Tennis enthusiasts essentially mark the year not with seasons but with the four different tournaments that compose the Grand Slam. The Australian Open (January), French Open (May/June), Wimbledon (June/July) and the US Open (August/September). Spread across three different continents this can involve extensive travel for those planning on attending any or all of the tournaments. Traveling tennis lovers get the joys of enjoying world class sporting events while experiencing the best of every location.
The Australian Open is held in Melbourne Park and offers a variety of entertainment, history, and nature experiences nearby. Tennis travelers should plan extra time to include some of the exquisite attractions outside of the tennis courts, or stagger their day to catch must-see matches between their exciting outings. In Melbourne history-loving shoppers should check out the Queen Victoria Market, opened in 1897, which offers cooking class, food tours, and shopping for many unique, local items. Luxury shoppers should also check out Crown Entertainment which features luxury hotels, upscale shopping, fine-dining that is both award-winning and internationally recognized, and posh nightlife. National Gallery of Victoria and Werribee Mansion will round out the trip, and for those worried about missing a minute of tennis downloading the Live Score Tennis app will provide up to minute match information as well as historical details and statistics.
Clay courts are a defining characteristic of this tournament, as it is the only one of the Grand Slam series to feature clay courts. Due to the change in the way the ball bounces off of the clay courts the French Open winners are not always the same players who thrive in the other tournaments. Springtime in Paris is busy as many visitors enjoy experiencing the abundance blooms and warm weather, and provides an ideal backdrop for those attending the French Open. Art lovers and collectors have their pick of museums, but the Belleville Artists Open House typically overlaps with part of the tournament and allows visitors to interact with the artists firsthand before procuring a most sophisticated souvenir. The Stade Roland Garros, where the French Open is held, is slated for an expansion by 2018 which will bring it up to the size of other Grand Slam venues and add a retractable roof for one of the courts. In the meantime, guests who are excited for the expansion can stay in super-sized accommodations by renting luxury apartments or spoil themselves with the service of high-end hotels in the City of Lights. Download the official French Open app, updated each year, to get live coverage, schedules, events, photos and even background information on the players.
Wimbledon also has their own app that lets users have full insight into the many events, matches, players and everything else that composes this summertime tournament. Located in southwest London, Wimbledon attendees get the best of the refined English countryside along with the modern city of London. Take in the sights around Wimbledon on popular horseback tours for an unforgettable experience. Leave time to explore the rest of London, where ladies can shop for whimsical hats and fascinators in the style of the trendiest Royals. The London Eye is always a must for taking in the best views of the city as is a visit to any of the palaces and lush gardens that define London.
Wrapping up the Grand Slam Series for the year is the US Open held in Queens New York. The inner courts are blue at the US Open which allows for easier spotting of the tennis balls, especially when matches are broadcast. Similarly to the other host cities for Grand Slam series, New York offers an extensive array of high-class art and culture along with an amazing city of shopping and events. Hardcore tennis fans can plan an extended stay to enjoy time dining, shopping, and experiencing the culture packed city, while others can carefully balance the mix of tennis and world-class attractions. Opting for the famous New York luxury hotels ensures spacious suites and superior service that leaves fans rested and pampered to attend the tournament. A car ride will quickly deliver attendees to the courts and take them back to explore such gems as the architectural beauty of the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station, as well as the shopping along 5th Avenue and shows of Broadway. The Grand Slam app will keep tennis lovers up-to-date on the previous three tournaments while staying in tune to the final tournaments of the year.
Once the year is over, tennis fans begin building up their enthusiasm for the following year. Plan hotels, dining and other attractions by exploring helpful apps such as Luxury Hotels of the World and World Explorer, while also keeping notes from the highlights of this year’s tennis travels.
Aaron Mills is a travel writer who blogs on behalf of car rental insurance brand Protect Your Bubble.