|Front entrance to the museum and Hall of Fame|
The two days were so different. Saturday was cloudy and rainy and the tennis was cancelled. Then Sunday was superbly hot and the packed schedule meant both the singles semis and final were on tap.
A few thoughts:
|Legends entering the Enshrinement Ceremony|
The sound system wasn't fantastic so I need to rewatch all the speeches online but in a nutshell I thought Tiriac was hilarious and Hingis was a bit soft spoken but very emotional. I followed Hingis' entire career and it's hard to believe she's been fully retired five years since her peers Venus and Serena Williams are still going. But Hingis' speech was poignant and made me just remember the amazing player she was, with her mom in the stands. They were quite a pair.
|Rod Laver speaking during the ceremony|
The International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum. What better an option during a rain delay than visiting this amazing place. It cost $8 with a tourney ticket and what a bargain. So many fantastic exhibitions and so much history. Loved it. When I went in, Rod Laver and Bud Collins were giving autographs, and Mary Pierce was inside wandering around. So fun.
The Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. My first visit to the Newport tourney was a good one. Lleyton Hewitt took out two-time defending champ John Isner in the semis, which was a nice surprise then Nicolas Mahut beat Michael Russell to make the final. It's never great when a match originally scheduled (and in this case started) on the main court gets moved due to weather but that's what happened on Sunday. I was watching Hewitt/Isner but read that both Mahut and Russell were frustrated by the crowd's movement around court 1 as well as the actual court condition. But, c'est la vie.
The final was decent, but it was so hot on Sunday I was struggling to focus (clearly all those days sitting in the searing Melbourne sun have not made me a heat-loving tennis fan). I was hoping to see Hewitt win the title, but he couldn't close it out and Mahut pulled it out in three sets. Who could not be happy for Mahut? Two grass titles in the past few months, and then he won the doubles semifinal after winning two singles matches, and then won the doubles final the next morning. What a great story.
The tourney itself is in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island (if you go, be sure to drive along Ocean Drive - wow some people are really rich). It's easy to park on the street in walking distance to the tourney. There's a supermarket right next to the grounds and there are plenty of places to eat and drink before or after the tourney. One con - you have to leave the gate to use the toilets so if you do this they will check your bags every time you re-enter. Slightly a pain so get someone to keep your bags!
Here are some more pics from a fab few days:
|Panoramic view of the grounds as the ceremony began|
|'victory' lap by honorees, but hard to see as photogs were allowed to join in|
|Stan Smith and Rod Laver|
|Pam Shriver helps Bud Collins do the lap|
|Class of 2013|
|Me and Bud Collins|
|Hingis and her mom Melanie Molitor|
|Collins and Laver|
|Martina and a very cool racket!|
|Cliff Drysdale and family|
|Stairs leading up to the museum|
|My year! First year I followed an entire year of pro tennis|
|Monica Seles' winning kit at her first slam - 1990 French Open|
|Loved this wall|
|Serena's gold winning dress|
|Andy Roddick's shoes from his final match, US Open 2012|
|Aussie Open exhibition in the museum|
|Ah I remember this moment!|
|Martina Hingis and Mary Pierce before their exo|
|Such lovely courts|
|Hewitt vs Isner semifinal|
|Mahut beats Russell to make the final|
|Isner losing to Hewitt|
|Hewitt makes the final|
|Hewitt in the final|
|Mahut is overcome|