Hi everyone. I'm here for the Wednesday action in North Greenwich. First up in singles are Monday's winners, Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling, and in the evening the losers, Rafael Nadal and Nikolay Davydenko, take the court. Please use this post to discuss the day's tennis, including the doubles.
To begin, here is yesterday's selection of pictures from the event. As always click on any picture to enlarge, and use the arrows to page through. There was a fair amount of 'roaring' going on yesterday evening, which is of course de rigeur for ATP players these days; Messrs Federer and Murray both do particularly good open-mouthed aggression (as well as the picture to the right, also check out the one of Andy Murray on page 7 of the gallery). Perhaps the ATP's next campaign promoting up-and-coming players should be called Young Lions? From what I saw of the juniors at Wimbledon this year, players begin work on their tonsil-flashing technique quite early on.
As a number of people have already remarked, there's something extremely blue about this event, and I'm not referring to the mood of fans of Fernando Verdasco, Rafael Nadal or Nikolay Davydenko, each of whom has yet to record a victory this week (OK, Group B have only played one match each so far, but one of Monday's losers will be a double loser tonight). The lighting in the O2 Arena isn't just blue - at times it's virtually indigo. The lighting falling on the crowd makes the mass of people come up in pictures like a massive canvas soaked in blue-black ink. As I have sorted through my images of the past two days, they're full of shadows across the players' faces, often making it difficult to discern expressions. I've told myself some of them might look quite artistic, even though it began by being totally unintentional on my part, and have processed some of them by emphasising the lines and shadows. Yesterday, after reviewing Monday's pictures, I started seeking out the shadows. It's a rare week when the players wearing dark colours are the easiest to photograph, but this week it's definitely the case for me, even though skin tones mostly look quite vampiric unless I do a little fiddling with the colours.
One very good thing about the event, however, is that it's full of people, and from the conversations I've overheard, both inside and on the way to the venue, quite a few of them are knowledgeable and passionate fans. The atmosphere for last night's evening match was electric, and not everyone was supporting Murray, either.
I may not have time to sit in on this afternoon's press conferences for the TWibe, because I'm hoping to meet up with one of TW's long-term friends, poster (and tennis coach) skip1515. He's not the only friend here - yesterday I was delighted to see another friend (and TW contributor) Miguel Seabra in the media centre. However, I will try to sit in and log comments here about the press conferences after the evening singles, unless I'm about to miss the last train home. I'm not sure whether that might help Nadal or Davydenko supporters to feel less blue, but I'll do my best to make it there.
As always, enjoy the day's tennis.
-- Rosangel Valenti