A Labor Day First: Top 10 U.S. Open Observer-ations ... From a Guy Who Just Wants a Chance To Work

Categories: Tennis

US Open - Tennis.jpg
​Carrollton's Kelly Dearmore emailed me with a simple request:

I wanna write for Sportatorium.

Being that he's a free-lance writer that has covered concerts for the Observer, he hates the New York Yankees and he loves him some tennis in general and one of my fave sporting events -- the U.S. Open -- in particular, makes him the perfect candidate for some air time.

And, after all, isn't that the spirit of Labor Day?

10. Seconds after taking my seat for Friday's first match on Louis Armstrong Stadium for the Nicalescu/Safarova match, I realized that I was sitting directly one seat in-front of a tennis expert. How did I know this? With literally every point, and sometimes at multiple spots within a rally, the dude sitting right behind me would offer his one or two word opinion out-loud. This extremely poor-man's John McEnroe really hates forehand slices, by the way. With each one struck by the ladies on-court, the expert would release an attitudinal "Yuck!" to express his hatred for the shot. Obviously, I had to turn around to see who was absorbing all of this idiocy from the hater of slice shots, and sure enough: dude was sitting by himself. Thankfully, he was soon removed from that seat by the people who actually held the ticket for that seat. They didn't really talk much.

9. In that first match, unseeded Monica Nicolescu of Romania absolutely dismantled the 27th seeded Lucie Safarova 6-0 6-1. In the second set, when it was clear that Safarova was being summarily wiped off the court, she would still dig down and blast the occasional winner. In those two or three instances, the crowd would erupt with raucous applause and cheers. Encouraging? Patronizing? Mocking? An odd combination of all three, perhaps? I choose that latter.

8. For the most part, seat-squatters aren't usually going to bother anyone that much. I'm all for kids getting a chance to split from mom and dad when some better seats a few rows down are seemingly going unused. We've likely all done it and it's typically a victimless crime. On this day at the Open, however, it was the geriatric set that hopped into seats that were absolutely not theirs - and early in the day when people were still arriving, no-less. I couldn't believe how many wrinkled corpses were being asked to leave a seat due to them not belonging there. Even better, I was given a Big Apple-sized dose of attitude when I returned after a beer-run only to see the seat I paid for being occupied by a couple of people that were seemingly fresh of the retirement home shuttle bus. They say that old-age is a person's second childhood, so maybe that's behind all of this suspicious activity at the Open.

7. One of the coolest moments of any match is when a player challenges a potentially game or set-altering call and loses the challenge after the proof has been electronically displayed on the jumbo-tron in the form of a shadow-like orb touching down onto the computer-animated court. Sadistic? O.K, we'll go with that.

6. The drink scene is an interesting, if not widely varied, one at the Open. Heineken, Bacardi Mojitos, and Grey Goose "Honey Dueces," which serves as the horribly named official cocktail of the US Open, are really the only adult beverages to be consumed on the grounds of the USTA National Tennis Center. When I inquired about the availability of a beer koozie at one of the merch booths, I was greeted with quizzical stares and grunts of "Huh?" What the heck do New Yorkers put their naked beer cans and bottles into, their hands? And Texans are considered rough and uncivilized?

5. It's hard not to be impressed by the sheer internationality of the event. There was a ton of tennis fan-frenzy on display throughout the grounds, giving the day an almost World Cup or Olympic game's vibe. I wished on more than one occasion I had remembered to have my wife apply my American flag face paint before leaving the hotel that morning.

4. It was a nice touch to have the scheduled practice times of the players using the practice courts displayed on flatscreens. For guys like me, who were only there for a single day-session, the posted alert provided a chance to catch a glimpse of a couple of marquee-names that I wouldn't be able to otherwise. Most notable practice session viewed? The Majorcan Miracle of Manhood - Rafael Nadal.

3. While post Agassi/Sampras professional Tennis has fallen off the major sports map in the states to a large degree, there's little doubt that the top of the American lot are still treated as rock-stars at the Open. During the Isner/Ginepri match on Friday, the exuberant, sold-out crowd couldn't get enough of either fellow-countryman. If Isner and his behemoth, 135 mph serve, the quietly high-ranked Mardy Fish and the resurgent Donald Young can get really deep in this tournament, and then make serious runs into the semis and finals of next year's grand slams, look for American tennis to start creeping back up the popularity chart again -- at least a little bit.

2. A nugget of advice: If you're planning a trip to the US Open, a reserved seat in either Arthur Ashe Stadium or Louis Armstrong Stadium is basically a must-have. This is the case simply for the peace-of-mind that having a home-base for the day affords you. If you waltz off of the 7 line subway train and enter the gates with a only general admission ticket; prepare to constantly fight long lines and overcrowded scenarios at Court 17 and the Grandstand stadium court (the two showcase stadiums that allow GA). It will be an all-day, tiring test of both your luck and your patience.

1. Perhaps no other moment of my day at the US Open personified its abrasive and quirky host city more than this one: Sitting three rows directly beneath the middle of the open-windowed press box in Armstrong Stadium, it was rather easy to hear the legendary and still beloved John McEnroe providing color commentary on what, oddly enough, was clearly a different match than the Isner/Ginepri match going on below us. When a thick Yankee accent shouted, "Hey, John, keep it down!" several other similarly flavored voices yelled at McEnroe's detractor, blurting out, "Shut up, you, that's friggin' Johnny Mac you're talking to, bro!"

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14 comments
TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Hey Kelly!Welcome to the Sportytorium! Long-time reader and commenter here. Have you been here before? I applaud your effort, but next time replace tennis with a baseball or football game. Unless you're comparing the 10 hottest chicks in tennis, we're pretty much out. I'll give my fav 5:5. Daniela Hantuchova4. Victoria Azarenka3. Ashley Harkleroad2. Maria Sharapova1. Maria KirilenkoHonorable mention to Simona Halep pre-breast reduction.

Rooster
Rooster

I guess the lesson Kelly Dearmore learned out of this is you should pick a topic people actually give a damn about?

Eagerly awaiting his next riveting column on women's billiards....

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

"Carrollton's Kelly Dearmore emailed me with a simple request:I wanna write for Sportatorium."

So when I read that was I wrong to think, "Well, Type a fucking comment"  Holly Jeebus dude, Every Friday, the reader write our own "End" and we dont even have to ask.

Jumbo Jack
Jumbo Jack

It would be cool to have the pitch track graphic displayed on the jumbotron when a batter player challenges a ball/strike call.

The only problem is that the pitch track does not seem 100% accurate.

Watch Tim Wakefield throw his knuckleball and you will see a ball 1/3 up into the strike zone on pitch trac but the umpire calls it a ball and the batter has no problem with the call because the pitch dove below the strike zone before it got to the plate.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Methinks other than Scruffyshooting that this was the best written thing on here since Merten was set adrift.

You know what those two articles have in common?

Jean-Jacques Taylor
Jean-Jacques Taylor

Richie,

if u get yo ass home on time and shove some dick in my face i will pick u up an affliction t-shirt.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Too many words, and not enough of them are about hot women tennis players.

On a scale of Richie Whitt to Robert Wilonsky, I score this an Alice Laussade.

Bill Simpson
Bill Simpson

No offense intended to those that love tennis, but speaking for the rest of us, yawn.

Rooster
Rooster

Tennis = Big-pile-o-meh.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

well Kelly is a professional writer, we're just blog hacks. Big difference, Beav.Side note::still pissed that my ender from two weeks ago was flagged and is unreadable.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Please don't mention the name of he who does not work there anymore. Just makes me bitter about the content we could be getting. Stay hard Merten.

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