[Maria: Howdy, my sister volunteered for the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford last week and here she talks about what she saw, observed and did not touch.]
For the Stanford tennis tournament, I decided to become a volunteer. I had a lot of fun doing it. The only problem for me about volunteering is that I have to stand there for the longest time but I dealt with it. I got to enjoy the tennis without having to spend so small price to pay.
Day 1 (Tuesday):
Before my shift, I got kind of lost and somehow ended up in the player box. I sat because it was a nice spot (shaded and all) during Sabine Lisicki’s match. I did not realize it was the player box until I saw the players. A few games on, Julia Goerges and her team came in and sat a few seats away from me. I wanted to sit next to her and touch her but thought she might get freaked out.
Then, Team Serena (without Serena) walked in and sat even closer to me! AND THEN Sam Stosur walked in, sat a few seats away from Julia. I told myself, well, they would have to drag me out when security realizes I’m not supposed to be here. But I saw Masha practicing behind me and I left. [Ed note: LOL, loser.]
I then had to do my duties and usher after Masha’s practice. I had to deal with people not listening to me when I said that they were not allowed to walk in the stadium!
Day 2 (Wednesday):
I worked at night. Unfortunately, Masha was playing at the same time. I couldn’t cheer or scream at her. I was dying inside and kept talking to myself while trying to remember to let people in during the changeover. That was a tough night.
Day 3 (Thursday):
I had to work at a place called hospitality, the only place at the tournament where people could drink! I had to make sure drinks were not taken out of the area. I thought it was kind of boring because there was no tennis to be seen but a few minutes into my shift, Maria Kirilenko arrived with her team! She came to warm up before her match against Serena at the track right behind me. Not so boring after all. She and her team discussed what she had to do during the match. She is the cutest person I have ever seen in my life. Thankfully, I succeeded in stopping myself from touching.
After hospitality, I was then assigned to the player box [Ed note: Big mistake.] during the MaKiri/Serena match. There, I was face to face with Dominika Cibulkova, Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. I was again of touching distance! While trying to distract myself, I overheard some coaches playing a guessing game: What was going to happen next during the match? Thomas Hogstedt, Masha’s coach, was there but not part of the game. He was in serious mode, scouting Masha’s next opponent. I also kind of spoke with Richard Williams, Serena’s dad, he kept telling me that he’s gonna go smoke and went in and out during changeovers.
Later on at night, I was waiting outside the media center, when out of nowhere Sabine walks by me! I heard her say to this staff person that she did not know where she was going for her press conference. I thought that was cute!
Day 4 (Saturday):
My last shift was Saturday morning. I had to explain to people about the Dominika semifinal situation so that wasn’t fun.
[Maria: I especially like how this blog post was ended. Domi was involved and it wasn’t fun. *mic drop*]
* No tennis players were harmed in the making of this adventure.