Johnny Mc blog

The Italians know how to make a buck or two says Thurles man on tour

Noel Dundon

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Noel Dundon

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John McNally

John McNally pictured prior to his departure for Europe

If you don’t love tennis like I do, don’t ever ever ever go the day after it’s been raining- Johnny Mc

Johnny Mc continues his blog on the European clay tennis championship circuit.

I started out by finding a way to the venue for the Italian Open. All Italian modes needed to be used. First get a bus , then the underground, then a team, and a short walk to FORO D’italico for my first taste of Italian tennis.

The Italians are one of two things, or maybe both. 1- Really good businessmen or 2- the greatest changers on the planet……… or maybe a bit of both
FEDERER decided at the weekend he’d play the Italian open. What did they do? ……. doubled the admission prices …..he was disgusted to be used like that, but mind you his appearance fee is now north of €1,000,000.  Add to this the fact that there was no play yesterday -heavens opened all day - and you have a serious recipe for exploitation.

The crowds packed into the Italian Open

Firstly, all yesterdays tickets were admissible today. ….. so today’s crowd, and yesterday’s, all show up. Happy days for the organisers only they let EVERYONE IN without the room for so many …….. Result? Mayhem. What they did was made unreserved seating reserved and re-sold it ………. causing those who occupied unreserved seating to be asked to move, the place was absolutely jam packed, people sitting on top of one another and in the isles, at the back, on top of the barriers …….. latterly everywhere. I got a seat, but had to move six times to stay in the stadium. I’ve never  seen such crowds at tennis before.


I sat down beside Chardy’s coach whom I recognised…… he’s Cedrick Pioline who had a great track record at Wimbledon. Asked to talk to him and was snubbed ……… I won’t be asking him again. Met Monammed Lyanni before he took charge of The Fed match and had a brief chat. I’ll meet him tomorrow for more hopefully. The tennis itself was simply top drawer. Saw Nadal up close. Breathtaking his speed and accuracy, Nishikori, much the same, Schwartzman from Argentina was just purring and then along cane The Fed to treat us all to a nail biting encounter with Corinne a young pretender but a very good one. The Fed scraped through saving two match points en route.


John pictured with Monammed Lyanni at the Italian Open

Some very big matches tomorrow to look forward to  ………. if you don’t love tennis like I do, don’t ever ever ever go the day after it’s been raining ………. you’ll leave and waste your money. It’s only for the likes of me …… trust me on that. The crowds everywhere were six deep. I’ve attached some photos to prove what I saw. All for now.