"Where is Zone 1?"
This should be a basic question for any security personnel, anywhere. There is always a Zone 1. It's the same in English as it is en Francais. Zone. 1.
My friend Will, a Minnesota native, is close friends with Eric 'Booty' Butorac - the doubles sensation famous for winning three titles with and later being dumped by, Jamie 'Stretch' Murray. Booty called (haha) and put some tickets on hold for Will at will call (hahaha). The tickets were for Zone 1. Because I am important, I could go pretty much go wherever I wanted besides Gasquet's box - but more on that later. Will's ticket however, had many more limitations. Somehow one ticket could get you into the luxury lounge but still ban you from the elevator. We spent a good portion of the morning testing these boundaries.
But when it came time to actually finding his seats, we learned that Zone 1 will join 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The Zone Diet' on a long list of unsolved Zone mysteries. Every time we asked the personnel where the Zone 1 seats were, we got a different answer. Take the stairs up. Take the elevator down. They're behind the player seats. They are the player seats.
One hour later we found our Zone 1 seats, they were behind the player seats.
We made it just in time to see Djokovic get thoroughly owned by the pastel-clad, suicide inducing (see Marat Safin) Fabrice Santoro. Djokovic looked sluggish on court and indifferent to close calls and great shots. His demeanor during his press conference was actually much improved. He was in good spirits. He admitted he was only at 30% and was still recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the conference was the fact that he was wearing a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt.
Nadal followed Djokovic with a routine win over Filippo Volandri. The big event of the day (following Fabri's big upset) was the clash of the French titans: Gasquet versus Tsonga. I was surprised at how fresh Gasquet was on court. He admitted after his loss in Lyon that he probably wouldn't be ready to play in Paris. But he pulled out a great match against Tsonga and seems like a convincing contender for at least a quarterfinal berth. At his press conference, he was flanked by radio press and later bombarded with questions from the French press.
At one point, we made eye contact for what seemed to be eternity. I saw stars, the room got foggy and I swear I heard a Celine Dion song playing in the distance.
But our moment was soon over and I had bigger and better people to investigate, like Mirka. Mirka was in top form tonight. She was talking to her friends, texting on her pink cellphone, flaunting her "I love you very much" ring and simultaneously ignored her boyfriend's match. Her status as a courstide remains intact, fear not.
Then her boyfriend won and said some words.
Although it didn't feel like Halloween, at the end of the night I still felt like the lucky kid with a pillowcase full of candy.
Post and photos by Troy Venechanos.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
"Where is Zone 1?"