The US Open – It Must Be Love
If anything was to keep me from spending my first full day in NYC in Manhattan, it had to be the US Open! I had been watching tennis with my dad since I was a teenager and even though I don’t play tennis myself (yet), I watch the grand slam tournaments religiously. Not surprisingly, attending a grand slam tournament was on my bucket list.
We are looking forward to a full day at the US Open today! Our tickets give us reserved seats at the main stadium, Arthur Ashe, but we can also meander among the smaller courts. We won’t be able to get into the night session but we can stay on the grounds as much we’d like – and we are planning on it!
Before heading to Flushing for the day, we started our morning with a walk and a run around Prospect Park, just a few blocks away from where Martha lives. While Martha walked her dog Lily, I did a loop around the park. There was a pond in the middle of it, and I even saw someone riding a horse along one of the many dirt paths in the park. Am I really in Brooklyn, I wondered? On the way back, we grabbed some bagels from a nearby bakery and had the quintessential New York breakfast – bagels, cream cheese, lox and coffee.
Martha had been coming here every year she’s lived in New York since 2006, and so she was more than happy to continue the tradition (along with me and two of her friends) now that she had moved back to NYC. Our day at the Open was just as much fun as she’d lead me to believe it would be, if not more. Our day-session tickets granted us access to the entire tennis center from 11 am to 6 pm, as well as access to all the other courts on a first-come, first-served basis.
We started out at Arhur Ashe, where we watched 12-seed Anna Ivanovic win her match against unseeded Sofia Arvidsson.
By the time that finished, it was time for lunch and after a quick bite a the food court, we went to check out the match of Bulgarian Tzvetana Pironkova, who played on one of the smaller courts.
She was well on her way to winning the first set, so we decided to go to the second biggest court, Louis Armstrong, to check out men’s 5-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had lost his first set to unseeded Slovakian Klivan.
We watched Tsonga win set 2 easily, so Martha and her friends went back to Arthur Ashe, while I watched Tzvetana Pironkova beat her opponent in straight sets. Court 11 was so small I could see Pironkova very well even without the super zoom on my camera, and I managed to take some really good shots of her.
I then joined the rest of the gang at Arthur Ashe, where we spent the rest of the day save for some trips back out for food and drinks and souvenirs. While at Arthur Ashe, we heard an announcement that Tsonga was losing his match in one of the biggest upsets in round 2. We would have liked to go check it out for ourselves except a lot of other people had the same idea, apparently, as the announcer made sure to tell us that seating at Louis Armstrong was no longer available.
Alas, we weren’t too sad, because we were watching a contentious 5-setter between former top 10 player Nikolay Davydenko and American Mardy Fish. Fish came back to win it from 2 sets down, much to the delight of pretty much everyone in the audience.
The final match of the day session featured Serena Williams, who won easily against an unseeded Spanish woman with too many names. By the time her match finished, we had been in the sun the whole day but for the last 5 minutes, and we were tired and hungry.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at the US Open. It was amazing to see up close some of the players I’d been watching on TV for years, and being able to see a Bulgarian play was a great treat, too! I kept thinking of my dad, to whom I owe my love of tennis, and I very much wished that he could be there with me, too. As excited I was to be there, I knew he would just be out of this world happy to experience the US Open.
After we got back to Brooklyn, Martha and I got a quick bite to eat at a restaurant down the block and called it a night. The next day was to be my first day in Manhattan, and I needed all the rest I could get in order to make the most out of my first day in the city. Whether I was to be bitten by the Manhattan bug, as Martha calls it, remained to be seen.