sunday survey (and a story)

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The first professional tennis tournament I ever went to – or professional sporting event of any kind – was the 2002 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University in Palo Alto. My dad and I drove from my Grandma’s house in nearby San Jose for an evening session featuring Lindsay Davenport and Anna Kournikova, and my giddy 16-year-old self mistook all the well dressed 20-something guys in the crowd to be Bay Area gays. It wasn’t until later on in life that I realized they were all just metro straight guys there to watch Kournikova. A boy can dream.

The following night, I ventured to Stanford on my own, scoring a second-row ticket for the evening session that featured Monica Seles and Kim Clijsters on two separate courts. But before I went into the stadium, I took to the grounds, milling about and taking in the sights and the sounds of the tour that I had long dreamed of in my back alley as a kid.

While walking along the corridor of sponsor booths, I felt someone’s hand press against my side gently, and as I turned to see who it was, a large man pushed his way past be. I turned back around to try to understand why he had put his hand on my side, and realized he was escorting a well-known tennis gal through the crowd: Kournikova.

In the time that I realized what had happened, the moment was gone, and Kournikova – cap pulled tightly over her face – made her way through the crowd with little notice, thanks to the shadow the large bodyguard was casting over her.

My run-in with Marat Safin this week reminded me of my first tennis bump-in eight years ago. It also got me wondering: Which tennis player would you like to bump into in a casual setting the most? The least? Let us know in the comments section.

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6 Responses to “sunday survey (and a story)”

  1. Bobby Mack Says:

    This is quite a good question as Tennis certainly has had their fair share of personalities!

    I’m going to break it down between Men and Women – currently playing and not playing.

    I think out of the current crop of talent I’d have to say it’s a Tie between Fed (just because it’s Fed) and Novak Djokovic (I think that would be a great conversation, he seems like a pretty funny guy.) Now of those not playing, easy: Bjorn Borg – he just looks like he has a million stories of his playing times and they’d all be fantastic!

    Men’s players I wouldn’t want to meet…
    Agassi, for fear I may be judged about how much I’d tip the bartender and Gail Monfis as I think he’d be talking to himself durning the entire conversation and then start yelling at me for no reason.

    On the women side (and mind you these opinions may be slightly jaded as I do have a crush or two….)

    Like to meet: Playing: Maria Kirilenko & Not Playing: Anna K (for obvious reasons as I’m a heterosexual male..) But I bet Jelena J. would be a hit at a party..

    Not like to meet: Playing: Dinara Safina as I’m pretty sure she could beat me up if I said the wrong thing. Not Playing: Anna K. as much as I’d want to meet her for the obvious, her PRIMA-DONNA attitude would an instant turn off.

  2. Todd Bird Says:

    Well for men, I would love to meet Nic Keifer and Evgeny Koroloev (actually I would like to trip and fall on top of either of them! LOL (Ive been a pended friedn on facebook with Evgeny for months now.) And for the ladies I would love to meet Jankovic as she has got to be a looniest bird out there and I love her and my all time favorite, Nastya Myskina. (Such a fireball on the court, not afraid to show all those hot russian emotions, yet as sweet as can be off.)

    As for those I wouldnt want to meet… this is easy… Serena because I think she is a phony, classless cow and i would tell her that and then she would kick my ass and Justine because I am afraid that thing on her lip would jump off and start festering on my face.

    As for the guys, I would hate to meet Gimle-slob because he is quite frankly a pig.

  3. Taylor Says:

    I’d love love love to meet Rafael Nadal, mostly because I’ve had a teeny bopper crush on him for the past five years.
    I’d rather not meet Serena just because she’s disgustly cocky. I don’t think she’s very nice and when she is being nice, it seems fake to me.

    But that’s just my opinion :)

  4. Manny Ramirez Says:

    I’ll really like to bump in with Andre Agassi, I was his fan when I start to play tennis, around 90’s. And about females… Daniela Hantuchova is a dream! just watch this pics

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1193548/Game-set-splash-tenniss-bikini-girls.html

  5. Carolee Says:

    THE FED and Caroline W are two I’d enjoy meeting…. but I would be toungue tied around Roger.

  6. tennis racketss Says:

    For men, I would love to meet Nadal .I knew him when I was in school.He is very cool.

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