The United States Tennis Open

Arthur Ashe Stadium

I went with my former girlfriend, Sheri. Both of us were fairly big tennis fans, both of us played tennis all throughout high school, both of us had never been to a grand slam tournament, and both of us went up to New York's Flushing Meadows on September 5, 2001 to partake in some professional sportage. Please peruse for your viewing pleasure.

When you buy tickets in advance for the only session you can attend (on your simultaneous weekend weekday off together) - you can't really pick which matches you want to see. They pick 'em for you. Not that there's anything wrong with that... we missed the ending of the Hewitt-Haas match that was continued from the previous day, but we caught complete matches of Marat Safin, #3 seed (on left) playing unseeded Mariano Zabaleta (Safin won in straight sets) - plus, we saw #4 seed and eventual champion Venus Williams (on right) kick some tail on #5 seed Kim Clijsters (she also won in straight sets). And it was freakin' hot.

Sheri on top, me on the bottom. Just outside the south plaza of the USTA National Tennis Center with Arthur Ashe Stadium in the background.

How ya like this killer shot? Can't get much better conditions of subject and light. Does this look familiar? I didn't know quite where or what it was until we were there, but it's a steel sphere of the world that was built back in the 60's. It's right down the little road from the south plaza, in the park (along with Shea Stadium). And it has these fountains all over it that make some cool-ass rainbows (see below).

And there was this funky lion garden-sculpture and since we are all about the animals, I thought it only appropriate that I take this picture. And ya know, it's neat.

Traffic was hellish, it was a looooooong day, it was really sunny and hot and we both got burned, the matches were honestly a little boring, but it was pretty damn cool being there. Next time it'll be a night match. This also happened less than a week before the World Trade Centers were attacked and collapsed... and we were driving down the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and both looked over the river and saw the towers... little did we know, for the last time. Crazy.

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