09.01.2021 (97 days ago)

U. S. Open Tennis in NYC-More than Sport?

U. S. Open Tennis in NYC-More than Sport?
97 days ago 8 comments Categories: Lifestyle Tags:

The Tournament starts this week and after a fan-free 2020 event, the crowds will be back in Flushing Meadow.  Happily, the final decision to make it a vaccinated event, since the stadium now has a roof, should make for a more relaxed environment.


I attended the US Open in its old home in Forest Hills.  Back, in the 70’s, I was able to pop in after working at a school in Corona without a ticket.  The big change in the impact of the tournament was the move to a dedicated Flushing Meadow tennis center in 1977.  I try to go to at least once every year and will be going this week.


It seemed that going to the “Open” was not just for the tennis.  It was a place to be and be seen.


For many, the matches were an after thought.  Many did not know the players or understand the quirky scoring.  Watching fans wear their tennis garb as they walked through the grounds could always bring a laugh.


But, the tennis players of the era made the fans appreciate the game’s strategy, flair, and competitiveness.  Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Nadal, Navritolova, Agassi, Sampras, Everett, etc. became the draw.  The Open became the way many New Yorkers said goodbye to the summer.  The night matches became a place where tennis was cheered with gusto.


In the 2000s, Federer, Williams, Nadal, and Djokovic were the names people knew and came to cheer.  This year, only Djokovic will play due to injury.  He will try to win the Grand Slam of Tennis-winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and the US open in the same year.


The last man to do it was Rod Laver in 1969.


Do you think Djokovic will win the slam?  Do you care about the Open?

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