The 2014 Stanley Park Open brings tennis stars to YVR

Tennis, beer, a BBQ, sunshine, and a beautiful park to play in. Welcome to Vancouver, tennis stars.

The Rogers Radio Stanley Park Open (#StanleyParkOpen) is in full swing, with seven days behind us and four more to go. Running from July 10th to July 20th from 8AM to 9PM, the tournament offers a variety of FREE events to entertain both locals and tourists. This is an exciting year, because it’s the first time that professional women’s and men’s tennis events are being held together: the Canadian Direct Insurance Women’s 10,000 and the Silex Men’s 15,000 Futures.

What better way to spend a sunny afternoon, then watching two (or four) extremely fit athletes hammer a ball at each other at a pace that I wouldn’t dare step in front of…for anyone.

Rebecca Marino (shown above), who is a Stanley Park Open (SPO) ambassador, was only 14 when she won the SPO in 2005 – the youngest yet. I had the pleasure of meeting her and watching her play, impressed by the intensity of her strokes, as well as her playful attitude while on the court during the mixed doubles.

“She’s taking her hat off Petra (Januskova), uh oh, Rebecca means business,” joked News1130 Reporter, Diane Bankay, who was providing commentary and umping the matches for Tuesday’s Pro-Am.

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After taking a slew of photos from side-court, and enjoying the banter between teammates and opposing players, it was time for me to grab some grub and wet my whistle in the beer garden.

Stanley Park Brewery and Mahony & Sons teamed up to quench thirst and squelch hunger. With three beers on tap (Ale, Pilsner, Wit – $7), as well as wine, ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages, such as coconut water, hydration was handled. Meanwhile, the barbecue was loaded with bratwurst and burgers, but I opted for the purportedly “famous” lamb sandwich ($9). On both accounts, I was left satisfied, and I didn’t break the bank.

In between sips and bites, I met some of the people behind the tournament.

From Rackets and Runners: Dave D’Arge; Stringers, Bryan Mihic and Steven Jefferys; and Owner, Vanda Borean. (Learn how to “Cross like a Boss” here.)

From Tennis BC: Sue Griffin, Executive Director (former Exec. of BC Sports Hall of Fame); Michele Sinclair, Partnership Engagement Director; and Vicki Salter, RRSPO Tournament Director.

Details

What: 2014 Rogers Radio Stanley Park Open
Where: Stanley Park Tennis Courts (SITE MAP BELOW)
When: July 10th – 20th
Time: 8am – 9pm
Cost: FREE

Stanley Park Open Site Map

Noteworthy on Saturday, July 19:

  • (9am-10am) Tommy Europe Tennis Fitness Bootcamp Presented By SierraSil (Registration required)
  • (12pm-1pm) Celebrity Challenge (including Garry Valk, former Canuck; Brent Johnson, former BC Lion & Grey Cup superstar; Caroline Cameron, Sportsnet Connected co-anchor; Tommy Europe, former pro football player)

And for your knowledge…

Basic Tennis Fan Etiquette (which is mostly common sense)

  • Stay silent while the ball is in play: no phone calls, no heckling, no constant hooting and hollering (you’ll be tempted, I know, but let the players focus) Cheer after a good rally, a server’s ace, and, of course, the end.
  • Turn off your flash when taking photos (it’s distracting to fans and players alike)
  • If you need to leave, do so when the ball is out of play (i.e. end of game or point)
  • Leave your signs, umbrellas, and wide-rimmed hats at home if you intend on sitting in the stands (leave room for others to see) You could paint your face or make a t-shirt to support your favourite player instead….?

Have any more suggestions for tennis fan etiquette? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below. 

For more photos, check out my Stanley Park Open gallery on Flickr.

 

 

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