Off the Court is Where Tennis is Happening: by Ultimate Sports Wife, Nicole

This site has given tennis much more than it deserves.

In case you missed the previous reviews, I will summarize the consensus amongst them: tennis, regardless of who is playing, is the most “nap worthy” event (see WTA tennis). It is also pretentious in its scoring and officiating (see article about tennis decorum and breaking the rules by guest writer, Kellie MacDonald).

Given the fact that tennis is nap-worthy as well as detestable in its officiating and general attitude, one must find other ways to entertain oneself.

Well, for me, it was bringing along my in-laws to a WTA event at Stanford (No, by choice, of course, I would much rather be at the Stanford mall but I digress). On the one hand, you have my father-in-law, Roger, who watches with the focus of a player- even shush-ing his own wife in order to analyze and watch the match. Then, you have me and my mother-in-law, sitting and chatting about anything but tennis- coming up for air only to ask, “Is it still zero-zero?” Next, you have my brother-in-law, who asked only moments before the event started: “So are we going to see Stanford play?” And, finally, you have the Ultimate Fan, Andrew, who is in the middle of these extremes.

We were there to watch Kim Clijster vs. some Russian (who I am now told is Czech). They were neck and neck until the end. Lots of deuces, which is a tie of some sort. Clijster came out ahead, as expected, but the action didn’t begin until the match was over. As is tradition at most matches, the winner hits three, signed tennis balls into the stands. This time, there were prizes attached to the autograph balls. The first ball hit went right over and out of the stadium - right next to us. The Van Cleve boys jump into action. Andrew stormed down the stands and out of the stadium looking for the prize winning ball. Brother, Eric, stayed above the action looking over ahead. He spotted the ball and pointed a lady in the wrong direction- eliminating the competition while pointing Andrew to the tree where the ball was lodged. Andrew took a big, metal thing and threw it at the tree and the ball was his for the keeping. Andrew went on the court and claimed his prize (see below): a prize package from Fortune magazine including a designer watch, valued on Ebay for $300.

Now, this would have been enough excitement for any event but no, that is not where it ends. Just as we were leaving, we saw that tennis star and match winner, Kim Clijster, stretching with her trainer only steps away from the stadium exit. Of course, we seized the opportunity to catch a picture for our celebrity sightings page.

I may not be a big fan of tennis (count me in for X-games or WWE). But, the stars of tennis are A+. Kim was charming and kind enough to stop for a picture despite the fact that her trainer and body guard said “NO!” Now that is a true class act.