Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week in Review - LG&T Challenger Tournament

I figured I should probably post some pics from this last week when I was mostly MIA.  I talk about service and volunteering with my boys all the time, and I'm so proud of WD for volunteering to be a ballrunner every year for this tournament.  The work I do during the week pales in comparison to what the ballrunners do all week long.  Obviously they chase balls down,

but they also take care of the player's sweaty towels, and hold umbrellas over the players during changeovers to keep the sun(or rain) off of them.

They have to be quick when a ball drops,

but completely motionless with their hands behind their backs between points.

They put in 10-12 hour days for free, and occasionally get yelled at by the players.  The big joke is that by the end of the week, they all can swear in 14 different languages.  But for this they get front row action for some great tennis.  A win at the LG&T gets a player into the qualifiers for the US Open.  Top notch tennis players like Andy Murray have played at this tournament in the past.  As a smaller tournament, there is a mix of up-and-comers like 18 yr old Benjamin Mitchell from Australia currently ranked 344 in the world,

and local phenom, Alex Tsai, who played in the doubles draw,

as well as already well established pros coming back from injury, like 2 time Olympic gold medalist, Nicolas Massu, from Chile.  He is the only man to ever have won both singles and doubles gold in the same Olympics(in Athens.)

The tournament endured some crazy storms this week, one of which took down the officials' tent as well as the food tent.

Weather forced the singles final indoors.  We had high hopes to get both finals matches in before the rain hit, but only the doubles final was able to finish outdoors.  The winners, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, both of Columbia alongside the runner-ups Treat Conrad Huey of the Phillipines, and Fredrik Nielsen of Denmark.

WD has worked the singles finals(a big honor for a ballkid) for the last couple of years.  Unfortunately the lighting was not optimal for taking pictures inside of the Tennis Center, so I don't have any pics of WD working the finals match.  Paul Capdeville from Chile won the singles draw.  This was his 3rd time winning here(he won in 2008&2009.)  He joked that he may want to move here.

One of the perks of working these matches is the ability to grab autographs.  You may remember seeing this Kei Nishikori signed shirt hanging in WD's room.  He was last year's winner and is currently ranked 52nd in the ATP's standings.

Last year when Capdeville, had an early exit from the tournament, he smashed his racket and threw it over the fence.  WD had the presence of mind to run around, and snag it.  This year we got it signed.

There are many of these smaller pro tournaments around the nation, and I encourage you to support them whether it's volunteering or attending.  The caliber of play is incredible, and the ticket prices can't be beat.

Thanks for popping in and checking out where I've spent the last week.

Stuff and Nonsense


  1. That was my dream job when I was teenager. I always want to volunteer at the tennis court:) I can tell how proud you are about your son:)

  2. What a fun thing for your son to do. I volunteered at a golf tournament a few months ago. I was supposed to spot balls. (I lost three!)
    I bet your son did a better job keeping up.

  3. That really sounds exciting! Good for your son to learn the importance of volunteer work at a young age. I love that WD grabbed the broken racket and brought it back this year to have it signed. What was the player's reaction?

  4. That job sounds a little miserable (long) and stressful (getting yelled at), but so VERY cool at the same time. My tennis fans would be so jealous!


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