Nov 17, 2008

Showdown of Champions: Roger Federer, James Blake, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in Malaysia!

Tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe together with Roger Federer and James Blake are already in Malaysia!

Thanks to the management and media team at LD Sports and Media 247, I had the opportunity to attend the press conference today at Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

I arrived early hoping to catch a glimpse of the players' arrival at the official hotel, Mandarin Oriental.

I missed the opportunity to witness Blake, McEnroe and Borg's arrival although I reached the hotel at about 10.30 a.m.

Roger and Mirka arrived almost at approximately 4 p.m. Mirka is so much prettier in person!

Together with my Sis, Nick and Jamie who are hardcore Roger fans, we had the opportunity to welcome them from afar (as we were brushed off by the huge and not-so-friendly bodyguards who are just doing their job :D).

Roger and Mirka were lead to their suite while Blake, Borg and McEnroe were nowhere to be seen. They must have been locking up themselves (or by the organizer) in the suites since morning.

I quickly registered myself for the press conference and Jamie was brave enough to ask for a permission to join the press conference as a representative from Roger Federer's Malaysia Fan Club :D.

Then I humbly joined the other photographers (with big huge DSLRs and video cameras) to go outdoor shooting at the bridge near the park overlooking the proudly erected Petronas Twin Towers.

According to Jamie back at the hotel, Roger managed to grab some bites before heading to the photoshoot location.

(Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

I gotta admit that I took bad photos as I can't fit in the players and the towers together into my sis's humble Sony digital camera. Not to mention that I had to 'wrestle' with the other professional photographers who know exactly what they are doing.

After that I was back to the hotel waiting for the press conference to start. My Sis, Jamie and Nick joined me in the conference room.

The press conference was moderated by Mahadzir Lokman, who will also be the MC for tomorrow's Showdown of Champions. (At the end of the press conference, Mahadzir asked the players to do the thumbs up gesture and he chuckled when they did!)

The players were really ecstatic about the exhibition match tomorrow. According to Bjorn Borg, who is 'missing' from the video, said he wished the exhibition match is tonight!

Roger Federer said he is recovering fast from his back injury and is really looking forward to team up with Borg for the first time.

John McEnroe is as usual, funny and yet serious-looking while Blake is simply a gorgeous guy (drooling!).

I managed to ask two questions, one for Blake and one for Roger (which the question was suggested by Rizal of LD Sports).

1. Blake, you'll be teaming up with Serena Williams at the Hopman Cup early next year. What do you think of the brother and sister team, Marat Safin and Dinara Safina?

2. You are a big fan of the FC Basel. What is your plan after retiring from tennis? I mean are you going to buy a football club or something?

:D tennis legends, Borg and McEnroe have retired long, long time ago and yet still involved with so many activities (be it tennis or non-tennis related) so I guess it was appropriate to ask Roger what he's looking forward when he decides to hang his tennis racquet.

The press conference ended at about 5.30 p.m.

Fans were already outside waiting for the players (Roger to be exact) to come out. The bodyguards were trying to do their job brushing away fans but Roger was so sweet to stop and take pictures with rogerfederer.commers! At this time I had the opportunity to get Blake to sign his autobiography and took a picture with him, thanks to my Sis.

(Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

(Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

I bet Roger fans who were there today will be having sweet dreams tonight (or maybe they can't sleep tonight). Glad you guys had the opportunity to meet and took photos with him. Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines fans united!

Stay tune for more.

(All photo credit should read HCFoo's Tennis Blog except those stated by Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

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