Professional tennis tournaments are very fun to attend to watch some the best tennis players in the world hit the ball up to over a hundred miles an hour. Watching these professional tennis players hit the ball in person does not even begin to compare to watching them on television. When the players hit the ball, you can hear the whoosh sound of how fast that ball is traveling and how the players make it look so easy hitting that tennis ball so fast. Sitting on those bleachers in the stadiums for hours watching tennis can be sometimes boring and painful. There are other things that you can do while attending one of these incredible events and still see some awesome tennis.
This past weekend, I attended the BNP PARIBAS Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in the Coachella Valley. The BNP PARIBAS Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a two week event and happens once a year in March. This was the first weekend and was sold out all weekend. The first weekend is the earlier rounds in the tournament and there are a variety of players from all around the world to watch. Most of the top players play in this event which gives the fans on the west coast a chance to see their favorite players. Top names include Number one men’s singles player Novak Djokavic, number two Rafael Nadal, number three Roger Federer, number one women’s singles player Victoria Azeranka, and number two Maria Sharapova. I barely watched matches in the stadiums and spent most of my time on the practice courts and walking around the tennis garden.
Instead of watching the top players in the stadiums during their matches, the practice courts give you an up close look at how hard they practice and how they interact with their coaches. It is truly amazing to see some of these professionals from about twelve feet away practicing. If it is some of the top names like Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, make sure to get to the practice courts early because those areas fill up quickly. At the BNP PARIBAS Open, there is a practice schedule that is listed which lists what time and court number they will be practicing on.
If tennis is not interesting to you at all and you are more interested in getting more of their autographs and seeing the pros very up close like me, standing around by the player’s entrance is the best way to meet some of these players. At any of the events there is usually an area for players only, but you can wait outside and hope that some of the players walk through to go to their match or practice court. There is no guarantee that Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal will come through because sometimes they will go out a different way. It is always going to be a surprise on who is going to walk by you but just be prepared and have something ready for them to sign.
There is a variety of items that can be signed from players like giant tennis balls, regular tennis balls, pictures, free items that they give out, t shirts, or simply a notebook. I spent most of my time waiting for players to walk down the walkway surrounded by fences before they went to go practice. Most of the players will only sign items after they are done practicing and will try to sign as much as they can.
Throughout the two days I spent at the tournament, twenty professional tennis players signed my giant tennis ball including number four men’s singles player Andy Murray, number five David Ferrer, Americans Marty Fish, Sam Querrey , Donald Young, and number one men’s doubles player Bob Bryan. You just have to be patient and aggressive to get the professionals to sign and you may just get lucky and get a picture with them as well.
Professional tennis tournaments are fun events for the whole family and are located all around the world. For more information on tickets and events near you visit www.atpworldtour.com and www.wtatennis.com.