I have always been a fan of the game and remember playing badminton instead of tennis as a child with my neighbour, using the compound gate as the net. We had only a single(Small) chair and hence used to share it taking turns, for our break, drinking water/juice and wiping away sweat with towels(we did’nt have to share em, thankfully). Somehow never ended up actually learning to play tennis, but I was rather good at Air Tennis like playing the Air Guitar.
Finally my dream to witness a Grand Slam live, came true(thanks to Jeej)!
Yes, I was there at the US Open 2009. The weekend of the 5th and 6th of September, 2009 at Flushing Meadows was an experience by itself, for life. I stopped following the game years ago, when favorites like John Mcenroe, Chris Evert, Martina Navrotilova, Boris Becker, Steffi Graf, Pete Sampras, etc retired neverthless the game enthralls me and so did the expereince of watching the likes of Juan Martin Del Potro(winner this year as predicted by Jeej), Williams sisters, Novak Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco, Nadia Petrova, etc live in action at the Grandstand and Louis Armstrong Stadiums.
The third and biggest stadium being: Arthur Ashe. This is where the top seeds(1,2) play as the stadium is huge and can accomodate 22,547 individuals, 90 luxury suites, 5 restaurants and a 2 level players’ lounge, by far the largest outdoor tennis-only venue in the world. Apparently crowd pullers, like final matches happen in this stadium, given the size and thus enable huge income to the Open. Seated very high(tickets at lower levels are very expensive($10,000) and there are no seats very close to the court for general public. The seats are reserved for the players friends, family, coach, sponsors, USTA, etc) the players look like matchsticks and the ball is almost invisible, so if it is quality tennis and watchability that you are interested in rather than big names, the other two stadiums namely Grandstand and Armstrong are where you ought to be.
I got to see Nick Bollettieri and his show, the coach of very many great world class players like: Agassi, Becker, Courier, Hingis, Jankovic, Rios, Seles, Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams to name a few.
I also visited ‘The Grand Slam: Tennis Ultimate Achievement’ exhibit by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum at the US Open Gallery in the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Sitar recital by Indians, amongst various other such performances, food stalls and stalls that sold memorabilia.
Undoubtedly an unforgettable experience! Don’t you think so?