Tuesday, September 9, 2008
John and I went to the Women's Final of the US Open (Tennis, not golf) on Sunday night. Considering I've only been to a handful of professional sporting events in my life, it was pretty cool. We'd been talking about getting tickets for the Open for years - John had an officemate long ago who was a tennis buff, and she infected him. And we live so close to NYC, it seems a shame not to take advantage of that on occasion. So when a friend said she had tickets she couldn't use...
Of course, Tropical Storm Hanna kind of made things complicated. The women's final was rescheduled from Saturday, 7pm, to Sunday, 9pm. Yes, it started at 9 at night. Ouch.
We, of course, were too "cool" to use the driving directions the US Open provided. No, we were smart enough to realize that the shortest way there was through the Holland Tunnel, across the tip of Manhattan, and thence over to Flushing Meadows. It's Sunday evening, how much traffic can there be?
Notice I said "shortest", not "fastest."
It took us 2.5+ hours to get there. We arrived in the parking lot at 9pm, when the match was supposed to start. Thank goodness for all the hoopla that happened before the match. By the time we waited in line for the shuttle bus, took the bus to the stadium, ran into the stadium and found the proper entrance and went up the four levels to get to our seats, we'd only missed two or three points.
Did I mention that these were nosebleed seats? Row X? We were three rows from the top of the stadium, which, by the way, actually wasn't a bad view. It's raked sharply in the upper tier so every seat actually has a view of the court. The only downside of this is the 46 steps up to our seats were STEEP, and of course, we were trying to scramble up there quickly between points. I think it took me two sets to get my breath back.
It is cool to watch tennis live. You get a much better sense of how much power and control these players have. Since you're not switching back and forth between camera angles, you get a better view of the game as a whole. And of course, there's the added bonus of celebrity spotting. The only one I actually spotted live (as opposed to on the Jumbotron) was Venus Williams. Far away and much lower, of course. But it was fun to see them show all the celebrities on the screen and know that they were in there somewhere.
Did I remember our binoculars? No. How about a camera? No, unless you count my cellphone (which explains the fuzzy pictures).
But we were there!