My first pro event: DC observations

ShooterMcMarco

Hall of Fame
So I finally went to my first professional tennis event. As soon as I entered the stadium and saw the players hitting around, I got butterflies in my stomach. In short, it was exciting to see these guys play in person and see how impressive the pro game is. I plan on watching either Indian Wells or the US Open next year.

A few observations:

-The sound coming off their racquets sure sounded sweet. It wasn't the acoustics of the stadium, because I was standing a few feet away from them.

-The timing on every stroke is perfect. Their strokes are so grooved that when they practice they hit it to each other effortlessly and don’t have to move very much to align to the ball. Its like hitting with a ball machine set on ultra high. Their warm-up serves are harder than any amateur I’ve seen and they have ridiculous spin on the 2nd serves.

-Their swing speed wasn’t as fast as I thought it would be on groundies. It just goes to show that timing and clean contact are more important than how hard/fast you swing. Maybe if I saw Nadal or Federer play I would think differently.

-They did not hit very high over the net when they were really cranking it. Blake’s forehand seemed to defy physics during practice when he was hitting the crap out of everything.

-Out of all the players, Andreev seemed to hit with the most spin. His ball had more dip than the other players.

-Watching the Bryans play doubles was literally like getting a lesson on volleys. They always move forward and attack the ball instead of letting it come to them. With that said, I was surprised how much high to low action they had on their volleys. I always thought it was a block. Their backswing was short, but their follow through was longer than I expected. Maybe this is something that only pros can do successfully.

-Roddick plays very far back (duh). On TV he looks far, but in person I noticed that he was constantly 10 feet or more away from the baseline. Playing that far made the game look slower because the ball was traveling a longer distance. When Blake and Youzhny played, it was like ping pong, they were either on the baseline or a couple feet back taking the ball earlier. I can see why Federer dominates the baseline rallies so easily.

-Isner is ridiculously tall and skinny.

-I appreciated Roddick’s serve even more seeing it in person. He hit a 148 mph ace that was insane.

-Roddick’s split step is high off the ground; it seemed more like a split-gallop than a step.

-Tursonov is hilarious. During practice (not when the match started) Blake hit a forehand that almost hit him as he was walking across the backstop. He threw his towel down and pretended to get pissed off, Blake started laughing. When the Russians were practicing, Tursonov picked up a stray ball and tried to peg Davydenko in the back, but he missed.

-When the Bryans won their match, the streamers fell down and littered the floor. The Russians cleaned up some of it then began playing soccer.

-When I got PMac’s autograph, he was holding his racquet at the same time. I noticed that he uses an Ncode 95 with 4 inches of lead at 3 and 9.

Some pics:





 

iradical18

Professional
Lucky! Glad you enjoyed it though. I've yet to get to my first pro event but I'm hoping to someday. What was the biggest shocker to you when you got a look at the pro game from up close?
 

ShooterMcMarco

Hall of Fame
Lucky! Glad you enjoyed it though. I've yet to get to my first pro event but I'm hoping to someday. What was the biggest shocker to you when you got a look at the pro game from up close?
Yeah, it was a very memorable experience, and inspiring. I was ready to go out and hit balls after watching them.

Biggest shocker? Definitely the power and consistency. The TV does not show how fast this game truly is.



 

Foraserve

New User
Thanks for sharing the experience and the pics!! I'm hoping to go to my first pro tournament in April '08 (S. Carolina) or July '08 (Cincinnati).
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
I went to a my first pro event last year in Washington DC, and from the second tier, I could not see the serves at night. Amazing to see to that pace.
 

burosky

Professional
I agree about the speed of the game. TV doesn't do justice to it. I watched a Pro match at the SAP Open in San Jose between Taylor Dent and Robert Kendrick a few years back. I was sitting on the first row at courtside near the service line. Thank goodness for hawk eye. I realized then how easily a linesman can miss a call. It made me appreciate the pro game more.
 

raiden031

Legend
I actually think the game looks faster on TV than in person. I also think that they look better on TV than in person as well. Maybe its just me.
 

Klatu Verata Necktie

Hall of Fame
Not didn't just see a professional event, you experienced the most unique experience in tennis. . . Davis Cup. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll be hoping they make a stop in my town someday.
 

ShooterMcMarco

Hall of Fame
Not didn't just see a professional event, you experienced the most unique experience in tennis. . . Davis Cup. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll be hoping they make a stop in my town someday.
True, when looking at the pics on getty images and yahoo, I still can't believe I saw all of it take place.
 
Those are some good observations, OP. :)
It's hilarious that the Russians just randomly played soccer. Stuff like that just makes me feel like everybody's very easy-going and are generally very nice towards each other on and off the court.

I have yet to attend a professional event and I'm looking forward to the Rogers Cup as the men's side is coming to Toronto!!! If I manage to get good tickets, I'll definitely report back. I might actually be volunteering there because a friend of mine did last year at the cup for the women's side, so cross your fingers for me.
 

skraggle

Professional
Shooter-

I've been to both U.S. Open and Indian Wells. If you have a choice, I'd go U.S. Open. The atmosphere is really special. Although rain is always a factor at the Open, Indian Wells gets so hot that it's uncomfortable.

Two cents...
 
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