|View from my seat at the club court|
|Barbora Zahlavova Strycova knocks the clay from her shoes|
As attractive as this scene is, however, fans will tell you they are drawn to the club court because of the sense of intimacy they experience there. Every seat is good, but if you're sitting at or near the front, you can easily lose yourself in the rhythm of the match being played. You can see the players' facial expressions clearly, hear them speak, see the twitching of their leg muscles under towels during changeovers.
The sound of tennis shoes sliding across clay is prominent on the club court, and perhaps nowhere else at the tournament is the sound of the ball being struck against the racquet strings as satisfying as it is when you hear it on Althea Gibson.
Sitting in the stands in the club court, I can let my senses take over. The weave of the fabric on the players' skirts, the opponents' increasingly labored breathing, the smudges on the baseline--all of these elements, plus the verdancy of the environment, allow me to absorb the tennis, rather than just watch it. I've never checked, but I rather suspect that the very rate of my breathing adapts to the pace of the ball as it bounces off of the green clay.