A couple of hours before the scheduled start of the Aircel ATP Chennai Open 2013, the atmosphere around the SDAT Tennis Stadium was strikingly reminiscent of exam days at school. A slight unease pervaded the complex as the staff worked meticulously to put the final touches to the preparation.

A few instances of confusion and a couple of tense moments preceded the beginning of the first match of the tournament.

Spectators haggled with the security guards as the latter threw away water bottles, which was among a list of things which were not permitted inside the complex.

Media persons were denied entry into the outside courts before common sense prevailed and everything went through smoothly, like it has all these years here.

Usual problems

The final round of qualifiers caught the attention of many due to its close contests and good-quality tennis.

However, a few locals also caused some consternation to the organisers and the crowds as they walked by the courtside during points.

One such dissatisfied member of the crowd was Vijay Amritraj, who was in attendance for his son Prakash’s victory over James Ward.

The legendary Indian pro chose to express his disapproval with a slight shake of the head.

Haase woos the crowd

After bringing an end to the fan favourite Yuki Bhambri’s challenge, Robin Haase decided to win over the crowd by aiming to hit a few balls into the stands with a cricket bat.

However, the plan turned into a misadventure when he failed to connect with the ball even once.

The crowd did not complain though as the disappointment at Bhambri’s defeat was quickly replaced by uproarious laughter.

Eventually, a few people got to take a ball home when Haase switched to his tool of choice — a tennis racquet — to launch a few balls into the crowd.

Keywords: Chennai Open

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