Andy Murray's Pilgrimage and the 10 Wildest Destinations for Fall Tennis

Sally YoungerContributor IISeptember 14, 2012

Valencia, Spain
Valencia, SpainJasper Juinen/Getty Images

Some may disguise their grief behind Tebow bodypaint or pull low their cheeseheads to hide the tears.

Others will forget their sorrow in that flask of zinfandel during the seventh inning stretch. Or finally get around to taking up hooliganism. 

For tennis fandom’s teeming masses yearning to eat brie, the close of the Majors is a melancholy Autumn rite. And for his long-suffering adherents, Andy Murray’s windswept breakthrough is an especially bittersweet finale.

Victory followed by a coverage fade.

Sure there’s the Tashkent Open. And smaller tourneys from Moscow to Kuala Lumpur. Barclays and Davis Cup finals also beckon.

But the Majors? The continent-hopping, fame-nursing, cash-gobbling Four Sisters of tennis? Nothing compares.

It’s Australia for a good time. Paris, the sophisticated one. Wimbledon’s got class, and Flushing is no cheap date.

But for fans who just can’t get enough, the following Slam-less schedule to seal 2012:

The Andy Murray Pilgrimage

Retrace the soldiering Scot’s road to glory by dropping in on the lesser-known tournaments that he won this time last year: The Thailand Open (Sept. 24 - 30), The Japan Open  (Oct. 1 - 7) and the Shanghai Rolex Masters (Oct. 8 - 14).



The Roger Roadie

Similar but for Roger Federer groupies, the itinerary includes the Swiss Indoors (Oct. 22-28) and the BNP Paribas Masters (Oct. 29 - Nov. 4).

Bewaring the China Open (Sept. 29 – Oct. 7)

Tomas Berdych and Agnieszka Radwanska are defending champs and the haul is almost $5 million . But watch the etiquette. House rules prohibit “asking about the score, expressing your dissidence with a decision, or cheering to a player in his or her presence.”

Remembering the Ladies at the Generali Linz (Oct. 8 -14)

A hard-court affair on the Danube. Unfortunately for Serena Williams’ supporters, she does not have a history of participation. Fortunately for her detractors, she does not have a history of participation.  Lindsay Davenport was the last American victor, back in 2001.

Crashing the Kremlin Cup (Oct. 15 - 21)

Quality tennis and a memorable t-shirt.

Borg Sighting at the Stockholm Open (Oct. 15 - 21)

The endlessly entertaining Gael Monfils is the defending champ.

End the month at the Valenica Open 500 (Oct. 22 - 28)

Players like David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro are lured to the Spanish venue, and it’s a million Euro take.

The action is plentiful for those who look for it. Or go find the bodypaint.