Yep, that Roger Federer. The guy that can practice serving while holding three or more tennis balls in his hand, tossing them up one at a time without dropping the rest. Well, except for the ones he doesn’t want. 🙂 The man is unreal.
I saw the lovely Swiss player in Cincinnati, and as the title states, he stared at me. He also kinda pissed me off, but we’ll get to that. This wasn’t just a passing glance, either. We’re talking master level staring contest. I would tell you who won, but I think I may have blacked out at one point. But let me begin at the beginning, which includes the usual important post notes:
(Note: ALL pics are *clickable* for big, sometimes HUGE versions. Enjoy worshipping beautiful Roger Federer. I apologize if there is blurriness in some images/videos. My little camera did its best, considering its age and the shaking excitement of its handler )
PHOTOS: c2011 The Shrine to Actors. Please link to this page, rather than reposting the photos/videos elsewhere. If you have a tennis, celeb, or Federer-related blog and link to this page, I can give your blog or page a link back in this post in return. Thank you!
Perhaps it was just a newbie’s inexperience at reading the schedule board, or the fact that I saw Rafa’s practice was about to start and just started running (ahem), but I felt pretty certain at the time that there was no practice scheduled for Roger. After being treated to Rafa noises and a Rafa shirt change, we left before the horde descended for autographs. Then we found out that Roger had apparently been practicing several courts away, at exactly the same time as Rafa. Oh hells no, I thought.
But yes, there he was when we arrived, all done with practice. He and his cute little sweaty arse were already at the fence, greeting his own melee of rabid fans and signing autographs. I didn’t really have time to be annoyed because there was Roger, in the flesh, looking all adorable and making people grin like idiots.
And that was when I got my first Roger glance. I’d like to think he was mesmerized by me the moment he laid eyes on me, but quite frankly his attention was probably drawn to the woman next to me who was wailing, “Rogerrrrrrr, over heeeeere. We’re your fans, too, Rogerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!” It only took about 3 seconds in Roger’s presence to figure out this was not the way to go. The man does not like to be whined to. Or ordered around. How do people not pick up on these things?
That was Sunday.
On Monday, Roger scheduled a two-hour practice. We got there early, determined not to miss him this time. We waited an hour. This was one of those situations I detest. You don’t want to wait that long, but once you’ve been waiting longer than you should, you start the debate with yourself–“Why am I still sitting here?” “Because what if I get up and leave, and then he shows up as soon as I’ve gone? Then I will have wasted all this time sitting here for nothing.” And then steam starts to come out of your ears.
It’s hard to be mad, though, because it’s sort of ridiculous to tell a player he’s got to show up to practice because a bunch of fans are waiting to watch him like he’s a zoo animal. He doesn’t owe us anything, and if he had a late breakfast, got caught up playing PlayStation, or fell asleep on the couch, it’s his prerogative. I’m sure he’s getting in his practice off-site anyway, so it’s likely not a huge deal if he works out one hour or two at the tourney. But you can’t help being a little annoyed when you’re sitting and staring at an empty court while there are matches going on all around. And not only matches, as we found out later, but Rafa practicing shirtless. Three strikes, you’re out. Roger went on my Shit List right then.
The only up side was that other people got more annoyed than me and left, so we got a primo front row bleacher seat, right at the fence. So, you know, I could see King Fed the moment he sauntered onto court with his entourage, including Stan the Man.
The entourage also included Gavin Rossdale. That’s right. Mr. Gwen Stefani, just taking time off from his own tour to show his son Kingston how iconic professional tennis players spend their day. You know, the usual. O_o
Once Roger was there, playing a few feet in front of us, that whole annoyance thing kind of faded away. I mean, we got to see Roger’s pretty face…
the glorious form of the Roger serve…
and just playing around…
And look, he’s making scrunchy faces at me. Roger makes a lot of scrunched-up facial expressions in practice, likely due to the blaring sun. I have no idea how these guys play without hats or sunglasses, and weirdly, Roger does not wrinkle up his nose as much during a match. Anyway, never mind the scrunchy face, lets look at the clingy shorts. Guh.
But the best part happened when Roger was in his chair, which just happened to be directly across from me.
After the whole phallic juice bottle moment there, things got pretty intense. *G* Rather than an ordinary scrunchy face, I was suddenly fixed with that mid-match gaze–you know, the ones he does on breaks when he looks soooo focused it’s scary?
Yeah, that one. I got that look. Of course, it was on that bright and sunny court, and Roger’s eyes are dark and a bit hooded, so it’s not always easy to tell exactly where he’s looking. There were two cute blondes next to me, so it’s possible he was really staring at them, though they did wave and got no response. Maybe he was just too busy thinking how hot I look in an RF hat. Whatever the case, we were all three giggling like school girls. In fact, the gal next to me said that very thing, that she felt like she was back in high school. “The cute boy is staring at me!” she mimicked in a chirpy voice, and we all giggled again. And he kept staring.
Minutes passed. It’s tough to describe how compelling and somewhat unnerving it is. I had taken a thousand pictures of him at practice, and was dying to get one of him with that smoldering hot stare. And I literally could not make my arms move. It was kinda like being in the middle of a conversation with someone and you suddenly lift a camera in front of your face and snap a pic. It felt rude, somehow, and I was pretty sure if I took a picture it would break the spell and that would be that.
So I stayed still. And he stared. Hidden behind my big sunglasses, I stared back. I may have drooled a little. The man is hot, dammit, and when he gets all intense it’s even hotter. And seriously, could he spread his thighs any wider? _thud_
And when every person within a hundred-foot radius was completely turned on, he suddenly slipped back into normal Roger mode, sharing a laugh with his buddies and getting back to practice.
And you know, I couldn’t help feeling a little bit like he was fucking with us. Roger keeps the aura up at practice; you can sort of feel an invisible wall between you and the Maestro. But he’s aware of what’s going on, always.
Later in the week, before his final match of the tournament, Roger scheduled another practice–just before Rafa’s match. The bastard. I had a reserved seat in the main court at least, so didn’t have to rush over. I had a weird feeling Roger might not make the next round, so I didn’t want to pass up the chance to see him again. I headed over to his practice. He was late. Again. One of his diehard fans began singing the moment he showed up, and performed a solo anthem. Roger went about his business, getting his stuff together, settling into his chair. But when she was done, he leaned over and did the racquet clap he does when he’s won a match, and shot a soft smile in the singer’s general direction. She may have passed out. I forgave him for being late.
That was until he left without ever switching sides on the court. I had gotten the perfect spot, right on the fence, and had my camera ready to get pics of him where he would be almost close enough to touch. But he was a bit out of sorts, hitting most of his shots into the net, and he finally just packed it in. I never got those pics. Insert wail of frustration here, and another notation on the Shit List.
As always, Roger was gracious enough to sign some autographs, but not a lot this time, and then he was gone. He did go out that day, as did Rafa. I saw both their matches, despite Rog’s best efforts to thwart me. Roger played beautiful tennis, even though he wasn’t in his strongest swing at this point. Win or lose, he’s still a joy to watch, so fast, so strong, so elegant.
Looking back on it, I know that all of the simultaneous scheduling with Rafa could have been coincidence, or it could have been an attempt by the tourney to keep the hordes of spectators divided into two smaller, more manageable crowds.
But a part of me thinks Roger just might be a little bit Evil. That as a reward for being so generous with his time and putting up with a lot of fannish craziness, he periodically gets to screw with us. Make us wait. Make us miss shirtless Rafa. And then he stares at girls until they melt into puddles of goo on the opposite side of the court. Then he giggles mischievously and gets back to work.
Sure, a few times I wanted to do an Elaine style “Get out!” shove to his sweaty, gloriously toned chest, knocking him onto his perfectly curved butt. Instead I went home and posted an outrageously gratuitous homage to his ass. See, I can be Evil too.
And even if he has a little naughty streak, Roger was a pretty cool guy all week. With all the racquet thrashing and abuse of ballkids we saw at the tourney, it was refreshing to have the elegant, calm maestro around classing up the place. And I crossed him off my Shit List when he told a group of crazy autograph seekers to stop pushing each other–politely but firmly. So right, and sexy as hell.
So, you know, I will be headed to another Roger practice session in the future, to see how he wants to torment me this time. And you better not be in my seat, bitches. I want him to see my new hat. 😉
P.S. I took this pic from our seats in the stadium, at the end of Roger’s victory against James Blake. Click for the super huge version, so you can see that Roger is–again–staring at me. I swear I didn’t take my top off or anything.
Hope you enjoyed this latest Roger story. You may also be interested in that aforementioned Roger arse post, or the ever-popular Anatomy of a Shirt Change post for Rafa. Feel free to explore the Shrine, and if you have a moment, drop me a line in the comments.
PHOTOS: c2011 The Shrine to Actors. Please link to this page, rather than reposting the photos elsewhere. If you have a tennis, celeb, or Federer-related blog and link to this page, I can give your blog or page a link back in this post in return. Thank you!