Yesterday at about 4pm my DH calls me and asks if I have an interest in going to the U.S. Open! I of course start getting over excited and question, "Are you kidding?" Thus are evening began....
I have wanted to go to the U.S. Open for awhile. When I was at college my dad used to get tickets through work and him and my sister would go. I follow tennis pretty loosely but always catch the finals of the grand slams so I keep a pulse on it. Growing up, my dad watched tennis like he watches golf today, so we spent a lot of weekends following the ATP as young kids!
DH and I meet up outside his office building and hopped the train to Grand Central where we switched over to the 7 train out to Shea Stadium and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
It felt a little like Disney World when we arrived. You walk for a couple of minutes along this boardwalk and then enter the Tennis Center which feels like a little village. There is the main stadium, Arthur Ashe Stadium front and center and tons of smaller courts all around. People from all different countries, speaking all different languages, are there to support their favorite players, it's all pretty cool!
We decided to get dinner before we went into the main stadium and I must say that their concessions are above par for a sporting event. I got a ceasar salad over flat bread that was very good and DH had some sort of Mexican dish. We shared a table outside with a Spanish couple because seating was limited and then headed into the main stadium.
First off, our seats were center court, 7 rows back! I couldn't even believe how close we were to the court, it was amazing! We went to our seats and got there in time for them to introduce the players and watch them come out onto the court and warm up. The first match was Serena Williams (8) vs. Maria Elena Camerin (Italy). DH and I commented about how weird it is that in tennis the two players have to help each other warm up - can anyone think of another sport where opponents warm up together in order to get ready to play the each other???
At first it looked like Serena was going to take the match pretty handily. She was up 4-1 in the first set. Then Maria Elena tied it up 5-5, but Serena ended up winning 7-5. The second set she took pretty handily, 6-2. Maria Elena definitely was a fighter and made her work for a lot of her points, especially in the first set. However, she seemed to lack confidence in her serve and made too many service errors to keep her in the game. All in all it was pretty neat to watch. Williams will take on Vera Zvonareva (27, Russia) in Round 3.
In between matches I want to take a moment to comment on what a civilized sport tennis is. You have to be pretty quiet while they are playing. If you get up to go to the bathroom or get a drink they won't let you back in until play has stopped and there is a commercial break. And where else would I get to sit and drink a nice glass of Cabernet while I watch sports! It was divine!!!! Such a relaxing sport to watch yet at the same time very exciting.
After the women's match - it was time for the men. Roger Federer (1, Switzerland) vs. Paul Capdeville (Chile)! I was so excited, I couldn't believe that we were getting to see the man currently ranked #1 in the world play in the U.S. Open (OK, so it's only the 2nd round...but still!)
Federer won pretty easily in the 1st set 6-1. Capdeville however made Federer work more for it in the 2nd and 3rd set, although Federer still won both, 6-4 and 6-4. It was pretty exciting because Federer came up and played the net a lot (which you don't see as much nowadays). Seeing him play you can totally understand why he is the best, he is so quick on his feet and a very smart and powerful player! Federer will take on the young American John Isner in Round 3. I'm looking forward to watching it!
Two things to comment on: 1) Federer served a couple of times in the high 120's mph. I can't even imagine seeing Roddick who currently holds the World Record for fastest serve at 155 m.p.h., serve at his world record speed! 2) I can't even imagine how cool it would be to see Federer vs. Nadal live - that must be amazing!
OK, that's it - my first U.S. Open experience! It was awesome and I hope that we're able to go back some time in the future. What a fun sports week it's been for us!
PS - In all the excitement I forgot to mention the celebs we saw: Gladys Knight, Michael Koors & Ralph Lauren himself!