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Linda
18-09-2013, 23:00
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go to Madrid as part of the 'Asociacion Armada Copa Davis' cheering squad! Here is a pic of my cheering gear:

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd287/Granny_Linda/DC%20Madrid%20Sep%2013/216.jpg

I didn't take any touristy pics of Madrid this time - they can be seen on my Madrid blog from last year.

I went with a great group of friends (about 15 from the UK and some from Spain and elsewhere) and we sat with the band and the rest of the Asociation Armada supporters. It was really great sitting with the band (two different drums, two trumpets, and cymbals) and singing all the cheering songs. There was also a soft toy of the Spanish bull that we all kept throwing about. And the giant flag that covered all of us that was passed up and down between sets. We were of course shown on the Spanish TV.

When we weren't actually at the Caja Magica, we were usually to be found in tapas bars! It was amazing - Madrid is definitely the best place to go for tapas! Every time we ordered a round of drinks we got loads of food included - and it was unbelievably cheap. We had potatoes in very garlicky mayonnaise, Iberian ham, whitebait, smoked salmon, patatas bravas, a seafood pasta dish - all sorts of things. I have put on about a stone and a half over the weekend!

We all stayed in the centre of Madrid, near Puerto del Sol (I was literally two minutes away) and took the Metro to the Caja Magica each day. As well as the tapas bars, we went to a couple of great restaurants in the centre. The nightlife is wonderful - everyone is on the streets until about 3am.

Linda
18-09-2013, 23:17
Well, about the tennis - this was a must win tie for Spain as they had somehow found themselves in a playoff to stay in the World Group. They were playing against the Ukraine. The Spanish squad consisted of Rafa, Verdasco, Marc Lopez and Robredo.

The first match was Verdasco v Dolgopolov. Of course they are both good but inconsistent players so this could have gone either way. Dolly won the first set but then went into decline and Nando won the match in 4. I wondered whether Dolly might have picked up an injury as he really seemed to fade away.

The second match was Rafa v Stakhovsky. Rafa started really strongly and took two bagels, but then seemed to tire so the third set was closely contested - however Rafa won in three.

On the Saturday, the doubles was Rafa & Marc Lopez v Stakhovsky & Molchanov. Rafa looked seriously tired during this match and I think Marc was playing better than he was, however they managed to win the match in 4 sets. So Spain had won the tie! Much celebrations. All the team gave little speeches and they got Feli and Marcel Granollers up with them too, even though they hadn't been part of the team for this match. It was all lovely.

Then on Sunday it was the two dead rubbers. Rather to our surprise, Marc Lopez (a dedicated doubles player) played one of these against Molchanov. We were sure that he would lose but he won in straights! Then it was Verdasco again v Manafov who looked very young. This was a very easy win in straights for Verdasco. So Spain had won 5-0! We were sorry, however, that Robredo had not played as we would have liked to have seen him.

Altogether it was a great win for Spain. I actually felt sorry for the Ukrainians - I was thinking as I was watching on the first day, that I feel sorry for any team that has to play Spain. They are simply amazing - 14 players in the top 100! Of course whilst all this was going on I was worrying about GB too. I was catching up on my Kindle each night, but on the Sunday afternoon I just had to know so texted Sally and hfwardhouse for the result. So pleased that GB won. Then of course I was worrying in case they drew Spain in the first round! But luckily they have avoided them and in fact ended up in the easier half.

Linda
18-09-2013, 23:20
My photos have all come out rather fuzzy (wrong camera settings?) but here they are (http://s227.photobucket.com/user/Granny_Linda/library/DC%20Madrid%20Sep%2013?sort=2&page=1).

Linda
18-09-2013, 23:26
One sad item is that the tie wasn't well attended. Previously it has been virtually impossible to get tickets to Spanish DC ties - worse than trying to get Wimbledon tickets. However for the first match the stadium was only about one third full. I thought it would fill up later. Well, it did, but only to about two thirds full. Apparently the tickets were too expensive - 235 Euros for the weekend - and the Spanish are really hard up now. The situation in Spain is dreadful. I wrote a bit about this in my Majorca blog in November. There is 25% unemployment and many people have lost their homes. In the Plaza del Puerto del Sol there is a big shop proclaiming "We Buy Gold" and they have their agents about in all the streets, with their jackets with the same message printed on them, approaching people. They are preying upon people who have no income and are desperate. We are fortunate in this country that the global economic downturn has not affected us as much.

RoastLamb
19-09-2013, 12:54
Great blog!!! Serbia-Canada tie was not that well attended either tbh. Maybe they are jaded because Serbia had won it before? Maybe it's the same for Spain altho' I don't know how they could charge so much money for tix with the economy so bad.

hfwardhouse
19-09-2013, 12:56
:thanks: Linda

karanga
19-09-2013, 19:52
Thanks, Linda. :thanks:

Caro
20-09-2013, 12:28
:thanks: Linda

Actually, on TV, it didn't look as though the Croatia / GB tie was that well attended either. That was good for us of course as there was strong GB fan presense in Croatia and you could really hear the GB fans on TV.

cazza99
20-09-2013, 17:44
:thanks: for the great blog Linda.

supergran
20-09-2013, 21:22
:thanks:Linda. Glad you enjoyed it. Great pix.Talking about tapas reminded SG and me of an evening in Granada where we visited a few lovely little bars and didn't need to have dinner as the tapas not only delicious but filling.

Golden Lady
23-09-2013, 18:09
I adore tapas! :thanks: for the blog Linda, glad you had a good time

pabbers
24-09-2013, 16:08
Thanks Linda and glad you had fun. Feel very sorry for the Spanish. It's not much better in Portugal but not quite so bad.