Here is an article by Greg Bishop of the New York Times. He has been covering the Rogers Cup and he interviewed my boss, Norm Hartenstein, about the role of Players Services…that’s what I do!
Monthly Archives: August 2009
Every year, at the beginning of August, I get myself ready for a week and a half of 100% tennis. For the past four years, I have been volunteering my time at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. I am lucky enough to work at Players’ Services in the Players Lounge which means I get to see all the behind-the-scenes action and meet all the players. It is an amazing opportunity for a tennis fan. Of course, I’m not going to lie and say I like to see the best player win, I’d really like to see Roger Federer win…well, because he is the best! This year, we are extra lucky to have him on board since his wife Mirka just gave birth to twin girls two weeks ago! While she is staying all snug in a rented mansion in Westmount, Federer divides his time between sleep deprivation with the twins and practising on site for the tournament. Yesterday, he wasn’t able to take the normal route to the practice court since it was overwhelmed with tennis fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the Number 1 ranked player. He actually took an SUV less than 200 metres to the court…that’s just how cool he is. Of course, Nadal had to do the same thing.
As a member of the Players Services committee, my function is to do whatever I can for the players, whether it be getting tickets to the AC/DC concert (for Tsonga and Nadal), booking flights to the next tournament (in Cincinnati), or getting accreditation for a player’s entourage. Usually, when the men are in town, my job is low-key as they often take care of things themselves. It seems when the women are in Montreal, my job is a bit more hectic as they rely more on us than their coach or agent. To tell you the truth, I prefer the men, 1. because my job is easier, 2. some are really really good looking, 3. men’s tennis is in a great position whereas women’s tennis seems to faltering with the seeded players lacking consistency. Not considering a forecast of scattered showers for the week, I think this tournament is shaping up to be a great warmup to the US Open.
The Somali-born and Canadian-bred rapper K’Naan played to a packed MEG stage on Saturday. While the energy was high and his band rocked out, he took many an opportunity to speak of his home country Somalia and sometimes the concert seemed more like a political rally than a music set. He did, however, manage to play most songs off his new album “Troubadour” and when hit singles like “T.I.A.” and “ABCs” rang out, the crowd went wild. While most of his set seemed forced, K’Naan succeeded in enticing the crowd with his better known songs.
Kitty Daisy & Lewis
This ’50s-obsessed sibling trio only played a half hour set early in the first day but they still managed to gather a crowd and get people moving. Donned in typical ’50s attire, this band mixed swing, blues, and country successfully with an array of instruments from the standing bass, harmonica and piano to the lapsteel guitar. Kitty rocked out with a two-minute harmonica riff that got the small crowd screaming. For a short set early in the afternoon, Kitty Daisy & Lewis delivered.
As part of the Osheaga “en ville”, Think About Life played at Le National last night with DD/MM/YYYY and Dead Wife. I showed up at 20h (on time!) and about 10 people were in the room. I was worried. A group of women in heels, short skirts and Jagermeister tanktops were handing out tattoos, wristbands, and buttons as a promotional gig. I couldn’t help but gag. It did pick up a bit but the opening acts of DD/MM/YYYY and Dead Wife were relatively tame. Dead Wife did mosh in the “crowd” for a bit. Things got busier with the headliners Think About Life up next. While it’s not exactly my type of music, it was fun. They were upbeat and playful with the onlookers. They kept things going from one song to the next. This Montreal band has a lot going for them. (Apologies for the audio…note to self, do not stand directly next to the speakers!)