I absolutely love tennis and sorely miss my playing days that go back way too long for me to count years. Fortunately, the sport has been fascinating at the professional level for the last decade as the top tier on the Men’s side is full of high drama and memorable matches. The downside is that only the Semifinals and Finals of events (particularly the majors) garner attention as the Big Four beat up the rest of the field. That has changed the last few years as we’ve seen guys like Wawrinka, Nishikori, Berdych and Cilic make things interesting. I’m all for this as long as the newest crop (Kyrgios, Raonic, Tomic) doesn’t join and revert the sport back to the boring 90’s when it was nothing but 3 rally points by big servers.
Anyway, I have yet to attend a tennis event, despite the US Open being a two-hour drive away for me over the last nine years. With the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center undergoing a massive renovation not to be completed until 2018, I started thinking about making my way to the smaller events, working my way up to New York. Within driving distance there is New Haven, DC and even the Masters events are doable in Montreal, Toronto and Cincinnati. This year, I’ve focused on the Citi Open and I will be in the Nation’s Capital this Friday as the tournament reaches the Quarterfinal stage. I’ll be at the evening session and reviewing the Rock Creek Tennis Center, a 7,500-seat stadium. This will be different as it is my first non-team event that gets reviewed (not too mention a new sport). The Women are also playing the event, but their field is quite weak and I really hope that the two matches in the Friday evening session in the main stadium are on the Men’s side. I’ll certainly be following the progression thru the week as Murray, Nishikori, Cilic, Dmitrov and Isner are in the draw.
Joining me on this journey will be my Dad, who recently retired and is enjoying a very much deserved summer. He hasn’t been to DC since the 70s and is itching to return for a visit to this remarkable city. He’ll be leaving from Rochester, NY early Friday Morning and we’ll meet up in Gaithersburg before convening at the tennis tournament. Saturday is reserved for sightseeing as we’ve scoped out some Smithsonian Museums and then we’ll finish the day checking out the cool neighborhood of Georgetown. Dad will head home Sunday morning while I make the short trip southeastward to tiny Waldorf, MD. That is where I’ll visit Regency Furniture Stadium for an Atlantic League matinee between the Southern Maryland Blue Claws and the Bridgeport Bluefish. Back next week with a recap!