We got to watch each one of our heroes play over the course of our three days at the Open – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of the first week – so all is chaos and mayhem, dashing madly from one match to another, getting lots of exercise running up and down steps in the various stadia.
We made an effort to catch all the rising American stars – saw Coco Vandeweghe win over Alberta Briani of Italy, Madison Keys take a set from Czech Lucie Safarova, Sloane Stephens take on Shahar Peer, Vania King against Jarmila Gajdosova, and couldn’t get into the Grandstand to see Christina McHale eliminate Marion Bartoli. Don’t worry about the future of women’s tennis after the Williams sisters move on. They have inspired an entire new generation.
Accidentally saw most of a terrific match between two American guys who are looking to make their mark – Alex Bogomolov, Jr. vs Steve Johnson. Saw 18-year-0ld Jack Sock win against a canny Marc Gicquel. Watched Roger Federer beat Dudi Sela, just for the pleasure of watching The Fed, and Serena dismantle Michaella Krajicek.
Saw two unsettling matches – Andy Roddick winning against Michael Russell, whom I’d never heard of. Strange guy, strange clothes, strange style of play. And Roddick couldn’t figure him out. I kept expecting Andy to just start to play his own game, and wipe Russell off the court. Andy won, but not by much. Never did play his own game.
The other was Novak Djokovic, #1 in the world, having a fabulous year, against a guy who is listed at #74 in the world. Carlos Berlocq played like he was #974. A lot of folk in the stands thought it was a joke, a setup – some wanted their money back. The Djoker didn’t know quite what to do. Carlos whiffed balls, hit into the net on most points in the first set – it was awful. Two sets bageled, and then finally Carlos managed (or the Djoker lightened up, perhaps from stifling laughter) 2 games in the third.
Center court in Arthur Ashe Stadium is a wild place for a tennis match – people throwing tshirts and other prizes into the crowd, winners of trips being announced, celebrities on the screen, folk dancing when the camera turns on them. Wow.
p s On Friday, we got a nice hit of Manhattan, taking the train into Grand Central, walking up Fifth Avenue to the Plaza for lunch. Then back to the hotel for the airport shuttle and our short flight home. Sigh…..