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Wednesday, July 9, 2014
No Vacation for 2014 Managing Spectator Tennis: The Ultimate International Destination Sport
Originally published on YahooVoices May 21, 2014
April 14, 2014 to June 8, 2014…Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Nice, Roland Garros (Paris). Why did I not take a vacation this summer? The reality of watching so many matches live on my couch has not caught up with the dream of vacationing in these great cities. Eight weeks exclusively on the red clay. Sweet spots in Europe for sure, but don't let the destinations fool you. These eight weeks are arguably the most important weeks of the year for male professional tennis players. Especially for the best clay court player of all time, Rafael Nadal, this is a magical time of year.
If the a fore mentioned dream sweep itinerary is not impressive enough, then try this one on for size: September 22, 2014 to October 19, 2014…Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow. The ATP World Tour indeed. The members of the ATP might have consulted with Captain Obvious from Hotels.com on the appropriateness of the organizations title. There is still time to book the trip, but the comfort of home will win out.
If I traveled to these cities, I would have to watch some tennis and then I might miss out on most of the tourist attractions. With the help of ESPN3.com I can routinely plan on watching about 4 matches streamed live per day in the early rounds of these tournaments. The best way to accomplish such a vacation would be to go on the trip and forget the tennis until I get back and watch the replays online. Espn3.com keeps links up for replays for about a month.
There are a lot of great active professional tennis players today. If you go by what the pundits of the tennis world are saying the level of play worldwide by tennis professionals has never been greater. Watching just the 3rd round through the quarterfinals live in person in Indian Wells, I found it much more taxing on the spectators than it is on any individual player. The gates open an hour before the first match. My strategy is usually to have the grounds pass and park myself on the second show court. After the last match of the day, I could be heading back to my hotel well after midnight.
I will make it down to my new dream destination Rio de Janeiro for down under summer vacation February 14-22, 2015. Rafael Nadal won in the inaugural Rio Open 2014. Seeing him play in person on his beloved red clay would be worth missing a few tourist attractions in just one city.