72 Unforced Hours at the US Open







One day I hope The High Line gets extended all the way to Flushing. How great would that be (apart from complete exhaustion). I took to the water instead aboard the Delta Tennis Taxi which may cost $1 or may be free, but either way you have to make a reservation online and then – this part is very important – print out your ticket. My two media savvy friends and I tried to board with our iPhones and a pdf of the ticket and were told that was unacceptable. Our cause was helped when a couple holding a baby also tried to use their phones as a boarding pass. How can you turn away a baby? The ride turned out to be enjoyable but considering the “taxi” is sponsored by Delta, shouldn’t you be able to board their planes the same way as you board a boat?

Anyhow, I spent the first three days at the US Open the wrong way. In other words, as impatiently as possible which means I would stay for a few games and head to another court instead of waiting for the match to get interesting. I ended up watching only one complete match and a bunch of pieces of others. It’s sort of like pro set tennis from a viewing perspective.

Kids Day May Have Been Cancelled But Those Brats are Everywhere!

Wasn’t this supposed to be the year of the senior on the WTA tour? Apart from old lady Serena Williams, the big story at the Open has been the youngsters. I couldn’t avoid watching Heather Watson, Coco Vandeweghe, Christina McHale and Madison Keys. They each impressed me for parts of the match; McHale managed to hold my attention for the entire thing.

Is that the present you like best? Then that’s the present you can keep.

After watching Christina blow a big lead in Paris and then get blown off the court in Rome by Francesca Schiavone, I figured her wins over Sveta Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki were probably big gifts. Or, she caught them on a bad day. But McHale is a very deliberate player and watching her stick to a game plan for an entire match against a hard court specialist like Marion Bartoli was really impressive.

Svetlana Kuznetsova Needs to Clean House

In Sydney this year, Kuznetsova mentioned she often feel burdened by having “too many options.” So, what could be better than having two people give her advice? I sat behind Larisa Neiland nee Savchenko, Anastasia Myskina, a very large Louis Vuitton bag and their dueling plumber’s cracks while watching Sveta take down tricky Sara Errani. Although I appreciate watching a player of Sveta’s caliber on the under-appreciated Court 4 (great light and picturesque backdrop), I’d love to see Sveta block everything out, Louis Vuitton included and just get back to winning. Now is definitely the time. Also, is it just me, or does Sveta’s outfit kind of remind you of Ivan Lendl circa 1985?

Notes on Tennis Fandom

Running commentary during a match is always helpful, especially if delivered as if you were coaching and or playing the match yourself. Rhythmic clapping during replays is fun! Moving seats at 5-5 to get closer to the exit is a great idea. Screaming a word or two in a player’s language really gets them motivated. Giving specifics about where you are seated and/or what you are wearing while talking on the phone during the match is a fun way to meet new friends. Bringing food like stinky dried fish or heavily mayonnaised sandwiches in the hot sun is a perfect way to make your neighbors hungry. When looking for your seat, make sure you look for it right around match point and also make sure you’re standing in the way of at least half the people in your section.

Andy Says Commentators Have an Easy Job, so Why Do So Many of Them Suck?

Or, maybe I’m just talking about the annoying announcer guy who appears on court to interview players. I don’t know his name but would someone get him some notes from 2011? After Samantha Stosur beat Vandeweghe, the guy came on court and asked Stosur if it helped her to stay focused because she won the 2005 US Open doubles. He then said, “Doubles sensation Stosur is now making a name for herself in the singles competition!” Yikes.

Last night I caught the end of the Maria Sharapova match just as Pam Shriver was asking Maria questions on court. Maria got permission from the crowd to tell Pam to shut up and let her hit some balls into the stands. But when Pam got down low on court to avoid being nailed by Maria, the guy in the booth (again, no idea who it was) said something like, “Pam’s getting down low, just like in a sauna.” Am I making this up? Did I hear this? If I did, what does that mean?

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