Date Night- The LA Tennis Challenge

LA Tennis Challenge

I made a vow when I started having kids that Max and I would have time for each other away from them! I attempt to set up a date night once a month, but in actuality we go out alone I would say every two to three months. Our first date night of 2013 was this past Monday. We are both tennis players and enjoy watching the professional circuit too. I was given complimentary tickets to the LA Tennis Challenge which was at UCLA (the University of California Los Angeles).

After kissing the kids goodbye and leaving them behind with their babysitter we headed to UCLA. Traffic was crazy so I was glad that for once that we were not running late. We walked into the Pauley Pavilion, the gym, and checked out the set up before grabbing a healthy dinner. Returning to the gym we showed an usher our tickets expecting to be sitting just below mid-gym. He said we were actually needed to take an elevator down to the floor. What the heck?!

Arriving to the floor we were ushered to our seats which were 5 rows from the floor. It was going to be a good night indeed! As the night wore on I spotted a few professional tennis players from the past: Mats Wilander (Sweden, my first tennis crush as a kid), Pam Shriver, and Paul Annacone while Max was much better at pointing out celebrities: Dr. Phil, Bruce Willis and Rainn Wilson to name a few.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the three matches which started out with James Blake (USA) and Tommy Haas (Germany). That match was followed by current world #1 Novak Djokovic (Serbia) and Marty Fish (USA). The night ended with a doubles match featuring the Bryan Brothers (Bob and Mike/USA) verses tennis legend Pete Sampras (USA) and Novak Djokovic. I loved being with Max sharing this fun evening which we both had so much fun at!

The event was held to show the world how much Los Angeles loves tennis since the local men’s tournament’s contract was not renewed. All players had portions of the proceeds going to their charities plus the universities tennis team benefited from the evening. It would be a shame to lose the only professional men’s tournament in LA because we always spend a day there by ourselves on a “daytime date” too. Being alone with Max, enjoying the tennis, enjoying the moment, that’s what it was all about.

Funny unexpected moments of the night included:

(1) One of the players hit the net so hard with a serve that it collapsed. It took a while for a new net to be put up and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the kids go down to court and play while the net was being fixed

(2) After Novak Djokovic was introduced to the crowd a group of Serbians who live in Los Angeles came out and did the traditional dance of their country. By the end of the dance he went over and joined them. That was a priceless moment for the joker that Novak has become.

(3) Towards the end of the last match the gym went dark, power outage! It was at about 50% dark in the gym and the players ended up continuing to play even though it wasn’t regulation lighting.

The dead net

Waiting to hit the ball

Collapsed tennis net & what followed…

Traditional Serbian Dancers

The Serbian dance group

Lights out!

Power outage!!

And here are a few more photos from our date night!

James Blake

Pete Sampras & Novak Djokavic

Mats Wilander

Some of the players on court and a Swedish tennis legend

Rainn Wilson

Dr. Phil

A few celebrities

LA Tennis Challenge

(day 89)


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