Niki Cheong blogging

Proton Malaysian Open ATP Tennis finals

If you guys have been following me on Twitter, you’d know that all I could talk about last weekend was tennis. It was hard not to. After all, I am a big fan of the game and to have a few highly-ranked players take each other on in Malaysia is a treat.

Cue: The Proton Malaysian Open ATP tennis finals.

Malaysian Open Tennis Finals

This post is mainly about the finals between Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko and Spain’s Fernando Verdasco. I did, however, manage to catch a few players before as I took Friday off work to run some errands and made it to catch the evening quarter-finals game. I spent the whole Saturday at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil to watch the semi-finals. How fun!

I did think it was a shame though how empty the stadium was (well, not terribly empty – but not full either). I’m not sure if there are not enough people interested in the game or that tickets were too expensive (I wanted to get platinum seats for the semis but the online site said it was sold out. However, half of the seats were empty – maybe corporate sponsors bought them?) or that the names were just not attractive (I suppose, the most mainstream name was Lleyton Hewitt, but he lost in the first round. Might see a difference in number if Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal was playing?).

Side seat

I am very grateful to some friends who got me tickets to watch the games. Truth be told, I’m not too fussed about where I seat – I just wanted to watch the game (although the best seats were probably like the photographers and disabled folks in the picture above!). That said, I watched the quarter finals from the nose-bleed area and I felt like throwing up after an hour of watching (not that I want to sound ungrateful). My other seats were in the Silver and Gold sections so I really can’t complain. I did want to try to get platinum seats for one of the games though, so that I’d be close enough to get an autograph. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Nando vs Nikolay

Eventually, top seat Nikolay emerged victorious. I thought it was a good game, but wished it had gone into a three setter (just so we had more tennis to watch!). I thought the Verdasco vs Gonzales game in the semi-finals was the best in terms of showmanship and excitement, but there was some really good tennis between these two. I don’t think they disappointed anyone.

Or maybe they did.

Runner up

Most of the crowd were supporting Fernando Verdasco (yeah, I know he’s hunkalicious but still!). Sure, he plays great tennis but I have a feeling it’s got to do more with his looks and charm than anything else. Perfect example was this mad woman sitting a couple of rows in front of me. She kept reacting to everything he did and obviously knew nothing about tennis – exclaiming at every single serve that went into the net (hello, first serves into the net are quite common lah). At one point, she even shouted Davydenko’s name by mistake (I think she only discovered Nando that day) thinking it was Verdasco.

I was so fed up, I turned to my sister and asked: Anyone’s got a tranquiliser? Someone’s in heat.

5.54pm Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

Discussion (4)

There are 4 responses to “Proton Malaysian Open ATP Tennis finals”.

  1. I think tranquilizer is not enough to bring that bull down lol.

  2. Yeah! Fernando Verdasco is really the crowd favourite. They thought he gonna make another surprise. But nope! He couldn’t. :)

  3. i think next year will be no more atp in malaysia. our rakyat simply dont like tennis.

  4. Chris: Better than nothing lah.

    tekkaus: Davydenko was the better player on that day though. More consistent.

    Jason: Well… I hope there will be. I think there’s a contract but the organisers definitely need to bring bigger and more mainstream names in to draw the crowd.

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