Going to Kings of Tennis and not writing about it until now might be seen as somehow strange for somebody who is so hyped about the sport and so into talking about it all of the time. Well, I have a good reason for that: it wasn’t the same.
It lacks the excitement and the thrill of a real competition. Of course, seeing all those tennis legends is an absolute bliss, especially since the final was between Joan Carlos Ferrero, former World no 1 and Roland Garros winner, and Jonas Björkman, former World no 4 in singles and no 1 in doubles. I’ve never seen Ferrero play live before, I watched him several times on TV, and I will have to be honest and say that he was the reason why I went to the event in the first place. And I wasn’t disappointed, actually, I am pretty sure no one was, he plays amazing tennis even 5 years after his retirement from the professional tour. Seeing him made me realise how unlucky I was not to get to watch him play before. Jonas Björkman I’ve seen before, when he paired Robert Lindstedt (who’s birthday is today, so happy birthday to him) for Stockholm Open. If I were to compare my sensation when watching these games I can say this: whenever I see the players competing on court, my level of adrenaline and excitement rise and I enjoy every moment of the match. Watching Kings of Tennis was like meeting the players off-court: people you respect and love for what they’re doing but there’s something missing everytime. It’s one thing asking for an autograph when they finish practice or walk out of the court as winners, and another asking for a picture when they’re having a cup of coffee, if I may use this comparison to underline even more how it felt.
All in all, it was a tennis event. Kings of Tennis takes place at Stockholm Waterfront and is a part of the ATP Champions Tour, where tennis legends take the stage once more. It’s a show that brings together former World leaders, Grand Slam champions or Davis Cup champions. And just as other tennis events, it’s under-appreciated: there weren’t a lot of people in the audience and most of the ones there were busy having wine and socialising rather than watching. I guess this is also because the event itself is positioned as quite posh and spectacular, rather than competitive and rigorous, as tennis is often seen.
Due to the fact that the Bucharest ATP tournament got canceled, I won’t be seeing any live tennis anytime soon. Also, this also translates into a severe interruption in my almost 15-years-in-a-row visits to the tennis park in Bucharest, visits that I didn’t let go of even after moving to Sweden. I guess I will just have to focus this Spring on fighting an annoying hay fever that hit me so hard that I could barely keep my head up for a few days. And I am writing this now only because I have a well prepared stack of allergy medication by my side. Other than that, warm weather goes well with coffee and walks.