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I love tennis!

written by REO Speedwagon

Hi friends, … I love tennis! I played for years, until more recently becoming more of a spectator. Meanwhile, my wife Lisa has rediscovered her love of the game and has attended the BNP Paribas, the so-called Fifth Major tournament in Indian Wells, CA, over the past few years. This year, my schedule lined up with that of the tournament, so Lisa and I drove out to the dessert to watch this beautiful game being played by the best players from around the world.

We saw three days of amazing tennis, my favorite match being Monday between the nineteen-year-old, number eight in the world, Denmark’s Holder Rune and three-time major champion from Switzerland, Stan Wawrinka. Stan is 37 years old, which translates to him being in the later phase of his tennis career. But he didn’t show anything but talent and toughness. After his gutsy victory over the young Dane, I managed to congratulate Wawrinka personally on a hard-fought match, and let him know how his win was inspirational for me and all the “upper demographic” folks in the crowd at the BNP.

I also got to meet former world number one, four-time major champion, and current Tennis Channel commentator Jim Courier. We had a few laughs, then Jim had to head up to the broadcast studio to work the late match in Stadium One, featuring present world number one, the nineteen-year-old wunderkind Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz.

Watching live tennis is much like seeing live concerts…there is simply nothing like it. I enjoy televised tennis matches, but to see these amazing athletes in person is a whole other level of excitement and entertainment. If you love tennis, do yourself a favor and get out to a live ATP event.

I stayed for as much tennis as humanly possible, but left for the Palm Springs, CA airport this morning, and headed out for Brookings, South Dakota, and the first show of this upcoming leg of REO’s 2023 tour. I just saw the boys in the band here at the hotel restaurant, and we are all chomping for the next ten days of rock and roll fun. We hope you come out and feel the joy, as we rock our way into the upper Midwest.

Much love…kc

Pictured left to right: tennis great Jim Courier, Lisa Cronin, me

PS. Hi friends, so as Lisa and I wandered the grounds outside the various tennis stadiums here at the BNP Paribas in Indian Wells, CA, we heard live rock music, and from a distance it sounded pretty good. As we got closer, my wife says, “Wait, is that John McEnroe?” The lead singer was slender, with silver hair, and was playing guitar lefty, and as usual, Lisa was right! So we hung out and listened to a few covers by the John McEnroe Band. John’s self-deprecating between-song banter and earnest performance was endearing; the crowd of tennis fans loved him. After their set, I approached the drummer, introduced myself, and asked if he could get John a message for me: “Please tell John that having spent thirty minutes listening to him sing, I feel he owes me at least half an hour of watching me play tennis!” … kc