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Source: This Week in Tennis

This Week in Tennis headquarters packed up bright and early this morning to drive the 2.5 hours to College Park, Maryland for the inaugural Citi Open. The WTA tournament is being held at the Tennis Center at College Park and features main draw players from 18 different countries.

When I arrived at the event site I was greeted by friendly staff that pointed me in the direction of the credential trailer. Once inside the trailer I met media contact, Vanessa
French. She made me feel welcome and gave me a quick overview of the ground rules once inside the media tent. I don’t have any special needs when covering tennis events. Basically, if there are plenty of power outlets in the media area I’m happy. Mainly because my Android phone has terrible battery life and I can’t live-tweet matches if my phone is dead!

The tournament is in its second rain delay and it’s given me some time to relay my initial observations about the grounds and stadium court.

– The grounds are a tennis fan’s dream come true. Players walk and run down the same sidewalks that spectators are on; making it feel like your nearby recreational tennis courts.

– I’m slightly confused by stadium court seating. I don’t have a ticket, but I’m told the tickets have seat sections and seat numbers. More than a couple people asked me if I knew how to get to their seats and I tried to help the best I could, but the sections aren’t clearly marked. Another stadium court seating issue is the inclusion of ropes that block walking paths and one too many seats at the end of rows. The extra seats at the end of rows increase seating, but force attendees to walk through rows and interrupt others needlessly. If the one seat at the end of each row was eliminated it would create much better traffic flow.

– There’s a juice bar directly behind stadium court and up against a practice court fence. I don’t think the qualifiers care that the juice blender is loud and maybe the higher ranked players will block out the sound, but I’d be mad if I was serving in a quiet stadium and then all of a sudden the sounds of freshly blended fruit happened in the middle of my service motion.

Citi Open is well on its way to a successful inaugural tournament if the only gripes come from extra seats and fresh fruit. This Week in Tennis will be on-site every day, except for Tuesday and Wednesday and we hope you’ll join us on this site and on Twitter.



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