5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

What a great time to be a tennis fan! The Australian Open just finished a while ago, Wimbledon is almost around the corner. Are you ready to tick off some of the best tennis tournaments off your Bucket List? Let us help you with some suggestions and Must-see, not to miss on tennis events for this yeas as well as the upcoming one.

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

1. Wimbledon – London (Grand Slam Event)

The very first Wimbledon Championship took place on June 9th, 1877 in Worple Road, Wimbledon. The tournaments was advertised as “a lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs”. Women were not allowed to take part until 1884. During the first “meeting” 22 men showed up, cheered by a crowd of 200 people. During those early games, they used wooden rackets and hand-sewn flannel balls. After opening the tournament to both sexes in 1884, Lottie Dod, made a remarkable appearance on the court, and up to this date she is the youngest unbeaten woman to win the title at the age of 15.

The tournament becomes popular a few years later – 1889, when William Renshaw rises up with his seven consecutive victories at Wimbledon. By the early 1990s, the Wimbledon Championships earn international recognition. In 1905, May Sutton, United Stated, wins the championship in Ladies’ Singles, making Wimbledon the first overseas championship.

Wimbledon is also one of the most strict tournament when it comes to dress code. All players must be dressed up entirely in white. If not, they might be asked to change prior to the beginning of the tournament. Roger Federer for example, was asked to do so in 2013, when he wore shoes that have orange soles. Another interesting fact about Wimbledon is that it hosted the longest game – 11 hours in 2010 , when United States player John Isner defeated French player Nicolas Mahut.

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5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

Photo from Whoisjohngalt

2. US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium – Flushing Meadows, NY (Grand Slam Event)

It is the fourth and final of the 4 major events. Combined they form the Annual Grand Slam of tennis. The tournament takes place annually – late August and early September for two weeks period. Since 1978, the tournament takes place at the National Tennis Center (USTA), Flushing Meadows Queens N.Y. , played on acrylic hard courts.

The tournament started developing in the early 1881, growing from the U.S. National Championship. It started as men’s singles and doubles competition. At this time, the tournament was open only to those who were members of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association ( USLTA ) – known as USTA nowadays. A few years later, in 1887, the event started expanding by including women’s singles and in 1889 – women’s doubles and mixed doubles in 1892. The U.S. Open was established as a name and a tournament in 1968, when all five tournaments were hosted at the same place for the first time. Throughout the years the tournament has been played on different surfaces – grass, clay and concrete.

3. French Open at Roland Garros – Paris (Grand Slam event)

The story dates form early 1891, when the “French Clay-Court Championships” were created. The official name of the tournament is Les Internationaux De France De Roland-Garros. When the tournament was first established, it was only open to people who are part of French clubs only. The first time a international players was allowed on the court was in 1925 – the year when The French Open was born. The tournament was named after a famous French pilot – Roland Garros.

The only time the event has been canceled is during the Second World War between 1939 – 1945. After the war more international players also started to dominate the court and win titles. First international players to win the tournament were from the United States, followed by the representatives from Australia.

Up to this day, the French Open is the only Slam that is still played on clay. The grounds still remember tennis players like Rafael Nadal who holds 9 French Open titles and Björn Borg with 6, 4 of which between 1978 – 1981.

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

Photograph by P. Alejandro Díaz

4. The Indian Wells Tennis Masters

Also known as BNP Paribas Open and the WTA Indian Wells Open. It is an annual event, held every March. The tournament takes place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.

The tournament dates from the early 1976. Its started as an ATP fundraising event in Tucson, Arizona. Later that year it moved to Mission Hills Country Club in the Coachella valley. It has been taking place there for five years. The connections between the tournament and Coachella valley, went shaky, and they considered building a stadium near Disney World in Florida.

Nowadays, the BNP Paribas Open is by far the largest combined WTA Premier Mandatory and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in the world.

5. Australian Open – Melbourne (Grand Slam event)

Australian Open is an annual event held in January. It is the first of the 4 Grand Slam events that take place each year. It features both men’s and women’s singles, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, junior’s championships.

The first game was held in 1905, knows as the Australian Championship. Afterwards, the event kept on growing, and started being knows as the “happy slam”. It is a tournament that has the highest attendees of all – 780,000 people in 2019. It was also the first event to offer indoor play, in case of rain/heat and bad weather conditions. Up until 1988, players had grass courts. Since then, two types of hard courts have been used – Melbourne Park featuring green colored Rebound Ace up to 2007, followed by blue Plexicushion. Due to the high heat during the month of January when the event takes place, arenas are equipped with retractable roofs.

After its first event at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne in 1905, the event has been staged in 5 different cities : Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth as well as twice in New Zealand. The only time the event didn’t take place was between 1916 – 1918 and 1940 – 1945, due to international conflicts.

6 Things You Must See in Paris (That Aren’t the Eiffel Tower)

We don’t need to sell you on Paris. The third most visited city in the world, the French capital is an international icon for romance, art, cuisine, architecture, history, and fashion. Many of Paris’s famous symbols, like the Eiffel Tower, have become synonymous with travel – so much so that Paris seems like pretty tame, standard bucket list travel destination.

This blog post is not one that will tell you that no trip to Paris is complete without taking selfies with the Mona Lisa or smooching on the Champs-Élysées. At Bucket List Events, we believe that the most rewarding travel experiences are those that put you in the heart of the action, where locals and visitors alike are all taking part in something unique. And Paris, the city of lights, is filled with these opportunities.

For a Paris bucket list that will take your appreciation for the French capital to the next level, check out these 6 events you must see in Paris:

 

1. Fête de la Musique

June 21 (annual)

Official Website

Each year on June 21, the summer solstice, the streets of Paris come alive with music. Make shift stages are erected everywhere from street crossings to train stations to parks to hospitals to office buildings. The longest day of the year is celebrated with free, spontaneous concerts long into the night. This may be the single best day to stroll around Paris in the whole calendar year! Fête de la Musique is a thoroughly unique experience and must see in Paris.

must see in paris fete de la musique

The tradition of Fête de la Musique began in the ’80s, and has since sparked countless international versions. With the contagious spirit of free live music, it’s easy to see (and hear) why this festival spread. This French original is now celebrated in many cities around the world as “International Make Music Day.”

 

2. Roland Garros – The French Open

May 27 – June 10, 2018

Official Website

Widely considered to be the most grueling tournament in the international tennis circuit, the French Open (known in French as Roland Garros) is also one of the most incredible to watch. The unique clay courts slow the ball down considerably in comparison to hard- or grass-courts, adding an element of unpredictability to the tournament. Players who typically excel on harder turf often need to train longer, move faster, and swing harder to keep up in Paris.

Photo by Yann Caradec

But it isn’t just the sport itself that makes the French Open so unique. The entire attitude of the event seems to fit so perfectly into the dreamy Parisian backdrop. From the warm tones of the clay-courts to the stylishly dressed players and spectators to the smell of fresh crepes wafting through the air – we can’t imagine a better place to spend a summer afternoon. For tennis fans the world over, the French Open is an incontestable event they must see in Paris.

 

3. La Nuit des Museés

May 19, 2018

Official Website

Parisian museums grace many bucket lists, but there is one time in which visiting museums in Paris is especially magical. On one night of the year, some 30 European cities hold an event known as the Long Night of Museums, during which museums are free and open to the public until the wee hours of the night. The lineup for the Parisian Long Night of Museums includes over 50 participating museums, including big names like the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou. In addition to browsing these incredible buildings filled with priceless art and artifacts after hours, the festival includes programming like concerts, performances, and interactive installations.

paris must sees museums at night

Photo by Georgios Michalogiorgakis

 

4. Paris Fashion Week

Several Dates

Official Website

Visiting Paris means stepping into a city filled with beautiful and impeccably dressed people. This is even more true during one of Paris’s six yearly fashion weeks. Spaced throughout the year, each Fashion Week is dedicated to different branch, like Menswear or Couture. During these times, elite designers from around the world showcase their collections for the coming seasons. The looks introduced during Paris Fashion Weeks are hugely influential for trends worldwide.

Visiting Paris during Fashion Week means rubbing shoulders with models and celebrities and watching catwalks impromptu catwalks in public spaces. For anyone interested in couture and design, Fashion Week is must-have item for your Paris bucket list.

 

5. Bastille Day

July 14 (annual)
Official Website

In 1789 revolutionaries stormed the Bastille fortress, released its prisoners, and brought about a revolution that would change not only France, but all of the West. Still commemorated throughout France each year on the 14th of July, Bastille Day is the most important national French holiday. In the capital city of Paris, this day is celebrated in particularly spectacular style. Not only does it feature the world’s oldest and largest military parade down the Champs-Élysées, but there is also an incredible fireworks show behind the Eiffel Tower. Visiting Paris during Bastille Day is guaranteed to fill you with revolutionary spirit. Vive la France!

Photo by Yann Caradec

 

6. Paris-Plages

July-September (annual)
Official Website

Paris isn’t known for its beaches – because it doesn’t have any. And the Seine River, despite the beautiful pathway it flows through the city, does not exactly make for great swimming. Except for the during the summer when the city brings the beach to a 3.5km stretch of the Seine. With cabana style lounge chairs, umbrellas, sand, palm trees, and even swimming pools, Paris-Plages is a fabulous way to beat the heat.

Bring a book, kick off your shoes, and enjoy! The relaxed, family friendly atmosphere and the unique setting make Paris-Plages a Paris must see for visitors during the summer.

 


Visit Paris during Roland Garros to see the world’s greatest players competing in the most physically demanding tournament in tennis. Explore our French Open packages today!

The Beginner’s Guide to the French Open

The 2017 French Open kicked off yesterday, and with it the City of Love is glowing with excitement for the sport of tennis. The second of four annual Grand Slam tournaments, the French Open (or Roland Garros, as the French call it) is the smallest tournament in this international league, and yet is widely considered the most grueling. This may come as a surprise to first-time French Open spectators, especially given the romantic Parisian background. Watching Roland Garros from your TV is one thing; witnessing the tournament first hand and feeling the excitement in Paris is another entirely. If the French Open isn’t already on your Bucket List, here is everything you need to know about travelling to see this intimate and exciting tournament. This French Open guide will introduce you to all of the basics of this two-week long event.

 

The French Open Location & History

2017 marks the 126th birthday of the tennis tournament and the 89th birthday of its stadium, the Stade Roland-Garros. This stadium was constructed in 1928 and named in honor of a famed WWI pilot. Garros was not only the first man to successfully fly a plane across the Mediterranean, but he was also well known for contribution during the war. His nickname, “the Ace,” originated after he shot down five enemy planes in a row. Garros was a a tennis fan himself, and so the stadium is part of his memory.

French Open History

A statue of Roland Garros, legendary fighter pilot and tennis enthusiast. Source.

Located in the southern part of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris’s 16th arrondissement, the Stade Roland-Garros is comprised of 20 courts on 21 acres, the largest of which seats 15,000 spectators. Despite this sprawling size, the tournament feels incredibly intimate. The bleachers are stacked steeply, giving everyone a great view and lending the event a very close-knit vibe. Another distinctive feature of this stadium and tournament are its iconic red clay courts.

French Open Location

Stade Roland-Garros, as seen from above during the 2013 French Open. Source.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to be played on clay, something that makes the aesthetic and the physics of the matches incredibly unique. Where Wimbledon is played on grass and the U.S. and Australian opens are played on hard courts, the relatively soft and absorbent clay of the French Open slows the ball down. That means that players have to run faster and hit harder, something that has made this tournament notoriously difficult. By the end of a match, players have a layer of red dust on them, a look that highlights the intensity of the game play.

 

 

L’esprit de Roland-Garros: French Open Traditions

It’s not just the terracotta courts that distinguish the French Open from the other Grand Slam tournaments. There is a lot of symbolism packed into this event, something that its host city of Paris is incredibly proud of.

French Open regulars beam with pride when speaking about the humble brooms used to sweep the dust from the courts, something conspicuously absent from the meticulous grass courts of Wimbledon. At Roland-Garros court sweepers are as iconic as the ball boys.

As is only natural in Paris, crepes are plentiful at Roland-Garros. The smell of Nutella floats through the air, and Americans may be surprised to see that it is stocked in buckets and even barrels.

Nutella Crepes at French Open

You can smell these all over the stadium. Source.

The French Open location makes for some of the best people watching in the international sporting scene. Paris is one of the world’s fashion capitals, and the tournament itself has no dress code (at Wimbledon, players must wear all white). Panama hats are popular among men and women in attendance, something that you might want to pick up as a memory of your time in Paris. Players and spectators alike tend to be effortlessly chic and well-dressed at Roland-Garros, so make sure you put some thought into your outfit before you go!

 

Historic Matches at the French Open

In the 1989 French Open, 17-year-old American Michael Chang pulled off a massive fourth-round upset over Ivan Lendl, who was currently the number one player in the world. Chang’s success featured a massive comeback, overcoming painful leg cramps, underhand serves and complaints on the officiating of the games. He went on to win the French Open that year, making Chang the youngest player to ever win a Grand Slam tournament.

In the 1999 Finals, Steffi Graf defeated Martina Hingis one day before her husband, Andre Agassi, would make a remarkable comeback to win his respective match. This match was filled with controversy, as the 19-year-old Hingis was heavily favored to beat the 30-year-old Graff. Coming off a remarkable season, Hingis behaved petulantly towards the refs, turning the crowd against her, and bolstering support for Graf. Graf won the match as much as Hingis lost it, but the involvement of the crowd played a powerful role in the drama that unfolded.

Tennis is an intense sport, both mentally and physically. But against the backdrop of the terracotta courts, the drama is taken to a new level.

 

French Open Tips

If you are planning well in advance to head to Paris for the French Open, make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time. They tend to go on sale in mid-March, and the prices are at their best during pre-order. But should you just happen to find yourself in Paris during the tournament, it is possible to buy French Open tickets on site – whether for a single match or a week-long pass. Just keep in mind that prices steepen after the tournament has already begun, at it may be very difficult to get tickets for coveted matches like the Finals.

Paris tends to be beautifully warm and sunny in late May and early June. This is good news, but after a whole day in the stands, things can get uncomfortable. Make sure you wear light, breathable clothing, and that you bring a hat and sunglasses. Take your queues from the locals.

Panama Hats French Open Tips

Panama Hats are the unofficial uniform for spectators at the French Open. Source.

While tennis enthusiasts agree that the French Open location offers better food than any of the other Grand Slams (Croque Monsieur, anyone?), Stadium fare is typically expensive and probably won’t be satisfying should you be eating it every day of your stay. The good news is that spectators can bring their own food (and even wine!). So grab a freshly baked baguette, your favorite variety of French cheese, and a bottle of Burgundy when heading to the Stadium. Otherwise, Paris is famed for its food, and there is plenty of amazing eating to be done all over the city.

 


Is the French Open on your Bucket List? Start planning the trip of a lifetime. Inquire about our Roland Garros Travel Packages today.

 

 

Un Match Parfait: Why Paris is the Perfect Location for the World’s Most Romantic Sport

Couples from around the world flock to Paris to propose, to wed, to honeymoon, and to generally celebrate their love. Between the art, the food, the wine, the fashion, and the irresistible French language, the city of Paris possesses every ingredient necessary to spark chemistry as well as a magical quality of elevating life’s simple pleasures into the realm of romance.

One such pleasure is sport, an activity or event that in other contexts can sometimes appear brutish. However Paris’s French Open, one of the world’s four tennis Grand Slam tournaments, is anything but coarse. Both exciting and grueling, chic and sweaty, the French Open certainly makes a case for tennis as the world’s most romantic sport. If not tennis in general, then Paris tennis at the very least.

Is it the intimate and highly emotional play of the game, or the breathtaking French Open location of Paris that makes this tournament so seductively enthralling? We say, it takes two. Like all lasting loves, tennis and Paris have several things in common that make them perfect romantic compliments.

 

Tennis is a sport historically for the elite and upper-class, yet has many inspiring underdog stories. Paris is a city historically favored by aristocracy and nobility, yet was the site of Europe’s most important class revolution.

 

The earliest documented tennis player known to historians was none other than French ruler Louis X. This 14th century king was so fond of the sport that he requested a court be built inside his palace so that he needn’t exert himself in the heat of the summer. This style of enclosed courts soon spread to palaces all over Europe – Charles V of France and Henry VIII of England are two later rulers who also played tennis on their palace grounds.

 

Versailles Court Paris Tennis

Louis X’s indoor tennis court in the Versailles Palace. Source.

 

Given the obvious currents of aristocracy from which the sport of tennis got its start, it’s easy to see why tenni

s carries something of an exclusionary reputation. Even to this day, well-maintained tennis courts can be found almost exclusively in private clubs, the membership fees for which the average person can’t afford. Furthermore, tennis is not a team sport, but is rather played 1-on-1 or 2-on-2. Where team sports tend to stir feelings of community identity, the play of tennis focuses more on the performance of the individual or pair.

But in spite of this history of wealth and luxury, tennis hosts some of the greatest upsets and underdog stories of any sport. Marcus Willis went from ranking #778 in the world and making only $345 out of professional tennis in the first half of 2016, to playing against Rodger Federer at Wimbledon.  Venus and Serena Williams trained as children in the rundown Compton Municipal Tennis Courts, having to duck to avoid stray gunfire due to the gang violence that plagued the city. Still going strong in their careers, the sisters have dozens of Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold medals between the two of them. There is also the famed match known as “The Battle of the Sexes,” in which male tennis superstar and vocal detractor of female athletics Bobby Riggs was publicly defeated by Billie Jean King, who went on to found several associations in support of women in sports.

 

French Open in Paris

Billie Jean King makes quite an entrance at the Battle of the Sexes against Bobby Riggs. Source.

 

These inspiring stories of struggling against the odds and social climates are especially fitting in historical Paris, the site of one of the most influential revolutions throughout the history of mankind. This 10-year long revolution profoundly changed the course of human history, triggering the decline of monarchies across the globe and setting the precedent for modern democracies and republics. The French Open location of Paris is no stranger to the turbulence of change, and the French Open itself is fabulous event to experience some of that revolutionary spirit.

 

Paris is a fashion capital of the world. Tennis is the most fashion-conscious sport in the world.

 

Paris and tennis make for one seriously fashionable couple. One plus of individual-based over team-based sports is that the players have the opportunity to show off their style. Without the restrictions of team jerseys, tennis pros are known for sporting some seriously chic (and sometimes wacky) outfits on the courts. While Wimbledon requires that players adhere to an all-white dress code, fashion at the French Open is especially bold and colorful.

A fashion-conscious French Open makes sense given the prominence of the fashion industry in Paris, but a key distinction between runway fashion and tennis court fashion is the clothing’s functionality. If you’re a fan of grocery shopping in yoga pants and tennis shoes, you can thank the sport of tennis for being probably the most influential sport in the phenomenon of athleisure fashion. Sure, many tennis players put a lot of thought into looking good on the court. But when you consider how the pros can often be downright superstitious about everything from their balls to their rackets, you can bet that clothing that gets in the way of play is a no-go, no matter how fashionable. Athleisure has risen to find harmony between the two.

 

Fashion at the French Open

Alizé Lim was widely considered the best dressed player at the 2016 French Open. Source.

 

Tennis fashion is at its peak at the French Open, and spectators who can appreciate the unity of fashion and functionality will find lots to admire. But the players aren’t the only ones making statements with fashion at the French Open! Everyone is at their best dressed when they visit Paris, so you can expect lots of excellent people watching and celebrity spotting from the stands.

The French Open is widely considered the most mentally and physically grueling tournament in tennis. Paris is the setting of some of history’s and literature’s most tumultuous love affairs.

 

Napoleon and Josephine. Anais Nin and Henry Miller. Christine and the Phantom of the Opera. Marie Antoinette and Axel de Fersen. There is something about Paris that elevates love affairs to legendary romances. But from a cynic’s point of view, there is little to be romanticized about the relationships listed above: all were colored by infidelity, jealousy, and tragedy.

For all the country-club aesthetics of tennis, the sport is deceptively demanding on the players’ bodies and emotions. Players pitted against each other across the court, the pressure of the serve, the intimidation tactics; any tennis pro will tell you that the game is equal parts mental and physical. The French Open in particular is considered to be the single most grueling tournament in the entire sport. Because the French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to be played on a clay court, the mental pressure and physical demands are even higher.

Clay courts slow the ball down considerably when compared to grass or hard courts, meaning that players have to hit harder and move faster. Well-ranked players who haven’t trained adequately on clay courts may find themselves completely unable to keep pace with players they’ve beaten on hard courts. Unknowns can rise from the ranks to beat out favorites to win. And the physical and mental toils of the players look even more intensified against the clay-red backdrop of the court.

 

 

In love and sport, anything can happen. Sometimes, the more one must suffer its name, the sweeter the victory and the more legendary the tale. One shouldn’t underestimate the power of a romantic backdrop to intensify all feelings, from anguish to bliss. In this sense, Paris and the French Open are an ideal pair.

 


Tickets for the 2017 French Open become available to the general public on March 22! To get started on booking your trip to this athletic spectacle in the heart of beautiful Paris, inquire about our French Open travel packages today.