When Andy Roddick retired after the US Open in 2012, I stopped watching tennis. When the grand slam events came around after that, I would just ask my husband, the true sports fan in the family, about who were playing or who had won. Occasionally, I caught glimpses of a semis or finals game. I think I did watch the historic Wimbledon 2013 final, when Andy Murray finally satisfied Britain’s 77-year hunger for a homegrown champion.

After going to the International Premier Tennis League Manila leg for three straight days last weekend (November 28-30), I’ve rediscovered the fun and excitement of watching great tennis. Despite having to drive through horrendous traffic and watching from the nosebleed section (better seats were expensive!), it was a fantastic, memorable experience.  For about six hours a day, three days in a row, with a ticket that cost less than US$100, I was able to see about 24 professional tennis players, including several top-ranked superstars, play some great tennis. Some of the games were even more fun to watch because the players were obviously having fun, smiling, joking and even dancing! (I’m now a fan of the Treat HueyJo-Wilfried Tsonga dynamic duo and the entertaining Gael Monfils! And, like most of the crowd, I was so happy to finally see Andy Murray win his mixed doubles and singles matches on the last day!)

My favorite moments during the Manila leg of the tournament:

I’m guessing that most of the people who came to the IPTL event were thinking what my husband and I thought – this might be the closest thing Manila will have to an ATP event. Hopefully, this won’t be the last for Manila, so Filipino tennis fans can repeat the experience, but hopefully with less traffic and in better (more affordable) seats.

Till then, this IPTL has me checking game results on Twitter (and cheering on the Manila Mavericks!) and reading up on tennis again. :)