Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tennis: a civilized sporting event.

We had the chance to go to the Australian Open and watch a match in the Rod Laver Arena.

I'm not really a sporting event fan.  I have some jersey's, and am a 'fan' of a few teams, but I'm certainly not hardcore about it.

My favorite sport to watch live has been hockey. It's fast moving and fairly easy to follow.  I've also seen football games, baseball games, MMA, soccer, basketball and as of today tennis.

Watching Tennis was significantly different than any of my other live sports experiences.  First, the stadium.  As we walked up, I was shocked by how HUGE it was.  I wondered if we would be able to even see a tiny little tennis ball in such a large area.  The stadium was also super clean.  I was surprised at how 'intimate' the stadium felt.  It was decent sized, I won't endeavor to guess how many seats, I posted some photos instead.  It just had the feeling of every seat being a good seat.  We were lucky and didn't have the sun in our faces for the match.

Then there was the crowd.  I can't  stand to have football on the television because I can't stand that drowning crowd noise that's constantly in the background.  Tennis is different.  During play the entire audience is quiet, a bit like golf.  Then they erupt into a few minutes of celebration.  When there is a funny picture on the screen, or the athletes told a joke in an interview, they laugh in unison.  It was bizarre, but also cool.  They were also incredibly friendly (which is generally true of Australians).  They would turn around during the game breaks and make small talk, and not just sports banter.  On their way out of the stadium, every single person I saw picked up their trash and threw it out.  I was impressed.

While the sports itself is slightly confusing (game, set, match; love, 15, 30, 40; etc) it's easy to follow what's going on.  Hit ball over net.  Repeat.  Don't miss.  Don't hit the net.  I think when we get home I'll actually try playing tennis with Gavin finally.

Rolex Keeps the time.

Ball Kids.  Seemingly a very complicated job.

1 comment:

  1. Steve and I went to the Rogers Cup in Toronto back when we were in high school. Loved it! We kept talking about going to watch more tennis but it never happened.

    I've tried playing tennis a couple of times (with Steve). It's SO much harder than it looks! ha