So, you want to Become a Professional Tennis Fan? Here are some tips…

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1. Become a coffee and/or wine drinker. Many matches are overseas and require for you to be up at all hours across multiple time zones, coffee helps. Tennis is a social sport, there may be wine involved. Alternatives to coffee and wine can be… pre-match naps and a good personality.

2. Don’t fall in love. If you only stick to well branded top players you will be bummed if they pull out of a tournament at the last-minute, and your whole fan viewing experience will be ruined. This happens.. a lot. Get to know Rising Stars as well as the top seeds so you always have someone to root for.

3. Tennis is not all about being patriotic. There are many countries involved and some may dominate the sport at any given moment. So if your country is not represented, does that mean you stop watching? Um, no! Tennis is about the personal struggles we all share, and if anything it’s a sport that can unify us. The joy of tennis is borderless…

4. Who cares about the outfit? We do! Tennis is played on a global stage. It’s a performance watched by millions. The outfit is a character in the performance. It’s a costume that frames the player and is as critical as the setting, the personality of the player and the style of play…it absolutely enhances the fan experience. So yeah, the outfit matters… let those big brands know what you think of their designs.

5. Follow social media… The best way to stay on top of the game is to follow your favorite tournaments, leagues and players on social media. Also, watching matches online gives you flexibility to access the action on your own time. Warning: Social media can be addictive, time consuming and often ridiculous.

6. If you’re just getting into it… you can start by watching and following major events like US Open, Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. It can be tough to follow the many smaller warm-up tournaments, but you can pick and choose by players you would like to see or by the location. For example, we love the Connecticut Open (our local tournament) and other bigger but manageable tourneys like the Miami Open and Indian Wells. So much fun to go with family and friends!

7. Be a student of tennis. To fully appreciate the action it helps to play, practice or to have played tennis at some point in your lifetime…even if it was just for fun. Watching the pros play will not only help improve your own performance, but when they mess-up, you can pat yourself on the back and say “Hey, that looks like something I would do”.

8. There are several types of fans. There are Fans of Tennis… Who love to play the sport and enjoy the lifestyle, but don’t really follow pro tournaments. There are Tennis Fans… Who embrace many aspects of tennis from personal on-court enjoyment, to watching the pros duke it out on a global stage, to all that the sport has to offer. And, there are the Tweenerswho vacillate between the first two. It’s all good… your choice.

9. It’s just tennis, but it’s not. When we get frustrated, angry or upset we say “it’s just tennis” and move on. But deep down, we love the sport as a reflection of our daily lives and see it as a unique opportunity to learn something about ourselves and the human experience… which can be life changing, healthy and therapeutic. So that’s pretty important.

10. At the end of the day… it’s fun. Let’s play!