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Ray Mercer
04-07-2010, 09:25 PM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Ambivalent
04-07-2010, 09:27 PM
I saw Federer play Santoro at Toronto many years ago. Mind blowing experience - just watching him move to the correct place a millisecond after Santoro, a tricky player, hits the ball was crazy.

I think sitting behind one of the players is best because then you get to see both players from the back.

BorisBeckerFan
04-07-2010, 09:29 PM
Go. Get as close as you can with out going in to debt.

Ray Mercer
04-07-2010, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the tip

TennisandMusic
04-07-2010, 09:32 PM
Sure it's worth it. The pros are quite good and fun to watch.

borg number one
04-07-2010, 09:33 PM
Spend a lot, enjoy. I saw this Federer match live in Houston among some others during the 2003-2004 Tennis Masters Cup Tourneys in Houston. He was great to see live. Hit REALLY clean and hard.

In 2003 for example, Agassi was playing very tough, but Federer was moving VERY WELL that whole tournament. It was fantastic live tennis! You should do yourself a favor and go all out in my opinion. Get great seats, close to the court as possible. I like to be either near a baseline, but anywhere near the court is pretty cool in my opinion. Most venues have lots of great seats everywhere. Look at a chart though and avoid "blocked views" if any.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lyyv5VupEU (2003 Masters Cup, Houston)

Ray Mercer
04-07-2010, 09:44 PM
Watching that video it's amazing how good Federer was 5 years ago. He's still great but not like he was 5 years ago. I know those are highlights but it seems like every time he got a forehand the point was over then or the following shot.

Lsmkenpo
04-07-2010, 09:46 PM
Go to the tournament and watch him hit in practice sessions where you can watch a few feet away, well worth it. He treats a lot of his practice sessions at these smaller tournaments as a mini exhibition for the fans. Being up close allows you to see just how much action and pace these players can put on the ball.

Justdoit10
04-07-2010, 09:51 PM
Spend a lot, enjoy. I saw this Federer match live in Houston among some others during the 2003-2004 Tennis Masters Cup Tourneys in Houston. He was great to see live. Hit REALLY clean and hard.

In 2003 for example, Agassi was playing very tough, but Federer was moving VERY WELL that whole tournament. It was fantastic live tennis! You should do yourself a favor and go all out in my opinion. Get great seats, close to the court as possible. I like to be either near a baseline, but anywhere near the court is pretty cool in my opinion. Most venues have lots of great seats everywhere. Look at a chart though and avoid "blocked views" if any.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lyyv5VupEU (2003 Masters Cup, Houston)
That is great. That match was amazing! If you do have any pictures or videos from it, please dont hesitate to share! :)

abraxas21
04-07-2010, 10:18 PM
That was a great video. Fed's backhand was so good back then...

Mansewerz
04-07-2010, 11:04 PM
How much would tickets be, for example, to cincinatti (to see Roger!)

OrangeOne
04-07-2010, 11:12 PM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

I've seen him a couple of times in Melbourne at the Aus Open. More than worth the price of admission each time. I seriously regret not stumping up for a finals ticket last year, the murray match would have been sublime live.

The thing that amazes more than just the shots in person is his movement - so quick, so efficient, so light. Also his reaction times - the half-volleys from anywhere, etc etc.

Always, always sit behind if you can, especially if you actually play tennis. I find it's the best as it lets you get the perspective from the angle you play.

rommil
04-07-2010, 11:18 PM
This is a no brainer Ray. Go for it and enjoy. I've seen him a couple of times, the last one when he lost last year to del Po at the US open. If he is scheduled to play that day, he or the pros usually practice a couple of hours before the match. Translation.........always check the practice courts.

fantom
04-08-2010, 03:52 AM
Spend a lot, enjoy. I saw this Federer match live in Houston among some others during the 2003-2004 Tennis Masters Cup Tourneys in Houston. He was great to see live. Hit REALLY clean and hard.

In 2003 for example, Agassi was playing very tough, but Federer was moving VERY WELL that whole tournament. It was fantastic live tennis! You should do yourself a favor and go all out in my opinion. Get great seats, close to the court as possible. I like to be either near a baseline, but anywhere near the court is pretty cool in my opinion. Most venues have lots of great seats everywhere. Look at a chart though and avoid "blocked views" if any.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lyyv5VupEU (2003 Masters Cup, Houston)

I was at that match as well. It was unbelievable.

jrod
04-08-2010, 04:05 AM
I agree with those that said get as close as you can without going into debt. Also, baseline seats are highly preferred to sideline. Federer is so good he can make it look boring. In reality, what he is doing is astounding. His movement is so incredibly quick it's uncanny.

I have no idea what the cost of 1 seat is. You should plan on attending an early round match since the later rounds are generally more heavily attended. Also, night matches are more crowded than day matches. If you want to save some $, you can take a risk and purchase say a bronze level ticket and move down lower during early round day matches as there are usually some empty baseline seats.

I'll be in Toronto this summer with baseline seats so I'll look for you. My tickets were rather expensive as I purchased a package for 2 the entire tournament.

raiden031
04-08-2010, 04:12 AM
If you want to see Federer play, make sure your tickets are for an early round. :)

pound cat
04-08-2010, 05:13 AM
-Get tickets for Monday to Thursday then you'll see everyone
-sit in the North-west corner then the sun does't burn you up. And these seats give you a tremendous overview od the court, Get the best seats you can afford. And you can go to the outside courts as well.
East side is very sunny...no shade at all

-I found getting day passes gives a huge amount of tennis---night only 2 matches and I was tired out by then anyway. No guarantees when Federfer is going to play,

-if you want a cheap place to stay phone York University and find about summer rooms... the tournament is on their campus....if they are full phone University of Toronto (or search the internet ) ,,,good public transportation to the site. But do it NOW before they are full...

Bring sunscreen ...some people bring binoculars but I never have.

Look at the Tennis Canada site to find a map of the seats and prices.

If you've never been, go. You will always remember it .

(And get a seat sale if you have to fly)

Both Toronto and Montral are great!

aphex
04-08-2010, 05:44 AM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

i saw him live at last year's FO final. don't debate. just do it.

rafan
04-08-2010, 05:47 AM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

I was lucky enough to see him and Nadal play on different matches at Wimbledon mens quarter finals and honestly it is awesome. It was worth every single penny. The play is so much faster and exciting. The one thing that struck me about Federer was how thin he is and the fact that he is so powerful. I am at the mercy of the Wimbledon ballot and was so lucky 2 years ago. This year I have got into the ladies quarter finals - oh well thats the luck of the game. But do go because it is something you will remember forever. Do splurge out to get close - we were lucky to have 3 seats from the centre court and you could hear the players breath!!

Sartorius
04-08-2010, 06:01 AM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

No no no.. I bet it's not worth it. I have never seen him or any top player play live, I live in Turkey, no one comes around here anyway.. You know what, just buy that ticket, and uhm, a plane ticket and send it to me. Let me decide if it's worth it, I promise I'll let you know if it's really worth it...







Are you kidding?.. :(

borg number one
04-08-2010, 06:01 AM
That is great. That match was amazing! If you do have any pictures or videos from it, please dont hesitate to share! :)


Sorry Justdoit10..no photos/video from that day/tournament. I just wanted to travel light and take it in, but I wish I did take some now. Yes, I remember thinking...these other guys are in serious trouble with Federer playing like this. Everyone was talking about the new kid from Switzerland back then.

stoo
04-08-2010, 06:11 AM
Another vote for "Don't even think about it and just go"!

I went last year to see the women play at York University and it's incredible how close you can get to them on the side courts. Fed is obviously going to be playing on the stadium court so getting real close could be a crap shoot, but alternatively the practice courts are also a great place to get up close.

I'm definitely heading there again this year.

I definitely agree with pound cat in regards to getting the day passess. A ton more tennis to see as opposed to the evening session.

Sentinel
04-08-2010, 06:32 AM
oh don't bother, Federer's done. He'll probably get tossed out in the first round after shanking a few dozen.

Murray is the guy you wanna see.

drakulie
04-08-2010, 06:34 AM
Watching a pro play and/or practice live and up close is night and day to what you see on TV. You will be very surprised (especially if you watch up close) what pros do to a tennis ball.

I deifnitely say go for it.

beckham
04-08-2010, 06:34 AM
I saw Federer Centre Court Wimbledon. It was Incredible.

Please, if you have the time and money, go to Toronto.

I don't believe you will regret it.

big bang
04-08-2010, 07:14 AM
Watching a pro play and/or practice live and up close is night and day to what you see on TV. You will be very surprised (especially if you watch up close) what pros do to a tennis ball.

I deifnitely say go for it.

I agree with you, its just great watching live tennis. I never had the chance to watch Fed, but I have seen Safin (when he won his first title in Copenhagen), Kafelnikov, Henman, Volkov, Larsson, Svenson, Jarryd, Bjorkman and many others.
I even had the chance to hit with a few of them back when I was junior. great experience that I will never forget:)

drakulie
04-08-2010, 07:56 AM
^^^Yup, agree.

I was able to actually hit with Puerta about two years ago??? Absolutely scary how much action he puts on the ball. ((and he was taking it very easy with me)))

Chris Rizutto
04-08-2010, 08:00 AM
oh don't bother, Federer's done. He'll probably get tossed out in the first round after shanking a few dozen.

Murray is the guy you wanna see.

Yeah Murray is really on fire.

LuckyR
04-08-2010, 08:13 AM
Definitely go see live ATP tennis. It doesn't really matter who you see but if you want to see a high seed (like Roger) don't go in the first couple of rounds as they will be playing lesser players and the matches will be of poor quality. Look for tickets around the round of 16 or later, whatever fits your budget.

rk_sports
04-08-2010, 11:28 AM
Watched most top players play pretty close...except for Fed at IW...just could not afford those closer seats in main Stadium...watched his match with Hanescu...even from up there...just that he makes it look so fluid.. almost makes you feel like this game of tennis is so easy.. why am I taking so long :mad:

The thing I noticed watching most of the other players closer, they hit clean and are in good position and result is that it looks 'so simple'...and the sound coming off of their racquets is completely different..like a big swoosh..

Is it worth it? Yes
Is it expensive? Most probably (since they make him play at main courts)
Where to sit? Close to baseline
Is it worth splurging? :)

West Coast Ace
04-08-2010, 11:38 AM
i saw him live at last year's FO final. don't debate. just do it.You didn't run out on the court in the 2nd set did you? If that was you, you might want to mix in a few salads...


Murray is the guy you wanna see.Ah, dry British humor on a lovely Thursday.

Yeah Murray is really on fire.OP might have little kids - probably not a good thing to sit too close to the court and risk them getting a good look at his teeth - and the subsequent therapist bills...

nikdom
04-08-2010, 12:33 PM
Just come down to NY for the USO. Rog plays to win at the GS tournies. I must've related this story a million times, but I got to see him live at the USO 2006, six ft behind the baseline (got completely lucky). I had tickets to Arthur Ashe for the night session and grounds tickets for the day session. Roger's match got moved to the Grandstand (or Armstrong, can't remember which) and the day session folks didn't want to budge. Normally they would have to vacate and let the night session folks in.... in the ensuing melee I was able to sneak into the stadium and get a seat right up behing Roger.

Long story short, he's one of a kind. He played Vince Spadea at about 40% and took care of him with ease. If you play tennis, you will appreciate the baseline view. Shows you how much top spin Roger uses, his variations, timing, movement and the shot selection. Simply masterful. He plays tennis like we breathe - effortlessly!

yemenmocha
04-08-2010, 08:40 PM
It's only worth it if you have a decent (close) seat. At Indian Wells I was in the upper deck and regretted that seat purchase 100%.

svijk
04-08-2010, 08:51 PM
saw him from courtside baseline seats @ USO and Cincy.....can't get enough of it........Do it dude

Rhino
04-08-2010, 09:29 PM
Do it. I've seen Federer play many times, including at all the slams, and in fact, also in Toronto at the Rogers Cup. if you like tennis, you'll love it. Do it while you still can.

Tshooter
04-08-2010, 10:02 PM
Please get as close as you can. It's a very different experience watching up high.

kelawai
04-08-2010, 10:02 PM
If you really want to see him play in person. This is the time while he can still win tournaments. The best is all the Pros practicing. You can get very close to them. Visit USO in August. You will bump into many players when they walking back to the Player Lounge.

surfvland
04-08-2010, 10:11 PM
I've had the privilege of seeing Fed play live several times through the years. By all means go see it live. TV doesn't do it justice. Also get good seat, like no more than 15 rows off the court preferably behind either baseline. If you have to watch it from the nose bleeds you're better of watching it on TV.

Tshooter
04-08-2010, 10:31 PM
"Roger's match got moved to the Grandstand (or Armstrong, can't remember which)"

Armstrong.

2006 is the only year Federer has ever played off of Ashe from 2004 on. And he did it twice in 2006, both times on Armstrong.

Once for the match against Spadea (3rd round) because it was a special night session for people that we're rained out of earlier sessions. It was the only time they've ever had a night session on Armstrong.

And again against Marc Gicquel in the round of 16. They didn't want to bump matches (Blake among others) that already began on Ashe and were suspended due to rain. Nadal also got upset by Youzhny on the same court later that day (probably the best match of USO 2006).

Anyway, you needed a special ticket for that night session match which was not available for sale. Only available for trading a rainout session ticket. But the day session went a bit later then they anticipated and the crowd wouldn't leave before the Spadea match. You were there so you know what it was like. Short of arresting someone as an example they weren't going to get that crowd to leave.

Spadea came out wearing some ridiculous outfit and Federer smoked him.

I have a shot of Federer doing a between the legs on Spadea, which I will look around and try to post for you.

Tshooter
04-08-2010, 10:32 PM
Please excuse my grotesque typos above.

2slik
04-08-2010, 11:23 PM
Spend a lot, enjoy. I saw this Federer match live in Houston among some others during the 2003-2004 Tennis Masters Cup Tourneys in Houston. He was great to see live. Hit REALLY clean and hard.

In 2003 for example, Agassi was playing very tough, but Federer was moving VERY WELL that whole tournament. It was fantastic live tennis! You should do yourself a favor and go all out in my opinion. Get great seats, close to the court as possible. I like to be either near a baseline, but anywhere near the court is pretty cool in my opinion. Most venues have lots of great seats everywhere. Look at a chart though and avoid "blocked views" if any.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lyyv5VupEU (2003 Masters Cup, Houston)

point at 1:15 is just stupid

Gen
04-09-2010, 01:10 AM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Saw a lot of Federer playing in Europe (too much to my taste, I'm not his fan, the only time I enjoyed his game and pulled for him was Wimbley final 2003). To me the best sitting in most cases is in the first rows of the backstand. You cover the whole court easily sitting behind the baseline, and you see the lines very well.

But there are some tourneys where back stand is too high, it hides much space behind the baseline (e.g. Monte Carlo) which means you can't watch the player closest to you properly. In this case I buy seats in the side stand opposite one of the baselines. You are very close to the players (which is important if you are interested in the technical aspects of their game), it's the best vantage point, and you don't have to turn you head after every shot like you do when sitting closer to the net which normally results in a stiff neck.

I don't like nose-bleeds, the angles are wrong and everything gets out of proportion, but there are a lot of guys who like sitting high in the stands to have a good overview.

To me it's always a great experience to watch tennis live. Players, courts, speed, power are absolutely different from what you can see on TV. Players are much taller and thinner than you expected, courts look much bigger, speed and power are enourmous. And everything is much more exciting. However, TV matches have their own advantages. If you are analytical, you'll see more on TV than in the stadium. The stadiums are so distractive that you miss a lot of minor details.

Good luck, and good weather! Hate rain delays.

LameTennisPlayer
04-09-2010, 04:33 AM
too many times i forget how many times ive seen him, mostly at kooyong and AO, behind is best IMO

svijk
04-09-2010, 04:38 AM
"Roger's match got moved to the Grandstand (or Armstrong, can't remember which)"

Armstrong.

2006 is the only year Federer has ever played off of Ashe from 2004 on. And he did it twice in 2006, both times on Armstrong.

Once for the match against Spadea (3rd round) because it was a special night session for people that we're rained out of earlier sessions. It was the only time they've ever had a night session on Armstrong.

And again against Marc Gicquel in the round of 16. They didn't want to bump matches (Blake among others) that already began on Ashe and were suspended due to rain. Nadal also got upset by Youzhny on the same court later that day (probably the best match of USO 2006).

Anyway, you needed a special ticket for that night session match which was not available for sale. Only available for trading a rainout session ticket. But the day session went a bit later then they anticipated and the crowd wouldn't leave before the Spadea match. You were there so you know what it was like. Short of arresting someone as an example they weren't going to get that crowd to leave.

Spadea came out wearing some ridiculous outfit and Federer smoked him.

I have a shot of Federer doing a between the legs on Spadea, which I will look around and try to post for you.

I was at the Spadea match sitting behind Donald Trump !!!!

nikdom
04-09-2010, 05:11 AM
haha. Wow man you know your history. Did you work for the tournament or something? It was exactly as you said. In fact, the funniest thing was, my wife and I had nosebleed tickets in Ashe. Compleltely useless. I climbed to the top to look over into Armstrong hoping to catch a glimpse of Roger. That's when I heard the authorities trying to get day folks to leave. I told myself, this is it, now or never; grabbed my wife, ran down next doors and was able to get in with the folks who had the special passes. I was like a madman, climbing over seats to get to the best spot. The baseline seats were 'reserved' with an usher standing guard. Sneaked in behind him on the first changeover. My wife was mad as hell at first with me. But she enjoyed the fruits of all the hustling. :)

"Roger's match got moved to the Grandstand (or Armstrong, can't remember which)"

Armstrong.

2006 is the only year Federer has ever played off of Ashe from 2004 on. And he did it twice in 2006, both times on Armstrong.

Once for the match against Spadea (3rd round) because it was a special night session for people that we're rained out of earlier sessions. It was the only time they've ever had a night session on Armstrong.

And again against Marc Gicquel in the round of 16. They didn't want to bump matches (Blake among others) that already began on Ashe and were suspended due to rain. Nadal also got upset by Youzhny on the same court later that day (probably the best match of USO 2006).

Anyway, you needed a special ticket for that night session match which was not available for sale. Only available for trading a rainout session ticket. But the day session went a bit later then they anticipated and the crowd wouldn't leave before the Spadea match. You were there so you know what it was like. Short of arresting someone as an example they weren't going to get that crowd to leave.

Spadea came out wearing some ridiculous outfit and Federer smoked him.

I have a shot of Federer doing a between the legs on Spadea, which I will look around and try to post for you.

P_Agony
04-09-2010, 05:45 AM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Don't want to disappoint you, but if you're going to watch Federer in a Masters Series event, you just might be disappointed, although he might pull a Cincy 2009 and crush everyone in his path.

ttbrowne
04-09-2010, 07:20 AM
oh don't bother, Federer's done. He'll probably get tossed out in the first round after shanking a few dozen.

Murray is the guy you wanna see.

You'll save money too, He isn't getting past the Quarters this year so tickets will be cheap.

<3tennis!!!
04-09-2010, 07:30 AM
would love to hit up ao2011 to see fed live

TheNatural
04-09-2010, 11:24 AM
Make sure you get a first round ticket in case he loses early AGAIN.

This article describes what its like up close:

An edge exists beneath Federer's serene surface (http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/35894375/ns/sports-tennis/)
Watching Federer up close reveals the effort he puts into his game

http://nbcsportsmedia.msnbc.com/j/NBCSports/Components/Slideshows-NBC_sports/Golf/ss_100219_Tiger%20Apology/100316_RogerFederer_h.hmedium.jpg
updated 1:17 p.m. ET March 16, 2010

On Sunday I watched Roger Federer's opening-round match from the fifth row, right behind the court, a spot much closer and better-positioned than normal for a pressman. The view looked and felt rich. Billionaire rich: New Indian Wells owner and Oracle founder Larry Ellison was a few rows ahead of me. Credit him for staying in his seat throughout the three-setters by Sharapova and Federer yesterday — the women's was a true death march.

Unfortunately, as with anything that money can buy, once you've watched from this spot, there really is no going back. Yes, you know you must return to the your assigned position in the pecking order of tennis, wealth, status, life — that's right around the middle rung of the stadium for me. But you also know that you won't see things the same way. You won't be given as much information about what you see.

What did I notice about Federer that I'd forgotten since my last visit to this rarefied zone? Watching from the press seats, or through the TV in the living room, he appears to be as he's always described: smoothly and casually imperious. Seeing the court from far away, we see his elongated yet efficient strokes, and the gracefully, powerfully bending ball he produces with them, without knowing how those strokes are manufactured. With no noticeable hitches or glitches, they appear not to be manufactured at all. We also see how easily Federer appears to move between points, his face a distant, serene mask, his body language that of the athlete whose nonchalant way of bouncing a ball or passing a towel over his face lets you know how much innate control over his movement he has. The point for Federer is to stay loose enough that his body can flow as naturally as possible.

From up close, you see that, despite the nonchalant ball bounce, he's not casual at all, whether it's during or between points. The pace of play on tour has slowed since Federer debuted a decade ago. Now it's virtually required that you go to the towel twice a game and collect four balls before choosing one for a serve. Deliberation, controlling the tempo, not rushing, these are the watchwords now. Federer subscribes to none of this. He looks almost hyper by comparison. He calls for the ball even before he's walked behind the baseline, and he wastes no time, motion, or thought before stepping up to the line. Even if it means rushing a little, he's not going to let anything impede his physical instincts.

Federer's game is similarly transformed when you see it up close. You don't just see his adjustment steps, you hear them, you hear the effort. To hear Federer scrape the court with his shoes and hustle madly to change directions is a little jarring. You almost think he should be above that — but how could he be? You also get a good look at the violence of his swings, of the vicious racquet-head speed that allows him to hit with so much spin, particularly on his serve and forehand. If I could identify one unique aspect of the latter stroke, I'd say it's the speed with which he gets his racquet around his body after he hits the ball, how tightly he keeps his arm to his body during the follow-through. I don't know if I've seen anything quite like that.

Then there are the facial expressions, which let you know how stressful even a seemingly routine match is for such as seemingly self-assured a player as Federer. He won the first set with ease over Victor Hanescu yesterday, yet the most common look on his face was one of furrowed concern. Rather than serene confidence, he gives off an aura of constant, low-grade agitation. Those flicks of his head that look fey and cocky from far away have a nervous-tic edge to them up close. Federer's movement is still nonchalant, but his expression with that movement — his body language — is more aggressive, like someone trying to reign in and channel a mass of conflicting emotions. Compared to someone like Nadal, Federer appears not to want to organize his between-point rituals too rigidly or calm himself down completely. He wants to use a little of his nervous frustration as energy. Remember the teen Federer, the one who chucked his racquet in rage? He lives on, sublimated but churning, in the adult version.

In his agitation, Federer is not unique. No match is completely routine in the back of a player's mind; it takes nothing more than two lost points in a row to stick a doubt and a fear back in there. Sustained, vigilant agitation is where we all must live. Agitation leads to impatience, unfortunately, even for Federer. Early in the second set, with a chance to pull ahead on Hanescu's serve and make his first match in six weeks a painless one, Federer missed a makeable passing shot because he pressed a little too hard on it, came over the ball too soon, and smothered it in the net. Which only made him more agitated. His normal method for challenging a call is simply to say the word "challenge" in a normal voice—he hates even admitting he wants to use Hawkeye. In the second set yesterday, Federer let loose with a frustrated yell that turned, midway, into a twisted bellow: "Chal-lenge!" The emotional release didn't help. Federer did just what he most wanted to avoid and lost the second set.
You might think, from a distance, that Federer wins because he floats above his fears. That he knows deep down he's the better player. But before he can remember that, before he can reach "full flight" and let his physical talent work unimpeded, before he can use his experience — which he did by blitzing Hanescu early in the third, right when he suspected he'd have a letdown—Federer has to do what every other player has to do. He has to get scared, and make the most of it.

In keeping with his status as the Maestro, seeing Federer up close is like getting front-row sets to a classical concert. From the back, all you sense is the music in your ears and the bows of the instruments rising and falling smoothly over the strings. When you get closer, you see the determined physical effort behind that music — the players' scrunched faces and rocking torsos, the expressions that alternate between pain and ecstasy. Like creating heavenly music or writing lucid prose, it should hardly be a surprise that making tennis — winning tennis — look effortless would be the hardest work of all.

kaleidoskope
04-09-2010, 12:00 PM
...Like creating heavenly music or writing lucid prose, it should hardly be a surprise that making tennis — winning tennis — look effortless would be the hardest work of all.

Couldn't agree more!

Thank you for your amazing narration of the experience. This is how much it touched me: I HAVE to watch him play live at least once, even if it's only a few glorious minutes, while he is on the pro tour. I don't want to see him in exhibitions or on the champions tour. Not the same thing...

Which is why I'm joining Ray on this quest (hope you forgive me my friend :))

I was planning in using my mileage and go to the US open. I'm currently living in Brasilia, Brazil (a place and a country I unfortunately don't expect to see Roger so soon...). Then I looked up the prices and they are very high (both the tickets and a place to eat and sleep) and I would most certainly end in the highest chair of the stadium, IF I'm lucky enough to get a ticket.

What would you guys advise? Try the USO anyway because it's worth it, or should I aim for Toronto or Cincinnati?

Notice that I am not asking IF I should go. I read all the "are you out of your mind? Just shut up and GO!!!" ;)

Tennis_Monk
04-09-2010, 09:56 PM
Hello everybody,

I live in Canada and am debating saving up to take a trip down to Toronto in the summer to see Federer play live. I have never had the privilege of watching a live ATP tennis event. I thought now would be the time to see Federer play while he's still near the top of his game. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen Federer play live and what the experience was like. Do you think ticket prices would be expensive for an earlier tournament match? Where would you reccomend sitting, behind or to the side? Is it worth splurging to get closer to court level? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

I have an easy option for you. Just come and watch me play. Then fast forward my game like 10 times or Imagine that you are watching Federer slow motion video.

Its that easy. You dont have to worry about seeing prime federer coz i am always on top of my game/score/opponent you name it!.

On a serious note, Unless you get tickets up close (like 10-30 rows from the court) every other row adds that much less clarity. I was fortunate in the sense that i got court side tickets (through my boss/company) and that experience cannot even be remotely felt when i was paying 85$ seats at Usoopen.


I recommend Estoril (poland) or Cincy (Usa).

Roy Hobbs
04-09-2010, 10:11 PM
It's only worth it if you have a decent (close) seat. At Indian Wells I was in the upper deck and regretted that seat purchase 100%.

I was also in the uppermost reaches of the big stadium but had no regrets. I felt with a day pass at IW that I was able to get so close to players practicing during the day that I didn't mind a little distance. The lines of sight inside the stadium I thought were good. It was also quite relaxed up there. Felt free to stand up when necessary without distracting play.

I must admit, though, that I brought a professional quality video camera with a zoom lens that came in handy. Especially for facing out of the stadium--over the back wall--onto nearby courts. Was able to watch Fed, Rafa, Roddick, Monfils, Sharapova, etc. practice while actually standing countless yards away.

I enjoy being closer to the action indoors. The sound of the ball and the speed of play is astonishing.

David123
04-09-2010, 10:14 PM
tix arent that expensive its free the first 2 qualifying days... tickets for finals start at 45$. And watching pros play is awesome.

Roy Hobbs
04-09-2010, 10:22 PM
Ah, was busy being long-winded and forgot to address the OP.

Yes, if you are able, see Fed and as many top players as you can. Practices, as well as matches. It will be obvious that they're people like you and me, who are capable of doing things quite unlike you and me. Both very inspirational and a little bit humbling.

harryz
04-09-2010, 10:57 PM
Was a ball boy for Vilas and Solomon and others back in the mid 70s... Also saw Borg, Mac, Connors, Ashe, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi, Lendl, you name 'em. Most on many occasions. Have now seen most from the current generation. Federer is the best of the lot-- a man among boys (escept for Nadal) and even better in person. Pure poetry in motion.

Whoever recommended watching practice sessions is right. Also be sure to go the the outer courts that are small and intimate for the first 3 rounds or so. Best way to watch live matches. Also try to catch Nalbandian, whose economy of motion is remarkable. Verdasco is impressive live, too. Then again, they all are. And stick around for doubles, for sure.

kaleidoskope
04-10-2010, 03:41 AM
...I recommend Estoril (poland) or Cincy (Usa).

...you recommend Estoril (Portugal) or Cincy (Usa).
;)

viktorkwan
04-10-2010, 04:14 AM
I watched Fed practise with Navratilova in HK in 2004.

The practice session was unreal.

Fed was practising some serve & volley. He didn't hold back on his serves but Navratilova was still able to chip and block every return to Fed's feet. She even gave him some pointers re his volleys.

At the end of the session, Fed took a camera out of his bag and asked Mirka to take a photo of him and Navratilova!

johnathan smith
04-10-2010, 07:05 AM
YOU'VE GOTTA DO IT NOW!!!

I drove all the way to Cincy to years ago (from South Alabama) and went back again last year and am going this year...

You've gotta see these guys in person. I'm not really into sitting in stadium court and watching matches. Practice is where it's at.

You can sit 5 feet from any player and watch him train/practice. It's incredible.....

Nothing like seeing Nadal/Federer/Monfils/Safin from 10 feet away with a cold drink in your hand, 3:00 on a sunny Tuesday afternnon.

Cincy is totally over-hauling their courts and setup for the 2010 tournament. It's tough for me to believe that Cincy could get much better.
The access to players and practice courts is pretty incredible.

Tennis_Monk
04-10-2010, 07:16 AM
...you recommend Estoril (Portugal) or Cincy (Usa).
;)

My apologies, was half drunk and half tired. still no reason to make such errors. Estoril indeed is in Portugal and i recommend it , especially to watch federer.

chancep2120
04-10-2010, 08:41 AM
I saw Fed play in Cincinnati, he played Hewitt. Amazing experience but of course there was a heckler there, rooting against Fed. No worries though, he got escorted out haha

amoguga
04-10-2010, 11:24 AM
I've seen Federer in Cincinnati for the past 10 years...he usually plays on Tuesday or Wednesday day session. I've bought a seat for the finals every year hoping to see Federer/Nadal, but with Nadal's record on the hard courts I doubt if I will ever see that happen. A seat for the early rounds is $26, I've got to think that they will raise it again this year....

Catch him on the practice courts for a real close look...so close you can almost reach out and touch him. The ball he hits needs to be seen to be believed...not the high loopy spin, but a driving spin that appears fairly flat but drives through and explodes off of the court. His backhand slice is a thing of beauty as well...another hard, driving slice that digs in and bounces no more than 6" off of the court. Moves like a gazelle, the most uncanny thing is that you never hear his sneakers squeak - almost as though he is floating...and deceptively fast, because his court sense and first step is so good. Get there and enjoy the priviledge of watching the greatest player ever to pick up a racket work his magic...we'll never see the likes of him again!

Cincinnati is a great tournament - easy to get to and you will be walking right past the players as they head to the practice courts. Center court is small, in reality there is not a bad seat in the house. Have fun!!

Bhagi Katbamna
04-10-2010, 11:55 AM
I've seen Federer in Cincinnati for the past 10 years...he usually plays on Tuesday or Wednesday day session. I've bought a seat for the finals every year hoping to see Federer/Nadal, but with Nadal's record on the hard courts I doubt if I will ever see that happen. A seat for the early rounds is $26, I've got to think that they will raise it again this year....

Catch him on the practice courts for a real close look...so close you can almost reach out and touch him. The ball he hits needs to be seen to be believed...not the high loopy spin, but a driving spin that appears fairly flat but drives through and explodes off of the court. His backhand slice is a thing of beauty as well...another hard, driving slice that digs in and bounces no more than 6" off of the court. Moves like a gazelle, the most uncanny thing is that you never hear his sneakers squeak - almost as though he is floating...and deceptively fast, because his court sense and first step is so good. Get there and enjoy the priviledge of watching the greatest player ever to pick up a racket work his magic...we'll never see the likes of him again!

Cincinnati is a great tournament - easy to get to and you will be walking right past the players as they head to the practice courts. Center court is small, in reality there is not a bad seat in the house. Have fun!!

Agree completely with everything you said above. Cincy is a great tournament to go to. Went there in 2009 and everyone in the family thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tshooter
04-10-2010, 09:57 PM
"I was at the Spadea match sitting behind Donald Trump !!!!"

That's a good seat. I think around box 50-51, behind the court, on the Northside. Trump used to show up a lot on Armstrong if a match got tight so I think he actually enjoys the tennis but the past few years you mostly see him over at Ashe.

"Wow man you know your history. "

I do.

You're right about the seats. On the rare occasions in which there is open seating courtside on that particular court, they hold the seats behind the court for sponsors. But not always. Like last year for Wozniacki semifinals. No reason to hold them when only a couple of hundred people are in the stadium. Looks bad on TV. [Everyone was over on Ashe watching Serena-Kim.]

Tshooter
04-10-2010, 10:02 PM
Why did it post twice. I don't understand these internets. A very confusing series of tubes....

kaleidoskope
04-15-2010, 01:38 PM
So guys...

Your opinion is of the utmost importance: Toronto, Cincinnatti or New York (US Open)?

Considering a few variables: reasonable price of reasonable seats, chances to see good matches/players, affordable housing, etc...

What would you choose?
:)

Rhino
04-15-2010, 01:46 PM
So guys...

Your opinion is of the utmost importance: Toronto, Cincinnatti or New York (US Open)?

Considering a few variables: reasonable price of reasonable seats, chances to see good matches/players, affordable housing, etc...

What would you choose?
:)

I would chose the US Open out of those three if you have never been, just because the atmosphere of a slam is a bit more electric, and if you only see Federer once, then saying that you saw him on the biggest tennis court in the world is pretty cool - also you are at least guaranteed three sets. I'd spend the extra money too and get great seats.
The first time I ever saw Federer was at the US Open, and it was incredible.

Having said that, if you go to Toronto, you will have a blast too. I watched Federer practice there, standing courtside and saw him play a couple of good matches. You won't be disappointed. The thing is, it's always a lottery because nobody can tell how exciting or tight a match might be in advance.
One of my favourite matches watching Federer was at Toronto (vs Gonzo in 2006).

Never been to Cincy.

ruerooo
04-15-2010, 01:51 PM
Go. Get as close as you can with out going in to debt.

What BorisBeckerFan said.

And take the best camera security will permit you to have.

Klatu Verata Necktie
04-15-2010, 04:13 PM
I've been watching Federer play down here in Miami ever since he began playing the tournament. One of the most exciting matches I've ever seen was the 5 set final where Federer defeated nadal in 5. However, his matches haven't lived up to my expectations for the past few years because it seems as though he doesn't take the Miami Masters as seriously as he does the Grand Slams.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot down here which motivates Fed. At the clay masters, he's motivated my the thought of beating Nadal in the finals, but he doesn't have anything more to prove on harcourts.

dextor
04-15-2010, 04:51 PM
For those who have been to the Rogers Cup, how do I get to watch Roger practice? Or is it completely closed off to public?

Rhino
04-15-2010, 05:04 PM
For those who have been to the Rogers Cup, how do I get to watch Roger practice? Or is it completely closed off to public?

It's not closed off at all. I saw him practice there and it was just by accident. I was just wandering around and I went to the furthermost court on the left, I don't know court numbers, and he showed up in the little machine that they use to drive the players around. You can stand right up against the court perimeter and watch, literally a few feet away. An army of fans will descend on the court when word gets out though.

Rhino
04-15-2010, 05:08 PM
This is a photo I took showing how many fans turn up...

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p46/soundreece/FedererToronto.jpg

Atherton2003
04-15-2010, 05:28 PM
I never saw Federer play in person - but I saw Nadal play at the US Open in 2008 - Up until the night before, I didn't know who was going to play in Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums - but I was hoping for Nadal - and I was lucky to see him scheduled for the time/day I was going to be there.....I think Nadal was worth every penney..... just remember to bring sun-screen and binoculars....

Atherton2003
04-15-2010, 05:29 PM
Roger's Cup? Is that a tournament that features the jock strap of Federer?

dugger5688
04-15-2010, 05:38 PM
How much would tickets be, for example, to cincinatti (to see Roger!)

Around $40 for most sessions (ground pass + stadium seat for the day or night) . It's well worth it if you live around there.

Atherton2003
04-15-2010, 05:41 PM
$40 is a great price. The US Open tickets were much more expensive.

dextor
04-15-2010, 06:56 PM
It's not closed off at all. I saw him practice there and it was just by accident. I was just wandering around and I went to the furthermost court on the left, I don't know court numbers, and he showed up in the little machine that they use to drive the players around. You can stand right up against the court perimeter and watch, literally a few feet away. An army of fans will descend on the court when word gets out though.

Nice, I thought the top guys would get special treatment and get closed off centre court practice times, I'm pretty sure I saw a youtube vid once of Fed practicing centre court at Rogers Cup. But this is good news! I guess I'll just show up early everyday and keep wondering.

teckid
04-15-2010, 08:32 PM
I was at that match as well. It was unbelievable.

I was also there, it was pretty crazy. Fed made it look real easy. It never seemed to get tense, and for two greats it was almost mundane and if you were not recognizing the great play from Fed and how he disarmed Andre, you might have not been entertained due to it's one sided nature.

Rhino
04-15-2010, 08:57 PM
Nice, I thought the top guys would get special treatment and get closed off centre court practice times, I'm pretty sure I saw a youtube vid once of Fed practicing centre court at Rogers Cup. But this is good news! I guess I'll just show up early everyday and keep wondering.

I'm sure he gets to practice on the centre court there too, but it's not always available earlier in tournament i guess. I think when I saw him practice there it was like the 2nd day or something.

CMM
04-17-2010, 01:53 AM
It must be a great experience.