February 17th, 2013


The SAP Open Final (In More Ways Than One)

Today was the final day of the final SAP Open (originally the Pacific Coast Championship) tennis tournament, bringing to an end 125 years of top-class tennis in the Bay Area. (The tournament has apparently been sold to South American interests, and as only an ATP 250 event — grand slams are 2000, major events 1000, and mid-grade tournaments 500 — it had become increasingly difficult to get the top players to turn up in the Bay Area.

For the only day I've been able to attend, I wasn't wrung out and exhausted from lack of sleep before I got there, as I was able to sleep in this morning before catching light rail downtown and walking to the Shark Tank for the 1 PM start of play.

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As I left the arena, I got a Twitter direct message (DM) from @SAPOpen informing me that I'd won a signed item as part of one of the various things I'd entered, and that if I'd send them my address, they'd send it to me. However, since they don't follow me, my DM back to them bounced. (I'm unsure if they were thinking this through.) I tried to find someone with the tournament to see if there was anything I could do about it now — after all, if the promotions people were still around, I could save them the trouble of mailing it — but nobody I could find knew anything about it. I complained about it in public on my own Twitter and got another DM from them with the e-mail address of the person I needed to contact with my address, so all is good.

Because the tournament ended around 6 PM instead of close to midnight, I didn't have to leave early or dash 1.5 km to catch the last or nearly-last train back to my apartment, and instead was able to easily and without panic ride back home.

I'm sad that the tournament is ending, but looking at the turnout, I can see why the sponsors saw no future in it. Attendance was lackluster, even at the final, and I always had plenty of room to spread out. (Even when I got upgraded, but that's because I got two seats even though I only needed one.) I'm very glad I got to see the tournament at least once. This was my first experiencing seeing professional tennis live, and I really enjoyed it.