September 14, 2007 – We are back from New Orleans, where we got to watch Seles and Navratilova battle it out at the New Orleans Arena. Before the exhibition began we got to meet junior player Michael from the Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Michael is the one who sent us a photo of him and Monica a few weeks ago. We talked for a bit and took some photos together (1) (2). It was a nice surprise to meet him, we were not expecting that! A few minutes later Monica and Martina came out to play and we saw Mike Sell sitting in the VIP section!
Singles: Getting right to the point, Monica had no problem dispensing Martina after winning the first set 6-4. In the beginning she was down 1-3, but then started finding her rhythm and started stringing points together. Once she won the first set, it was all over. If she continued to play this well, she was on track to win the second easily. With those amazing ground strokes, she quickly took the lead in the second set hitting powerful passing shots and serving up a few aces to win the match 6-4, 6-2. In the end, Martina was probably left wondering if Monica had forgotten that it was an exhibition.
After Monica won the singles match, we were able to get her attention by yelling out “We love you Monica!” She noticed us and motioned that we would talk after the doubles (That was a big relief for us, because we were already starting to think we might not be able to talk to her this time).
Doubles: They only played one set of doubles, first team to get four games won. The doubles was obviously just a filler (just for fun), since Navratilova/Jensen won even though the score was only 3-1. We are not even sure of the name of the person Monica was playing with. It was getting very late and Monica and Martina both had to catch an early morning flight to Romania – so the chair umpire suddenly said “next point wins”, which Martina’s team won.
After the doubles, Monica was signing autographs and Michael came over to us. We asked him to ask Monica if we can come over the railing to see her (we were getting paranoid that maybe we wouldn’t get to talk to her since it was so late). When he finally got to talk with her after waiting his turn, they both looked over and she motioned for us to come over. So we got to talk and get pictures. We told her that Michael had sent us the photo of them two together and we had posted it on our site. Monica said she saw it! Michael must have shown her our site so that she could see the photo of them two together. We joked with her that we didn’t see the doll we gave her on her Yonex bag anymore. She politely said that this was a new bag. We complimented her on her play that evening and how well she was striking the ball. She said that once she won the first set she got her rhythm going more. We talked a little longer, wished her a safe trip to Romania, and said our goodbyes. She spent a good amount of time talking with us and Michael – she seemed to enjoy the reunion. We did too!