7 Stunning Days in Barcelona: On the Road with Elite Tennis & Travel
For Adriana Isaza, the marriage of tennis and Latin culture was a natural fit. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Adriana hit the tennis circuit at a very young age: by 16, she was the Colombian National Tennis Champion and her reign lasted for 4 years. She was an NCAA All American, and a Silver Medalist at the Pan American Games in 1987. Adriana brought her love of tennis and Latin culture to the New York metro area, where she has been coaching tennis and teaching Spanish for over 15 years. In 2014, she founded Elite Tennis and Travel (www.elitetennistravel.com) to share her dual passions with other tennis and culture enthusiasts.
This spring, Adriana teamed up with Wendy Gardiner, Director of Tennis at Chelsea Piers in CT, to customize the trip of a lifetime for the most adventurous players within Chelsea Piers’ membership. Nine intrepid tennis fans traveled to Spain, to enjoy the Barcelona Open and to experience the many wonders of Barcelona off the court – including personal tours of Gaudi’s iconic architectural masterpieces, exclusive shopping, wine tasting and touring the gorgeous Catalonian countryside.
The linchpin of the trip, of course, was the 3 days of tennis at the historic Real Club de Tennis Barcelona 1899. Says Adriana, “what I like about the Torneo Conde Godó
The avid doubles players in Wendy’s group studied the Bryan brothers intently and – with some cues from Adriana – picked up a few tips about doubles play. In larger venues, Adriana has introduced ‘virtual coaching’, in which she creates a Twitter feed to privately commentate the match, play by play, for her guests. “I love it when I can personalize the match for my group. For example, if I know that someone has a problem or question about their lob, I’ll make sure to point out good examples during the match. I think it helps them to build confidence and play better, when they see a professional employing strategies that they too are working on.”
The group was also keen to watch 3 consecutive days of Rafael Nadal, and kept their eyes peeled for sightings of him off the court and around town in Barcelona. Though Nadal never made a personal appearance, the ladies had a fine time looking for him at the W Hotel Barcelona (while sipping top-shelf sangria, of course). The group’s enthusiasm peaked when Nadal edged out Kei Nishikori (6-4, 7-5) for the 2016 title.
According to Wendy – whose wild popularity is largely due to the many thoughtful and creative events she prepares for her club members, “It was hands down the most fabulous trip! We were able to adjust the agenda on the fly, according to the desires of the group and the weather. Everyone on the trip has committed to going again next year, which speaks volumes, especially since the destination isn’t even finalized yet.”
But Adriana is, in fact, already preparing for the 2017 ATP Tour season: she’s already got trips locked in for both the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (April 2017) and the Italian Open (May 2017). Want to take your tennis on the international circuit? Contact Adriana at firstname.lastname@example.org.