Any hardcore tennis fan will tell you that attending a professional tennis match is a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Whether you're venturing out to Western & Southern Open or another high-profile tennis event, below are 10 things to keep in mind to help you get the most out of your experience.
1. If you want to catch as many matches as possible, try to attend the opening weekend, or at least within the first week of the tournament. If you're more interested in attending the more "star-studded" matches, you'll want to wait until just after the opening weekend, when the fourth-round and quarterfinal matches begin to happen.
2. The best seats in the house are arguably the ones behind the baselines because you can watch the match without having to keep your "head on a swivel" as the ball bounces back and forth. In addition, viewing from the baseline vantage point can sometimes give you a better perspective in terms of studying each player's technique.
3. If you're attending daytime or early afternoon sessions, be sure to choose seats that are on the west side of the court. This will keep you from having to deal with the sun shining directly in your eyes as the day goes on.
4. Speaking of blaring sunlight, be sure to apply sunscreen several times throughout the day! Sitting in direct sunlight for hours on end is not the most skin-friendly thing to do, so be sure to bring a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen with you to protect your skin from those relentless UV rays.
5. When you arrive at the grounds, go ahead and purchase a generously-sized water bottle so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day. Depending upon which tournament you attend, you might even be able to bring a bottle with you. Scope out the grounds for water fountains, so that you can grab a quick refill between matches.
6. It's a good idea to arrive early and do some "recon work" to identify restroom areas and food stands that are a bit little farther from the main exits so that you won't have to deal with overwhelming crowds every time a match finishes.
7. Two words: Bring cash. It makes buying food, drinks, souvenirs, and trinkets so much easier.
8. Wear light-colored clothing made of breathable and/or moisture-wicking fabric so that you can stay relatively cool and comfortable throughout the day. You might even want to bring an extra change of clothes if the heat is going to be intense.
9. Be sure to bring a hat and sunglasses! You wouldn't want to ruin your day by having to squint non-stop, as this can sometimes lead to headaches and/or exhausted eyes.
10. Most tournaments will release some type of schedule to keep you up to speed regarding which matches are being played on which day. Make sure to review this information ahead of time, so that you won't miss a match that you've really been looking forward to. Many of the bigger events (e.g., Wimbledon, French Open, etc.) have smartphone apps that you can download to keep track of everything via your mobile device.
As you can see, a little bit of preparation goes a long way when you're planning to attend a professional tennis match. Just keep the above tips in mind to help you have an enjoyable and memorable time!