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US Open, 9/2/17


I know what you're thinking - - "Am I on the wrong blog?" Yes, Richard and I went to the US Open on 9/2/17. We were the guests of our friends David and Sue, they met us there. We hung around for a while, had a leisurely lunch, checked out the scene - - it's a serious scene, sharp cars and overpriced coffee at every turn. We watched the ESPN booth from beyond, saw two hunky young guys getting their makeup done. That was cute.

We saw just one complete match, between American Coco Vanderweghe and Pole Agnieska Radwanska. I'd never been to a tennis match before, have never really been interested in sports of ANY kind at any point in my life. I've been to a few Yankee games, and those are fun, but not really my jam. So I was shocked (shocked, I tell you) that I was so into this tennis match. It was one of the most exciting things I've ever seen in my life.

First off, the scoring makes no sense to me at all. My friend Bonnie is going to give me a tutorial, and has warned me that it doesn't make sense to anyone. I love that the word "love" means "zero." We've all been there, right? But why do the points go Love, 15, 30, 40? 40? Wouldn't 45 make more sense? It all seems very strange and arbitrary. Maybe there's some amusing cultural significance to that, we'll see. And it was ambiguous to me about when the damn match would be over. That added to the drama, in an Ionesco kind of way.

One of the things I liked best about seeing those two players is that they were a diva versus a mensch! Radwanska was total diva: started strong and a little cocky, made some sloppy mistakes later on, had a hairpull with the referee about one of his calls. Plus she grunted quite a lot. Audibly. Vanderweghe was total mensch: slow and steady, unflappable. She turned the tables and started winning at one point, and it was like she was saying to Radwanska, "Hi there! Remember me?"

The high point of the match was a moment where Radwanska hit the ball in a far corner of Vanderweghe's court and Vanderweghe really went after it, hit the ball, and it went sailing up, up, up into the air, just barely landing on Radwanska's side of the net. They volleyed a bit back and forth and Vanderweghe won that point. It was thrilling and full of suspense. It brought a tear to my eye.

The match went on and on. The final score was 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. It was unclear for a minute about whether or not the final point was really the final point, the judge had to chime in on that. It was, and Vanderweghe was the winner. I said to Richard as we went into the last set, "Whoever wins, she's gonna be deserving, 'cause they're workin' real hard out there."

Richard and I watched the first ten minutes of the Nadal match against Mayer. We needed to leave because the people with evening tickets were starting to arrive. The guys didn't seem to be as interesting as the women, it was more about power than about strategy. Diva versus mensch again, and again (strangely enough) my interest is more on the mensch side.


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