Seeing Federer play in person

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Ray Mercer, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Ray Mercer

    Ray Mercer Semi-Pro

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    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
     
    #1
  2. Ambivalent

    Ambivalent Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  3. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    Go. Get as close as you can with out going in to debt.
     
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  4. Ray Mercer

    Ray Mercer Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the tip
     
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  5. Sure it's worth it. The pros are quite good and fun to watch.
     
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  6. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    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)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
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  7. Ray Mercer

    Ray Mercer Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  8. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  9. Justdoit10

    Justdoit10 Guest

    That is great. That match was amazing! If you do have any pictures or videos from it, please dont hesitate to share! :)
     
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  10. abraxas21

    abraxas21 Professional

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    That was a great video. Fed's backhand was so good back then...
     
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  11. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    How much would tickets be, for example, to cincinatti (to see Roger!)
     
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  12. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    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.
     
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  13. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    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.
     
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  14. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  16. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If you want to see Federer play, make sure your tickets are for an early round. :)
     
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  17. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    -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!
     
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  18. aphex

    aphex Banned

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

    rafan Hall of Fame

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    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!!
     
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  20. Sartorius

    Sartorius Professional

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    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?.. :(
     
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  21. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    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.
     
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  22. stoo

    stoo Semi-Pro

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    Help, I'm steppin' into the twilight zone....
    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.
     
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  23. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    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.
     
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  24. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    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.
     
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  25. beckham

    beckham Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  26. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    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:)
     
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  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^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)))
     
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  28. Chris Rizutto

    Chris Rizutto Banned

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    Yeah Murray is really on fire.
     
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  29. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    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.
     
    #29
  30. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    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? :)
     
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  31. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    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...

    Ah, dry British humor on a lovely Thursday.

    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...
     
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  32. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    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!
     
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  33. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    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%.
     
    #33
  34. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    saw him from courtside baseline seats @ USO and Cincy.....can't get enough of it........Do it dude
     
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  35. Rhino

    Rhino Legend

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    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.
     
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  36. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Please get as close as you can. It's a very different experience watching up high.
     
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  37. kelawai

    kelawai Rookie

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    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.
     
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  38. surfvland

    surfvland Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  39. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "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.
     
    #39
  40. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Please excuse my grotesque typos above.
     
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  41. 2slik

    2slik Semi-Pro

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    point at 1:15 is just stupid
     
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  42. Gen

    Gen Banned

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
    #42
  43. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    too many times i forget how many times ive seen him, mostly at kooyong and AO, behind is best IMO
     
    #43
  44. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    I was at the Spadea match sitting behind Donald Trump !!!!
     
    #44
  45. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    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. :)

     
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  46. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    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.
     
    #46
  47. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    You'll save money too, He isn't getting past the Quarters this year so tickets will be cheap.
     
    #47
  48. <3tennis!!!

    <3tennis!!! Semi-Pro

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    would love to hit up ao2011 to see fed live
     
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  49. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    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
    Watching Federer up close reveals the effort he puts into his game

    [​IMG]
    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.
     
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  50. kaleidoskope

    kaleidoskope Professional

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    Brasília, Brazil
    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!!!" ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
    #50

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