Fans at the Shanghai Rolex Masters are in for the ultimate tennis experience!
In addition to watching world-class tennis in the 14,000+ seat Center Court with its striking eight “petal” retractable roof making it one of the most recognizable tennis stadiums anywhere, fans can see all the big-name players on two more show courts seating an additional 6,000 fans.
Die-hard fans of the game, though, know to wander the outside courts, featuring four match courts and twelve practice courts. With seats just meters away from play, fans can get a real-time perspective of just how fast and accurate the players can hit the ball, an experience simply not possible through a TV screen.
During practice, it’s not unusual to see a rally lasting 20-30 strokes or a spirited practice set or two. Lucky fans yesterday had a courtside view of a repeat of the US Open finals, with Novak Djokovic practicing with Stan Wawrinka or crowd favorite Juan Martin Del Potro hitting with China’s no. 1, Zhang Ze. Doubles fans can get up close and personal with the top two teams such as Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares or the legendary Bryan brothers, practicing just a few courts apart.
Fans looking for an autograph can hang just outside the player’s entrance, or if selfies are your thing, Novak Djokovic is always available… albeit in the form of a racquet-wielding terracotta warrior just outside the Hospitality Pavilion. Maybe even dive in there for a quick pizza, burger or maybe a salad or a delicious wrap.
Virtual reality seems to be the theme of the entertainment areas this year, with opportunities for fans to test out VR goggles, slicing up fruit with virtual Samurai swords, drive race cars, or of course, play virtual tennis! Old school fans will enjoy games of skill with actual racquets and balls. If you can serve like Milos Raonic, head on over to the speed serving booth and snag a prize for serving over 100 kph!
For more lasting memories of the tournament, the Retail Pavilion is where it’s at. Fans can pick up official souvenirs or the latest in tennis gear from a variety of high-end brands.
Interested in culture? Look no further than The Miniature World of Chunshen (another name for Shanghai), showcasing miniatures of ancient buildings, traditional Chinese musical instruments and carved porcelain. On display is an incredibly detailed, completely hand-made miniature of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, with the artist on hand to explain the process.
Come for the tennis, but stay for everything else because there’s something for everyone at the Shanghai Rolex Masters!