Carlos, the crowd puller

R. RAGU

Perhaps we have seen the last of Carlos Moya (in pic) at the Nungambakkam Stadium. Right from the time he first came to play in Chennai in the 1999 edition, the spectators have developed a special bonding with him. Addressing the crowd after his first round match — where he lost to Tipsarevic — Moya said: “You have given me more than I can ever give back to you. There is no better place for me to come back.”

Later, Moya was given a standing ovation as he stepped up to unveil a collage at a court-side felicitation ceremony. The Spaniard said the last 10 months had been very difficult for him and that his decision to opt out of a second surgery had indeed helped him. He summed up the evening saying, “It’s a dream to come here, to be playing, even losing.”

Moya was non-committal about his retirement. “I cannot say after just one match. I got better and better in the match. I am lacking a bit of match practice. It’s a great feeling to be back on the court,” he said.

Compiled by K. Keerthivasan