Had one of the coolest tennis experiences of my life Wednesday night.
After not playing competitively for a couple years after my return to New York, I finally dove back into a USTA league this spring, and have played a few matches. (I used to be good when I left Florida; now, apparently, I stink).
A few days ago my opponent for this week suggested we play at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where of course they play the U.S. Open. Since it’s only a 40-minute subway ride from my Manhattan apartment, I said sure.
What a lot of people don’t know is that anyone can go play on the same grounds that Sampras, Agassi, Federer and Nadal have walked. You just pay $30 for an hour, make a reservation, and you’re ready.
Now of course they don’t let you play at Arthur Ashe Stadium or any of the other major courts with thousands of seats, but still… you’re playing at the U.S. Open.
Have to say, it was a hell of a good time for a tennis die-hard like me. We played on Court 15, a smaller court but one with room for a few hundred spectators (in the above photo I was on the fifth court from the left, bottom row).
It was a playing experience like none other for me; for one thing, one time when I tossed my serve I looked up and noticed a huge TV camera perch above the court.
That doesn’t happen at the local parks court.
For another, every court was private and fenced-in, so nobody else’s errant shots ran into our court. It was delightfully, beautifully quiet.
And for the first 20 minutes of my match, I couldn’t stop thinking, “I’m actually playing on a court they use for the U.S. freaking Open.”
I’d like to tell you that I settled down and, inspired by my setting, played a terrific match.
I’d like to tell you that, but it’d be a lie. I fell behind 4-0 in the first set, clawed my way back to 4-4, and then dropped eight of the last nine games to lose, 6-4, 6-1.
But I didn’t care. I played on the U.S. Open courts, and that enough made me happy.
Since our Congress seems to think any kind of further gun-control laws are impossible, “The Daily Show” took it upon themselves to show what another country’s politicians did when faced with massive gun deaths.
As always, a hilarious but devastating indictment of our cronies in Washington. Take it away, John Oliver…
**I can’t believe this is real, but it apparently is. I present a product that literally could not be more ridiculous.
But yes, if you’ve ever wanted to know what your newborn baby looked like with a mustache, now you can! Introducing the Mustachifier, the pacifier that comes with a built-in mustache for your child.
America, we’ve hit a new low with this one. Why would anyone want their kid to look like a cross between Groucho Marx and Hitler?