Ever since I went to my first tournament in 2012, I’ve become addicted to going to tournaments. Every year since, I’ve extended my trips to Cincy. In 2012 I only went to four sessions over three days, one of which was only one shortened match due to a retirement just before it started raining. In 2013, I went to five sessions over three days. Last year I decided to really step it up a notch and attend most of the week. I had tickets from Monday night until the finals on Sunday. Now this year it’s gone up another notch.
I’ll be attending a tournament other than Cincy for the first time in my life. I’m going to Toronto for the qualifying matches in a couple weeks. It’s the closest tournament to where I live, with the contingency that it’s in a different country. I saw admission was free for qualifying and thought that created a great opportunity. I’ve heard others say, and have realized myself, that experiences are more meaningful than material possessions, so I said the only thing I wanted for my birthday was to attend Toronto for a day and a half.
I’ve become aware, when I’ve been in Cincy, that when players aren’t playing, they’re more likely to spend a lot of time with fans. Usually most players do stop for fans regardless, but they’re more likely not to when they’re playing. I’m hopeful that some of the bigger named players will be there a few days early and practicing so I can see them in a more relaxed setting and possibly be able to pick up some autographs I wouldn’t otherwise get.
Another appealing thing about Toronto this year is the women are there. I’d only ever go to Toronto if the women were there (possibly men’s late in Novak’s career). I’m not that interested in watching only men play since I only have one favorite. Men’s tennis just isn’t as exciting at the lower levels as women’s tennis is. I’m excited about it because it should give me my first chance to see one of my favorites, Urszula Radwanska, play in person. I’ve only ever seen her practice and play a practice set. I’m hopeful that some other players I like that are ranked 40-100 will be in the qualifying draw as well.
In addition to Toronto, I bought full series tickets to Cincy for the first time. I’ll be there for qualifying on Saturday evening until the finals the following Sunday, although I may go home early depending on the finals matchups. If it’s the same finals as last year, I’m not going to stay. I’m really hopeful Novak will be able to win it this year, so I don’t have to continue buying tickets for the finals every year. It’s just that I MUST be there if he ever wins it for the first time to complete the Masters Slam. I mean, for your favorite player to be able to make history like that and it be a tournament somewhat close to where you live and that you usually attend, you kind of have to be there.
I’ve began to realize that a lot of things I’ve not been able to do at tournaments before, will probably be achieved this year, due to me going for so many days. As I look forward to 2016, the Olympics are being played the week before Cincy. Cincy’s field will probably be missing some significant names on the entry list because of it. If Novak can win Cincy this year, I probably won’t go next year. It would create the perfect opportunity for me to cross off the tournament at the top of my bucket list.
TENNIS TOURNAMENT BUCKET LIST
My tournament bucket list just isn’t comprised of the biggest tournaments in the world, but the tournaments that are realistic and I want to attend.
#1 US Open
I would really like to be at a major and see what it’s like. It’s the biggest competition level in the sport. There’s a different energy and feeling when it comes to major championships. I’d like to see that in person. I also want to see Arthur Ashe Stadium. It’s the biggest stadium in tennis and I’d love to see it for myself. US Open also has many other great outer courts. Court 17 comes to mind as well as a few others they recently built. Another contributing factor to wanting to go next year is I’d like to see my favorite player, Novak Djokovic, play there. If I wait much longer to go to the US Open, he won’t be playing anymore or at his top level. Next year he’ll still be in his 20’s :p
Even though there is every reason in the world to go next year, there’s still many things going against it, so I’m still not that optimistic it’ll work out, but I hope it does somehow because it makes so much sense.
#2 Indian Wells
Indian Wells was the first tournament I ever watched from the first round to the finals and my faves both won it that year too 🙂 It’ll always be special to me for that reason and bring back great memories. I want to go because of all the unique things the tournament offers. The most unique of them being the players area where players play soccer or something else. It’d be cool to see a fave or other top player having a little fun and showing other skills they have. Also, the courts are immaculate. They have more stadiums than any other tournament I believe. They put more money into the tournament than any other it seems and the results of it have shown. I’m sure by the time I get there, it’ll be even better than it is now. There’s a few reasons I may not be able to go though. One of them is I’d have to travel by airplane. I hate heights and have never flown before, so I’d have to get over that fear, but I feel Indian Wells is worth going through that fear for. Also, the tournament lands right during the busiest time of year in my field of work. Basically there’d be no way I’d be able to take time off during it, unless I was unemployed or changed careers. It’ll probably be a while before I could go, but that’s okay because I’m not going there to see Novak or Sabine. I’d be going solely for what the tournament offers to fans. If it happens after my faves retire then so be it.
There’s not many clay tournaments in the United States. I think there’s only one other one besides Charleston. I’d like to see clay tennis in person since there’s so few opportunities in the US. Charleston is one of the first tournaments I watched when I got into tennis. I remember my favorite at the time, Caroline Wozniacki, won the event in 2011. The center court there looks like a nice court to watch some tennis. It just seems like a comfortable atmosphere. My favorite player, Sabine Lisicki, usually plays Charleston, although she didn’t this year. Sabine is a significant factor to me in wanting to go. I wouldn’t want to go if she didn’t play. I’d probably need to go within the next few years, but it’s a tough one because, like Indian Wells, it’s during the busiest time of year for my field of work.
The main reason I want to go is to see Novak get inducted into the Hall of Fame. I don’t care about the tennis at all. Nobody great ever plays the event. I do like grass tennis though and it’s the only grass court tournament outside of Europe, so that is an appealing part of it. I’d probably want to go before Novak got inducted, just to see what it’s like and get ideas of how to make it the best experience for when Novak gets inducted.
#5 Davis Cup/Fed Cup tie
This is something you can’t really plan that far in advance obviously, but if the opportunity arises and the American team play somewhat close to me, it’d be a great experience. I know American crowds usually aren’t the greatest for these so that would diminish it a bit, but it would still be cool to be there for one. In 2011, the American Davis Cup team considered Albany, New York as an option, which would’ve been doable, but instead they chose Austin, Texas. Hopefully in the future they will choose Albany or a city even closer to me.
Tournament outside of North America
I thought for fun I’d list the tournament I’d most like to go to outside America since I focused on American tournaments above. In my mind I don’t ever see myself going to any tournament outside of the USA or Canada, but if I did, I’d want to go to Wimbledon. It’s the most important tournament in the sport. It has so much history. I’ve grown to love it watching Novak win it the past few years, as well as seeing Sabine achieve a lot of success there. Another appealing part of it is that people speak English there! There wouldn’t be a language barrier! I don’t really understand how one gets tickets though. From what I see on Twitter it seems pretty complicated.
I’d like to hear some tournaments you’d like to attend. Feel free to comment or tweet me with your response. Thanks for reading 🙂