Angelic Paranoia

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ATP Tour Final tennis
Sunday 11th November 2012 5:28 pm

Yesterday I went to the tennis at the O2 and took 44 photos. They keep it dark in there, with the court lit when they're playing and spotlights when they're not. So my photos are a bit variable because sometimes they came out better with flash, sometimes they came out better without flash, and when I did turn flash off they come out blurry if I move the camera. But I didn't upload the blurriest ones.

We got there in plenty of time and found that Federer was practising on the court, rather than on the practise courts. Our seats were not only close to the action, they were close to where the players come out. Which meant that it filled up with children wanting autographs at the end of the match. But it was still the closest we've sat to a tennis match, which was exciting.

The first match was Bryan/Bryan vs Paes/Stepanek. The Bryan brothers always wear the same kit anyway, but Paes and Stepanek were colour coordinated with blue shirts and black shorts. Every time we see the Bryan brothers play they lose. So we supported Paes/Stepanek (who won).

The umpire was amusing in this match. He shouted a correction to the line judge at one point that was really loud. I think he just wanted to get it in quick and got a bit overexcited. When he read the score out after that he did it very quietly. There was a point early on when one of the Bryans thought that a serve had touched the net, but the machine said it hadn't. So he spoke to the umpire about that. Then when they next served they had a let called and Bryan was gesturing "Thank you!".

They managed to finish just in time for the singles to start on time. Before they come out they get to stand in a whole load of smoke/dry ice. Del Potro came out first and while Federer waited he practically disappeared behind it all. Federer had a nice colour purple shirt and matching wristband and purple shoes. Del Potro had a luminous yellow shirt with some yellow on his shoes. Seriously, his shirt was brighter than the balls, and if you haven't seen one close-up, let me tell you that they're brighter than you'd think.

Most of the crowd was supporting Federer, we were supporting Del Potro. I'm not sure how we always end up supporting the opposite of who the crowd is, but we picked the winners yesterday!

Interestingly, on one of the hawkeye challenges Federer pointed to where the ball had landed and he was right. Another time Del Potro was challenging an 'out' call. Federer looked at the mark and nodded, to say it was on the line and he was right.

On the whole I really enjoyed the tennis - both matches were really good. And exciting as to who was going to qualify for the semi-finals. The other good news was that the tournament is going to be in London until 2015. Next year we're going to go to the semi-final afternoon match and definitely sitting near the front again, if we can, or else in the bottom section. I am starting to learn from experience that more expensive tickets really are better seats.

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