Jez Green Blog from Abu Dhabi... PDF Print E-mail

Jez Green - Image by AMN Images

Greetings from Abu Dhabi…and I do say that completely tongue in cheek as I actually should be in Dubai but thick fog has caused us to be re-routed! We’ve also just been informed that we are going to be on this plane for 2 hours before we can resume our journey so its blog time. Its OK though as it was only a 14 hour flight from Melbourne so what’s another 2 hours between friends at completely the wrong airport.


Actually I was in Abu Dhabi only a few weeks ago for an exhibition where Andy managed to beat Federer and Nadal. Not a bad start to the year and matched only by the hotel that we stayed in that week…well I say hotel but if I say that the place was actually called The Emirates Palace that would give a better indication of the grandeur of this establishment. I have never seen anything like this before, all marble and gold and the rooms were the size of penthouse apartments. It took exactly 9 minutes to get from my room to breakfast and I almost bought a GPS system to navigate the different wings. The sheer opulence was astounding. Shakira was staying there as well and on new years eve all the players went to see her concert which was a nice way to see in 2009. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to bump into each other but I did hear she was looking for me… or maybe it was the other way round!

After Abu Dhabi we stopped off in Doha, Qatar where Andy managed to successfully defend his title beating Federer and Roddick along the way. Although watching Andy beat the worlds best players is always fantastic, I must say this week was memorable for others reasons… slightly less serious but very entertaining nonetheless. This entertainment came in the form of former professional footballers Ray Parlour, David O’Leary and Trevor Francis who we saw quite a lot of that week. Between Rays highly amusing stories of his days at Arsenal and David O’Leary’s man marking of Nadal the laughs came thick and fast. Thanks guys!


The Australia Open is always a great tournament. It helps that it happens in the height of the Aussie summer and everybody is relaxed and excited and ready to party! I must say though that yesterday I tried going for a run in the famous botanical gardens and after 15 minutes I had to stop as I was literally breathing in hot air. It was 45 degrees and I don’t think I’ve ever really felt this kind of heat……no wonder they closed the roof on the matches!!! Incredibly at 8.45 pm that same day it was still 42 degrees. What’s even more ironic was that when I stopped on my attempted run I looked up and at that exact moment decathlon legend Daley Thompson came running towards me……..such bad luck and even though I immediately adjusted my body language it was too late… he had spotted me stopping… Damn!


Although Andy didn’t manage to win the title this year (all credit to Verdasco, he played a great match) Australia was still a great experience. Especially in the players dining room when you hear “the great jezmond” being shouted out by MCTAs lifetime honorary coach and Australias newest and greatest Prince rep…Antony Hampson…


It was great to see Hampo again and congratulations to him on his new job but we both know what the big “P” on his shirt really means…


Also a shout out to my friend Tito Vazquez who after working for 5 years with some of the UKs best junior and senior players has been appointed Argentina’s new Davis Cup captain. This is great news for him and I wish him all the best in this role.


My feelings of the open this year are of continuing respect for the level of professionalism and competitiveness of the top players in the game. They really do sacrifice everything to get an edge and be the best and I’m pleased to say that with Andy’s run and the fact that there were 4 British woman in the main draw and also Laura Robson in the final of the girls event, meant that GB were strongly represented and that’s so important.


So the nice stewardess has just told us that the fog has cleared in Dubai so we can go soon…only about 12 more hours of travel to go.


Later all,

Jez

 

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