Photo Credits to New York Habitat
She looks innocent. A seven year old girl with thin, curly brown hair and a drawstring bag wrapped around her shoulders, perfect for carrying Barbies and Crayola coloring books. She plows through rows and rows of people two times her size, throwing arms when needed in order to get her 867th autograph.
“Weren’t you just on the other side?” 16 time grand slam doubles champion Bob Bryan asks the three foot girl.
“No, that was my twin sister.”
After being at the U.S. Open for a couple days, I’ve come to the realization that fans of U.S. Open tennis will do and say pretty much anything in order to get what they want.
The U.S. Open is one of the four tennis grand slams of the year and is located in Queens, New York. Each year, thousands of fans travel from across the world for these matches throughout the months of August and September.
The complex is divided into three stadiums: Arthur Ashe being the largest, followed by Louis Armstrong and Grandstand, along with 17 other courts for practice, or junior U.S. Open matches.
When you’re not in a stadium, you’re usually walking around on the grounds, finding something super unhealthy to eat that will butcher your diet plan completely. My daily meal consisted of such as french fries for breakfast and a hefty scoop of Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream for lunch. This was definitely me.
As I stepped out into the stands, walking slowly as to not fall on my face while I gazed around at the largest tennis stadium in the world, I was amazed. I had seen this stadium on TV for years but I had never been standing inside of it: watching the cameras zoom by the players’ feet before they’d hit a serve, being able to hear the various players’ grunts in real life or seeing how much hotter Novak Djokovic is in person. It was surreal.
The stadium lights turned off. Strobe lights of every color imaginable turned on. Cell phones were turned off and all eyes turned towards the bottom of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, welcoming the best player in the world onto the court–Novak Djokovic. Every person in the stadium was drawn to his entrance, including my fangirling brother, and the whole stadium erupted with excitement.
Photo Credit to mctcampus.com
The energy all starts with these fans. Whether it’s the snappy old lady who moves over a seat because she doesn’t like the sound of chewing when she has a stomach ache, or the overly excited nerd who probably knows nothing about tennis, these widespread personalities frame the electric atmosphere in the stadium.
After two full days of watching the U.S. Open tennis, I was satisfied. I was content with the experience of watching several players that I grew up watching on TV right before my eyes in only a matter of two days. When in the city during late August and early September, it’s worth those long subway rides with bizarre people sitting next to you to go and witness some fantastic tennis.