Federer lost to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2008. His loss put tennis back on my radar as I realized that I couldn’t take Fed’s perch atop of tennis for granted. I became glued to my TV and watched with joy as Fed claimed USO ’08. I spontaneously bought tickets for the Davis Cup tie with Switzerland vs USA in Birmingham in March ’09 hoping to catch a glimpse of Federer up close. While Fed didn’t show, I did have a wonderful time watching live tennis and promised to do it again.
Inspired by the book, Live What You Love, I took to the road to follow the ATP tour on my very own Tour Challenge in 2009. Even though the trip began as a way to escape my humdrum life in LA, I discovered that I loved going on the road, meeting other tennis fans, and uncovering each player’s story. After my first tournament trip to Indian Wells, CA I penned this little note in my journal:
“All I ask is to be allowed to enjoy more days like this at tournaments all over the world; to see the players up close; and to watch their stories unfold. Players whose stories I want to follow: Rafa, Verdasco, Simon, Tsonga, Monfils, and Wawrinka.” — March 2009
My journey took me to: Indian Wells, CA; Miami, FL; Paris, France; Halle, Germany; London, England; Washington, DC; Montreal, Canada; Cincinnati, OH; New York, NY and Shanghai, China. By November, I was
- a reignited Federer lover, not quite a KAD but close enough;
- a Juan Martin Del Potro fan girl. What can I say? I like ’em tall and awkward;
- a Rafa sadist, I like to see him sweat;
- a Spanish Armada enthusiast, an admirer of their golden bodies, if not always their game; and
- a French masochist for Tsonga & Monfils. Talk about unfulfilled potential!
At the end of the year, I was happy to claim a Victory in the Doing.