One, if not the, perk of being the CEO of the All Court Tennis Club is that you get to watch and play a lot of tennis – although probably not as much you’d think! We’ve got our mobile app to fully launch, Train & Compete and Play & Watch events to run in multiple cities along with meeting brand collaborators and creatives – so, there’s a lot of office time!
That said, I was lucky enough to get along to our ATP Finals Play & Watch event in Turin over the weekend. We run several of these events a year around major tournaments and in cities where we have partnerships with racquets clubs. They’re a firm favourite with our members, who can take a fun, active vacation, playing at the private members club, hanging out with our other members and attending the ATP or WTA event. In 2024 we’re hitting up Miami (Miami Open), Madrid (Madrid Open), Paris (Roland Garros), NYC (US Open) and Turin (ATP Finals).
This year in Turin we watched Djokovic vs. Alcaraz in a much anticipated Saturday night semi-final. World No.1 vs. No. 2. Young Bull vs. Old Bull. Brains vs. Brawn. You get the idea. It was epic and Djokovic triumphed (again) in straight sets, pretty much rinsing and repeating the next day in the final to defeat the ‘local’ Italian lad Jannick Sinner.
Turin for a weekend during the ATP Finals is a real treat. Easy to get to (lots of direct flights from everywhere), close (under 2 hours from London), walkable (the city centre is compact – lots of excellent shopping and restaurants), and the food and wine… well, it is Piedmont!
We play at the La Stampa Sporting, our lovely partner club filled with lovely staff and a large local membership. On their books they’ve got Italian player, Lorenzo Sonego (ATP No.47 at the time of writing). This time we played on the indoor clay courts as the weather app (wrongly) predicted rain. I’m hoping next year that the weather will be as spectacular as it ended up being at the weekend – bright, clear and with the freshness that the nearby Graian Alps bring. If so, we could play on their colosseum inspired centre court. I have a strange desire to emulate a fellow Aussie and bellow out “are you NOT entertained” after making a passing shot (or probably missing one).
We had a wide range of members attending this year from semi-retired French venture-capitalists to recently graduated Cambridge AI experts. The level ranged from advanced beginner to advanced intermediate and seeing as we had coaches on hand and several courts, we split up and everyone played at their level.
Post tennis, it was back to our partner hotel – Hotel Victoria. Why there? It’s a great, eclectic, boutique hotel in itself but the best bit is the underground hammam. It houses an ice-cold plunge pool, steam room, sauna and heated pool, decked out in ancient Egyptian inspired tiles. Not what you’d expect shimmering under the streets of Turin but a fantastic treat to yourself after a hard court session (or night on the Barolo).
That leads me to Piedmont food and wine. I’m not one of those foodie people, granularly documenting meals on social media, so I didn’t snap my beef cheeks or egg-yolk based pasta dishes, but trust me then when I say this: Madame Piola for dinner and Kipling for lunch. Both maintained their consistent presentation of sumptuous local cuisine, mixed with an array of delicious wines at prices which would make any tennis travel enthusiast salivate.
But, for me, it’s not only about the fine dining when travelling. Being a purveyor of crisp flavours when I travel, I’m intrigued by how different countries and regions within countries market distinct flavours. Need I have been surprised …
Turin retains the ATP Finals for 2024 and 2025 – and the All Court Tennis Club is looking forward to hosting more Play & Watch events there and in other cities. I hope to see you at the next one! Check out our calendar and let us know if you’d like to come to one of our events. We’d love to see you there.