One of the very cool things about the Miami Open is that you never know who you'll see wandering the grounds. (More on that in a moment.) I was hoofing up the outside stairwell at the stadium court when I happened to glance down where players are transported to and from the tournament. I spotted a very tall guy with a tennis bag and knew instantly it was American tennis player John Isner. Big John, as he's called, (he's 6'10") was spotted immediately by this young fan. Looking at this photo, I can imagine his little voice: 'Hey, mister! Can I have your autograph?' Well…well. What would Big John do with seemingly no one around watching? After finishing a hot, tiring match earlier that day, would he give the kid the big blowoff so he could jump in his ride and rest? Or, would he pause for an autograph? Big John has a reputation for being a nice guy, so I was curious to see what he would do.
Not only did Big John sign an autograph, he posed for pictures. Brilliant! Makes me like him that much more. Ranked in the top 20, Isner has been a rising star for awhile and I'm anxiously awaiting his big breakthrough.
This was the first tournament in awhile that I didn't encounter any players when I was actually roaming the grounds. In previous years, I've spotted Rafa, Ana Ivanovic -- and somehow, Venus snuck within feet behind me one time and I realized it after it was too late. But, my all-time favorite encounter was one of my very first.
I spotted this guy (when no one was around) and I couldn't believe it! Roger Federer heading to a practice court. It was 2006, he was ranked #1 in the world (amazingly, he's currently #2) and I just had a point and shoot. And, boy, did I point and shoot! What a fun, unexpected encounter! This was before Roger won the French Open (to complete his personal slam), before he was married, and before he was the father of not one but two sets of twins. And, I thought he had accomplished a lot at the time I took this photo! That concludes our visit to the Miami Open this year. Back to Sarasota soon!