As noted in a previous post, I got my tickets from Rapid Fire Tickets. The trip down to Flushing Meadows was anything but rapid fire. It started with a six-hour drive to the National Tennis Center where I arrived at 3:30 – 4 1/2 hours after the matches started for the day (as bad as that was, it really was not as bad as I thought, but more on that later). It took almost an hour to go from Exit 18 of the Thruway to Exit 17 – Newburgh I84, where all Southbound traffic had to exit. Next thing I heard was “welcome to CitiField – parking is $19.” At this point, I wasn’t exactly excited about my day. All that started to change. First, I had to pick up the tickets at the NYJTL Will Call. I was the only one there at that time so I was in and out in less than a minute. I wanted to watch individual players – to see how they moved, how they hit and how they recovered. I was fortunate enough to get seats right on the baseline for just about every match. There, I could focus in on the player and how they moved and hit the ball. I did not get a draw sheet, so I did not know who was playing in advance .I just went to Arthur Ashe Stadium and checked the Matches in Progress. When I did go to my seats in Ashe – for a few games of the Maria Sharapova / Heather Watson match – I was quite pleased to be 30 rows lower than I was last year. I could actually see the players – Thanx Rapid Fire Tickets. Next, I went to the new stadium court – Court 17 to see Tommy Haas and Jonathan Dasnieres De Veigy play. I liked the new stadium court and the tennis was good. Back to Ashe for the Matches in Progress. There, I saw the Alejandro Falla was playing the #15 seed Viktor Troicki in the Grandstand so I headed on over. On the way I passed 12 guys in Black Suits, one of them was Mayor Bloomberg. Many of the local junior players are aware of the fact that Alejandro’s brother Sebastian and father Jorge are coaching Jon Robert and Sarah Corasanti in Utica. I sent a text message to Michelle – their mom, and sure enough, they were all at the match. When I got into the Grandstand Alejandro was down 2 sets to 1 and serving at 4-5 so it didn’t look good. Then it was 0-15 – looks even worse. Then 15-30 – even worse. Then 30-40 – match point for Troicki. There were probably 7 match points in that game and only a few adds for Falla, but in the end Falla won the game. On the next changeover, I made it to where the Corasanti’s were sitting. There I found out that Jorge, his wife Elsa and son Sebastian were still on the road having left Utica at 6:00 am – it was after 6:00 pm at the time. Suddenly, my 6 hour drive didn’t seem so bad. At 2-2 in the fifth set, we spotted Jorge and family in the Friend’s Box. A few games later we were all sitting courtside in the Friend’s Box watching an exciting 5 set match. To top it all off, Alejandro won the match, 7-5 in the fifth set. It was such a great experience, being in the Friends Box, watching a good match – dare I say a great match – and watching it with good people and in the end, the good guys won. On the way home, the Thruway was open from New York to Albany – no delays, and the Cross Bronx wasn’t even crowded. I repeat, the Cross Bronx was not even crowded. That is just so rare, I had to say it again. All in all, a great day at the U.S. Open.
- Venus, Sharapova advance at Open (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Crunch Sports -2011 US Open – Viktor Troicki v Alejandro Falla
He (Troicki) “should have few problems today against world number 117 Falla who comes into the tournament on a three match losing streak.” – might be the misquote of the day.
- Analyzing the Men’s Draw: Top Half (straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Sharapova survives Watson scare (news.bbc.co.uk)
- US Open 2011 Day 1: 10 Matches To Watch Out For (bleacherreport.com)