O2 Arena – By Daniel Nestor

November 23, 2009 · Print This Article

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hello everyone, back again and as promised here to write about the fabulous arena and some of the action inside it. As we make our way down the banks of the Thames heading eastward and slightly out of the city, we start to see what appears as a huge tent with several huge antennas sticking out from it. The O2 arena is absolutely massive, and unlike any tennis venue out there.

When we get off the boat, a shuttle is there waiting to take us to our locker rooms which is about a 1 km walk around the stadium. I didn’t believe it was that far until my wife and I decided to walk it with our child in arm. About halfway through I realized that it was no lie and the stroller was put to use.nestorDay2

Inside the place it doesn’t look much different than most hockey or basketball arenas back home, though it is quite dark at all times as they are trying to have a boxing match type atmosphere with the spotlight on center court.

The singles players, for some reason, all have their own locker room with their individual pictures on the doors while us doubles guys have to share. It seems strange that they would give guys like Federer and Nadal this kind of service, and make Nestor/Zimonjic slum it up side by side with the other teams.

But somehow we manage and soon forget when we relax in the player/guest area on the 3rd level of the building which is basically a huge open suite that overlooks center court. Comfortable couches, hot food, video games, flat screens, internet—who cares about watching what’s going on down there on center court?

For some who still enjoy watching tennis they have that option too.  I am not sure but I think they may have stole this concept from our Rogers Cup in Toronto and Montreal which are two of the few tournaments that offer this view while having a bite to eat for the players and their guests. Whatever the story is, the hosts are doing an unbelievable job of taking care of everyone from the fans, to players, to VIP’s.

On the court, we had the honor of opening the event (perhaps the organizers were regretting their decision afterward as Nenad and I didn’t play much like No. 1’s, though all credit to our Polish opponents who are very dangerous and were definitely the better team).

But unlike every other tournament where we lose our first match, this event is a little different as we play in a round robin of two groups of four, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the semis, meaning we still have a chance to go through if we win our next two matches.

If we bored the fans with the first match of the tournament then it was quickly forgotten as Andy Murray, The Last King of Scotland, came through with a nice win over the US Open champ Juan Martin Del Potro. Each day, the schedule has a doubles and singles match followed by a night session. We play again tomorrow night prior to the blockbuster between Murray and Federer (hopefully we bring our A game this time otherwise this trip will be nothing more than sightseeing on the Thames).

I was looking forward to taking my mind off tennis after the match Sunday with some NFL action because there is nothing better when you get live action in Europe, but I think I was more upset after the Steelers decided it was time for an early Christmas present as they lost to the lowly Chiefs. At least my daughter made me feel better later on that night when she pulled my hair, scratched my face and yelled at me.

I think she was trying to say, last time we were here four months ago you won Wimbledon, you call that tennis what you were doing out there today?

Anyways, that’s all for now, next time I will hopefully write to you after a win.


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5 Responses to “O2 Arena – By Daniel Nestor”

  1. Harani on November 24th, 2009 12:16 am

    Wish you Good Luck in your match tomorrow. Met you and Nenad when you guys were here in Montreal. We joked around and friends and I promised to cheer for you guys and we did. People stared at us in a weird way but who cares, we got a wave from Nenad from screaming our lungs off! Say hi to him for me. And All the best.

    P.S. You have the cutest girl on the planet. Very adorable When we saw her, she wasn;t in a good mood but when we waved and her and said hi! she got up and smiled. That same refreshing smile you have. Keep smiling!

    Your fan Harani

  2. Srao on November 24th, 2009 11:15 am

    Hey Daniel,I sit awake [FYI,0215am,India time is the 2nd Singles]watching you all guys play…including the Doubles.I’m a Tennis nut and Fed is my fav.But I still love the doubles.Iwas a wee bit partial to the Bryan bro’s,but i love your game/style.So buck up guys…
    I just enjoyed your post a ton,you really had me lol,a lot.It’s a rare quality to really joke and tease the mighty ones like Fed/Rafa,you did it superbly.
    I know how good critics family/children really are,i hear you,buddy.My son too reminds me how all my years of climbing pursuits are a waste if I don’t make it up in the very next one.huh!
    So another 3hrs for your match…play well,and ofcourse will wait with baited breath for the-one,Fed-Murray match.It’s like the Genius VS the-all-time-Pretender…hehehehe

    Keep your posts coming…Thanks.

  3. Court Two on November 24th, 2009 12:42 pm

    Good luck mate, give em hell!

  4. Fiona Lamb on November 26th, 2009 3:28 pm

    Really sad you lost your first two matches but you did good today beating the M&Ms. You can’t win ‘em all even though I’d like you too. Great year! Come back next year and win everything in sight and if you can’t do that make sure Toronto is your priority – I’ve already purchased my tix for the finals. Good luck for 2010 and thanks for a fantastic 2009!
    Best wishes,
    Fiona from St. Catharines

  5. Video: Federer’s Personal WTF Dressing Room : Tennis Connected on November 29th, 2009 12:22 am

    [...] This week at the World Tour Finals, the ATP has given the players their own private dressing rooms. Mr. R-Fed himself takes us for a quick look around. I guess they ran out of money when it came to the doubles teams as you can read here from Daniel Nestor’s exclusive O2 blog for Tennis Connected. [...]

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