Google Down the Line!: FAN POST: Terry Lee makes a mission to meet Marat + Rafa - did he succeed?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FAN POST: Terry Lee makes a mission to meet Marat + Rafa - did he succeed?

Richard Gasquet + Terry Lee

After shamelessly asking DtL reader Terry Lee, who visited Indian Wells, to p-p-p-please send over some insidery anecdotes and photos from his visit I was grinning this morning when I saw his email.

Apparently, he had two goals in mind. Well, one goal and two targets: to stalk and meet Rafael Nadal + Marat Safin (join the club.) I'll let him tell you the rest!

This was my first time at Indian Wells and I was very surprised at how open and accessible the practice courts are, you can literally sit on the court that the players are hitting on. The main mission was simple find Marat, find Rafa, everything else was secondary.

Immediately I see Richard Gasquet + Gilles Simon hitting, so I take a seat. I have always had a strange fascination for Gasquet, maybe it's because of the gay rumors, or maybe it's just because I think he is cute in a strange way, he has interesting ankles..and kind of a big butt right. Plus he was hitting with Simon, and after that pic of him in the weight room was posted, I am strangely fascinated by him too.

Richard walks by and I ask him if I could get a pic with him, even though I have terrible hat head from the visor I was wearing, I should have kept it on. He agreed to the pic (top photo) and I was just about to ask him to join us for dinner tonight when some stupid fan ruined my moment.

On the next court over was a large gathering and it was Novak Djokovic, who I had a crush on but lost it after last season. He looked good though and we got super close to him, his feet are larger than I expected them to be…I have a tendency to notice people’s hands and feet.

We decided to skip all of the matches until we got to see Marat + Rafa, so back to the practice courts. We noticed that there was still a large crowd of people where Roger Federer was practicing, so we kept going, only I saw Roger walking across the lawn…so who was everyone watching? It was Marat! Immediately we make our way over to the court and as the people ran over to cut off Roger’s path, I had direct access to watch Marat practice. I was standing 8 feet away from my hero and he was hitting with Oscar Hernandez. It was great - he was entertaining us with awesome shots and the power he uses is amazing. He would talk to himself in Russian and to Oscar in Spanish. I was totally star struck.

After the practice session was over he walked right by me and signed my program and I smacked him on the back, he was soaking wet from sweat, and told him he was best. It was all I could manage to say and hitting him was much like smacking a horse; the guy is huge, much larger than I expected and hard as concrete. Then out of nowhere these two guys run up and say they were his biggest fans and wanted to take a picture with him and he agreed. I was like, "Hold on…I am your biggest fan and if you are going to be giving out man on man pics, I am going to get on too." But I was still frozen and he left.

After an hour or so, I was standing at the fence next to the players lounge, hoping to see Marat again and staring off reliving my earlier encounter with him when I notice that Rafa was walking right towards me! He had a hat on so I didn’t notice him at first; just as he approached a mob of fans pushed me directly into him. He was so nice, he smiled and made sure I didn’t fall and started signing autographs. I finally thought to myself, "Self, take out the camera and get a pic stupid." Rafa was so nice, one kid took off his own shirt and asked Rafa to sign it and he did…what a nice guy.

We followed him down to the practice court and watched him hit for a while; he has such natural talent and the way he hits a tennis ball is like nothing I have ever seen before. After he finished up, he stopped to sign more autographs. It was then time for us to go because we didn’t have tickets for the night session plus we accomplished both missions for day one.

The mission for day two: get a pic with Marat!

(images courtesy of Terry Lee)


  1. Hopefully my commentary will be seen as humorous and not making fun of anyone :)

  2. Terry Lee don't worry your commentary was quite funny and entertaining. I would kill to be you. In the first picture, you were standing next to my future husband #1, Richard Gasquet.

  3. I've met Marat, and he signed a t-shirt. I've not been so fortunate as to smile while standing beside him and a camera. :(

    I'm still jealous. lol

  4. Mission Accomplished!

    Must have been a fun day. I would love to go to a tennis tourney one day. I live in London, have wanted to go to Wimby for ages however, I really hate the queues and the "lottery" system is frustrating.

    Good luck with the Marat pic. :)

  5. over my dead, decomposed body, Sara.

  6. Don't worry coughingcat, you can have him once our marriage meets its tear-filled end.

  7. Unfortunately Marat lost to Mr. Boredom Isner, so he will leave IW soon.

  8. Great post Terry Lee! Thanks for sharing! :)

    I also wish you a lot of success for your next mission, hehe.

  9. i've met marat at a few tournaments and he's pretty nice about taking pictures... always ecstatic to take pictures with girls (you should the grin on his face) and with guys he's good for a picture if you ask nicely. a guy tried to jump in for a picture after i took one with him at queen's club and let's just say marat didn't look too happy... good luck!!

  10. p.s. sounds like you're having an amazing time!!

  11. Thanks for the great comments; I am finally happy to be a part of the "I met Marat" club and I did have a great time, I would definitely recommend going to Indian Wells if you have the chance, they make the players so accessible. As for Gasquet...I had several other encounters with him and I am sure he was beginning to think I was stalking him, but he was always practicing when there was no one else I wanted to watch, so I would sit and watch him and would keep looking over as if to say..."you again" heheheheh

  12. i went to 5 tournaments last summer, just when gasquet had begun being coached by guillaume peyre. i'm pretty sure not only richard, but guillaume were thinking "who is this girl?! she's EVERYWHERE in europe and north america". he's a cutie though, so shy!

  13. Terry Lee - LOL! Were you able to go to sleep last night after your encounters? I'd so love to be in your shoes.



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