The One with the US Open

A few days ago, a friend and I went to the US Open in Flushing, Queens. It’s one of the four major tennis tournaments (aka Grand Slams) held each year.  The world’s top players compete in increasingly difficult matches until the final determines the champion in each category (men’s, women’s and doubles). It’s an impressive display of athleticism, skill and survival of the late August New York heat and humidity.  (Note to the US Tennis Association: Next year, would you kindly postpone this whole thing until October? Thank you.)

US Open

Without further ado, here are my Top Ten Reasons To Go To The US Open.

# 10. To watch the “granddaddy” 35-year-old Tommy Haas defeat young whipper-snappers who’ve never seen a wooden racket. (Also, he’s easy on the eyes.)

You can't see him from this angle, but trust me.

Tommy Haas waiting for the serve. You can’t see his face from this angle, but trust me.

# 10.1. To get annoyed at every reporter who asks Tommy Haas, “So what’s it like to be one of the oldest players at the tournament?”

# 10.2. Side note: Imagine being in a profession where you are considered ancient at age 35.

# 9. To find out how much the tennis center thinks is an acceptable charge for a cheese and tomato sandwich. (Take a guess in the comments.)

# 8. To see Serena Williams lose one of her dangly earrings while serving at 125 miles per hour.

# 7. To bet how long (guess again) it will take for the Rausch family from Mineola, Long Island, to realize they aren’t at a baseball game, and therefore it is not acceptable to scream, “Come on, Julian! Serve it big!” as French player Julian Benneteau serves for match point.

# 6. To listen to aforementioned Julian Benneteau curse up a storm in French.

# 5.  To hear Andy Murray squeal like a little girl on every serve.

US Open Andy Murray

“Eee-ahh!” Go Andy!

# 4. To witness the unfortunate wardrobe malfunction of poor Jeremy Chardy who wore gauzy white shorts. Before long we could clearly see that he had worn his Tuesday underpants on Friday.

# 3. To pretend that I could beat Serena, if only I’d work on my serve a little more.

# 2. To be able to say, “So this is Queens?! Huh.”

And the number one reason I go to the US Open…

#1. To decide that I would like to have a person at my office dedicated to handing me a towel to wipe my face after I’ve sent a particularly difficult email. Said person would also be responsible for holding an umbrella over me thusly in times of inclement weather. (Know anyone who would like this job? Apply in the comments.)


Applicant must have good hand-eye coordination.

Preferably without the scowl, thanks.

Preferably without the scowl, thanks.

Have you attended any sporting events recently? Ever been to a tennis tournament? 

Have a great weekend, everyone!



  1. You’re in a quality mozzarella region, so I’m projecting that as the cheese. $14.50, and it isn’t good cheese.

    I could toss you your towel. As an added bonus, I would towel snap others, as you see fit.


    1. Since you’ve applied first, the job is yours, Oma! This might be a good time to point out that the position is completely unpaid. The joy of towel snapping is probably payment enough, I know.

      Very close on the cost of the sandwich. It was $13.75, (I wish I was kidding)


  2. I plan to include in my cover letter that as part of “other duties as assigned,” I would be willing to shout out, “Hey, Serena! I found your earring!” when she’s mid-serve or at any other strategic moment that would help you achieve #3.

    The Rausch family has apparently made the rounds this summer, stumbling onto major golf championships, too. ::sigh::

    Speaking of which, I’ve been to a three or four of those and have enjoyed every one, particularly because marshals are allowed to ask those people to stop. A tennis tournament is on my wish list. Sounds like you had fun, expensive fun, but fun nonetheless.


    1. The Rausch family gets around. I’ve not been to a golf tournament, but I imagine that it would be difficult to see with everyone crowded around the green.

      I’m sure I could beat Serena, with a little help from my friends. 🙂


    1. You’re not kidding about the heat. The day I went started mild and a bit cloudy. Then the sun came out and we found ourselves roasting in our seats. I bet you don’t miss the East Coast humidity at all! 🙂


  3. Ha ha. I love all of number 10 and 1. I had one of those wooden rackets and I’m sure it’s in storage somewhere. And I do trip out on how they say … Yeah when he was at his peak… and the dude or chick are like 32. What’s up with that? At 38, this makes me feel like I need to be taking Metamucil or something. 🙂


  4. We went to the U S Open a few years ago. I was amazed at the pace of the ball. It was frustrating to sit in the nose bleed section with more than half the seats in the lower stands empty and very available.
    Cheese sandwich? 12.95?
    Loved your list.


      1. I was fortunate enough to go to Wimbledon a few years ago. What a wonderful experience. Even the waiting in line to get tickets was fun. Did you get to Wimbledon on your European trip this year?


  5. Ahh awesome! I’d love to go to Wimbledon. I made a big step forward this year by actually watching the finals, but struggle to feel bothered about sport normally. I can imagine its completely different when you are there though! I guess $12 for a sandwich?

    I went to the Olympics and Paralympics last year. Amazing atmosphere!


    1. I was very lucky to go to Wimbledon a few years ago. The matches were terrific, but queueing up before hand was half the fun. I hope you get to go next year.
      Cost of sandwich = $13.75. Crazy, isn’t it? 😛


  6. If I were serving I’d probably scream like a little girl, then turn and run away.
    Or pull something like that scene in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ where ‘The Baumer’ has his ‘episode’ at ‘Windswept Fields.’ Or throw some other kind of Jonn Mcenroe-esque fit (how’s that for a ‘wooden racket’ reference)?!


  7. I’ve been to a lot of football and cricket matches, but never tennis. Loved your list, especially #1 – I have emails like that sometimes, and would love to have someone standing by with a towel. Hope they wouldn’t throw a tennis ball at me too, though.

    Cricket matches in England are always fun because they last all day, and you get to watch the degeneration of the crowd from quiet murmuring and polite applause at 11am into rowdy songs, sunburn and beer snakes by 6pm.


    1. A cricket fan! I know someone who enjoys watching cricket, but I have to admit the rules mystify me. Apparently the recent match between England and Australia was a big one and lasted 5 days (!). Did you follow that match?


  8. Since I am currently TV-less, I have streamed so much U.S. Open Tennis on my computer and iPhone these past two weeks, the USTA should compensate me. I have twice attended the Open. The first time was 22 years ago when I saw Jimmy Connors beat Michiel Schapers at night in three sets, so the heat was not an issue. I went with a friend who knew someone who told him a series of secret codes to recite to strategically placed gatekeepers that would ultimately get us in for free if my friend recited the right code in the right order. If he told me what the codes were, I have long since forgotten them, but I think they were combinations of words and numbers, probably like computer passwords. It was all very surreptitious and my friend suffered sky high anxiety fearing he’d forget the order of the codes, but he aced every one. I think a Dove bar cost around $6 then, so $13.75 for a cheese sandwich today does not surprise me at all. In 2006, I attended the day session on Labor Day weekend. That time I paid $56 for a pass, so I entered through the front door. It was hot as hell then, but I had a great time. It is so much more fun being there than watching it via TV or feed. The atmosphere is indeed electric. I almost didn’t mind getting mustard on my shirt from an overpriced hot dog.


    1. It is a lot of fun to be there in the thick of the action. I like to go early in the tournament because there is so much action happening on the outer courts. But there is something to be said for watching it from the comfort of your living room. You get the best seats in the house!


  9. I heard a reporter ask Li Na about her age and her response was, “I’m not as old as you.” I love her sass. We had some hot days there as well. And I don’t like holding an umbrella over my head so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to hold it over someone else’s head. Unless it was the better half or my boys. But not Andy Murray. Roger–maybe.


    1. I’m all for getting the USTA to hold this tournament in October. Let’s start a petition. Ha.

      Glad you had a good time at the open, and so glad you got a ball for your collection. Just don’t let Miles see it. 🙂


  10. This is insane! I’ve never ever wanted to go to the USOpen (and I don’t even like tennis particularly) but now I MUST GO. I had no idea it was such a scene. Okay, here goes. The sandwich… I guess $10.50? The umbrella/sweat rag person… I happily apply. And it took the Rausch family 2 minutes (please don’t tell me longer…) or until the action started? As for being 35 and over the hill…. GULP! And the gauzy shorts… ewww BUT inquiring minds want to know how you knew they were Tuesday’s? Surely not printed on there… Such an entertaining post, Jackie!


    1. It’s so much fun, even if you’re not a tennis fan. The people watching is terrific. Who knows, maybe the next Maggie True mystery will involve a tennis match! 🙂

      PS – The sandwich was $13.75!


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