Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Duty Free

“Well I'm just people watching, The other people watching me” – Jack Johnson

A while back some good friends treated us to a night out on the town.  We got to go see a few matches at the Dubai Duty Fee Tennis Championship.

OK, so the name doesn’t sound as good as Wimbledon, or the US Open… and I don’t really get the whole “duty free” thing, but this was some world-class tennis.  It included 4 of the top 10 ranked players in the world.  We got a to see a match with Tomas Berdych, the 7th ranked player in the world from the Czech Republic.  The second match we saw had the 16th ranked Ivan Ljubicic… yeah, try pronouncing that last name :)

It was a cool experience and a lot of fun.  The tennis was amazing and exciting, but I really was more fascinated by the whole culture of the event.  I’ve played enough tennis to know what was going on, and even watched a fair amount on TV back in the Agassi/Sampras days, but I never realized the almost ceremonial nature the sport.  From the precise routines and posture of the ball boys/girls and the uniformed performances of the line judges, to the orderly, quietness of the spectators, this was definitely not the same crowd you would find at a football or hockey game.  A few times the I had to chuckle to myself at how seriously everyone oohed an aaahhed after a good volley.

Overall, it was fascinating and fun.  We had a great time watching tennis, the supporting cast, and the other spectators.  We just might have to go back next year.

Here is a photo of Yvonne and me at center court about 1/2 hour before the action really got started.20110221[P1010903] - Dubai Tennis Championships

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