It’s been a dream of mine to get a picture with my favorite WTA player, Sabine Lisicki. I’ve been thinking about it and hoping for it since last years’ tournament in Cincinnati. That dream became a reality at the Western & Southern Open on the opening Monday. Here’s the story…
Last year I saw Sabine at Cincy many times. Mostly she was on Court 14, which has a big fence and she usually exits the back way with a cart. It’s probably the worst court to get a picture with a player. She did practice on a different court (court 4) before her match with Sara Errani, which is a good court for pictures and autographs, but I didn’t have the courage to ask. I’m really shy with those kinds of things. I did ask after she won the incredible match, but she didn’t stop.
I went to Rogers Cup this year in hopes maybe it’d give me more chances to see her and get a picture, but she didn’t arrive until after I left. Let’s fast forward to Cincy. On Sunday, Sabine practiced for the first time at Cincy. It was on Court 14 and she went out the back way. I tried to get her at the players entrance on the way back after practice, but she didn’t stop then either.
On Monday, Sabine was scheduled to practice on Court 14 yet again. By this point I’d given up on the court. I had no hopes. She practiced with Carla Suarez Navarro. It started to rain though and quickly became too strong to play, so they stopped the practice. Sabine then came over to the fence to sign a few autographs. I got one, but it smeared somewhat due to the rain. One person asked for a selfie over the fence. Sabine kind of laughed at the idea, but said they could try. I was going to try too, but she left to pack up her things and leave. I awaited by the fence to see what she would do. I didn’t see a cart this time. Then the unthinkable happened. She started walking towards the gate to the patrons! I immediately got right over to the gate. I saw Sabine had a towel over her head due to the rain as she approached the gate, so I was a bit unsure she’d stop for a picture. It was raining a bit, but nothing too strong at the time. She came out of the gate after her team members and I asked for a picture. She stopped, pulled the down towel from over her head, and I took the picture! My dream had come true!
It was kind of funny because I got my first picture with a player (Casey Dellacqua) at Rogers Cup a week earlier and I was really nervous. I saw my hand shaking as I went to take the picture and missed on my first attempt before hitting the button correctly on the second try. I got another picture with a player (Elina Svitolina) within minutes of entering Cincy and I had a mind lapse of how to take a picture. You’d think I’d have been so much worse with my favorite player. The thing is that because I’ve not had a single chance to get a picture with her and I had zero hope to get one on that day, seeing that opportunity made me pounce. If I didn’t, that may have been my only chance. I wasn’t really nervous because of how hard it was to get. In my mind I had committed to asking at any opportunity that presented itself. I wasn’t concerned with anything that got in the way, which held me back in the past.
After I got the picture, I was mind blown. It had actually happened. I didn’t know what to do with myself. For probably an hour I couldn’t even think. It was just so hard to believe that it actually happened. I wanted to share the great news with Team Lisicki, but I couldn’t get service to tweet it. I was going crazy because I had this HUGE NEWS and no way to tweet it. A few people have been rooting for me to get a picture with Sabine, so I wanted to let them know. It probably took half an hour for the tweet to go through after I actually got the picture. I couldn’t believe the reception once it went through. Many people were so happy for me. Even one’s I wasn’t anticipating. It meant a lot to me.
The day was already amazing, but then I checked my phone as I sat down for dinner and saw Sabine had seen my tweet, favorited it, and mentioned me. I dropped my phone to the ground in disbelief. I never expected that. Her message was so sweet too! She usually doesn’t do things like that, so it meant so much. Also, the WTA favorited my tweet too. That was cool because I’m sure the WTA loves to see things like that. To put out a brand and players that people enjoy and want to see in person I’m sure was a dream to them too.
I hope that everybody else can get pictures with there favorite players. It may not seem possible, but you just have to keep trying, be ready at any moment, and take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.