The WTA Finals are in town this week and since we recently got Noey started on tennis, I thought it might be fun to bring him bring him down to catch a match or two. I figured watching match live, by court side, being played by some of the best players in the world might give him a better appreciation of the game and maybe inspire him a little.
And ok, I wanted to watch some matches! It isn't everyday that THE BEST female tennis players in the world stroll into our neck of the woods to play top level sport. I'm not a huge tennis fan but I watched enough television sports with my Dad to know the rules and enjoy most sports. (Just don't ask me about cricket.) So I don't do any sports any more but watching, that's still fun.
After identifying affordable tickets -- the day tickets for the round-robin matches -- I persuaded my dear ol' Dad to join me with the children for an afternoon of tennis action. On the schedule were Maria Sharapova v Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki v Petra Kvitova. I was excited.
It was my first time watching tennis live, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. It was a Friday afternoon but lots of people turned up and there was a good buzz around the stadium. I can only imagine it would be even better in the evening when I assume more people would turn up. The kids were excited too as I tried to give them a run down on the players, the game, and who the various persons standing around were (ie. the linesmen and ball boys!). Noey was also very amused by the signs being led up by supporters, in particular the one when words flashing in hot pink, asking "Maria, will you marry me?"
Excited to join in the cheering!
Well, unfortunately (or fortunately, if our objective was to get our monies worth) the game turned out to be an epic 3-setter with a really tight first two sets! We watched Sharapova take the first set 7-5, then reel off most of the points to race to a 5-1 lead. At that point the kids started being rather restless and I told them that it was going to be over soon and we could go outside to play at the Fan Zone. Except that I was so wrong. Radwanska started returning everything and despite there being a few match points, Sharapova just couldn't finish to take the set. Radwanska staged and incredible fight back and unbelievably managed to take the set 7-6 (7-4). It was exciting for me but not so much the kiddos.
When Radwanska started pulling back the points.
Little Miss restless and tired.
Lots of good tennis but I must confess that throughout the entire period the one thought that kept running through my mind was that Women's tennis has the best outfits! I mean, with badminton, table tennis, squash (well, if anyone even plays squash any more) it's mostly shorts and tees, but tennis! Radwanska was wearing a dress with colourful butterflies on it which couldn't help but keep staring at. It wasn't exactly my taste but I was just fascinated by the fact that they have options like that! As good a reason for me to pick up tennis as any, no?
Agnieszka Radwanska concentrates on the job at hand, unlike me -- I'm staring at her dress!
We left after the second set and didn't stay for the tie-breaker since it was already 2 hours and 20 mins of sitting still and the kids really couldn't take it any more. Naomi fell asleep near the end of the second set, so it was only Noey who had a go at the Fan Zone.
Out like a light! Luckily for me I had my Dad to help with the carrying!
If you're in the area over the weekend, I would recommend that you check out the WTA Fan Zone, which is located next to the Singapore Indoor Stadium, in the area right outside Kallang Wave Mall. It is open to all and both you and the kids can try your hand at a number of activities like trying to clock the fastest service, bouncing on a trampoline while trying to hit balls being served to you by a ball machine at a target, and hitting a tennis ball covered with paint at a wall to create art work. You can also access the social media wall and learn more about the players and their game stats, as well as see computer generated replays of the game. There are also meet the stars autograph sessions at certain times.
A different kind of paint ball.
They take a photo for you and e-mail you a free soft copy.
That's the closest we get to the trophy!
We had a great time wandering around the Fan Zone, the experience enhanced by the many friendly hosts in the zone, who were lovely and helpful and very happy to talk about tennis. The Fan Zone will be open for the duration of the tournament which ends on Sunday.
Despite all the complaints, when their Papa asked them how the event was after he returned home, both children told him they enjoyed it! Hur hur. Well, since Singapore will be hosting the WTA Finals for the next 4 years, I dare say we'll be back again next year.