Day 4 as the Media Guy: Coaching Views and Museum Tour
Ben Monroe - Coach and Father to Nicholas Monroe
Father, coach, and tennis guru. Ben Monroe is the coach of doubles specialist Nicholas Monroe who is the Number 1 seed in the doubles bracket here at Newport. Ben Monroe has been coaching Nick since the age of four and never stopped from there. While speaking about Nick's life on tour and their relationship as father and son versus their relationship as coach and player, Ben said something very peculiar. Ben has been asked multiple times by different media personnel about, "When did Nick start beating you?" He always responded, "We never played". At first the media thought they were joking, but after awhile they came to the realization that Ben was being completely serious. I was even stunned because when I was growing up, there was a point where I play against my father and there would be a "right of passage" or the day would come when I could eventually beat him.
Ben further explained that while he never played against his own son, he thought his time would of been better spent on drills and more detailed exercises so his son would then take it into matches against other kid his age. "He needs to do his homework in order to use his own knowledge for the final test [Nick's matches]". If you want to listen to the full interview between Ben and I, check out the video below!
Now, in the video I did not want to show everything that they had because that would just ruin the experience. But with most of the footage I could show, I really tried to capture the experience and feel of the story the museum is telling. You really feel the history and stories that are being told around you. From the first wooden racquets to Serena Williams' outfit she wore at an Australian Open, they cover everything that needs to be shown.
I think one of the coolest exhibits in the museum was seeing some of the original cases that carried wooden racquets as well as the "machines" that would make the racquets. Their history is fascinating because while there was one "type" of racquet, there were different variations of the racquets themselves. Some were curved heads, longer necks, shorter necks etc. The transportation trunks that carried some of the players racquets were HUGE. It did carry more racquets than your average tennis bag today, but they were so big and clunky that you were basically taking a dresser everywhere you went.
On the court Action - As cool as it seems
So apparently I can sit on the court and take videos of the players with my media pass. You learn something new everyday. Now, it is kind of weird how I am using my phone to take photos/videos of these players while the person next to me has a camera that is twice as expensive. But I'm here. I am sitting less than 20 feet away from Vasek Pospisil who is serving for the match. I need a camera.
The reality of the situation is that the grass feels as different as you'd expect. It feels like a fairway you would play on for golf. You wonder why all these top players slip and fall on grass, well, it's because not even the small studs on the bottoms of their shoes can stop them from falling when they make a short stop or pivot towards a ball. I have yet to play on it but I really, REALLY want to try it. Hopefully by the end of the tournament I'll have the chance. Stay tuned for an update.