Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Things I learned at the US Open

This past weekend I was able to fulfill a dream I have had for many years - I was able to attend the US Open. Restless Mama and I have been planning this for a while. I have never been to a professional tennis tournament. Restless and I were able to see the day session on Friday (then got rained out Fri night and all day Saturday), and then the day session on Sunday. So - here are some things I learned during my weekend.

1. First impressions can be changed - Andre Agassi and all his image stuff really got on my nerves in the 80s; but for some time I have really admired him, his work ethic, his philanthropy, his love for his family and friends, his wisdom, and his graciousness. Just being on the grounds during his last match was an honor.

2. There are some great older women out there - Restless and I really enjoyed the Carlos Moya match (and not just for his great forehand). A woman beside me (probably in her 50s) spoke of how hot he was during a changeover - I of course agreed - and then she commented on some other similarly blessed men on the tour. Not much later, I heard a woman in her 70s make similar remarks.

3. A mother can never impress her 12 year old son - "Did you see Agassi?" "Well, no I didn't have tickets for the big stadium that day." "What about Federer or Roddick?" "Well, no - but I did see Nadal." "Huh" - as he dismissed me.

4. There are lots of friendly people in NY - I felt like I was part of one big family at the Open - everyone was talking to strangers, sharing lots of info, being kind and patient (even on a record setting attendance day). The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was a really nice, friendly place to be.

5. Doing one's homework pays off - I have obsessively watched tennis on tv for years. I always read my Tennis magazine, and I scour the web for tennis news. My first day ever on the grounds was Friday - and I found myself giving directions to various people (I had the grounds map memorized), finding toilet paper in the bathroom for people in empty stalls, and explaining some of the various seating arrangements. I felt like Rory Gilmore the day she first visited Yale.

Pictures will be forthcoming!

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