Singapore’s organisational skills were in evidence the WTA Finals that unfolded at the beautiful Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Monday – it started on time and the packed schedule (opening ceremony, a rock show, etc) proceeded smooth without much fuss or fanfare. That was efficiency without any hype!
Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was seated in the first row of the area I was in. He was just six rows ahead from where I was sitting, but I noticed him only when he stood up to make a quiet exit after the match between Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic was over. There was no security cordon around him, nor were any officials milling around him. I did not even see anyone escorting him away. There were some ministers as well at the event but without any of the cacophony that one will run into in India.
This reminded me of a Cirque de Soleil show I attended with some of my Cisco colleagues in Las Vegas, possibly in 2007, when former US President Bill Clinton was sitting just one row ahead. We were in the second row and all through we did not see any trace of a VVIP being in our midst.
Once I even saw Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong drive out from a car park — all by himself with no chauffeur.
The digression aside, I had the opportunity to witness some exciting matches at the WTA — the first was a Legends doubles match that had Martina Navaratilova and Marion Barteli pair up against Tracy Austin and Eva Majoli. The former pair won.
The Serena – Ana match produced some exciting moments and, though the world number 1 won in straight sets, it was a seesaw battle and hardly one-sided. Ana proved she is no pushover with aggressive play, only let down by too many double faults as opposed to Serena’s bullet serves. In contrast, the Simona Halep-Eugenie Bouchard match was rather tame with the former winning easily.
Tomorrow, Maria Sharapova will be in action and I will be there to watch her. I have bought tickets for the rest of the week as well, except the final that I intend to watch on TV.
G Joslin Vethakumar