Tuesday, September 08, 2015

TENNIS TUESDAY: A Short Photo Essay On My Labor Day Trip To The U.S. Open

Fourth Round match between Kevin Anderson and Andy Murray
This shot is taken from Section 111 (right next to the ESPN commentators booth). I arrived during the middle set of the Halep-Lisicki match and basically every seat in the stadium (including the one I had paid for!) was taken. I waited until Halep won the second set and then kicked the person out of my seat. Then I proceeded to sit there through the last set of the women's match (which Halep won 6-7 7-5 6-2) and the first  three sets of the Murray-Anderson match (which took well over three-and-a-half hours). The tennis was excellent, and I was quite impressed with Anderson's two-handed backhand and his ability to move for a 6-foot-8 guy. I was also impressed by Halep's grit fighting through physical difficulties herself even as Lisicki started cramping at 2-all in the final set. He is much more than just a huge serve and  a big forehand; moves about as well as Del Potro. Like the Argentinean, Anderson can crush the ball. The forehand winner he hit at 6-5 in the first set tiebreak was clocked at 108 miles per hour!

Shot of Section 111 (where I sat  for the Murray-Anderson match)
showing how empty the stadium was for the Berdych-Gasquet
I left the court at the end of the third set tiebreak (which Murray won) to give my aching bladder some relief and to try, recharge my iPhone at the American Express lounge (they have portable mophie chargers for cardmembers) and see if I could see some of the Federer match on the big screen. Every screen was showing the last set of the Murray-Anderson match so I saw the last few games and the tiebreak on the 60" TV screen in the Amex Cardmembers upstairs lounge.
Courtside shot of Richard Gasquet in his 4th Round
match against Tomas Berdych
I went and got some food and a drink and by this time the Federer match was on the big screens outside (it was 9pm so the lounge was closed). After Federer won the first set (curiously by the same score that Anderson won his tiebreak less than 30 minutes before--7-0) I went back to Louis Armstrong, which was like a ghost town. Berdych had won the first set 6-2 but the second set was starting. There were announcements that only Day session reserved seat holders were being let in but no one checked my ticket and I walked in and in a few minutes was sitting courtside near the right-hand baseline (from the perspective of the umpire). It was a great perspective to see the amazing talent and skill of both Gasquet and Berdych. I saw the second and third sets of the Berdych-Gasquet match and then around 11:15pm I had had enough tennis and left the courts. While on the 7 train back to Manhattan I got notification on my phone that Gasquet and Federer had closed out their matches.

It was a great experience, it will be interesting to see how next year is different since they are changing the Louis Armsrong stadum and moving Grandstand to over by Court 17, to make two "small show courts" and two "large show courts" (Ashe and Armstrong).

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