The Rogers Cup is tennis nirvana. It’s where I go to be amongst my people. Around these parts, most folks are not tennis aficionados. The conversation never gets beyond Federer or Nadal. I can’t rhapsodize on the virtuosity of Katarina Srebotnik or Kveta Peschke without seeing eyes glaze over. It’s saddening. But at the Rogers Cup, I’m surrounded by tennis fans that are enlightened, passionate and just plain nuts. Walk over to any practice court, point at even the most obscure player and say “who’s that?” and not only will you learn the player’s name, you’ll get a personal and professional bio, an anecdote on the player’s likes and dislikes, which hotel they stay at and sometimes, the fan might even pull out a scrapbook filled with photos of past tournaments. It’s bonkers and sooo incredibly fun.
I couldn’t help but enjoy myself standing a few feet away from some of the best tennis players in the world. Check out a few pics I took.
Parc Jarry Fountain
After hours of stalking players, my buddy and I decided to call it a day and get some supper. But where? The great city of Montreal is a culinary Mecca with no shortages of fine eateries. My friend chatted up one of the tennis fanatics and she recommended Ristorante Pomodoro, a favourite haunt of tennis fans. It was located on St-Laurent Boulevard in nearby Little Italy, about a 10-minute walk from the tennis stadium. It did not disappoint and I highly recommend it. Good service, fantastic food and a seat on the terrasse made for an outstanding end to our day.
On the drive home, I felt a twinge of sorrow and couldn’t help but replay the day in my head. Goodbye crazy tennis fans, fellow stalkers and overzealous Felicano Lopez devotee. Buhbye Rogers Cup Official who writes the names of the players on the white boards while we peer over her shoulder. See ya later nice policeman who helped us find a parking spot. Sayanora Marion Bartoli and your disturbing training methods. Au revoir Anna Ivanovic. I can watch you train all day. Sigh. Fare thee well Aleksandra Wozniak and thanks for the pic. Peace out Lidnt chocolate lady, “merci beaucoup” for the free samples. And so long grumpy stadium usher guy, telling us to sit in our proper seats. I will miss you all (well maybe not the usher dude.) Until we meet again next year.
Ravioli alla Gigi/Ravioli sauce rosée, pancetta and champignons