Weekend De La Famille @CoupeRogers: Always a Hit!
Kids, Mascots, and the Rogers Cup. Oh my!
Located in the city of Montreal, the Rogers Cup receives tennis fans from all over the world to grace its grounds. The start of the tournament is already buzzing with activities for young and old. Tournaments usually have a kid’s day, but the Rogers Cup takes it up a notch with their free Kid’s and Family weekend.
As you walk through the grounds, you’re met with colorful surroundings of charming mascots, an inflatable bouncy castle, face painting and tennis games for all ages! One of the first people I saw as I entered the grounds was a woman dressed in a long vintage style dress walking on stilts. She was making her way effortlessly from tent to tent, ducking and bending to fit under the entry ways. You could not pay me enough to try that out! I wouldn’t even test out my neighbor’s pogo stick as a child.
Kid’s and Family weekend is also a great opportunity to watch your favorite players.
Lots of practice and pre-tournament action are on schedule with some of the biggest names like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. They’re all there and you can easily snag a front row seat on the main stage.
The ATP also set up a hockey ball tournament that features NHL hockey players. We are in Canada after all! The hockey players in the lineup include Alexandre Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks, Georges Laraque, and Daniel Brière who is the newest player on the Montreal Canadiens. There is a lot of buzz going around about him!
Saturday and Sunday events also include an ATP soccer match. You know how those tennis players like the futbol!
As I was making my way through Practice Friday, I kept my attention on the outer practice courts. Although the grounds already have a big crowd, the practice area was still sparse for the most part.
At the practice court reserved for Tennis Canada, there was a nice long hit between Canadians Peter Polansky and Filip Peliwo. Both recieved wildcards into the qualifying draw. I must say, these Canadians are pretty charming and fun to watch. If you are familiar with me prior to this article, than you know about my affection for the Latvian tennis players. Well, over the last few weeks in Granby and Montreal, the Canadians are making a mark on my heart as well.
Ivo Karlovic was out on the practice courts a couple times. After the health scares he has had recently, it was extra special to see him out there. I had a huge urge to run out and give him a hug but I figured I better let him continue practicing. That seemed like the wise thing to do as credentialed media.
A player that I really like is Philipp Kohlschreiber. I don’t hear his name around my tennis circles too often, and I think that needs to change. I’ve been attending his practices for the last few years and he’s always been entertaining. I’m sure it would be even more entertaining if I followed my German roots and learned the language, but who has the time? He works hard, and you can see he’s having fun in the process. If you get the chance, sit and watch a few minutes of his practices. You won’t be disappointed. By off-chance you do find yourself disappointed, I guess I will let you send me your anger in tweets.
David Ferrer had double practice duty, first practicing with a very-clothed Feliciano Lopez. Sorry, fangirls. I can only do so much. Blame Mother Nature! Later, he was practicing with Rafael Nadal, who was also clothed but that’s not as unusual.
Taking a peak on Center Court, Andy Murray hit with Frenchie Richard Gasquet. The crowds surrounding the matches on Center were already Final-worthy.
Here are some other familiar faces to enjoy.
The adventure for me in Montreal has only begun. I hope you stay tuned!
– Courtney Massey, TennisEastCoast.com (@CM_TravelingFG)