David Ferrer,
ranked third globally, was welcomed on to
the ASB Tennis Centre courts for the Heineken Open. The surface temperature
was in excess of 25 degrees and for this man to avoid
getting blisters on his feet he had to do a lot more
hopping than usual. Especially when Ferrer
was unaware of the protocol, causing the delay in responding
to the challenger. My feet are sore, they’re burnt. I was waiting for Ferrer
to pick up the leaves but then he hesitated, so yeah. But once that was over, I was quick to head back
to the side of the courts. Now I’ve got blisters. But at least the whole world
has witnessed this custom. He was gifted a taonga. Its significance was explained to
him in his native language, Spanish. He has been tournament champion
for the last three years. Tomorrow he’ll face the winner
of tonight’s round one.

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Dennis Veasley

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