My Experience at the Western and Southern Open
First off, it has been a while since my last blog post but this experience just had to be written about. For the amount of time I have lived in Ohio, this was my first time volunteering, visiting, watching, and experiencing. For having an ATP Masters 1000 event in Ohio, of all places, they do a fantastic job of hosting a great tournament every year. I never really understand what the tournament was like until I got there. I've always heard stories about people volunteering and interning at the tournament that has a lot of fun doing it which made me want to try it out!
A little background about the Western and Southern Open. Its first match played for the tournament was located at Xavier University's current location in 1899. When it started, it was primarily an ATP event which then became a combined event with the WTA later on. It has held over 100 tennis Hall of Famers and has been expanding its ground every couple of years especially with the new building they are adding this offseason with the South Building.
LINK TO WEBSITE --- http://www.wsopen.com/events/history/?intloc=headernavsub
My Job: The Media Center
Even though this was a volunteer position (nothing wrong with that, I was hoping to get paid or a more of an internship position) I had a lot of fun with my coworkers and got to meet a lot of interesting people within the media. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that not many people know about. The media all know each other because they see the same people over and over again at each event. They all can spit out facts that I have never heard of when I follow tennis. They talk about the players like they are friends which is funny because with the amount of time they spend with the players, they should be friends.
My daily routine consisted of these roles:
- Printing and photocopying transcripts, scorecards and other tournament information
- Restocking food and beverage (this included beer so this job was not terrible)
- Selling food tickets
While this doesn't sound like much, I spent most of free time talking to the media and make connections with them. I also learned that the media has to go through the ATP and WTA desks that are set up in the media room to get an interview with players. Speaking of interviews, I was able to sit in on some interviews. I got to see John Isner and Grigor Dimitrov. Being that close to big time players is a whole other experience rather than watching them on court. You see them on TV your entire life and then you get to sit in the same room as them not to mention that they are 4 feet in front of you.
This experience is one of the best I could ever have as a tennis fan. Being able to explore the grounds everyday and spend time with the media who know everything and all when it comes to tennis knowledge. The ability to be apart of the success of a tournament such as this one is once in a life time and I will try my best to come back every year.
If you want to see more of the behind the scenes footage of what I did at the Western and Southern Open, be sure to check out my daily Vlogs on YouTube! Here is the link to one of my favorites.