Edy at the US Open
This was my third visit to the US Open having been here in 2006/7. A lot has changed since I was here, the new Chase center(smash zone) on the left as you enter through the East gate is just one of the newly added features to the tennis center. The biggest change has been the addition of court 17. It’s a mini grand stand and, I must say, very intimate. You get so close to the action. Reminded me of watching a club championship as I watched Karlovic and Dolgopolov fight for a chance to play Novak Djokovic in the next round.
The best time to go to any ATP event is the the first few days because you get to see a lot of players. This time I chose to go the Open during the labor day weekend. Naturally, the first player I wanted to see was Rafa. Unfortunately he was not scheduled to play on this Saturday. It didn’t bother me because I knew where to find him, the practice courts. I could tell by the crowd of people around the practice courts that there should a top seed playing there. My first sighting of uncle Toni picking up balls, confirmed my suspicion. There he was, Rafa having an intense practice session with Feliciano Lopez. The practice courts at the US Open do not have the easiest viewing for the fans. The courts are lined up in such a way that you can only view from one side, or you can try and craw under the hedges covering the fence on the other side. I slowly squeezed through the crowd of fans and being 6’3″ kind of gave me a bird’s eye view standing on those bleachers. Armed With my Canon in hand I set out taking pictures. It was time for a break, and I think Rafa loves the attention he gets whenever he changes his shirt. The crowd went crazy as took off his shirt. Then he sat down to cool off in the shade. There was David Ferrer hitting with Andy Murray on the next court; Serena and her entourage on the other courts. Nole played after Rafa had left; he decided to use the court that was further away from the fans. They couldn’t hide their frustration and most of them left. I had a sneek at Sloane Stephens get ready for her match on Arthur Ashe. I thought she looked set to pull off another upset on Ivanovic, but that was not the case. I guess the occassion was too big to handle.
I had taken enough Rafa pics and it was time to scout for more players on the grounds. Walking past court 13, I heard this guy talking on the phone telling his buddy that he is actually watching Nadal and Roger practice. I just laughed. When you are at the USO all your friends will believe what you tell them…haha. Anyways, I watched the end of Serena and Victoria Azarenka on Ashe. I was surprised how many people were rooting for Azarenka. I thought to myself, I thought Americans have been crying at how doomed American tennis was and here is their celebrated champion playing and they won’t cheer for her?
Next up was the Tsonga/Vedasco match on grandstand. I got there in time to watch Pico(Juan Monaco) end Tommy Hass’ come back attempt on the ATP. Great run for Monaco who was reminded his next opponent was Federer. It didn’t seem to move him. Little did he know what was awaiting him. Federer may not have won a major this year but he is still way up there with Rafa and Nole. Am still ticked off about his loss to Nole.
Time was flying so quick; too many matches very little time. It was time to wind down and hit the Red Star cafe. This is my favorite hang out at the US Open. I get to enjoy the match on the screens while I down those Heneikens with the other tennis fans. Of all the ATP tournaments I been to this year, I think Miami was the best. The New York city experience can be too much sometimes; I prefer the South Beach madness. I can’t wait to get back there next year though Wimbledon is on the top of the list for next year. I hope the ladies enjoy the shirtless pics.