A Rainy Day at the Rome Masters

Roger Federer

Wednesday at the Rome Masters 2019

It seems as though the tennis gods were punishing the FIT’s (Italian Tennis Federation) decision for doubling their ticket prices because of Federer’s surprise announcement to play the Rome Masters. It was a war waged between the gods and the tournament organisers, with the tennis fans and players being the biggest casualties.

I was “lucky” enough to attend the 2019 Rome Masters today with the weather being absolutely horrible. The gods decided to cast non-stop light showers throughout the day. Literally non-stop. And it seemed as though the tournament organisers decided to win this war by postponing the playing time, hour after hour, until the gods ran out of rain.

Thankfully, I did not spend the whole day waiting at the Foro Italico. I did sightseeing earlier in the morning in the rain and arrived on site (Foro Italico) in the afternoon. And was still hopeful that it would clear up later in the day. Hour after hour, I sat patiently in the Nike shop at the Foro Italico, with many other tennis fans. We were all waiting for the official updates say if play was cancelled for the day (it did not look like the rain was going to stop any time soon), so we could all go spend our time doing something much more productive than sitting around waiting. Sadly, this was not the case, and the following is what happened…

Refund Policy 

After nearly 9 hours of constant postponement, play was cancelled at 8pm. I was curious why the FIT constantly gave false hope to both the fans and the players that there would eventually be play. Upon further investigation, this was simply because the FIT did not want to give refunds back to the fans. Especially when they doubled their prices for that day. So they had to keep pushing back the time, in the hope that even if a single point was played, they did not need to provide a full refund for the fans as it states on their ticketing policy.

Initially, the ticketing refund policy was that there were to be no refunds whatsoever. And that ticket-holders for today would possibly need new tickets if they were planning to attend tomorrow. And for people who could not make it? The tournament would accommodate by giving tickets for next year (no, not a typo). As a fan that is not from Italy, the chances of me even being here next year are slim.

However, later it seemed as though, the tennis organisers had decided to have some mercy for the fans, and stated that today’s ticket holders can access the ground for the next day on a limited basis.

“Ticket holders for Wednesday will be able to access the grounds to watch the first two matches on Centre Court and Grandstand (starting at 10am). While those members of the public with tickets for Thursday will be able to watch the matches scheduled from 1pm. Wednesday ticket holders who are unable to use their tickets tomorrow will be able to ask for a refund.”

Conclusion

The biggest losers today are arguably Marco Cecchinato and Phillipp Kohlschreiber. Their match was originally supposed to be completed yesterday (Tuesday), which was moved to today (Wednesday), and will now be moved to tomorrow (Thursday). The winner of that match will also have to, most likely, play Djokovic later in the day.

To finish, Thursday will be a hectic day here in Rome. The majority of players will need to play two matches in one day to keep their tournament hopes alive and the fans will need to be alert on the matches coming up on the courts.

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