25 March 2012

Beijing Olympics memories - August 12, 2008

So I arrived in Beijing the day before the Opening Ceremony, and had hopes of getting more tennis tickets.

Buying tickets was actually quite easy if you were willing to spend the money. Craigslist and The Beijinger websites had so many tickets for sale so I spent NZ$300-400 (each) for a few extra sessions of tennis tickets, so there I went with my pricey ticket for the first day.

And it rained. Hard. We stood in the rain for hours waiting for updates before they finally cancelled the session. Sigh. That was an indication of what was to come and rain continued to make life difficult for the tennis tournament so much that my gold medal women's singles match became a men's doubles gold medal match. I'm still bitter.

My first day of proper tennis (for second round action) was crazy hot tho, and it was a baffling day in terms of organization. See the order of play above - everyone was trying to scribble down matches as they didn't have any available for fans and this was the only schedule anywhere!

It was a busy day but there were an incredible amount of seats free for the matches. I started with Serena against Sam Stosur and then moved to center court to see Venus Williams versus Iveta Benesova. My seat ended up being in about the fifth or sixth row on center court which was amazing.

Without any displays showing what was on each court (and with no programme or order of play handed out (and believe me I tried to get a copy) it was tricky to catch all the matches I wanted to see. I caught glimpses of Dinara Safina, Tomas Berdych and Lindsay Davenport (in doubles action before she pulled out).

Some more photos:


Venus warming up


Serena takes the court for her first round match


Serena easily beat Stosur


Venus playing Benesova


Pretty empty stadium


I had a great seat to watch Venus


Lindsay Davenport signing autographs - just missed seeing her play

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