Pacific Life Open 2008

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by LuckyR, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Seriously thinking of going. Any personal experience tips on: where to stay (city and place), where to play tennis, where to eat, which week to go, what ticket package to get, where to sit, whether to buy a package or a la carte tickets?
     
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  2. welcome2petrkordaland

    welcome2petrkordaland Semi-Pro

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    great tourn. 2 go 2!! i'll go again for sure. go the first week and/or weekend. avoid the big house, as you can't see jack from up there. stick to the other matches and enjoy up close and personal tennis viewing not only of matches but also incredible practice matches. safin vs. haas practice match was the best tennis i saw-incredible. you'll run into 20 pros in a 2 hour period of time. find a cheap motel in palm springs, palm desert, indio, or rancho mirage. bring sunscreen, hats, food, and drink. don't know about playing though.
     
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  3. LuckyR

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    Thanks! By the "big house" you mean the stadium court, right? So do you need a specific ticket type to go to the other courts, or do they have a grounds pass or somesuch? Do Fed, Nadal, Sharapova etc practice on site, or at some private off site location?
     
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  4. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Hey, I'm going also next year, it will be my first time in about 10 years (had kids in the interim...) I'm thinking we should set up a mini TTW tournament. I'm trying to decide on staying at Shadow Mountain or maybe someplace else. Any ideas ?
     
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  5. LuckyR

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    Any thought on my OP queries?
     
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  6. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Well, all my advice is ten years old. When I went last time I just rented a condo in Palm Desert that I found on the internet. Check sites like VRBO, you'll find a lot of places. I think it's worth it to pay more and be closer, as opposed to staying in Indio or someplace. The place I rented had courts in the complex so I just played there. I went the first week of the men's tournament and it was fantastic, definitely saw some great tennis on the outside courts. Bring a sweater as the night sessions can get chilly. I don't remember eating anywhere that was spectacular, but we were really too busy watching tennis to worry about it.
     
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  7. LuckyR

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    My research shows that the first two days of the tournament are qualifying for men and women. The next two are the first rounds of the women and even more qualifying for the men. The fourth day is when the men start their first round, so rather than a "first week" ticket I'd want a 4th through 11th day ticket.
     
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  8. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Right, so for 2008, you want to get threre on the first Friday, or March 7th. I'm still trying to decide on staying at Shadow Mountain or a cheaper place with less courts on-site.
     
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  9. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    I might be going as well. It's just a shot out on the 10 from where I live in AZ.
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Have you gone there before?
     
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  11. chlsmo

    chlsmo Semi-Pro

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    I went last year and it was awesome. (Fed lost but anyway). The tickets are basically a grounds pass style, but you have to purchase for day or night (they probably also have a combo ticket). The practice courts are very accessible. I would sneak in my own food and WATER. Anyway get the best tickets you can afford it is a big difference in the stadium for sure. I have family out there so I can't really help with lodging Qs but I had a great experience.

    I would recommend the early rounds as well because there will be more players practicing and the tickets are more inexpensive. Im not sure where you would play tennis while you are out there, but the TW booth had some kind of a demo court set up. Otherwise you would have to check with local hotels or parks in the area.

    Seating is only assigned in the stadium I am pretty sure. I had great tickets on the hookup for Federer's match (which was actually good for all the day matches) SW Courtside I think it was called pretty close but not too close. I was diagonally across from the Chair Umpire. If you can sit in there somewhere you wont be dissappointed. The night before that I had to buy my own tickets I bought two night passes in the nosebleeds for $17.00 a piece to see Roddick and it was not bad, but I prefer the closer seats. :)

    Hope that helps.
     
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  12. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    No I have not gone before. Prior to moving to Arizona last summer I lived in NorCal so it was kinda too far of a drive before but I'm considering it now that I live a little closer.
     
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  13. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    I'll be going next year, since my wife won't be having a baby, so lets set up the TTW tourney. Only thing better than watching the pros is playing fun matches.
     
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  14. GS

    GS Professional

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    I'll be there the first week for sure. I think Shadow Mountain has clay courts available to the public. I'll probably be staying at the affordable Palm Court Inn near the mountain tram.
     
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  15. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Let's do it. What do you think of this format ? Pull names out of hat, 21 points matches, ping pong style (switch serves every five points)...where should we play ? I heard COD has nice courts, can we get on there ?
     
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  16. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    That sounds like a fun format, although i prefer traditional set play.

    What is COD?
     
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  17. GS

    GS Professional

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    College of the Desert. I have a listing of all the public hardcourts in Palm Springs, but I'd rather play on clay---hey, it'll be vacation time!
     
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  18. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I guess it depends how many people we have show up, we could go with a one set format or pro sets. I think you're the #1 seed....
     
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  19. LuckyR

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    A couple of my regular hitting partners are also going so hopefully we would have a quorum I'm thinking of the first Friday through Monday or Tuesday (kids in school)
     
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  20. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    That's exactly when I plan on being there, although my kids will be out of school. I told them I'd take them to legoland mid week.
     
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  21. LuckyR

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    Are you setting it up through a tour company or on your own?
     
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  22. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Just on my own at this point.
     
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  23. Fee

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  24. The Ripper

    The Ripper Semi-Pro

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    My girlfriend and I have gone the last 3 years. I strongly recommend getting tickets for the first weekend - you definitely see more of the players and a ton of matches. This last year got to say hi to Marat, watched him warm up quite awhile, watched a match courtside with Karlovic, watched Federer warming up standing from courtside, Hingis, Henin, Roddick, Blake, Grosjean, etc., etc. Federer usually warms up on the court between stadium 2 and the main stadium and word gets out fast! There is almost immediately a very big crowd, but I have always been able to work my way down to the fence to watch.

    You can get a ground pass for around $30 (I think) which lets you into all the small stadiums and courts (not the Big One). We usually buy cheap seats to the main stadium in case we want to see the top seeds play (i.e., Federer, Sharapova, Nadal), they usually only play there. Although last year, after we all were absolutely shocked to see Federer lose against Canas, we hot-footed over to stadium 3, knowing Federer was scheduled to play doubles there next, and indeed, in about 45 minutes Federer showed up with his partner to play the doubles match to a huge standing ovation, since everyone was worried he would just cash out having lost his singles match. It was absolutely great! Federer missed a few easy volleys the first couple games, but then started making magic like usual - incredible!

    We have stayed everywhere from the Hilton on Hiway 111 (about 15 minutes away) to Motel 6 across the freeway from the exit from Indian Wells (5 minutes). We have always been able to get rooms and we usually do it only a week in advance, although I wouldn't advise that if you are coming any significant distance and don't want to be 45 minutes away. I think the grounds open at 10 a.m., so I try to get there as early as possible because most of the warm-ups start during the morning and into the early afternoon.

    Food is expensive (of course), but pretty good. If you can be there during the week (after the first weekend) it's much less crowded and kind of more fun not having to elbow your way around. Tennis Warehouse tent is fantastic with demo times on court, serving speed box, lots of clothes, accessories, you name it. Our favorite local restaurant is Las Casuelas (great traditional Mexican food). They have several locations, but there is one about 5 minutes south from the tennis center at the corner of hiway 111. And yes, Shadow Mountain is a really great place but more expensive than we can afford (about $140 a night minimum and books way in advance). There's also Pete Sampras's favorite steak house kitty corner from Las Casuelas (can't remember the name).

    Anyhow, long answer, but hope you guys can make it - it's like a grand slam but (generally) better weather, especially compared to London.

    Hope to see you there!
     
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  25. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    Great info Ripper - thanks.

    And I would definitely be up for getting some kind of little TW tourney together. I will bring my gear with me.
     
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  26. LuckyR

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    The Ripper- Now that's what I'm talking about. Thanks for the info.
     
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  27. The Ripper

    The Ripper Semi-Pro

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    You are very welcome LuckyR! I absolutely love going to the Pacific Open. The facilities are completely top notch and the amount of tennis you get for the money is unbelievable IMHO. This last year I got to see Nadal against Clement (or maybe it was Grosjean) in the main stadium. It was a long way away, but still very impressive watching Nadal, he is like a cold-blooded serial killer in person and a big guy, which you don't get on TV, unbelievable! No messing around, very decisive and extremely solid, even from a distance!

    There are some public courts within about 15 minutes off of Highway 111 (going west towards Palm Springs), behind the Hilton as a matter of fact, but in a park. I think there were 4-6 hardcourts in really nice shape. It can be pretty hot there even in March. It was about 90 this last year. A "TW" get together could be fun if we can tear people away from the matches!
     
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  28. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Sorry for the late reply. I don't drop in here as much as I used to.

    I've gone to the PLO the past two years. This is the first pro tournament I've ever attended, and I'm making it a point to come back every year. This year, I even took a day of vacation. My main interest is the men's doubles, and play starts on the "middle weekend". The tournament runs slightly over a week, more like a week and a half. Women start earlier than the men, and doubles usually starts on Sunday.

    When you go, you have to purchase a ticket in the grandstand. Your ticket is good for either the day or night session. However, if you have a day session ticket, you can stay for the night sessions, just not inside the grandstand. Get the cheapest seats you can because you'll be spending all your time at the outer courts. The first year, the only time we went into the grandstand was to eat our lunch. Last year, I went in to watch the Henman match.

    Even though you have assigned seating in the grandstand, you can pretty much sit anywhere you want, as long as it is in the upper level. They won't let you into the lower, higher-priced seats. Not a problem, unless you really want to watch a specific person play.

    The outer courts are where the close-up action is. You can literally sit five feet from the sideline, if you want. You won't be watching top-10 players, who are always assigned to the grandstand stadium, but still some pretty darn good tennis non-the-less.

    As mentioned, the practice courts are well worth spending time at also. That previously mentioned Haas/Safin practice match last year was just simply fantastic. I don't doubt for a moment that there were more people watching that informal match than at a real match. Afterward, I wandered down the row and sat to watch Bjorkman getting in some serve practice. He was out there all by himself, getting in some extra work. I think I was the only one watching him. I though about asking if I could shag balls for him so that he wouldn't have to go from one baseline to the other to retrieve his balls and continue serve practice. (Chicken'd out and didn't ask.) We had a good conversation afterward. A really friendly fellow! More than willing to sit and chat with you for a few minutes.

    It is no problem bringing your own food into the grounds. First time I went, I took my camera shoulder bag, which was stuffed with water and food as well as my camera equipment. Last year, I took a packpack style camera bag that was also stuffed with food. Your bags have to be searched upon entry (post 9-11 security concerns), but neither time was food even mentioned or looked at. We even had sandwiches.

    One nice little perk is that if you have a Mercedes Benz, you can park 'front and center' in the parking lot. That's a nice touch that saves some walking from the parking lot to the grounds. (Mercedes is one of the ATP sponsors.) Try to get there early, because traffic can get to be a bear. First year, we got there early and went right in. Last year, I had to do some 'creative' driving to avoid waiting in line for over an hour, just to get into the parking lot.

    (One trick, make a left turn at the intersection (away from the flow of parking lot traffic). Go down to the next possible U-turn and head back toward the lot. After the intersection, keep in the right lane (parking lot traffic goes in the left lane), go past the parking lot, make another U-turn, and head back to the parking lot on a fairly empty, lightly traveled street.)

    Some of the practice matches can be a zoo. Saw the big crowd at one of the practice courts in the evening. Went to see what 'god' was there, to attract such a crowd. It was Roddick. Place was crazy. Four or five deep along the walkway and even climbed up the backstop fencing to watch. Most practices aren't that crazy. Outside the top-15 or top-20, "nobody" watches the practice sessions. You can really 'get up close and personal' with professional tennis players. These guys are GOOD! Even the 'no-names'. (I did embarrass myself this year. Had some 4x6 prints from the previous year that I wanted some player signatures upon. Saw one fellow finishing up his practice and thought, "Whoa! That Lubijic. pulled out my picture and approached asking for an autograph. Turned out it wasn't Ivan! How embarrassing. Sure looked like him, however, and he even said he was frequently mistaken for Ivan. Don't think I'll make that mistake again.)

    Rafa usually is on the practice courts in the evenings, when it cools off a bit. Doesn't seem to draw as big of a crowd as Roddick does. On the grass field next to the practice courts, you can watch Moya et. al. in a pickup game of soccer (field is closed off to the public by a short picket fence). Watched Leander Paes (with Martin Damm) in a practice doubles 'match'. Boy, is he good! Great hands. You can tell he has a healthy appetite too, in a Nalbandian way. These guys know how to have fun out there (on the practice courts). Constantly ribbing each other. They will take the time to acknowledge the crowd too, when you cheer a well-played good shot.

    Can't help you on lodging. I drove back and forth from home. Long drive, but less expensive than a hotel.

    Great tournament! A very friendly and intimate time to mix it up with our 'heroes'. Catch me at the men's doubles or a Henman or Santoro match.
     
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  29. LuckyR

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    Hey, those are some great insider tips, thanks.
     
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  30. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I saw a guy w/a bucket of KFC last year... :) Bring any food you want, it's fine. We brought in Subway sandwiches two of the days we went, as well as fruit, snacks, and lots of water. Went back to the car to stock up again mid-day (kept a cooler of iced water bottles in the car). Drinking a lot of water is key, as the desert dries you out. Food at the park is pretty good, and TW does have a really nice and large store tent set up.

    Last year the weather was fantastic, not too hot and not too cold. After lots of warnings about freezing in the evening, we were very comfortable, even in shorts. Don't know if that will hold up again this year.

    Get grandstand day tickets, and get them in the south or western end of the stadium, so that the sun is more behind you rather than in your face as the day goes on.

    It's a total blast, and we're committed to going each year from now on...

    We spent almost all our time on the smaller courts rather than the grandstand...had the most fun on those courts.

    If you're looking for an easy meal nearby on the way home after a long day of tennis, don't miss the 19th Hole (on Washington, I think, a mile or two from the Indian Wells Tennis Center in the Albertson's shopping center).

    It's a nice local bar/restaurant that has a huge menu (lots of choices), and everything we ate there was very good. We just made sure we got out before 9:00 when the Karyoke started... ;)

    Across the street in in the Ralphs side is a italian restaurant that had a huge waiting list, and the food smelled and looked great. Didn't get to eat there, but seemed worth a try...

    The subway is just up the street from those on the same side as the italian restaurant.
     
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  31. Hewitt Aussie

    Hewitt Aussie Professional

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    i may be going to Indian Wells next year, with my dad.
     
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