I’ve promised to return to the topic of women vs men (at least for competitive spirit at tennis), but this past weekend I attended the Rogers Cup Tournament in Toronto, so I’d like to take a quick detour first.
If you’ve never seen live tennis, I’d recommend it for three reasons.
1. It’s fun
The crowd makes it fun: people clap, ooh and aaah and cheer for their favourites. A great atmosphere really makes a tournament, and that’s what I’ve seen, not only at the Roger’s Cup, but also at the Australian Open.
This year, at the men’s final, a sizeable Serbian contingent cheered on the world number 1 player, Novak Djokovic. They enthusiastically applauded his every winner and reacted with catcalls and boos to any calls that didn’t go his way.
A live event treats you to moments that feel special, because you were there. During this year’s semi-final, Stan Wawrinka finished a long and exhausting point with an easy… loser. His volley missed a wide-open court. Everyone laughed hard at his reaction. These photos speak for themselves:
2. Athletic genius is on display
The top level tennis players create plays that seem almost impossible. For example, witness the angle of Djokovic’s knee – how does that man have any joints left?
To generate immense power and increase their reach, the players leap right off the ground, as Kei Nishikori demonstrates:
Look at Gael Monfils – he required every bit of his 6’4 frame plus full flexibility to get this ball. (Yes, his shot landed in.)
3. You can focus
Live tennis makes it easy and fun to focus and absorb the experience. Without distractions like phones, families or the fridge, I found myself really focusing on the tennis, trying to understand the players’ strategies and to predict their next moves.
Unlike with TV, I had complete control over where I would focus my attention – on the serve, the return or anything in between. I better understood the dynamics of the match, the role of the support staff like ball boys and umpires, and the effect of the crowd.
Do you feel the same way about live tennis? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.