This week I’m blogging from the TW retail tent at the Farmer’s Classic pro tennis tournament in Los Angeles. Be sure to stop by and see us if you head to the tournament. At the TW tent you can score some great deals and meet our friendly and knowledgeable staff.
A staple event of the LA sports calendar, the tournament is now in its 84th year. This ATP event is now known as the Farmer’s Classic, but it has gone through more name changes than Sean “Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, Diddy,” Combs. Formerly known as the Countrywide Classic, Mercedes-Benz Cup, Pacific Southwest Championships and the LA Open, the Farmer’s Classic is an ATP 250 event.
One would think or assume that because this tournament is on the lowest tier of the ATP events, it would not attract big named players. Up for grabs is a mere 250 ranking points; Rafael Nadal probably has more loose ranking points lost between his couch cushions at home. But the list of past winners reads like a Hall of Fame ballot. Names include: Jack Kramer, Fred Perry, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker and Andre Agassi. Not too shabby wouldn’t you say?
Taking place at the intimate setting of the UCLA Tennis Center, this tournament allows fans to get up close and personal with the players. There isn’t a bad seat in the main stadium and the lonely practice court lies adjacent to the food court. You could grab a burger and go sit at a table 2 feet away from the practicing players and have yourself a nice $50 lunch, but with a priceless view.
This year, the top players include: Andy Murray, Sam Querrey, Ernests Gulbis and Feliciano Lopez. As good as the other players may be, there is no doubt that this tournament is Andy Murray’s to lose. The dark horse would have to be James Blake. James Blake?! Ok, I guess I mean dark, dark, dark horse. This is more of a pick from the heart than it is from the brain, I know. But if he could find a way to play points like this, then he’s got a legitimate shot.
The Farmer’s Classic might be small on the venue and light on the ranking points, but it’s big on being fan friendly and heavy on the level of tennis. I’ve been at this event for the past couple years and have seen some high quality matches and points. As the official retailer for the tournament, Tennis Warehouse will be here for at least the next couple years, and hopefully, so will I. So come on by and say hi to the TW crew at our tent, get yourself a ridiculously overpriced burger, and watch some of the world’s best tennis players duke it out.
Have any of you made it out to LA for the tournament? What have been some of your experiences?
Jason “J Hua, The Forehand, J” Huang