Especially when it comes to fine wine and good food
Results are in from Uniprix Stadium where it was "The Swiss Miss" Martina Hingis against Ana Ivanovic (six-foot and Serbian) in the 2006 Roger's Cup championship final, which didn't get decided until Monday because of weekend rain. I enjoyed waiting to see the Serb pounce on a few too many puffballs served up by her opponent. Ivanovic cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory in under an hour. It made Jennifer Capriati's wins over Hingis seem overly complicated and drawn out.
Having spent six consecutive 12-hour days on the tournament site at Jarry Park and then returning a final time to see the trophy match, I got a real good first-hand look at what it's like to eat on the road, away from home. Though tennis might be considered a game of privilege the food and beverage services surrounding this stop of WTA Tour was certainly no splendid repast (maybe that's what five-star hotels are good for). I, like some of the smarter travelling athletes, found that it was best to plan ahead and customize meals to some degree. It sure beat having to run to the snack bar. The threat of fast food was always there but you mustn't be fooled! That $12.75 hot dog with chips ain't gourmet -- only its price is.
EGOS AND ALLERGIES
Montreal's eventual champ Ana had an allergic reaction to something she ate on the first day she entered the grounds to practice. As I snapped photos of her technique, she stopped hitting to talk to her coach. "I have bumps on my lips" she said as she sat down. Her trainer looked at her swollen mouth. "Looks like an allergy," he replied, not too panicked to withdraw (wise idea since she would be the eventual winner of the tourney where umpteen others had already scratched out). "Or like a pimple?" Ana uptalked, half bemused, half disgusted.
I'd be disgusted if I had eat on location every day during the tournament. I've seen what some of the food is like, and even in the luxury boxes strewn around the courts and in the player's salon, I knew I could do better. And I did. I expect to share a few posts on how I ate and drank over the course of the tournament last week. Hopefully, some people will find it useful and I'll make up for my blogging absence at the same time.
HOW TO SPECTATE IN STYLE
Before I post the full details on my vacation surrounded by asphalt, here are some general key pointers for roving wining & dining, especially in stadium situations:
- Choose plastic, not glass
- Get thermal
- Pre-slice your food