New York City is LOUD! No wonder New Yorkers sometimes talk loudly…they have to do so to be heard over the din. Though there are an awful lot of people in NY who just tune out…either they are listening to something on their phones or texting while walking (slowly walking). In other words, it’s not San Diego, but that’s ok, it’s fun and exciting to be here.
I walked from the Hyatt yesterday through Grand Central station (totally bustling at 8:30 on a Friday night) over to the Fifth Avenue (checked out Uniqlo on the way up and the Lindt chocolate store), to Central Park then walked back down Madison Ave…lots of tourists (quite a few French tourists I think) and back to the hotel.
Today I went to the US Open after our meetings and saw a smorgasbord of matches. I checked out the new practice courts (Federer was there, practicing with Stepanich and also had Edberg and two other coaches on the court; Bouchard was there too with Nick Saviano). Of course since Federer was practicing there was a line. By the time I got a seat he was mostly done and just practicing some trick shots and a few serves. He was having fun and really seems to be able to hit almost any shot he wants, incredible spin shots for example. He served and volleyed a fair amount too.
After Fed finished, I checked out the new courts 4, 5 and 6, which were redone this year and are quite nice. I saw Makarova beat up on Diyas (who took out Bellis a couple of days ago); Makarova, a tall lefty, had too much power for Diyas and was pretty consistent with it, so she won 62 64, but it was a fun match.
Next up was mixed doubles. I watched the first set of Lisa Raymond and Scott Lipsky vs Peschke/Matkowski. Peschke played for the San Diego Aviators I think but I found myself rooting for Raymond/Lipsky. They won the first set but it was tight, they won a 3-3 point for the only break of the set; margins are narrow in mixed which uses no ad and a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set (the only slam to do so); they lost 11-9 in a match tiebreak later in the day. What I noticed about the mixed is that everyone seems to be at least 35 and the players don’t look like singles players, but it was still fun to watch.
After watching the mixed I headed back to Armstrong to see if Isner could beat Kohlschreiber. I watched the third set; Isner had a break point, didn’t convert and lost it in a tiebreak…in fact he lost all three tiebreaks he played today against his German foe and lost in four sets. But by that time…
I headed over to Grandstand to see the Bryan Brothers play another American team, the unlikely pairing of Michael Russell who is 36, short and about as fit as anyone could be and 17 year old Jared Donaldson who is a lot taller than Russell…seems to be in the 6’4” or taller range and has the look of a Labrador puppy…all arms and legs and very lanky with toothpicks for legs. The Bryans won very easily, though Donaldson held serve twice in the second set…Donaldson had trouble returning and volleying (which may be why he was at the baseline when Russell returned…he missed a lot of volleys! After the match, the Bryans stayed a long time, Bob autographed half a bag of tennis balls (not just the normal three) and Mike hit them into the stands; then they both stayed and signed dozens of autographs. I saw Mike in the hallway under Armstrong after the match and mentioned how nice it was that they signed so many autographs and he just said it was fun. They are really good for tennis.
And that’s the end of Saturday in NY…more good tennis tomorrow and more good meetings.