Spend a few days at the US Open, took a few photos and noted a few things:
- The 7 train, although often packed, is the best way to get to the US Open. Lots of people will converse in foreign languages which led to me unfortunately eavesdropping on this funny French conversation:
(French girl to her sister): "M...Je crois que je me suis assise sur la veste du monsieur" ( S...I think I sat down on this guy's jacket. Note: The guy was me).
Sister replies: " Ben, excuse toi et retire le pan de veste de dessous tes fesses" (Excuse yourself and remove the pan of the jacket from under your bottom)
F.G: " Oui mais c'est la honte, en plus je ne vais pas le deranger, il est entrain de lire, peut-etre qu'il ne s'est pas rendu compte et avec un peu de chance, on sortira avant lui."
( yes but I am embarassed; plus he is reading and I don't want to bother him. Maybe he did not notice and with any luck, we will get out before him.)
We all got out at the same station. I had a hard time keeping a straight face during the whole conversation, thankfully I was at comics section of the paper. I smiled at them as we were leaving for the tennis court and wished them a grand time at the US Open...in French.
- Spend some times on the annex courts where if you are lucky you can get real close to the players. Here I took picture with Natalie Dechy and saw up close that Guga Kuerten is ready for a come back. Guga's girlfriends seem to think so too.
- Got to watch James Blake battle Koubek court side in the evening session. There is no way to describe the experience. The atmosphere was electric, the action was splendid and the crowd was as raucous as ever. Beyond the obvious skin color similarities, Blake could well be the Barack Obama of Tennis. Engaging personalities, soft-spoken but determined, committed to their work and passionate supporters. One shirtless man was heard yelling: " If you don't believe in James Blake, you don't believe in anything !"
Hopefully, Obama will have a better finish to his own version of the US Open.
- A funny thing happened in the men's restrooms (nothing involving a senator though).
I was going to take care of business when I heard a phone ring then a voice from the neighboring stool: "Yes honey, I am at the US Open. The game lasted longer than expected. Love you, bye" and then he flushed. I went to wash my hands when Mr "I-answer-my-cell-phone-while-I-go-#1" came out, trotting along the walk of shame as if nothing happened. I made a metal note to myself t never again borrow another man's cellphone.
- When you think you've seen everything from Federer, think again. If you like tennis, there is no reason to not try to catch this guy playing while he you can. Plus he genuinely seems like a class act.
-Speaking of class act, why is it so difficult for Serena Williams to just once admit that her opponent might also know how to play tennis ? The whole "she-did-not-win-I-lost" act is truly tiring. I don't even like Justine Henin but Serena makes her look like an innocent teddy bear. And we know from watching Blake, Federer and Graf that you do not have to have a mean streak ( I will not use the a..word ) or an over-inflated ego to be successful.
-I was looking for a Malagasy name in the Junior's draw...Alas, nothing to show for it. Maybe next year....