It's taken a little while to get my web galleries ready after the weekend's Davis Cup tie between the USA and Spain, but for anyone who is interested, they're here now - check out this link. At least one of the big-shot photographers working in Madrid over the weekend had an assistant working courtside to transmit his work while the matches were going on, and many submitted pictures to their editors immediately post-match, or stepped out to do it during the match. I rarely take my eyes off the court, so my pictures take longer to sort and upload. To enlarge any picture, click on it, and use the arrows to page through. There are some fun photos of the celebrations after the fourth rubber, and the embrace between Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish after their doubles victory is worth checking out for the facial expressions alone.
I didn't stay courtside to watch the dead rubber - I was waiting for information about the final press conferences, and then I went outside to greet TW regular GVGirl, in Madrid with the rest of the Netheads. Earlier in the weekend I'd already spotted them on the other side of the stadium - difficult to miss, really - but at least we had no problem recognising each other! Meeting anyone from TW during a tournament is always like seeing an old friend. Is anyone else planning to be in Madrid or Paris for the last two Masters Series events of 2008? These are also the last two stops on my Rafa Euro-spectator calendar Slam, so of course, I will be there.
Apart from the tennis, my overwhelming memory of the weekend has been the incessant "Olé, olé" chant of the Spanish fans. For a good two days, I couldn't get it out of my head, though the new Kings of Leon album has now worked a treat on that front. I also think that this was a very good weekend for Sam Querrey. It was his first Davis Cup outing, and to put up such a strong showing against the world number one, on clay, in front of a crazy Spanish crowd, was something special to watch.
-- Rosangel Valenti