Hey tennis peeps! Our fab friends at the Tennis Event Guide have put together some of their top tennis tournament spectator tips in the hopes of helping you make the most of watching professional tennis. Enjoy!
Whether you’re a fan looking for US Open tennis tips or other Grand Slam tips, or a proud tennis mom off to watch your prodigy compete, here are some insights from those of us who have been to hundreds of tennis tournaments.
- Check the tournament websites. Just like airlines and airport security, each tennis event is different. Make sure to check in advance anything you are not allowed to bring so you don’t get stuck at security or have to toss anything valuable. Sample items often not allowed on grounds of pro tournaments include: water bottles, food, large cameras, backpacks, laptops, iPads and tennis racquets.
- Sunscreen. Can’t say this one enough. Most tennis events take place in warm, sometimes even brutal hot weather. It’s nice to be able to buy seats in the shade, but not always possible. Prepare to apply sunscreen multiple times throughout a day session of tennis play.
- Dress codes for tennis tournaments. You’ll notice most people are dressed fairly well; more so than at a baseball or football game. Some attendees choose to wear fan gear (a shirt with their favorite player) but most people are dressed sharp yet comfortable. And don’t wear your tennis clothes – whites or otherwise – save the athletic gear for the players.
- Comfortable shoes. Yes, I’ve seen ladies with stilettos heels, and no, I have no idea how they do it! You do a lot of walking at the tournaments, often on different terrains – wood, concrete, grass. Be prepared for all and for walking far more than your daily 10,000 steps.
- Check timed tickets. If you have a night session ticket, check the earliest time you can arrive on the grounds. Also, try and follow the daytime scores and matches. If you want the maximum time on the grounds to shop, explore or grab something to eat, try and arrive as soon as your ticket allows. However, if you’re short on time, follow along with the day matches so you can sure all the day matches have ended in time for your night session, while not having to wait on line.
- Go to the Qualifyers. Some of the best tennis you will ever see is before the tournament starts, at the Qualifiers. You’ll be up close watching some amazing level 7 players compete to enter the tournament and the crowds are usually made up of only other die hard tennis fans. Some tennis tournaments charge for qualifiers while others are free (like the US Open), so be sure and check the tournament websites beforehand.
- Head to the early rounds. Want to watch all your favorite players before they are eliminated (or before tickets get too expensive?) Definitely head to the Round of 16 or even higher so you see the most tennis and most top-seeded tennis players possible. Plus, you’ll often see some of the top players practicing outside during the early rounds.
- Buying Tickets. Know your show courts. Not all of the best tennis takes place on Center Court. Many times, the greats, especially during the early rounds, will play outside the main stadium. The outside courts are usually smaller and more intimate and put you right in the heart of the action.
- Get the app. Most tournaments offer an app that lets you follow the action no matter what you’re on, offers bonuses and freebies around the grounds, provides history on the players and much more. They are all free and totally worth downloading.
Be sure and visit Tennis Event Guide for more great insider tips on the best professional tennis tickets, hotels, Kid’s Days, qualifier info, local days and much more!