Oct 4, 2009

A conversation with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes

Thanks to a contest by Astrolife I had the opportunity to toss coin for the doubles semifinals match last night.

It was such an honour to be able to step onto the Centre Court. [Click here to check out the court preparation, if you haven't seen it yet]

I was introduced to the chair umpire Carlos Bernardes by the international Media Director Craig Gabriel.

I congratulated Carlos as his country Brazil won the rights to host the Olympics 2016.

I teased him by saying that the organiser should have a special autograph signing session for the chair umpires as he and Mohamed Lahyani are very popular here.

Then we started talking about Malaysia - he said he had now know the meaning of 'Malaysia Truly Asia'.

Carlos said he had seen the commercial countless times on CNN but only understand the true meaning of that famous tagline when he reached this country.

Everywhere he went, including the KLCC, he was truly amazed by how the different races in this country able to live together despite social and cultural differences.

As we walked towards the middle of the Centre Court, waiting for the players to join us, Carlos added that the ATP World Tour tried very hard to promote the doubles event - having the players' names on the back of their t-shirts is one way to do so.

I shook hands with all the players and tossed the coin. Mariusz Fyrstenberg joked/praised me for that nice flip :P

What a priceless experience that was on Friday night.

I'm glad I made full use of that opportunity to speak to one of the best and nicest chair umpires in the world.

(Images by HSFoo/

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