Raymi Watches Serena Williams Play Tennis at Rogers Cup

I went to a Rogers Cup tennis match at the Aviva Centre at York University on Friday August 14th to see Serena Williams take down Roberta Vinci of Italy. It was a good time.

The Rogers Cup is also know in tennis as The Canadian Open (and the Canada Masters). This event is the largest and most high profile annual tennis tournament held in Canada. The event location alternates from year to year, between the cities of Montreal and Toronto. In odd-numbered years, the men’s tournament is held in Montreal, while the women’s tournament is held in Toronto, and vice versa in even-numbered years. The men’s tournament began in 1881, and was originally held at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, while the women’s competition was first held in 1892.  Of the major tennis tournaments in the world today, only Wimbledon and the US Open have been around as long.

The valet service was great. As we entered the event I remember remarking that people dress very nicely for tennis matches. I seldom see so many well dressed spectators – this is something of a fashion show. The lounge bartender was a hoot.

It was a hot summer night and we were sweating as we waited up top to take our seats. There was an excitement in the air and an authority – there were rules – we had to wait until the players weren’t playing to take our seats least we distract them.

I captured Serena’s signature victory wave too. Of course I did.

We were at the main court, but there are eleven other small courts next to the stadium.  All twelve courts use the DecoTurf cushioned acrylic surface, the same surface as the US Open Grand Slam event.  The stadium has thirty nine executive suites and two party suites.

Had VIP lounge access all over too. Fun!

Love the nostalgia of Rolex.

There’s a girl in the star costume there. She was very accommodating and posed for many pictures with me.

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player, ranked world No. 3 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association. She’s been a resident of the United States since 1994, Sharapova has competed on the WTA tour since 2001, and now she has her own line of candy, Sugarpova.

Genius. This is just part of her splashy display the Rogers Cup.

Clever. I bet most of the folks who attended this event have that many rackets at home.

Toured the grounds, checked out the art up for auction. This is the centerpiece. I didn’t say it was ugly.

I poked through the stuff, but didn’t see anything that struck my fancy. I’m not a tennis addict.

The yellow tennis ball centerpieces on the white tables in main tent were really working for me though. They were cute.

And of course we spent some time in the Peroni beer garden. You know an event has maximum credibility and is ultra classy when Peroni runs the beer garden.


This was the view we had from our seats. The lady in yellow is Serena Williams.

She would eventually come over to our side of the court, and we’d get to see just how fast she is and how skilled she is at sending tennis balls back over the net that are too fast and too hard to return.

Built in 2004, the Aviva Center holds 12,500 spectators, and on that Friday night it was standing room only.

Serena looks hungry here.. She’s an exciting player to watch.

And that’s what its like at the Roger’s Cup. Its exciting. After Serena played and won the match we poked around a bit more to let the crowds dissipate, and then left the venue feeling pretty good about ourselves.