Day 8 Citi Open Spotlight: The Finals and Final Review
The Citi Open, finally, FINALLY started matches at noon today to catch up on all the rain delays. I've been suggesting that they should have been doing this all along. The good news is that the crowds have really grown for the later matches. I'm glad to see this, and really surprised that it took this long for them to get here. Another sign of the crowds is the long line for the women's bathroom that wrapped around the stadium. I felt so bad for the women who had to wait so long in the heat.
I suppose you are wondering why there was no Day 6 or Day 7 blog. I could say that there were rain delays or not that much interesting to report, but to be perfectly honest, I really wanted to explore Washington DC, and I needed to catch my breadth from the intensity of covering this tournament. And while this experience has been an amazing one, no doubt, I underestimated how hard it is to produce content everyday. I've come to appreciate all the journalists and bloggers who do this day in and day out.
One of my favorite parts about these bigger scale tournaments is the opportunity to talk to players after their matches. While you are in a room full of other people from the media, I felt like I was having a conversation with them at the same time. All of them are very genuine and respectful when it comes to the multitude of questions they receive. I believe my favorite press conference that I was apart of was Andrea Petkovic. Not only did she have fun with my question, but she had a sense of humor when it came to answering all of the questions. Very charismatic and down to earth when talking about how she played or what she was feeling. Very off the cuff responses and not afraid to speak her mind.
Being a Practice Player
this was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life! Not just being able to hit with these players, but to be on the same court with them is different as well. I was hitting with Bonnaventure and right next to me was Wozniacki AND the next court over was Murray... With all the energy I could gather, I would focus on practicing with my partner without trying to impress or over hit a ball. Imagine if I shanked a ball and hit one of them? I also had a chance to hit with Francesca Di Lorenzo, Fun fact, I went to school with her sister who actually played for Xavier University's tennis team. The other player I had hit with, I had to just serve to. At that time, my first two serves with aces and the next seven were hit wildly all over the court. Not my best moment. But, after we hit, she smiled and said, "I was surprised by your serve" and to that I replied, "Me too".
Tournament Location: Rock Creek Park
From my Airbnb, this location was very convenient for me. But for the most part, the location of where the tournament takes place, is beautiful. The stadium alone is big enough to hold fans and the the grandstands make it easier for most of the fans to sit close and enjoy some tennis. Seeing the replay on the Tennis Channel, it now kind of reminds me of the US Open. Big and blue stadiums overlooking most of the players and not having a bad view no matter where you sit in the stadium.
Overall, the tournament has been exciting. Speed serving tent, food and drinks everywhere, and the "pricey" gift shop (like at every tournament). I would definitely come back if I had the opportunity.