Tag Archives: Nicolas Mahut

Good News Friday: Texas makes a long-overdue good decision on backlog of rape kits. A French tennis star and his son have a beautiful moment. And a Normandy survivor gets a wonderful return visit

And a Happy Friday to you all, summer seems pretty much here and I’m thrilled. The Lewis clan is headed to Philadelphia this weekend, which means I get to return to a city I love and have visited many times, with a trip to the awesome sports throwback jersey store Mitchell and Ness for sure on my agenda.

Let’s start Good News Friday this week in a place whose government I rarely highlight for doing something good, the enormous state of Texas (home of the great Jock Jeffcoat, a phenomenal character on “Billions” the last few seasons. Man, Jock is one hell of an a-hole on that show, but so much fun to watch.)

Anyway, it’s rare for me to commend Texas Governor Greg Abbott (or any of his recent predecessors) but he and the Texas Legislature deserve major kudos for what they did this week, singing legislation that will end a backlog of rape kit tests that have been sitting on shelves for decades.

This is an issue that I’ve written about previously, and how there are thousands of rape cases in this country that have gone unsolved because the collected rape kits from the victim have simply never been tested.

Thankfully the tide is turning, and more and more jurisdictions are making laws that will allow old kits to be tested. This Texas

There are certain issues that are just Texas issues. One is public safety,” Abbott said. “It doesn’t matter what political party, what race, what geography you come from. Everybody wants justice, everybody wants safety.”

The bill requires an audit of untested kits, establishes timelines for results to be submitted and extends the statute of limitations for related crimes.

This is hugely important. Victims of sexual assault don’t come forward for many reasons, one of them being they often feel they’ll never, ever get justcice

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2019/06/04/gov-greg-abbott-signs-historic-legislation-end-rape-kit-testing-backlog-combat-sex-crimes

**Next up today, the French Open continues today with an incredible lineup of men’s semifinals, and a very surprising lineup of women’s semis (go Roger! By the time you read this he’s probably either won or lost against Rafael Nadal), but one of the most beautiful moments of the tournament happened a few days ago, when Frenchman Nicolas Mahut lost a third-round match to Leo Meyer.

Mahut’s son, Nathaniel, who last year scampered onto the court to congratulate Dad after Nicolas won the men’s doubles title, this year was a wonderful consolation guy, running onto the clay to comfort his father, who’d just lost. Look at how emotional even Mahut’s opponent, Mayer, got.

Just a beautiful moment.

**And finally today, you probably heard that Thursday was the 75th anniversary of the Allies’ invasion of Normandy, France during World War II. There were tributes, moving ceremonies, and all of it is extremely warranted.

Here’s a nice little moment from CBS News, with the story of a 94-year-old Normandy veteran named Joseph Morettini, who was involved in the Normandy attack and was headed back from his Pennsylvania home.

Well, local people found out about it and gave Joseph and wonderful sendoff.

Thank you, Greatest Generation. For everything.

As we prepare to move out of NYC, some things I definitely won’t miss. The Parkland kids with a beautiful, touching performance at the Tonys. And Rafa Nadal dominates and a cute kid steals the show at the French Open

So this is a pretty big week for the Lewis family, and for my wife in particular: We are leaving the noisy and crowded confines of Manhattan for the hopefully quieter but equally great suburbs, moving to our new house this Friday on Long Island.

For my beloved wife, this transition is going to be most jarring, as she’s lived in the city for 20 years and suddenly has to leave her beloved borough. For me, New York City has been my home for longer than anywhere else as an adult; my nomadic, journalist life has seen me move many times, so living in Manhattan the past six years has truly felt like home.

There have been many wonderful things about living in the crowdest, most alive city in America, and I’ll get to some of those in my next post, on Wednesday.

But since I’m a firm believer, much like Don Corleone in “The Godfather” of hearing bad news first before good news (my reasoning is I like to end on a happy note rather than a sad one), I want to write today about all the things I won’t miss about living in NYC. Don’t worry, my fellow New Yorkers reading this will nod along knowingly, while those of you who don’t live here will say “See? This is why I could never live there.”

— The honking. The goddamn, loud, incessant, annoying honking from car horns on the streets of Manhattan is the single biggest thing I hate about living in the world’s greatest city. It is around you always, and everywhere. It happens when you’re walking and suddenly someone decides the traffic up ahead is all the fault of this idiot in front of them, and leans on the horn for 10-15 seconds.

It happens when people are mad, or frustrated, or just impatient (I swear I was once honked while driving and the light hadn’t even finished switching from red to green yet).

I just cannot stand how frequent and loud the car horn honking is. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

— My biggest fear of Manhattan may surprise you: But next to every restaurant or bar is a hole/opening for a ladder or steps that go down to the basement of the place, where deliveries of beer or food or whatever goes. Walking past that steep downward hole I’m always terrified I’m going to fall down the opening and kill myself. And once our son could walk it scared me even more. Won’t miss those.

— Subway delays, which are inevitable, but the ones that happen while you’re waiting and waiting for a train and you feel it’ll never, ever, ever come.

— The pomposity and arrogance of so many young people who work in finance. You hear them in restaurants or on the street, talking so smugly like they own the world and they’re barely 25. Just once I’d like to smack one of them and tell them “Shut up, you can’t even legally rent a car yet, you don’t know anything!”

— The lack of available tennis courts. OK this one is only relevant to some of my fellow New Yorkers, but I’ve never lived anywhere where it was so hard to find a place to play. Such little land for courts, and court fees are enormous, and you’ve often got to make reservations and you only can wear certain kinds of shoes… and it’s just such a hassle. Thrilled to be moving back to normalcy, where you can just walk out onto a neighborhood court and play any time you want.

–And lastly, I won’t miss the exorbitant costs of living here. You live in Manhattan long enough, paying $18 for a burger, or $13.50 for a turkey sandwich, almost seems normal.

Because that’s what everyone is charging. It’s horrendous how so many businesses and apartment-dwellers have been driven out of the city by the high price of living here. Slowly NYC is losing its soul because it’s losing people who aren’t in the 1 percent.

But also because there has to be a point, somewhere, where people say “Enough! I will not pay $5.50 for that tiny bottle of water!”

**Next up, sometimes goosebump and tear-inducing video clips need no introduction, or explanation. So allow me to present, from Sunday night’s Tony Awards, the drama club from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., singing the iconic song from “Rent,” “Seasons of Love.”

**Finally today, a few words about the just-concluded French Open, the second tennis Grand Slam of the year and an event once again dominated on the men’s side by an unknown guy from Spain named Rafael Nadal.

  1. The guy won his 11th French Open title Sunday (cue William Miller in “Almost Famous” shouting “ELEVEN!” from the backseat), and as usual there was very little drama in victory. Nadal is the best player on any one surface, maybe that ever lived, and it’s incredible the way he and Roger Federer continue to dominate men’s tennis.

Think about this: Nadal and Federer, between them, have won the last SIX major titles. They last did that in 2006. It’s now 2018! That’s insane. Nadal looks healthy and primed for a great run at Wimbledon, where he could meet the rested and healthy Roger Federer, of course.

Wimbledon starts in three weeks. I. Can’t. Wait.

— Big props to Simona Halep, the women’s champion and world No.1, who finally won her first major. Good for her. And also big ups to 14-year-old American Coco Gauff, who won the French Open juniors title. I can’t remember if I wrote about her last year after seeing her at the U.S. Open juniors and reach the finals, but this kid is absolutely the future of women’s tennis. Already 5-9, powerful and able to move gracefully, she’s got all the tools to be a champion. Trust me, remember her name.

— Finally, this is about the most adorable thing ever: French player Nicolas Mahut won the men’s doubles title Sunday, and after the match his son Nathaniel ran on court to celebrate and dance with him. How cute is this?

Two incredible sports events thrill me Wednesday. And buh-bye, Mr. McChrystal

It’s not your typical Wednesday in June when you get two amazing, heart-stopping, nail-chewing sports events.
But Wednesday was one of those glorious, wonderful days when it’s a joy to be a sports fan.
First the United States of America’s national soccer team had me on the edge of the couch for 90 minutes, screaming and yelling at the TV like I only usually do for Jets and Duke basketball games.
It absolutely, positively was maddening watching our boys in red, white and blue miss chance after chance against our longtime rival, Algeria (Seriously, could most Americans find Algeria on a map?).

I was convinced we’d blow it, especially when Landon Donovan hit the freaking post in the second half. But then, a goal was scored we’ll be talking about years from now. Donovan redeemed himself, knocking home a rebound in the 91st minutes.

I screamed. I yelled. I’m an Olympics kind of soccer fan (once every four years, I care about the sport), but this was a great moment.

Course, we were playing Algeria, not exactly a soccer powerhouse. And we just earned a berth in the second round, which is still a long way from winning. You could argue, in a glass is half-empty kind of way, that the U.S. just lived up to expectations so far.

Still, although I felt that way for a few minutes, I talked myself out of it. This does a lot for soccer in America, and for my many friends who are fans of futbol, I am happy.

Not as happy as these people, though; absolutely love the reaction from these fans at a bar in Nebraska. I love the first 40 seconds of despair, followed by incredible euphoria:

For a great take on the game, here’s SI’s Grant Wahl:

**Then, because we needed some more sports excitement, two men named John Isner and Nicolas Mahut decided to play the longest match in tennis history. They set the record while playing one unbelievable, mind-boggling set of tennis, for more than seven hours. The match didn’t end; it picks up again this morning, U.S. time.

The score? 59-59. Let me repeat that. FIFTY-NINE TO FIFTY-NINE! It’s pretty much incomprehensible to me, and there are so many astonishing facts contained in that 59-59. (Here are two: The seven hours of the fifth set is longer than any match in history. Just the fifth set! And in that entire set, there were only four break points faced by the servers. And oh yeah, 98 aces for Isner for the match, and 94 for Mahut.)

It’s truly a once in a lifetime match. I left my house at 28-all, to go have lunch with my friend Buddy, and figured I’d miss the end of the match. Got back an hour later, and it was 42-42 and my jaw literally dropped.

9:30 a.m. today on ESPNU, these two exhausted warriors resume the match. And it’s a travesty that Wimbledon isn’t putting them on Centre Court. An absolute travesty.

**I have absolutely no sympathy for General Stanley McChrystal today. None. From all accounts, he’s a pompous, egotistical military man who, like so many before him, holds politicians who are his bosses in contempt.

He’s gotten his way a lot throughout his career, but he did the one thing you really, really can’t do: Criticize the commander in chief and the VP, his bosses. I’m glad McChrystal didn’t try to claim he was misquoted, or was taken out of context. And I’m glad that President Obama wasted no time in canning his rear end.

Good riddance. Of course, what we really need is not a new general, but to get the hell out of Afghanistan. My former colleague Pierre Tristam, who I often disagree with but who is a really smart guy, has a good column on this here.