Pro tennis storms into town next week with the Stowe Mountain Classic, and Grand Slam Tennis Tours has put together a guide to help spectators get the most out of the event and catch the pros in action, whether it’s on the court or around town.
Seven of the world’s top men’s tennis players, to prepare for the U.S. Open, which takes place the following week in New York.
When will they arrive?
The first players will begin arriving on Thursday and Friday, and the rest will arrive over the weekend. Most are coming in directly after the Cincinnati Masters event and spending time in Stowe before they head down to New York for the U.S. Open.
Where’s the best place to catch a glimpse of them up-close?
Besides on court at Spruce Peak Stadium on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 22-24, the Stowe High School courts have been resurfaced and will serve as the official practice courts of the event. Practice schedules are typically confirmed the day before, and @mytennisticket will post schedule updates on Twitter. Other good bets are at Idletyme Brewing on Wednesday evening for the post-match party, and maybe at Stowe Bowl as these guys try to unwind with a game or two.
What if I want to play tennis myself?
You’re in luck! No, you can’t play with the pros, but the Stowe UTR (Universal Tennis Rating) event is taking place at Stowe Tennis Club Aug. 21 to 23. The event is open to the public, and UTR events are age- and gender-blind, meaning any age, any gender, and any level of player can join the fun. Learn more and sign up at stowetennis.com/utr-tournament.html.
How will I know a pro player when I see him?
There’s no way to know for sure, but if you see someone very tall and fit, wearing tennis gear and walking around with a sock-tan on his ankles, there’s a good chance it’s a pro. If they have one forearm that looks more developed then their other one, it’s definitely a pro.
Anything else fun going on during the tournament?
There’s a VIP Player Party taking place on Monday evening for players and VIP pass-holders, then Idletyme Brewing Co. will host a post-match party on Wednesday evening, where some players will definitely swing by to take on challengers in cornhole.
Are there good options for food and drink, or should I pack a picnic?
Picnics are nice, but there are some great food and drink options up at the tournament too. Food options range from barbecue to Mediterranean to tacos, plus a kettle-corn truck. Drinks are courtesy of Idletyme Brewing Co., with signature cocktails by Vermont’s own Caledonia Spirits/Barr Hill and WhistlePig Whiskey.
Should we bring anything special to watch the matches?
You should bring a hat and wear sunscreen, and maybe also a light jacket in case it cools down later into the evening. A camera and water bottle are good ideas, as is a Sharpie marker for autographs.