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patrick

My Davis Cup Experience

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With the Davis Cup match between United States and Switzerland being played in Birmingham, Alabama this past weekend, I decided to make my way to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Arena despite not purchasing tickets.

Friday
I arrived at the site at 11:40 AM local time. Parking was hard to find as I spent approximately 15 minutes looking for a spot. There were areas I could have paid to park. But since I was not attending the first day, I decided not to park in those areas. First thing I noticed that a portion of the steps were painted with the Davis Cup trophy, which was neat and a banner saying welcome to Davis Cup with the Davis Cup trophy. The UAB pep band was playing music outside and spectators were taking pictures. As I thought some TATers were running late for the tie, Tobiasfunke walked up. We talked for a few minutes and during the conservation, I met her mother. Then, about 1:00 PM local time, I went home to watch the matches. On the way home, I received some good news and it was that someone, who knew I wanted to see the Davis Cup, gave me tickets for the weekend.

Saturday
With Davis Cup tickets in hand, I was going to see my first live tennis match ever after watching lot of matches on television and live streams. I arrived at the site at 11:18 AM local time hoping to meet some more TATers. Within 30 minutes of my arrival, Aedra showed up. We talked for a few minutes outside then we decided to go inside and get to our seats. On the way to the door, someone was nice enough to take a picture of us. Once inside, Aedra took me to the section where the Netheads were sitting. After meeting GVGirl’s husband to take a quick photo, we went to our seats and we saw Atlpam and her husband. Aedra was nice enough to sit with me even though our seats were in different sections. Approximately 15 minutes before the match, the flag ceremony started and it was neat as all the countries were lined up. The teams were introduced and national anthems were sung. After the anthems were sung, I looked up in the rafters and saw the Davis Cup championship banners with 1900 to 1949 on one sideline (where I was sitting and was looking at the benches), 1950 to 2006 on the other sideline, 2007 on one baseline, and the US flag, Switzerland flag, and a picture of the Davis Cup trophy on the other baseline. The atmosphere for a Davis Cup tie is very different than a normal tennis tournament as the crowd made lot of noises. Once the match was over, we saw Atlpam and her husband once again and her husband took a picture of her, Aedra, and me. After Aedra and I said our goodbyes, I walked around the arena and made my way to where the teams were sitting and got autographs of Thomas Blake, Bob Bryan, and Wayne Bryan . As I made my way out of the arena, the US team was having a practice session as Andy Roddick, James Blake, and the team came on the court. As I walked toward my vehicle, I was feeling very good and knew I was returning to see at least one live single match on Sunday.

Sunday
I arrived at the site at 10:30 AM to get a good parking space. Waiting for the doors to open at 11:00 AM, I was reading where the Netheads made the front page of the Birmingham News. Then, once the doors opened, I decided to walk around the arena before I went to my seat. While walking, I saw Atlpam and her husband, fans getting their faces painted, and a guy on stilts juggling 3 racquets. I talked to Wayne Bryan for about 2 minutes before someone got his attention, looked at pictures in the picture gallery and spoke to GVGirl’s husband. Finally, I made it to my seat. About 15 minutes before 1 PM local time, the flag ceremony started with only the World Group countries. The crowd was already loud and the teams and anthems have not been sung. At this point, I was anticipating that Andy Roddick and Stanislas Wawrinka was going to play at least 4 sets but Roddick showed us why he is one of the best in clinching a tie. When the dead rubber was played, I moved to the other side of the area (behind the benches) and sat in a section next to the Swiss fans. Their fans would chant Hop Suisse (Hopp Schwiiz), players’ name, and a little song they know. Also, I saw the NetHeads and when James Blake made good shots, they bowed down to him. After the tie was over, I got autographs from Carlos Bernandes and Pascal Maria and a Wilson (US Open) ball that was not used for the matches. All day I felt like I was in my environment. Reflecting on the entire weekend, I was glad to meet fellow people from TAT and experienced my first live tennis matches. Hopefully, Davis Cup (or even a minor ATP or WTA tournament) will come back to Birmingham.

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Comments

  1. GVGirl's Avatar
    Thanks for the blog! It's great to meet TATers!

    I'm sure you really love Davis Cup now!
  2. patrick's Avatar
    Yes. Davis Cup is an unique experience. All the neutrality went out the "door" as I supported the USA.
    Updated 03-10-2009 at 05:52 AM by patrick
  3. Ti-Amie's Avatar
    Thanks for the report Patrick. Live tennis is the best tennis.
  4. nelslus's Avatar
    Thanks for your blog and Davis Cup posts, patrick. All of this gives me the feeling of being there- which I appreciate so much. SO glad that you had a great time.
  5. aedra1119's Avatar
    Thanks for the blog, patrick! It was a lot of fun making so much noise, and I'm going to miss that at Indian Wells. LOL. I'm glad we were able to sit together!
  6. atlpam's Avatar
    Thanks for posting patrick! It was great meeting you (and running into you as we were walking laps around the arena before matches). I also enjoyed meeting tobias who is much cuter than the avatar would suggest, and enjoyed visiting with aedra again. We also moved seats for the dead rubber and were sitting just a few rows behind Wayne Bryan. On several occasions he called the bros over to sign autographs and pose for pictures with some young fans during the changeovers. My husband was more intent on taking pictures of Roddick's fiance.
  7. missinandre's Avatar
    Patrick, there is nothing as thrilling as LIVE TENNIS!! Thanks for sharing your experience!
  8. mrjiggyfly2's Avatar
    Outstanding Patrick!
  9. GVGirl's Avatar