Growing up I was a complete daddy’s girl and was often referred to as his shadow. I was easily influenced by his preferences, from his taste in food to his love for playing and watching sports. This turned game days (mainly cricket or soccer) into family events with an endless supply of snacks and drinks. The one televised sport that gripped the entire family’s attention was tennis.
So naturally I was thrilled when I was invited to attend session 9 of the Rogers Cup 2017 in the Emirates Suite. Since I had never been to a tennis match live I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was so glad that the experience was reminiscent of watching tennis with my family with the addition of being pampered by first-class service.
Even the luxurious chauffeured transfer to the Aviva Centre (remember I’m a frequent TTC commuter, so it really was luxury) did not quite prepare me for the extravagance of the Emirates Suite. Once you take in the plush ambiance of the suite and are suitably stocked up on your hors d’oeuvres, the action on the courts from the glass panel view lures you in.
I witnessed an incredible display of physical strength and mental endurance through the course of the day from exceptionally talented athletes. I deliberately take Serena Williams’ lead by saying ‘athletes’ instead of ‘female athletes’. One of the match winners of the day, Caroline Wozniacki, went on to face the winner of the tournament, Elina Svitolina in the finals.
Gripped by the intensity of the competition on the courts and the indescribable buzz from the fans in the stands, I was glued to my seat from the time I sat down to the time I left. Although, as the matches got progressively engaging I found myself steadily craving the endless supply of snacks from my childhood. Cue the first-class service of Emirates. We were served a delicious hot lunch without having to move an inch or miss any of the match excitement.
The entire experience of watching the tournament live in the stands was everything I could have hoped for and more.
What are your favourite aspects of watching a sport live in person? Or your favourite rituals when watching from the comfort of your own home?
Photos are my own.