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Ask TTI: Favorite Tournament

In this off-season series, we ask the hard-working TTI staff some of the most burning questions. In our third installment, we take a look at the varied stages on which our very unique brand of athletic theater takes place.

Over the course of an (approximately) thirteen month season, one would think that there are too many tournaments to pick a favorite. At face value, what differentiates Rome from Madrid? But chalk it up to emotional investment, physical proximity, or otherwise good memories, and everyone in tennis has an opinion on which tournament is the best of them all. Given the choice of events ranging from International to Masters 1000, our crew came up with an interesting assortment of Tour favorites. Check out their picks:

NICK

Such a tough question! There are so many excellent options to choose from. But, if I had to pick one as my favorite, I would go with the Australian Open. The anticipation of the first major of the year is almost like no other feeling we get to experience throughout the year.

In addition, the Australian Open is run as well as any other, if not better. The tournament does a terrific job promoting itself through social media and capturing scenes and highlights of the event, both on and off the court. From first ball to last, you’ll be able catch live action Down Under with matches streamed starting with the Wildcard Play-off all the way to the men’s final.

CHRIS

One of my favorite tournaments every season is Stuttgart.

Sharapova-related reasons notwithstanding, the atmosphere is amazing, the stadium is always full and both the pre-match and post-match productions are hilariously dramatic.

DAVID

I’ve only been to two tournaments in person. With the US Open a mere twenty minutes away, it is like having Mecca in your backyard. The Grand Slam experience is hard to top, but it can be overwhelming and leave you spoiled for choice. For that reason, I’ll go with the Pilot Pen. The Wozniacki Invitational.

The Connecticut Open.

It’s small. It’s contained. It’s always got a decent field, and it has free transportation from the Metro-North Station. What more could you want? I first attended 10 years ago, and saw Jennifer Capriati practicing on a side court, and a pre-“Glitter” Jelena Jankovic on Center Court.

Last time I was there, I was privy to a startlingly entertaining final between Petra Kvitova and would-be No. 2 Simona Halep. After unseating the aforementioned Queen of New Haven a round earlier, the Romanian had a comprehensive victory over the Czech powerhouse, winning her first Premier title and slowly changing minds about her potential as an elite player. With it so close to the US Open, it could easily be a forgettable event. But hey, it’s one of my favorites.

JEFF

To avoid cliché, I won’t pick a major. It’s a player favorite and it’s also my favorite: Dubai, on both the men’s and women’s side.

Court speed and camera angle are nice, and it’s at a great time of year when players tend to be fresh. The big prize money pool tends to attract big names.

To not avoid cliché, my other favorite is the Australian Open.

RENÉ

Twenty-seven years ago, Belinda Carlisle sang, “Heaven Is A Place On Earth;” little did we know that just a short time later, the closest place to heaven entered the WTA calendar in 1993. After having been one of the less prominent Tier IV events in its first few editions, the tournament in Bogota, Colombia began to gain prominence; upon its 20th anniversary, the Copa Colsanitas reached its preliminary culmination.

The victory of former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic lifted the tournament from obscurity once and for all. It became the WTA’s REAL fifth Slam, one of the most coveted tournament distinctions in tennis (previously held by Baku). The alleged avalanche of success from the 2013 Copa Colsanitas even inspired the city to start holding an ATP event again.

Bogota – a victory for everyone.

VIKA

If I’m not attending a tournament, I want my viewing experience to transport me there, despite the fact that I’m watching from my couch.

Every year, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome does that for me.

First, there’s the history of the event – which has been in existence for over 80 years. Secondly, the venue itself is breath-taking. All of the matches for both men and women are well-attended, and you can feel the unique atmosphere when an Italian is playing even while watching. The Foro Italico is simply picturesque; watching a match on the Pietrangeli court – surrounded by statues and sunken in the ground – is on my bucket list.

The “old world” charm of the tournament is further enhanced by the fact that its antithesis, Madrid – Ion Tiriac’s shiny, corporate wasteland – precedes it in the calendar.

FAI

This song sums up all of my feelings.

Did your favorite get left out? Sound off in the comments!

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About David Kane (138 Articles)
23-year-old tennis writer. Long Island raised me, @Twitter made me. My hindrances are deliberate; my whole life is thunder. @DKTNNS

4 Comments on Ask TTI: Favorite Tournament

  1. middle of june. grass court tennis. EASTBOURNE

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  2. Have to give a shout out for the closest I have to a home tournament Indian Wells. Beautiful grounds, Hawkeye on every court. Also because usually top players haven’t played since Aussie Open many especially on ATP side play singles and doubles. Federer and Wawrinka, Delpo, Djokovic, Andy Murray just to mention a few. It is my happy place! 😃

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  3. Estoril in the sun: second court Centralito may have more soul than even Pietrangeli.

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  4. I loved the RCA/Indianapolis ATP event back in the day – big names so close you could touch them (I didn’t), lots of Americans, a stone’s throw from Chicago, right on the downtown IUPUI campus. I once stood behind Robby Ginepri in the lunch line.

    Now I guess I’ll go with the Family Circle Cup. I’m not a big fan of green clay but everything else seems amazing (if a bit snobby). Need to get there ASAP. Maybe this year. Really afraid it won’t stick around…

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