Shanghai, the big city it is, has the advantage of attracting very cool events. From sports to some of the biggest acts in the performing arts (classical, pop or otherwise), there is usually rumor of someone coming and quite a few events happening. Among the sporting events that occur in Shanghai every year there is the Shanghai Masters (men’s tennis). Pretty much the biggest names in tennis play this tournament, considered one of the last big ones of the year. It also has a pretty impressive prize for the winner (about 4 million dollars – wow!)
Since we don’t know what will be next for us in terms of living situations, if it’s an experience we have the chance to live in Shanghai and it’s a big enough deal, we’ll go (provided we can afford it – some we simply can’t). I’ve been interested in tennis since about age 6 or 7 (the glorious years of Monica Seles and Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff), so, while we knew that on opening day we were not going to see anyone big (I was quite bummed when I found out that Victor Estrella – Dominican, and ranked in the 60s worldwide – was playing on Monday. I would have brought my Dominican flag along), we still thought going to a big tournament would be a fun experience. And it was.
You basically get a ticket for the day and you can go watch as many games as you want. We watched two or so – it was a school night, give us a break. The tennis complex is very nice – but wayyyyy out there! Probably a good hour and a half from our home, with two cab rides and a train ride with a transfer. A bit much. Schedule is posted outside and you can decide which games you want to watch. I was surprised to see so many small children – there always seem to be a lot of small children everywhere in China; I sometimes don’t understand the talk about this country having a population problem. However, I have to say it was all civilized and no one was being gross or distracting with their cell phones or selfie sticks.
It was a beautiful, sunny fall day in Shanghai, perfect for sitting outside and watching the game. It was a bit sunny at first, which made our jackets unnecessary, but quite enjoyable. By the end of the day, air quality wasn’t very good, so the sunset was quite taking. You can see it, along with some court pictures, below.