Saab have been the main sponsor of the Swedish Open tennis tournament for the last 25 years. That all changed this year of course, because of our current circumstances, but our initial commitment to the tournament some time earlier meant that we were still able to have a presence there.
The ladies singles and doubles finals took place earlier today and I was there to see the show.
The tournament is held in a small, beautiful seaside town called Båstad (Aussie/Swedish pronunciation: Boh-stahd). Apparently the numbers in the town swell by around 80,000 over the two weeks of the tournament, which is why Saab like to be there. Accommodation is booked out in the region as the beautiful people from Stockholm head west and the Goteborgers (my term for them) head south to mingle and mix amid the heat and the bouncing balls.
The weather gods turned on a glorious day today and the social set really did get value for their money. The tennis was pretty good, too.
That’s the eventual ladies champion, Polona Hercog from Slovenia, serving to local favourite and runner-up, Johanna Larsson. Hercog really did seem to have Larsson’s measure for most of the match, but the Swede did make a late comeback with a break in the second set, but used up too much energy in doing so and was flat in the final game. The final score was 6-4, 7-5.
So aside from that little courtside naming banner to the left of Polena, what else did Saab have on show?
There were a number of Saab 9-5’s being used as courtesy cars at the tournament. We saw these in action but didn’t have the camera around at the time. Needless to say they were looking pretty smart.
Saab also had a 9-4x Aero on display just outside the centercourt area……
…..as well as a 9-3 Independence Edition Convertible looking over the main court area. I’m still trying to figure out how they got it there…..
That photo was taken during the ladies doubles final, inevitably won by a Spanish team. Two Spanish teams were fighting it out in the final and the lack of a local contestant probably lowered the crowd numbers.
The doubles final provided me with an opportunity to realise a long-held childhood dream (OK, not really) – being a ballboy at a national tournament:
The Swedish Open is a little different from some tournaments in that the women’s tournament is held one week earlier than the mens. There are only a limited number of courts at Båstad so there are only a small number of players in each of the womens and mens tournaments, too.
Now that the women are done, the men will begin work tomorrow.
As we were driving home from Båstad, a quick look in the side mirror told me there was an extremely handsome SUV coming up behind me. I moved over to let a very nice, Silver Saab 9-4x pass by at a reasonable rate of knots. The car took off ahead and I figured that was probably the last I’d see of it.
Little did I know the driver, one of our product marketing team, would be getting hungry around the same time as we were…….
That’s my car on the left, and quite possibly my future car on the right 🙂
A Saab 9-4x sighting on top of a perfect day’s outing at the tennis. Can you ask for anything more?