Day 9 Sunday

Hi Everyone,

I talked my way out of volunteering today. I was pretty tired and I needed my space and I was ready to leave.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this but I saw a friend of mine at a party last summer and she approached me and said that there is a teenis tournament in Cincinnati and if I ever wanted to go to it  I could stay at her house. She said she has a big house with an aparment below and if they are not home she would just give me the key to it. So time goes by and the volunteering positions come up on the internet to apply for. So I call this friend of mine to check again that the offer is still good to stay at her place and again she says yes, it’ll be great, she has an apartment below I can stay there. So I apply to be a volunteer and in just sheer luck I get in the press and interview room. So  call her to tell her and she doesn’t return my call, I try again several days later and once again no call back. Finnally I get a voicemail from her saying things have changed, they are going on vacation, her sister is coming in, the moon won’t be full, the wind isn’t blowing in the right direction, etc., etc.  You get the picture. And that they couldn’t help me and I would have to get a hotel. That is 3 weeks away from the tournament. I was able to book a hotel thru the tournament website at the Crowne Royal but it is 15 miles away.  But as luck would have it Bill Chapel came thru and said he booked 2 rooms at the Hampton which is just around the corner from the tournament site. He was not going to use one of the rooms and I could have it. So it worked out. But it was costly. I admit if I was anywhere else but the press and interview room I would of pulled out of volunteering. I didn’t want to pay all that money to be an usher. But I committed to volunteering in the press and interview room and I wanted to keep my word. So leaving  a day early I would be paying 1 day less.

So off I take in my pretty candy white Volkswagen EOS, top down, Satellite radio on blasting, and a can of Pepsi and I was all set to go. Had a great time just cruising home.
You know I was  in van prison for 13 years where I became invisible.  I am very visible in my EOS. I get great remarks about it.

Just some random thoughts about this tournament and volunteering.

This is a tournament where all players have to enter it unless they are injured.

This is a tournament  where some people work and get paid from Western and Southern Financial. This tournament is run by volunteers. They are the heart and pulse of this tournament. Many have been volunteering for 30+ years expecting nothing in return.

3 chairpersons in the pressroom, Jim, Bev, Kristen ran the duties of the pressroom and they do an amazing job and are completely devoted. They are very hardworkers.

When DJokovic won several times he always made sure he hit a signed ball into the bleachers.

As far a volunteering they give you 2 shirts, a hat, and all the tennis you can watch when you’re not working your shift. They have 3 shifts – 8:30-1:30; 1:00-6:00; 5:30 to close. You can mix them or keep them the same. I worked the middle shift 1-6pm. I got to meet up with a few tennis friends. In the volunteer tent where you check in each day they had lemonade, ice tea, bananas, nectarines, grapes, cookies, chips, pretzels free of charge and a refrigerator where you could keep your lunch if you brought one. They also offered $8 of food vouchers for $5.
Also in the pressroom they had the same goodies and also a refrigerator there with Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and once in a while Corona would send up a tub of beer.

When I was in the pressroom as well as the interview room and listened to the younger people talk about older people. One young kid related a story where he works as a waiter and a group of old women came in and were flirting with him. One of the ladies told him if she passes out he could give her mouth to mouth and he said he was thinking you’ve got to be kidding. One person asked him old old was she and he said around “60”. (Sixty?, I’m 61 and that means he is repulsed by me) Oh brother. If I go down nobody here is giving me mouth to mouth. I’m just going to the white light whether I want to or not. Also when I was in the interview room and a reporter was talking to the stenographer they were joking around and she asked him just how old he thought she was and he said around 60 (no way…she was much younger and he was teasing her) she said “60” you’ve got to be kidding. So the message was you’re pretty old if you’re 60.

There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the tournament site. One had to be designed by a cheap man. There was only 1 elevator where I was working. It was used by the players, service people, workers, and ticket holders. Sometimes that elevator took  forever. One night it broke and we had to walk up all those stairs to the 4th floor.
They need to add a service elevator, maybe an elevator from the 4th floor pressroom to the 3rd floor interview room. It would also be nice to have an escalator instead of those stairs.

The parking was an issue if you came after 11am. You had to park very far away and I suggested that they provide a cart to take you to the volunteer tent and to bring you back after you leave. Once in a while I asked for a ride to and from and they accomodated me except for the last night when they all went home.

I think on court you can tell alot about the player by how they treat the ball boy/girl who handles their towel. Do they hand it to him/her, throw it at the ball boy/girl, throw it down on the ground for the ball boy/girl to bend down and pick up or do they gently ask for the towel and hand it back to them. Also in the interview room how they present themselves.
Those that speak several languages not only gave interviews in English but also in their other languages.

You can tell alot about the reporters when the internet went out and how they would approach the desk and deal with it or not deal with it.

There was a woman reporter there from the NY Times who caught everyones eye. She had fiery red hair with a freckled face and always wore crazy slim fitting flowered pants.  One day I asked her “What’s up with the crazy pants”?  She said back in the day when she wore a skirt or dress the length was an issue and what kind of message she was sending so she decided to wear pants but they had to be colorful and that they are. She says everyone notices her right away even the players.

Some of the paid security workers take their job very seriously. I heard that Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic at different times took a shower and forgot their badge and went to go get it and the Marshall not knowing who they were would not let them back in. Each saying are you serious? Luckily someone else in authority spotted this and told the Marshall to let him in.  Marshall was just doing his job.

I became friends with one of the security women who worked the elevator, stood guard in front of the players lounge and interview room. She was just one of the kindest  souls I’ve ever met. We did a lot of talking on Saturday in front of the interview room as players left.  She was told to leave about 11pm and she said I can’t go there is 2 more interviews, but her boss said she had to go. Before she left she gave me her card and said if you do this next year you can stay with me. Here’s a woman who doesn’t know me from anyone and offers her home to me while my friend who started this whole journey for me left me high and dry.  Go figure.

I would volunteer again if I didn’t have to pay so much for lodging. I foundthe press/interview room  very interesting and to volunteer at this tournament  was on my bucket list and I’m glad I did it.

Hope you enjoyed this blog and thanks for reading it and becoming part of this journey.

Signing off,
Marilyn

Day 8 Saturday

Hi All,

Hope you excuse me for not finishing blogging. I got in Saturday at 12:30am Sunday
morning and I was simply exhausted and I was going back home Sunday am.

So what follows is what happened on Saturday.
I got to the tournament early to get a close parking spot and I’m glad I did.
I put on some makeup, ate some breakfast and made some phone calls
from my car. I parked close but not real close.

I was in time to watch the first semi-final which was Fish & Murray; then I was in the press room for the Djokovic & Berdych match which I could watch a little bit. Than iat 7pm in the evening Sharapove & Zvonareva follwed  by Jankovic & Petkovic.
Fish and Murray was an excellent match with Murray winning.
Djokovic and Berdych was strange with Berdych quitting with a shoulder injury, I mean retiring after losing the first set.

I worked 5pm to close in the pressroom but 2 of the young guys were suppose to work double shifts and forgot to stay so I am in the pressroom 5-6, museum monitor 6-7,
and 7 to close in the interview room. So I’ll be doing a little of everything.

Just to go over what I do in the interview room. I put the name of the person to be interviewed on the table along with the ATP or WTA cube. I put a clean towel on their seat. Put a bottle of Evian on the table because they are the sponsors. Make sure the lights are on and than go to the back of the room and put in an audio cassette with their name and date on it and roll record. When finished I stop and rewind the tape and walk it back around the corner to a woman who puts it in an envelope with the persons name and date on it for future use.

Berdych was the first one in the interview room to talk about his retireing.
He just basically said his shoulder was sore. A reporter asked him if he and Federer went
3 sets would he of been able to make it.  He said “no”. Too bad he didn’t retire against
Federer.
Djokovic came in next and said he could tell there was something wrong with Berdych’s
shoulder so he wasn’t surprised that he retired.

The ladies started their matches and Sharapova beat Zvonareva.  It’s hard to give an interview after you have lost and you have to go to the interview room and have a reporter ask “what happened?”  You have to keep your cool and be courteous.
When Sharapova came in she was elated to make it to the finals. She admitted her and Jankovic which she might play in the final have an issue with each other.

The women’s matches were late and while Sharapova was playing Zevonareva,  Jankovic was in the players lounge, which was to the right of the interview room, alone with her mom and her coach. All the players were gone now except for her and her opponent. Kinda lonely at this point.

Finally Jankovic and Petrovic went on with Jankovic being victorious.

Eventually Jankovic came into the interview room and was elated she was in the final.  She thought she played very well. Couldn’t wait to play Maria.
Petrovic showed up in the interview room and she is just a delight. If anyone had a true injury which would cause you to retire it was her. She said after her last match in the quarters she heard something in her knee pop and her knee started to swell and she was afraid it was her acl which she tore 2 years ago and it took her at least 8 months to come back to compete. So she started to cry for about an hour and called her coach. They did an MRI on her knee and she continued to cry until she got the results. She also said her parents heard about her knee and did not want her to play the semi’s. She said her parents called her and everybody else, her coach, the WTA, the tournament director, and she said her parents wanted to shut the tournament down. She was so embarrassed. The results showed she had a meniscus tear but that they could wrap it up and she could play. She said she would rather die than default or retire. That when she goes to a concert and pays alot of money or travels far to get to it and the band plays for only 45 minutes she gets pissed. She appreciates the fans and wouldn’t want to disappoint them.

Far cry from some of the other players who retired in their matches who could care less about the fans.

I was watching Access Hollywood 2 nights ago in the early am and they were talking about the Kardashian wedding and they were interviewing some young starlet who was at the wedding and she said “yeah me and Serena Williams were at the wedding dancing all night long.” What happened to Serena’s sore right toe that she had to default her 2nd round match in Cincinnati? Some people have a conscious and others do not.

At 11pm the interviews were not over yet, all the security guards were told to leave and go home. That meant there was no one guarding the interview room or in the elevators or even in the parking lot.

After the last interview I put everything away and said my goodbyes and went up into the press room and said my goodbyes there.
When I got on the elevator I was the only one one in there. The pressroom was on Floor 4 and I needed to go to the ground floor. The elevator stopped on Floor 3 and a guy with a bucket and mop got  on mopping the elevator floor and boxed me in.  It was the 1st time I got a little bit concerned.  The elevator went down to the next floor with just us 2 on it and the doors opened and 2 people wanted to get on it and he wouldn’t let them because he said the floor was wet. So down we went alone again to the ground floor. He let me out and nothing happened but I was a little scared. So I head out and I usually bum a ride to my car which is usually parked pretty far away. This time it was closer but parked in the middle of a field instead of along the front or sides of the lot. I looked around and all the parking attendants were gone. It’s now after midnight and most of the cars and people are also gone.  So I had to walk to my car and luckily I had a flashlight, well I found my car safe and sound and I got in it okay and took off. It was the only part of volunteering that I didn’t like. How far away you had to park.

My last report will be Day 9 Sunday

Signing off,
Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7 Friday

Hi Everyone,
I left the hotel about 9:15 to beat the traffic. I got a close parking spot and did my phone calls and emails in my car and ate my breakfast and coffee.
Sat down around 11am to watch Stosur and Sharapova until 1pm when I went into the pressroom. Got to watch part of the Nadal and then Federer match from the pressroom.
Lots of interviews today.
I worked a double shift so at 6pm I went into the interview room to record their audio.
I saw Fish, Federer,Zvonareva,Petkovic,Monfels and Djokovic.
They were all chatty.
I’m exhausted.
I talked them into not being there on Sunday. So my last day is tomorrow which is Saturday. 5:30pm until close.
There was a lot said in the interviews but I’m too tired to say.
Goodnight
Marilyn

Hi all,
Left the hotel around 10am and traffic was crazy.
Took me 45min for a 10min trip.
I was going to the Raffa and Verdasco match. I got to see the first set and a half before I had to go to
the pressroom. I was able to watch from there and got reprimanded for cheering for Verdasco. Oh please. I said he’s still in it. I was allowed to go to the interview room for his press conference though. He was not in the mood to answer questions. And he looks kinda mean up close with his gotee beard.
Back to the match. At 6all they do not switch after 1-0. They switch and take a break at 3-3.
Verdasco was up 5-4 but double faults for
5-5. Then he serves and volleys but not deep and Nadal hits it back for a winner. Than after several shots V hits a backward out for Nadal to win the first set 7-6, Verdasco wins second set 7-6 and Nadal wins 3rd set 7-6
Back to work…mostly updating scores, announcing interviews, printing interviews out and passing them out to the journalists.
Got sent down to monitor the museum for an hour.
Had lots of people visiting it.
Off of work at 6pm
Went to the grandstand to see Jankovec and Schiavone. They can have their coach come down on the changeover if they want. They both wanted their coach.
Schiavone has such a toned body. Her strokes are
so exaggerated she hits a lot of them to the sky.
Mishits. won the first set and S was down 3-5 in the second but came back to win it 7-5. Hardly anyone was watching until center court was over with and than hoards of people started to come over. J started to freak out. She is such a cry baby. J pretended to have an injury to her thigh and called out for a traininer before the 3rd set began. J got way up in the 3rd set and S start to come back but lost 6-4. S was the crowd favorite.
Doubles was next. Bryan brothers against Dlouhy and Dolgopolov.went 3 sets with Bryan brie winning 10-1 in tiebreak.
Another gorgeous night here.
Saw some lightening when leaving.
Good night all.
Marilyn

Day 5 Wednesday

Hi Everyone,
Met up with Diane Koury this morning on court4 at 11am where Kuznetsova was playing followed by Verdasco. Well she blew it for me. She was up 4-1 and lost 6-4. Than she won the next 2 sets. By that time I had to go to the pressroom. So I missed Verdasco. 😦
Lots of play going on. Updating of scores. Lots of nterviews and they have a stegnographer in the interview room where she takes notes then she emails it to the office where it gets typed and copied for print to the journalists.
I’ve been talking with volunteers and lots of them have volunteered for many years like 14-34 years.
The big news was Wozniaki losing. The bigger news was Serene withdrawing. She said it was due to her big toe. By winning Toronto her ranking from 80 to 31. I think she was tired and didn’t want to play Stousar again so soon.
Got a call from Sharon but we couldn’t meet up.
Left the pressroom and went back to court 4 at 5pm to see men’s doubles. Verdasco and Lopez vs Dolgopolov and Dully?.
It was really something to see them up so close and how hard they serve and hit.
Lopez sucks…Verdasco needs a new partner. But Dolgopolov
hits the hardest out of all of them. The Spaniards lost. 😦
Than I went to center court to see Novak and Ryan Harrison. It was a beautiful night for tennis.
Ryan started off good but just made more mistakes than Novak. It was the white knight vs the black knight.

Signing off
Marilyn

Day 4 at Cincy

Hi all
Got to watch Tsonga and Cilic for a set. Cilic is so tall with the skinniest legs. Tsonga won.
Headed to pressroom at 1pm. Lots of updating of scores and interview requests. ATP and WTA decides who is going to be interviewed and when.
I got to watch parts of Serena’s match.
Day went pretty fast. I was working a double shift
And now I’m onto the interview room just in time to see Serena’s interview.She is one big girl. She gave a really good interview other than just a yes or no.Than all night long one interview after another. I was in the room recording the audio. I also had to put a new towel on their seat, a bottle of Evian water and their name plate.
Kvitova, Petkovic, Sharapova all came in.
Than DelPotro came in and as soon as DelPotro walked out Roger
Walked in and sat down but I still had DelPotro’s name plate up there. So I flew down and grabbed DelPotro’s name off the table and got Rogers name plate and put it on the table in front of Roger. Roger says in the microphone “was I somebody else? Am I the right person now?” I said yes yes your you now. Everybody laughed. He also gave a great interview. Not just yes and no.
I got out of their about 11:45.
My man Verdasco plays tomorrow.
Signing off.
Marilyni