By Mitch Falkin, Men’s League Vice President
I love playing tennis. I also love watching tennis; my teammates’ matches, junior matches, singles or doubles, and pro matches on TV. But the pinnacle of watching tennis has to be “live” at a really good professional match. During the past year, with travel being a virtual no-go, I have come up with a simple, new bucket-list plan: Go to great places and watch pro tennis. Here are eight tournaments that check all the boxes — high-level tournaments, great cities, a variety of locations, and their next scheduled dates:
Truist Atlanta Open, Jul. 24-Aug. 1, 2021, Atlantic Station. Get a discount through your ALTA membership and enjoy our hometown’s professional tournament. Make sure you stop by the ALTA tent to say hello. Plus, it’s fun to watch John Isner blast his serves here.
Delray Beach Open, Feb. 11-20, 2022, Delray Beach, Florida. Delray Beach is located between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton on Florida’s east coast, and the tennis center is within walking distance to the beach. A lovely spot to visit in February.
US Open, Aug. 30-Sept. 12, 2021, New York City. Grandaddy of the hardcourt circuit, it doesn’t get any bigger than this for tennis in the United States. Who can resist a trip to the Big Apple for shopping, eating, and people watching?
Indian Wells Masters, Mar. 11-21, 2021, Indian Wells, California. Due to COVID-19, this year’s tournament will not be held on those dates and has been postponed but not cancelled. If it does happen this year, this desert location is fantastic, right near Palm Springs, with lots to do. If you also enjoy golf, this trip will be a double-bonus with plenty of great courses to play. Also, the tournament is within striking distance of Mt. San Jacinto and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers some great hiking.
Wimbledon, Jun. 28-Jul. 11, 2021, London, England. It’s the oldest and most prestigious tournament in the world. The pomp and traditions are alive and well here, and if you have to pick one Grand Slam, this might be the one. There is a lot to do in London, so you can work the tournament into an even longer vacation.
French Open, May 23-Jun. 6, 2021, Paris, France. It’s the quintessential clay tournament in one of the world’s most beloved cities. I’d like to get to this one before Rafael Nadal retires, since this tournament seems to belong to him. Plus, who wouldn’t want to watch tennis at the famed Roland-Garros Stadium?
Monte-Carlo Masters, Apr. 11-17, 2022, Monaco. This probably is the most picturesque location, on the French Riviera overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Google this one just for the photos alone; they are spectacular. And for gamblers, the world-famous Casino de Monte-Carlo is nearby.
Australian Open, Jan. 17-30, 2022, Melbourne, Australia. This would be a great winter vacation, and Melbourne is right on the ocean. I’d be tempted to make this trip an extended one, since Australia is so big and far away. This would be the perfect start to 2022!
I must admit, I have a long way to go to complete the entire tour. So far, I have been to the Truist Atlanta Open and have watched my daughter play as a junior at Delray Beach and Indian Wells. That leaves seven of the pro tournaments for me to cover. I believe several years of planning and enjoyment lie ahead for me. After I finish all of these great trips, I definitely will find more tennis to watch and enjoy, whether it is around the corner or across the globe.
Now back to reality. Good luck to everyone in your ALTA matches, and I look forward to seeing you out on the courts!