Nothing Beats the Grounds of the US Open
My friend Jake and I have been going to the US Open every year since we were in high school. As a native New Yorker, there is no other annual event that compares to the two weeks when tennis becomes relevant again in Flushing.
Jake and I have always had our own philosophy about going to the Open. Rather than buy expensive tickets to see two matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium, we’ve always opted to get the cheaper Grounds Admissions passes that give you access to every other court. The idea is simple: see a lot of matches (with plenty of no-namers) instead of wasting hours and money watching the big guns wipe the court with a qualifier.
The key to the plan has always been to go to the Open in the beginning days of the tournament when there are the most matches. Pretty simple, no?
If you don’t believe in the beauty of this idea, let me tell you a story about its simple beginnings.
In 2001, Jake and I were wandering around the lower courts, looking for a decent match between two players we likely hadn’t heard of. We found a competitive match and stuck around long enough to realize one of the players had plenty of skill and talent. While we were watching among a small crowd of maybe 100 spectators, a man next to us said, “This guy could be really good.”
Two years later, Jake and I were back at the Open seeing that same player compete, only this time in Louis Armstrong Stadium (the second-highest court in the tournament). After a nonchalant victory, Jake and I went out to the balcony of the stadium and caught that player walking back to the locker rooms. So enthralled by his victory, Jake and I started shouting at him from the top of the stadium.
“We love you!”
“You’re the man!”
Appreciative of his obnoxious fans, that player looked up at the two of us yelling like lunatics and waved, commenting, “Thanks guys. I love you, too.”
Understandably, that moment made Jake and I fans of his for life. Six years later, that no-namer is considered possibly the greatest tennis player of all-time and is gunning for his sixth-straight US Open title.
If you couldn’t figure it out by now, the player who graciously acknowledged Jake and I was Roger Federer.
I could go on and on about Federer and his accomplishments, but that story has been told more than enough times. The point of this anecdote is to explain the beauty of the US Open, where you can see the humble beginnings of what might become a prolific career.
The opening rounds of the Open feature more than 60 matches a day, most of which the average tennis fan doesn’t hear or care about. But anyone who has actually been to the Open will tell you those are the matches that are the most fun and exciting to watch.
Dreams are fulfilled and hopes are destroyed on the lower courts of the US Open. Careers begin and end, sometimes with no one even watching. But once in a blue moon, something special is born on Courts 12-16.
After a four-year sabbatical due to college, Jake and I were back in Flushing this year for Day 3 of the Open, moseying the lower courts and looking for someone who might become the next big thing. Did we find him or her? That remains to be seen.
But what I will say is, after being there for 12 hours and seeing close to 20 matches, the US Open still ignites that giddiness that Federer brought out in us when we were much younger. After all, we’re just big kids at heart. And that same feeling will come out every year we walk the grounds of the Open.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?