Saturday, February 12, 2011

US Open Report: Wish You Could Have Been There

After two days of intense anxiety about the possibility of Hurricane Earl wrecking our trip to the US Open, I was thrilled when I woke up last Friday to one of the best days of the year—bright sun, perfect temperature, practically no humidity and a slight breeze. Earl was a no show. So much for the weather forecasters.
My husband Gary and I have attended the U.S. Open for the past 12 years, usually on a bus trip. Our seats had always been top of the house—the last few rows of the top tier of Arthur Ashe stadium, which holds about 23,000 people. This year, our tickets, a gift from a cousin, took us to the best seats in the house, in my opinion. We were in the club level, close to the court, and at the end of it, rather than in the middle, which would have meant looking back and forth to follow the shots.
We saw three matches: Kaia Kanepi upset Jelena Jankovic. Maria Sharapova clobbered Beatrice Capra, 6-0, 6- 0—only to be beaten 2 days later by Caroline Wozniacki, the #1 seed. And we saw Roger Federer beat Paul Henri Mathieu, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. No surprise there.

However, there was so much wind that at one point that Jankovic, about to serve, battled verbally with thewind, and then thrust her arms up into the air and yelled, “St-o-pp! Jelena, you can battle an opponent, but you can’t battle Mother Nature, whose devilish whirling dervish dance was partly responsible for her losing battle against Kanepi, who won 6-2, 7-6, If you live in a region that is close enough to New York, going to the US Open is your best shot to see one of the major tournaments. My cousin flew in from Miami.

In many areas there are day trips organized by tennis clubs, townships and even public parks. I know three people who went on that kind of trip. I suggest that you explore those possibilities for next year. Costs are usually reasonable. I went with someone from Tennis Philly two different years. All in all it was a great day, which was capped off by this amusing experience:

Everyone enjoys bumping into a celebrity, but not necessarily this way. Leaving Arthur Ashe stadium, we took the elevators at the players entrance because I can’t walk down steps and other elevators were either too crowded or not working. So we dropped down to the ground level, where we walked out into the bright sun and breeze.

As we were walking toward the South Plaza, I was walking a foot or two away from my husband Gary, on his right. He stopped short because something was tugging at the hem of his left sleeve. The hook of a broken hanger had latched onto him. The perpetrator (a woman) and Gary both tugged a couple of times to try to free his sleeve, but the more they tugged, the more it hung in there. Finally, one of them moved forward and the shirt sleeve came free. Fortunately, it was a plastic hanger, and not a wire hanger, which would have pierced his sleeve.The woman was walking toward the player entrance with what looked like dry cleaning draped over her arm. She said Oh, and Gary said Oh, and they both laughed. Initially, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then I heard a familiar voice, looked around, and lo and behold, the perpetrator who had hooked Gary was……..Martina Navratilova. 

No comments: