Sunday, October 4, 2009

Early musings: Family Circle Cup 2010

Regular readers of this blog know by now that I get off on obsessing. I love mental planning. Already I can see myself at the 2010 US Open despite all of my complaints about feeling scammed this year. This is because when it comes to tennis, I have the short term emotional memory of a gnat. Once I express my feelings on an issue, I find that I can completely let it go and often end up going back for more.

I also hope to make it to Roland Garros 2010 although that tournament may end up losing out to my sudden desire to own a condo. Who woulda thunk it. This after years of telling everyone who would listen that I was far more interested in owning a yacht than a house. I must finally be growing up. Again, who woulda thunk it.

I think it was the rats that did me in. I have a German friend who lived on a house-boat near Easter Island for a year. Afterward she told me about how the rats would swim the ocean and climb the ropes to her boat to forage for food. For a whole year, she was tormented by giant sea rats. New ones would appear overnight to replace the ones she managed to trap and kill. Which of course killed my boat obsession faster than you could sing “Ben, the two of us need look no more”. So now I am interested in condo ownership. Already I can see myself taking on the members of the condo board and holding forth like Frasier.

But the reason I have the Family Circle Cup on my mind is because I read recently that Melanie Oudin has already committed to enter. That and the fact the Family Circle folks called this week to ask me if I wanted to renew my seats. I have to admit that I am kind of torn.

On the one hand you know how committed I am to supporting tennis. And I was thrilled to read that Oudin is the first player to throw her name into the 2010 Family Circle Cup ring. I am happy that as a Georgian she has decided to support a tournament in neighboring South Carolina. There is no question that her early commitment will help fuel ticket sales.

I am especially happy that Oudin has decided to give this tournament another try. By the time I got to the Family Circle Cup this year, she was already out of this tournament. I read that she had made it through qualifying and even upset ninth seed Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round. Oudin was eventually tossed out of the 2009 Family Circle Cup by Marion Bartoli. Now that is a match I would have liked to see.

If Oudin faces Bartoli again next year, I don’t know which way my heart will turn. As you know, I love me some Marion. But if Oudin manages to spank defending champion Sabine Lisicki in the finals, I promise not to hold it against her. In fact, that would make for a very interesting finals. A Power Babe vs. The Neutralizer.

On the other hand, I find myself hesitating to make a financial commitment to any tennis tournament at this time. I don’t mean to send out any negative vibes but it’s hard not to worry about how some of these smaller events may be affected by the downturn in the economy. In fact, I don’t at all blame the Family Circle folks for trying to gain my financial commitment a good seven months in advance. If I were a tournament organizer, I would indeed be coming up with all kinds of inducements to get tennis fans to commit their dollars in support of my tournament.

Come to think of it, I’m kind of annoyed that the Family Circle people didn’t even offer me a discount. In fact I was offered no inducements whatever. I asked if I could get better seats if I locked in my commitment in advance and was told that I would be put on the waiting list for folks who wanted to move forward. Come to think of it, this is no different from those cell phone companies that offer the bulk of their inducements to new subscribers and take preexisting customers entirely for granted. So annoying.

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