I went to the US Open yesterday. It was quite an experience and something I'll never forget. It's like a bucket list thing, you know? And I got to watch both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play, two of the best players ever.
I took tennis lessons as a kid and then again in college, but I'm not a player. But I knew enough to follow along and the matches were really great. Plus, my friend Lacy and I made the jumbotron! Woot woot!
The US Open takes place in the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is a complex consisting of a bunch of smaller courts, two midsize ones, and one big one (which is the Arthur Ashe Stadium.) It looks like this:
So while the Men's Singles Semi-Finals were going on in the Arthur Ashe Stadium (which is what I got to see), junior matches were being played on some of the smaller courts.
Of the two matches I saw, Nadal won and Federer lost. I was a little bummed out by that because I like Federer, but the guy who beat him, Novak Djokovic from Serbia, was so excited and it's always nice to see an underdog win. Here he is right after he won yesterday:
And here's a photo of him hitting himself in the head yesterday after losing the third round.
Tennis can be pretty brutal. But anyway, it's really cool because the whole stadium gets really quiet when they play. You can hear their sneakers squeak on the court, you can hear the ball bouncing and hitting the racket, you can hear the players grunt... Our seats were pretty far up but we could still hear every single thing happening. But, man, was it a long day. We watched tennis for eight hours straight.
The final match is this afternoon but I haven's decided who I'm rooting for yet. I like Novak because, even though he's competed in the US Open before (he lost to Federer in 2007), he only has one Grand Slam title and he's clearly the underdog of the match. Plus, he's supposed to be really funny and I like a person with a sense of humor. But I also like Nadal because, even though he's currently ranked number one and holds eight Grand Slam titles, he's never competed in or won the US Open before. If he wins today, he will have a Career Grand Slam.
For those of you who don't know, there are four major "Grand Slam" tennis tournaments every year:
- Australian Open - Played on concrete
- French Open - Played on clay
- Wimbledon - Played on grass
- US Open - Played on concrete
Winning any one of these gives you a Grand Slam title. If you win all four at least once during your career, you have a "Career Grand Slam." Federer has won 16 titles and has a Career Grand Slam. Nadal has won eight titles, but never the US Open, so he doesn't have a Career Grand Slam. Novak has won one title.
(Btw, I never thought I'd be giving a sports lesson of any kind on this blog.)
Anywho, 2010 has been a great year for me. First my movie gets made, then I get to go to the US Open... The fact that I'm lucky is not lost on me. I'm so grateful for everything.
Click here to see my photos from the day.