'm by no means a knowledgeable sports fan. Luckily I had two charming gentlemen to explain the finer philosophy of the second serve, court positioning, top spin, and of course mental warfare. I have now witnessed how a killer serve and ruthless domination can break a man's spirit. What power!
The first match was a blowout between Andre Agassi and Jean-Rene Lisnard. Agassi dominated, giving up only one set to Lisnard. You could tell that he was playing a pretty reserved game, too. He's scary-good. Both contestants withdrew from the next match for health reasons (Mardy Fish/Taylor Dent) so it instead ended up being between "lucky losers" Noam Okum from Israel and Dmitry Tursunov from Russia. There was a lot more passion in this match from these guys who were all ready to get on the plane back home. I found it to be much more exciting, although it helps also that we moved over to some empty seats a few rows up from center. Great view, I highly recommend it! Tursunov played a great and very powerful game. He had a wicked serve that hit 130-mph at one point. Poor Okum was no match and was quickly defeated (i.e. mentally destroyed). The buzz is that our young Russian friend is an up-and-comer, so keep your eyes peeled.