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christos_liaskos
10-11-2009, 12:29 PM
I would like to know people's backgrounds as far as spectating tennis goes and what they have seen live in person.

I am 21. I started following tennis 8-10 years ago. The first live tennis I attended was in 2002 when I went to Wimbledon and saw Nicolas Escude v Mikhail Youzhny on Court 1. I also saw Venus Williams that day. I remember as we queued outside Wimbledon and as the road bent round a corner and the stadiums came into view the first time. I had a funny feeling all over like this was the most amazing thing I'd seen in my life and the most amazing place I'd ever been too. I dont really remember the tennis from that first visit.

From 2003 onwards I went to the final of Nottingham every year for 4 years.

The first time I saw Federer was at the Athens Olympics in 2004 when. I sat on the front row as he lost to Berdych. I also saw Roddick beat Haas at the same tournament and then lose to Gonzalez the next day. I aslo saw the Bryan Brothers lose to Gonzalez and Massu in a an amazing night match.

In 2006 I got on Center Court at Wimbledon for the first time and saw Federer beat Berdych this time and Murray lose to Baghdatis.

In 2007 I went to the only Davis Cup I've attended - at Wimbledon when Henman played his last proffesional match in a tie that GB beat Croatia. I didnt get to see Henamn playing though because he didnt play the day I went.

In 2008 I went to the French Open where I saw Federer beat Benneteau and Nadal demolish Verdasco. I also got to see Monfils beat Ljubicic (I point this one out because it's awlays good to see a player playing in their home countyr because the atmosphere is always fantastic). Not long after my trip to Paris was the "jewel in my spectating career" as I like to call it. I sat on the front row as Nadal beat Federer at Wimbledon 2008. In November of the same year I went back to Paris to see the Masters event. Over two days I got to see all the top 10 players and also sat on the front row on the second court to see players like Murray, Verdasco and Davydenko.

This year, 2009. For my 21st birthday I got to travel across the Atlantic and got to the USopen. Whilst there I got to see Federer v Hewitt, Nadal, Roddick, Sharapova and Venus Williams.

The greatest 'achievements' if you like, of my "spectating career" would have to seeing watching the Federer v Nadal Wimbledon 2008 final and also getting to see both players at 3 of the 4 slams.

As for things I wish I'd seen.... well not seeing Agassi before he retired was my biggest disappointment. I was at Wimbledon the day he played his last match there in losing to Nadal. I saw the match on the big screen and had tried queueing earlier in the day to get onto Center Court but it turned out you had to queue from the day before to get one of those tickets!

Anyway, that's my spectating career. So I thought you could all share yours and what you would crown as your 'greatest achievement' as a spectator.

OliverSimon
10-11-2009, 08:02 PM
Great story!

Imaster
10-11-2009, 10:14 PM
You must be a rich guy, I am assuming it takes a lot of money to get the front row seats of these events, plus you have been doing this a lot...

Great for you man!

christos_liaskos
10-12-2009, 12:51 AM
You must be a rich guy, I am assuming it takes a lot of money to get the front row seats of these events, plus you have been doing this a lot...

Great for you man!

Haha out of all the replies I was expecting it never even occured to me that I would get one like this. I am far from rich lol. Let's put it this way, one person's idea of being rich or well off is another person's idea as just your average person so I dont want to make it too much if a big thing. The only way I can think of to explain how "affluent" I may be lol is that I have played tennis for over 10 years and in that time I have only had about a months worth of private coaching. I know some people wont even be able to match that but the kids I grew up playing with were all having a lesson a week for years. Anyway's that's that out of the way.

As far as how I got to get on the front row to see some of these matches; At the Athens Olympics it was the start of the tournament and there were about 100 people in the whole stadium so you could literally just sit anywhere. The price of the ticket was only about 10.

The reason I was on the front row at Wimbledon 2008 is because I have a terminal illness called Cystic Fibrosis and there is a charity that I was told I could apply to to have a 'dream' day out. I applied to them to go to the 2007 final but they said they couldnt get tickets so I could wait another year to got to the 2008 final or I could pick a different day out. I decided to wait to for a year. So in the end I didnt actually have to pay for the tickets. Because all the tickets at Wimbledon go straight to the fans through a ballot virtually all seats are sold out and none are left just to give away to people. I was put in an old commentators box with my brother to watch the whole match - the same box that Rafa walks on top of at the end of the match to climb into the royal box. If you look closely on clips of of him doing it you can actually see me hanging out of the commentators box underneath him, myself wearing an orange top and my brother a yellow one :D.

Obviously I do realise I was extremely lucky to see that match, a match that not even money could have bought me (not that I have that money)(on another note, if you were to get tickets for that match through the ballot and sit on the front row then they would still only be around 100, not thousands like other events). However, going to two of the other slams, ofcourse I see myself as extremely lucky, especially to have seen Federer and Nadal each time I went to a slam, but they were also planned trips. I would have thought there were others of you on here who also went to some tennis events? As far as going to Paris Masters last year, I was on holiday at the time and decided the day before that it would be one of my only chances to go. So I drove to France with my brother, bought tickets from touts outside the stadium since everything else was sold out, and I watched two days of tennis.

I definitely see myself as extremely lucky to have seen everything I have, but for me it's also one of my favourite things to go and see a big tournament that I havent seen before. I have asked friends if they wanted to come with me who also say they 'love tennis' but they always come up with some reason not to go. These trips cost no more than any other holiday would cost. With this being a tennis forum I would have thought there would be some of you on here who have travelled to watch tennis somewhere apart from your local event? (yes I know not everyone even has a local event. My local event isn't actually in my city, I actually took the train to a different city since I was 14 to go and watch my 'local event')

christos_liaskos
10-13-2009, 12:31 AM
Has anyone on here actually seen any live tennis!?All i am trying to find out is how much people on here watch or go to see live tennis, so far it seems like i'm the only one that's seen any sort of match live! Whatever you've seen, tell us about it!

Blinkism
10-13-2009, 12:36 AM
I see the Roger's Cup as often as I can as I live in Toronto.

I saw Roger play and lose first round in 2002 to Canas, who I then went on to see beat Roddick in the final. And I met him Roger that day and it was pretty cool, as I was a huge Federer fan and he wasn't a household name, yet, so he was more approachable. I also saw him play the final against Gasquet in 2006. I've also seen Federer practice with the Swedes and also with Santoro (:))

Of all the major players, the one I've never met or seen close up is Rafael Nadal (and he's my favorite player!!)

Other than that, all the greats have rolled through town
Sampras, Agassi, Kafelnikov, Safin, Hewitt, Federer, Rafter, and so forth.

I met Rafter back in 2000, I think it was. Only for a quick autograph, but he was pretty friendly.

And the WTA rolls through every other year. Haven't been to one of those events in a while, since 2005, really...

I was also at the Boston event in 1995 and also I saw the 1995 Canada Masters final Sampras vs. Agassi live. That was a good tennis year.

Carsomyr
10-13-2009, 12:36 AM
Nope.

:(

I really came close to purchasing semis tickets to Cincinnati this year (I live remotely nearby around Chicago), but money got tight and I decided against it. I really regret it now, considering Federer played his best tennis of the season at the tournament. But congratulations on seeing some of the most historic moments in tennis history!

Ratsoup
10-13-2009, 01:02 AM
I visited Roland Garros this year. It was my first ever ATP level tournament I visited, and I was so excited. Christos_liaskos, I know the feeling. I couldn't believe it too, when I first walked up the stairs of the big stadium. We were kind of budget traveling, so we stayed only the first week, and went on the big stadiums only 2 days. We were lucky to see Federer and Nadal play that first day. It was awesome.

Anyways, now I have a life goal to visite all four grand slams events. When it'll become true I don't know, but some day I'm going to get there. :)

I'm surprise too, I thought lots of people from here visited ATP tournaments (most of you being from US / GB, it's kind of easier too. :-?

Carsomyr
10-13-2009, 01:09 AM
Someday, SOMEDAY, I want to travel to Switzerland and watch some tennis in Roger Federer Arena.

:lol:

Baikalic
10-13-2009, 01:29 AM
Haha out of all the replies I was expecting it never even occured to me that I would get one like this. I am far from rich lol. Let's put it this way, one person's idea of being rich or well off is another person's idea as just your average person so I dont want to make it too much if a big thing. The only way I can think of to explain how "affluent" I may be lol is that I have played tennis for over 10 years and in that time I have only had about a months worth of private coaching. I know some people wont even be able to match that but the kids I grew up playing with were all having a lesson a week for years. Anyway's that's that out of the way.

As far as how I got to get on the front row to see some of these matches; At the Athens Olympics it was the start of the tournament and there were about 100 people in the whole stadium so you could literally just sit anywhere. The price of the ticket was only about 10.

The reason I was on the front row at Wimbledon 2008 is because I have a terminal illness called Cystic Fibrosis and there is a charity that I was told I could apply to to have a 'dream' day out. I applied to them to go to the 2007 final but they said they couldnt get tickets so I could wait another year to got to the 2008 final or I could pick a different day out. I decided to wait to for a year. So in the end I didnt actually have to pay for the tickets. Because all the tickets at Wimbledon go straight to the fans through a ballot virtually all seats are sold out and none are left just to give away to people. I was put in an old commentators box with my brother to watch the whole match - the same box that Rafa walks on top of at the end of the match to climb into the royal box. If you look closely on clips of of him doing it you can actually see me hanging out of the commentators box underneath him, myself wearing an orange top and my brother a yellow one :D.

Obviously I do realise I was extremely lucky to see that match, a match that not even money could have bought me (not that I have that money)(on another note, if you were to get tickets for that match through the ballot and sit on the front row then they would still only be around 100, not thousands like other events). However, going to two of the other slams, ofcourse I see myself as extremely lucky, especially to have seen Federer and Nadal each time I went to a slam, but they were also planned trips. I would have thought there were others of you on here who also went to some tennis events? As far as going to Paris Masters last year, I was on holiday at the time and decided the day before that it would be one of my only chances to go. So I drove to France with my brother, bought tickets from touts outside the stadium since everything else was sold out, and I watched two days of tennis.

I definitely see myself as extremely lucky to have seen everything I have, but for me it's also one of my favourite things to go and see a big tournament that I havent seen before. I have asked friends if they wanted to come with me who also say they 'love tennis' but they always come up with some reason not to go. These trips cost no more than any other holiday would cost. With this being a tennis forum I would have thought there would be some of you on here who have travelled to watch tennis somewhere apart from your local event? (yes I know not everyone even has a local event. My local event isn't actually in my city, I actually took the train to a different city since I was 14 to go and watch my 'local event')

that is an amazing story, especially about Wimbledon. And I wish you well in handling CF.

jimbo333
10-13-2009, 02:11 AM
Great to hear your tennis spectating career:)

I agree with you about not needing to be wealthy to afford to do this, but you do need to plan it well and also be lucky:)

I went to Wimbledon and the US Open this year and it was amazing!

I won tickets in the ballot for Wimbledon and got to see an amazing match between Roddick and Hewitt, and many others it was superb just being there!

Going to US Open was a planned holiday of a lifetime, I was really lucky as it rained and I managed to get cheap tickets for Semis and Finals and also got to randomly meet Ivan Lendl and got his autograph which was very cool! Fantastic stuff, and I'm now saving up to go to French Open:)

TheMagicianOfPrecision
10-13-2009, 02:41 AM
Cool thread.
The first time i watched pro-tennis was in 1988 when Wilander and Edberg played Davis Cup, i was so fascinated by the level off play, my dad later told me that i was unable too connect with when i watched these guys play.
Ive seen some Stockholm Open and Swedish Open watching Agassi Blake Haas Soderling Nadal, and ive been to USO and Wimbledon one time each, not the CC though i just walked around watched the practice-courts etc

nfor304
10-13-2009, 02:45 AM
The first event I ever went to was the 1993 Sydney international. I was only 8 years old but saw players like Sampras, Lendl, Sabatini and Cash play.

I have been to the Sydney International event every year since then except for 2007.

I was a ballboy from 1998-2001, and was lucky enough to do lots of matches at the Sydney Olympics and the Masters cup in 2001, and a linesman from 2002-2006.

I was also a linesman at the Aus Open from 2003-2006 as well as at the several other small atp events, Davis and Fed cup ties, challengers, and futures, mostly in Australia but also in the US and the USopen in 2006.

I was also a spectator at the 1997,98,99,2000 Aus Open with my family.

The only other tennis event I have been to of note was in 2007 when I was traveling in Malaysia and was lucky enough to see the Federer Vs Sampras exhibition.

With my involvement with tennis and the Australian events i've been lucky enough to see pretty much every great player either from the stands or standing on the court. The only great players I havent seen play in person are Nadal, Murray and Del Potro so far.

I have been lucky enough to do be on court for about a dozen or so Federer matches. The first time I saw him play was at the Sydney Olympics when he was 18, and he seemed to be cruising through the draw beating much older players with ease. Then he went up against Kafelnikov and all of a sudden he was getting outclassed.

I also saw him play Roddick in when they were 19 and 20, and Fed seemed to handle Roddicks serve really easily even back then.

The best server I have ever seen is hands down Ivanisevic. I've seen Sampras, Karlovic and Roddick serve great matches but to me Ivanisevic seemed to be at another level.

The first time I saw him play was at the Syd Olympics when he played doubles with a 15 year old Mario Ancic.

One strange match I remember seeing is just after Davydenko won one of his first tittles at the adeleide atp event, then came to Sydney and played qualifying. He lost to Squillari something like 1 and 0 and I thought Davydenko was too small and skinny to every be a great player. But then Federer lost to Squillari something like 2 and 3 that same tournament, back before Federer was Federer.

Another tournament that stands out is the 2002 Syd International when Safin showed up with his 3 girlsfriends and played the tournament for the first time. He only won 1 match I think though but then reached the Aus Open final. And all the matches with Anna Kournikova were great.

Probably the most memorable matches I've seen were the 2001 masters cup final as well as the match between Rafter and Hewitt where Hewitt took the number 1 year end ranking, the Sydney Olympics medal rounds, the 2004 Aus Open Semi's between Safin-Agassi and Federer-Ferrero, the Federer-Sampras exhibition, and the Sydney international mens doubles final where Woodbridge and Bjorkman beat the Bryan Brothers and Woodbridge broke the doubles tittle record.

I've been pretty lucky because I haven't needed to buy a ticket for about 95% of the matches i've seen and have usually had one of the best spots in the house to see a match.

Anyways, thats my spectating/ballboying/officiating career.
Good luck dealing with the Cystic Fibrosis mate. My cousin has it too, hes a few years older and it definitely sucks.

I'm planning a trip to the US next year and will hopefully be able to get at least a few days at the USopen, and hope to go to Wimbledon and the French at some point in the next few years if work situations etc work out. I've always wanted to see the clay court masters events too like Monte Carlo, Rome etc. I also want to go to the Bangkok Open and the Shanghai event one day

Topaz
10-13-2009, 02:55 AM
I've gone to the Legg Mason tournament four or five years in a row now, and I've been to Miami twice.

christos_liaskos
10-13-2009, 03:36 AM
Someday, SOMEDAY, I want to travel to Switzerland and watch some tennis in Roger Federer Arena.

:lol:

Haha this reminded me of something... a couple of years ago i went on a holiday driving around the alps, around the swiss, french and italian borders, in the area of Geneva. One day looking at the map I noticed we were near Gstaad, the clay court tournament in the Swiss alps. I just had to go up and take a look even though the tournament wasn't actually on at the time lol. I was really surprised because it was just a small village and it was hard to imagine such big names as Federer coming here to play an ATP event. Since it wasn't tournament time it was quite disappointing to see the "grounds" if you can call them that. You could literally walk up to the clay of center court from the road going through the village because it wasn't a permanent stand and so it was just all open. I'll try and upload the picture I have of it :D.

Good stories though guys, interesting to hear everyones viewing experiences. Keep em coming...

SerbWhoLovesDelPo
10-13-2009, 03:41 AM
If anyone cares, I saw Hewitt and Karlovic in Belgrade, ...... that's about it

Fr4Nc0
10-13-2009, 06:37 AM
i went to the 3rd Round of the 2007 us open (Del Potro lost to Djokovic, Safina lost to Henin), Semifinals of the 2008 Us open (worst day of my tennis life, rained all day, saw 1 set and a half of the Djokovic- Federer match and the last set of the Nadal- Murray one) and finally the 2009 Us Open, in which i saw Wozniacki defeat Oudin and Federer defeat Soderling

TheMusicLover
10-13-2009, 07:09 AM
Awesome thread, awesome 1st post. What a story!
Good luck with dealing with your CF, Christos... must be horrible to have such a disease!

Okay, my experiences - not too many but WOW I had such a great time!
Last year I went to Hamburg, when it was still a Masters tournament, so I saw all of the 'Big Names' there. And even more... I even met both of my favs, Federer and Nadal! :D
(I can tell you from my own experience, both of them are really friendly fellows).

Also, somehow, I managed to join in with a couple of Federer fans who were allowed to attend a practice session of his on centre court. Very strange, being in that stadium with only 10 people in the stands and seeing Fed practice with Wawrinka from the first row! Of course, after the training session we got a chance to get autographs, pictures and exchange a couple of words with them. Very nice indeed.

I enjoyed visiting Hamburg so much (and yes, it is indeed very different to watch those matches LIVE than on the telly), that I immediately decided to go to Halle that year as well. And guess what... yep another encounter with Federer. He signed a photo of him which I had made in Hamburg, and he smiled when he recognized the occasion.

I went to Halle this year as well, but as we all know, Federer didn't show up. Well never mind, it was once again a great experience, especially seeing Haas prevail over Djokovic in the final.

I'll be there next year as well. :)

CCNM
10-13-2009, 12:23 PM
I remember watching Wimbledon with my mom when I was about 7 years old. That's where my enjoyment began-with the likes of Navritilova, Chrissie Evert, Connors, & J McEnroe (Mom called him a baby :) ). I also watched tennis from the late 80's to the late 90's. Then I stopped because I started going to school and working. Picked the habit back up in 2006, after reading about Mauresmo.
I've never seen a professional match-mom and I went to see Sampras play Sam Querrey at an exhibition match last year.

SuperDuy
10-13-2009, 01:15 PM
You guys are so lucky. I havnt even been to a professional tournament because of my location. I might be going to Rogers Cup next year in Toronto, but thats a "maybe".

Best level of play I seen is the Manitoba Open which is 5.5 level of play... my dream is to see roddick play lol(favorite player)

Ledigs
10-13-2009, 01:29 PM
I went to the US Open 2009 and saw Nadal/Monfils, Serena/Panetta, Djokovic/Fed, Nadal/Del Potro, and Del Potro/Federer.

I also saw a little Paes doubles action in between.

T1000
10-13-2009, 01:42 PM
I saw Andre play his last match at Ashe vs Becker and saw the Roddick/Verdasco marathon that followed

Topaz
10-13-2009, 01:44 PM
^^^I saw Andre's last Legg Mason match...was kinda sad! :(

T1000
10-13-2009, 01:46 PM
I wasn't supposed to see it but luckily it rained and the match got moved up

christos_liaskos
10-14-2009, 01:02 AM
I wasn't supposed to see it but luckily it rained and the match got moved up

I cant believe you saw Andres last match! Go on, you can admit it if you cried a little, dont worry i wont tell anyone :D

Back to the subject of watching the tennis. For those of you that haven't been to much tennis ofcourse I would recommend the slams for the atmosphere and the whole feeling of history but as far as racking up the number of good players to watch my trip to the Paris Masters was the best. Because they only have two show courts and only really use one and because of the schedule (5 matches in the whole day) if you got at the right time (i would recommend 3rd round or so) you are almost guaranteed to see a huge amoount of top players. Any top tenners that I hadnt previously seen were ticked off during that one tournament

Imaster
10-14-2009, 02:17 AM
That is a great story, and wish you all the best for your "Spectacting Career"

I have never been to a live tennis match, but it is my dream. I am from India, am planning to go to Dubai open, that is pretty close to my country..