Welcome to Tennis & Travels, a new column that applauds the readers who do decide to combine business with pleasure. Because life is short, and you should travel and play tennis—maybe even do both at once.
Maybe it doesn’t look like it, but winter is on its last breath.
Really, it’s true. This year, spring equinox falls on March 20; that’s less than three weeks away, meaning that we’re left with fewer than three weeks of winter. Wouhou, right?
There’ll still be snow on the ground, even as the calendar turns to spring, so maybe don’t head to the closest tennis club of your neighbourhood just yet—but yep, winter isn’t here to stay for too long.
In turn, this means that the tennis calendar will soon turn to the clay court season for the most important and intense part of the year in what always amounts to a five-month sprint all the way to the US Open.
But before we arrive in Flushing Meadows, the first big stop is in France for the 2016 French Open, the second Grand Slam of this season.
This season, all eyes will (again) be on whether Novak Djokovic can finally win his first Roland Garros title and thus complete the career Grand Slam. We’ll discuss this in time but for now let’s highlight some of the packages you get if you choose to travel to Paris in May with Grand Slam Tennis Tours.
More specifically, the folks at GSTT give you your choice of five-night packages and whether you want to sit at Philippe Chatrier for what rounds—and really, there’s a choice of packages for every round of the event, from the opening rounds to the women’s and men’s finals.
In every instance, you get to decide whether you want category 2, category 1 or loge tickets, which range in price from $3,325 for category 2 opening rounds tickets to $11,250 for loge tickets to both finals.
Even cooler, right?
Regardless of what choice you make, you’ll have prime seats for what may be the sport’s most physically demanding event. At night, you’ll also get to sleep at W Paris-Opéra, a choice hotel with a choice location near the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Also regardless of your choice, the sample itinerary will be similar to this. On the day of your arrival, you will be led to your hotel room and then offered to eat dinner at a classic restaurant of Paris—they’re a dime a dozen, but in a good way—while meeting the GSTT staff, other tennis fans like you and, oh did we mention past Grand Slam champions? Because, yep, the latter happens.
Days 2, 3 and 4 are dedicated to the main reason of your trip, to watch the sport that you love and marvel at the excellence of every single tennis pro that steps foot on the clay courts.
On your last day, you leave tennis behind and head out to the city, touring possibly the world’s most famous city. You’re in Paris, be a tourist.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG