Feb/12

24

Memphis Racquet Club: Being There


By Amanda H. LeMay

For anyone looking to attend a professional tennis tournament the Racquet Club in Memphis is actually a great facility for seeing not only good matches but also for seeing players around the site.

The player fitness facility is below a glassed in walk-through so that anyone passing by can look down to see which players are working out. It is a safe bet that you can see anyone with a upcoming match about 30-45 minutes before match time. It is also interesting to see what sort of different warm-ups the players have. Sometimes trainers bring in extra equipment or get the players over to the side to do a footwork routine. Sometimes they are in by themselves just riding the bike or walking on the treadmill. Each one seems have a specific routine.

Also, as I have mentioned before, the ballroom dining area is almost always filled with players coming in for lunch or a snack. Interestingly, I have noticed that the lunch is the same each day. Lots of pasta, salads and chicken or fish. The tennis player diet? Either way, they seem to all go back for seconds AND eat dessert – sometimes two different ones!

Also, because the facility is small it is inevitable that you will pass by or walk with a player at some point in your day. This afternoon I got behind Julien Benneteau walking with his coach and yelling loudly, in French, at the female player who was walking in front of him. Ha!

Besides the player sightings, the Racquet Club is really a great place to watch tennis (photo above is of Grigor Dimitrov watching Isner and Querrey play doubles). The main stadium is quite small and there are really no bad seats. Plus if the match isn’t full there are no problems moving to a courtside seat. Even better is if you luck upon a great match on one of the bleacher seat side courts. Talk about up close and personal! The players are literally 2 or 3 feet from you when they stand to serve or run over to the side of the court where fans sit. It can be a great atmosphere and fans really get into the matches. Plus it is 75 degrees and sunny today. It’s been a great week of tennis so far!

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3 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 24, 2012 at 2:26 am

    It’s really a mesmerizing and inspiring thing to see such high quality tennis from close up. I can and know many people who can just watch it for hours and hours. One friend said his marriage broke up partially because his wife always wanted to go home from the US Open in the afternoon and he wanted to stay for the night session ) I mean, the talent involved in tennis is a lifetime of sacrifice and devotion and hard work. Nice report Amanda, the club feels almost familiar now.

  • Andrew Miller · February 24, 2012 at 3:49 am

    It is inspiring to see players up close. I totally agree. I have really enjoyed the tournaments where you can both get a stadium experience and also get an experience where you can put your feet right on the court – the side court experience.

    Like Pat McEnroe says in his book, the ball comes off differently off every player’s racquet (Agassi said this too – Pat McEnroe said in his book he borrowed it from Agassi). (I really liked Pat McEnroe’s response to Wayne Bryan’s letter BTW – I think that with Wayne Bryan’s letter plus Pat McEnroe’s letter plus Tim Mayotte’s letter and all the comments, one has more than enough material to rethink tennis development in the U.S.!)

    Interesting there is no mention of the great brisket in Memphis – among the best out there!

  • Amanda · February 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Andrew – Haha! No mention of food but yes we are known for BBQ, ribs, etc. Memphis can be a pretty fun city. 🙂

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