Friday, November 20, 2009

Watching the Pros Live (In Person)

I am wondering how many of us have actually seen pros competing live in-person, or attended a professional tournament or a Grand Slam or Master's event.

Who among us has done this? Which pros did you see? What did you learn or get out of it? How is it different from seeing it on TV? What are the benefits for your game or tennis knowledge?

For myself, I have seen in person at play: WTT Philadelphia Freedoms matches, including Lisa Raymond and Nicole Vladisova. I have also seen John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras in the past 3 years at Freedoms matches. I also attended the US Open in Sept. 2008 and saw Federer, and Fernando Verdasco each playing matches, and on practice courts hitting: Patty Schnyder, Andy Murray, Venus Williams, Bryan Brothers. (I once saw Borg play live many years ago at the old Philadelphia Pro Indoors - I guess this means I am giving away my old age, haha).

My 2 cents -- For me, it was an eye-opener: 
**Speed of play is much faster in person than what it seems on TV, including the pace and speed of shots
**Incredible effort by each player to put everything they have into each shot
**Unbelievably huge effort by players to get into the right position (footwork so as to properly space themselves to the ball) before uncorking their shot
**Incredible "intentionality" with each stroke, by that I mean a sense that they are intending to hit each shot a certain way, placement, spin, pace
**Heavy use of topspin by everybody


No comments:

Post a Comment