Archive for Tennis

Prospect Park Tennis Center

50 Parkside Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226

This center has  ( har tru and hard), cross street from Prospect Park. Street parking is relative easy. The shower rooms are on the 2nd floor. The center will be closed from Oct 4, to put up the bubble. The 2021-22 season runs from Oct 18 to May 1, 2022. Rates are here.

 

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The little-known story of Serena Williams’ first endorsement deal

Aaron Dodson is a sports and culture writer at The Undefeated. He primarily writes on sneakers/apparel and hosts the platform’s “Sneaker Box” video series. During Michael Jordan’s two seasons playing for the Washington Wizards in the early 2000s, the “Flint” Air Jordan 9s sparked his passion for kicks. 

link from Apple News – unstable at the moment, so I copy/paste


Antonio Bertone can’t forget that fateful day he met the quiet young girl who changed everything.

It was the fall of 1997, one evening in Los Angeles, where Bertone, then in his mid-20s, worked as a global director of brand management for the German sportswear company Puma.
At the time, Regency Enterprises held the claim as Puma’s principal shareholder. The mastermind of that unique union of entertainment, footwear and apparel was Regency founder Arnon Milchan, a successful business executive from Israel who became the high-profile film producer behind blockbusters such as Pretty Woman (1990), JFK (1991) and L.A. Confidential (1997). Milchan always thought big picture and had one secretly ambitious plan for Puma, surrounding his off-screen obsession with tennis.
“I got a call from Arnon’s assistant,” Bertone remembered. “She said, ‘Hey, can you come over to the studio tonight around 5 or 6 o’clock? Arnon wants you to join this meeting.’ I was like, ‘OK. Any idea of what the meeting is about?’ She said, ‘I have no idea.’ ”
Around 5:30 p.m., Bertone arrived at Milchan’s office, then located on the lot of Warner Bros. Studios. The meeting had lasted since midday.
“Sitting in the office is Serena Williams,” he recalled. “I don’t think she was even 16 yet.”

Williams, who turns 40 this week, would go on to endorse Puma into her early 20s, wearing custom-designed outfits that made her into a revolutionary of tennis fashion. But her ongoing 18-year partnership with Nike, the brand she’d join in 2003, has overshadowed the oft-forgotten first endorsement deal of her career. It all began, for Williams, with an offer from Puma, negotiated in this meeting.

Next to her in the room sat Richard Williams, who moved his family from Saginaw, Michigan, to Compton, California, in 1983. He taught the game of tennis on the city’s public courts to his daughters, Venus and Serena, who are 15 months apart.
Milchan had met his ultimate match in Richard Williams. The self-proclaimed “James Bond” (who once said that he covertly negotiated arms deals for the Israeli government in the 1960s) took serve against “King Richard,” the hands-on father who leveraged his elder daughter, Venus, an eight-figure endorsement deal with Reebok in 1995. That same year, Williams turned pro at 14, joining her sister on the WTA tour.
“Arnon recognized Serena and Venus’ ability to change the sport of tennis,” Bertone said. “Puma wasn’t in tennis then. But Arnon went from 0 to 100 … like, ‘We’re totally getting back into tennis with Serena.’ ”
Technically, Milchan didn’t have the power to discuss financial terms on Puma’s behalf. And Bertone didn’t have the authority to offer a multiyear contract to an athlete. So they called Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz in Germany. Zeitz woke up in the middle of the night to sign off on the deal. Back in the corner of the LA office, Richard Williams periodically called his wife Oracene on the room’s landline to provide updates. “I was convinced he wasn’t even talking to her,” Bertone noted. “That he was just buying time, drawing things out to see where we’d end up.”
At one point, as detailed in her 2009 autobiography, On The Line, Williams placed her head down on the conference table and dozed off. Negotiations went past midnight, lasting more than 12 hours. The meeting ultimately ended with a multimillion-dollar commitment from Zeitz and Puma, and a verbal agreement from Richard and Serena Williams.
“It was really hard to imagine how her career would evolve,” Bertone said. “But you had to believe, right? It was like, ‘We’re gonna do this.’ At the same time, I kept on going into these obsessive, compulsive loops in my head … like, ‘How the f— are we gonna figure this out?’ ”
Williams, now with 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her legacy, has since been transformed into one of the most admired — and scrutinized — athletes of all time in sport and style. But in the late ’90s, both Puma and a young Williams had much to prove.
“I wanted a sponsor. I wanted someone to believe in me,” wrote Williams in On The Line. “It wasn’t just Puma taking a chance on me. It was me taking a chance on Puma. It cut both ways.”
A week or so after that initial meeting, a large package addressed to Williams arrived at her family’s home in Florida. She opened it and tried on everything inside, gaining validation extending beyond how each outfit appeared in the mirror. It was about more than just the free clothes or even her first endorsement deal.
“It was this moment,” she wrote in On The Line, “going through this giant box of Puma gear that all fit perfectly, where I felt I’d finally arrived as a player.”
By February 1998, approximately five months after negotiations on the Warner Bros. lot, Puma officially announced its partnership with a 16-year-old Serena, then the No. 41-ranked women’s singles player in the world.
“I could have signed with any sports brand, but this was the most promising and felt right for me,” Williams said at the time. (Due to scheduling, Williams declined The Undefeated’s request to be interviewed for this story.)
The unprecedented agreement not only included her promotion of the company’s sportswear products, but also said that she would “participate in various film, music and media projects produced by Regency,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Spoiler: Regency never landed Williams on the silver screen (even though the Los Angeles Times reported in March 1999 that she and her sister completed screen tests for an undisclosed film). But Puma certainly delivered in fostering the tennis phenom’s passion for design. Williams made sure she made the most out of the partnership in that regard.
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For her first meeting with Alden Sheets, who became president of worldwide apparel at Puma in 1997, Williams came prepared. She gave him a handwritten note and outfit sketches she drew herself while on tour.
“Alden,” wrote Williams, who, at 16, had her own custom-branded letterhead, adorned with her first and last name at the top of each page. “Here are some of the designs that I have thought of. There were many more but this requires many late nights and hard work, especially during a tournament.” On two sheets of paper, Williams outlined her vision for on-court apparel she called the “Petal” and “Mod” series. She traced concepts for jackets, dresses, biker shorts and pants that she filled in with colored pencils and added explanatory notes.
“As I said before,” she continued, “Puma is behind in a lot of ways. And I believe I can help bring the company back to its feet and into the lead once again.”
Remember, Puma didn’t have a presence in tennis when the company signed her. More than a decade had passed since Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova last repped the brand on the court. “We exited tennis in the ’80s, vowing to never get back,” said Bertone, who would become Puma’s chief marketing officer before leaving the company in 2012. Yet Puma returned with Williams. She was an athlete — from her background to the frame of her body and the way she moved — unlike any other the brand had experienced.
“I saw her and Venus play doubles at Wimbledon. These amazing, powerful women of color in sport,” said Amy Denet Deal, a former senior women’s designer for Puma, who is Native American. “Being a woman of color, it was groundbreaking to see that shift.”
Then overseeing a design office in Herzogenaurach, Germany, where the company is headquartered, Deal received the assignment of being Williams’ first lead designer. Puma also paired Williams with Linda Long, a former tennis player-turned-marketing director who operated as a daily brand manager, traveling with her on tour. Deal and Williams first met at a tournament in Indian Wells, California, and bonded over a shared love for apparel in eye-catching colors. Williams gave Deal drawings depicting what she dreamed of wearing on the court.
“I just thought that was the coolest thing ever that this young woman showed up with a bunch of sketches,” said Deal, now the owner and creative director of a design consulting firm and sustainable upcycling brand. “You’re talking about someone who was 17 and had no training in design. She wanted to be the most powerful player. But this effortless sense of style that she’s developed over all these years — that was in her heart.”
Deal designed the yellow dress Williams wore when she won the US Open in September 1999 after upsetting world No. 1 Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-6, in straight sets. At 17, she became the first African American woman to claim a Grand Slam singles title since Althea Gibson in 1958. She also won the tournament’s women’s doubles title with her sister Venus. Puma celebrated Williams’ first career major singles victory with a $500,000 bonus. And a few weeks later, her tennis coronation gown hit the rack at the first Puma store in the United States, which opened in Santa Monica, California.
“Head-to-toe yellow,” Deal said. “Quite different from what would be expected. It was so beautiful. Back when she first started playing and had all the beads in her hair, she was always matching them with her outfit.”
Her career-long catalog of on-court outfits considered, Williams’ Puma dress from the 1999 US Open is relatively tame. It took some time for her to get comfortable with the brand as she grew into a young woman.
She turned 18. She transitioned from beaded braids to new hairstyles. She announced a joint plan with her sister Venus for offseason enrollment at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where they would major in fashion. And, most importantly, she started winning. By the end of 1999, she ranked No. 4 in the world in women’s singles.
“Our eye was always on majors,” Sheets said. “Every major, there would be a new series of apparel and a statement outfit. We started conservatively. Then we started to get wild.”
A young designer named Bonnie Dominguez, who specialized in lifestyle clothing, took over as the visionary behind Williams’ apparel after Deal left the company in November 1999. Closer to Williams in age, Dominguez and the tennis star clicked immediately. Williams nicknamed the 5-foot-2 Dominguez “Little Bonnie.”
“Serena was always the muse,” said Dominguez, who designed for Puma from 1998 to 2005. She’s been with New Balance since 2013. “I don’t know if that could’ve happened with any other player — to take that many fashion risks that early in a career. I don’t think the world was ready for it. I don’t think design was ready for it.”
In 2000, classes at the Art Institute started for Williams, who was deemed the “single-most recognizable athlete Puma endorses worldwide” in The Palm Beach Post by the brand’s head of U.S. marketing. She also began addressing her outfits in news conferences, while opening up more about her lifelong love of fashion. Williams quipped, however, that design didn’t come to her as naturally as tennis.
“I like drawing ideas of things to wear and just, like, sketching out things,” she said in 2000. “I’m not the greatest artist, but I’ve got ideas.”
Ahead of the 2000 US Open, Sheets discovered a new type of fabric and a factory in LA that could manipulate it through a unique tie-dyeing process. He challenged Dominguez to use his findings in her debut ensemble for Williams to wear at that season’s final major.
“One of the first outfits that got the most attention was Williams’ purple and black tie-dye coverup,” Sheets said. “She had a pair of compression shorts underneath a bare midriff and bra top. So, at various angles, you were seeing through that garment, because it was mesh. That outfit had the WTA calling me to question what we were doing to tennis, which was a very white, conservative sport.”
The policing of Williams’ style started early in her career. Notably at Wimbledon, tennis’ most revered Grand Slam, where there’s a No. 1 rule: Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white.During Williams’ five-year partnership with Puma, certain tournaments began mandating that the brand show Williams’ outfits in advance. Sheets fielded frequent calls from tennis officials, including one that still stands out from the All England Club, where Williams won Wimbledon singles titles in 2002 and 2003.
“I remember I was on a shopping tour, walking the streets of Florence and my cellphone rings,” recalled Sheets. “It was the head of the Wimbledon approval committee saying, ‘Mr. Sheets, we’re very concerned Serena’s outfits will be outside of the ethics of our organization. We’d very much like to see what you’re planning to have her wear. In fact, send the garments to us for our pre-approval before she’s allowed to be on court.’
“I was stunned,” Sheets continued. “The people at Wimbledon were worried we were gonna put Serena out there in a red outfit or something. We wanted to. But we knew we couldn’t get it done. Not there.”
Puma truly flipped the script of traditional tennis attire at the French Open in 2002. The tournament was held during the first two weeks of the FIFA World Cup in South Korea. The marketing team at the brand, which also sponsored Cameroon’s national men’s soccer team, came up with the crazy concept of outfitting Williams in a dress resembling the kit the African nation would wear at the World Cup. Dominguez sketched a sample and pitched it to Williams, who loved the idea. In her opening match at the French Open, she took the court in Cameroon-themed apparel, down to a pair of yellow soccer socks pulled up to her knees.
After Williams won the French Open and at Wimbledon in 2002, Puma needed another head-turning design for the 21-year-old star, who had reached the world No. 1 in women’s singles. She was preparing to compete for her third straight Grand Slam title at the US Open.
“With her pushing so many style boundaries, it was like, ‘What do we do next?’ ” Dominguez remembers thinking. “Does it have to be a skirt? Does it have to be a dress?”
A better question, she asked herself: “How do we make a statement?”
Sketches and design materials were sprawled across her hotel room in Germany as Dominguez prepared for a sales meeting to introduce what she had in store for Williams.
From the television in the background, Dominguez heard speculation that actress Halle Berry was being cast as the lead in the film Catwoman. She turned around and watched the program roll vintage footage of the actress Eartha Kitt, who in 1967 became the first African American woman to star as the comic book character in the TV series Batman.
It was in this moment that Dominguez found inspiration for Williams’ infamous catsuit that she’d debut months later at the 2002 US Open.
“I don’t think anyone else would’ve looked good in that catsuit,” said Dominguez, who immediately got to drawing after “badass Eartha Kitt” reminded her of Williams. For the outfit, she planned to use Lycra, a high-shine spandex brand that looked like faux leather and would tightly hug Williams’ muscular physique. Dominguez complemented the look with a biker-style jacket that she could wear over the catsuit while warming up.
“ ‘Let’s try it,’ ” recalled Dominguez of the customary approval Williams gave to move a design concept into production. By the time Sheets delivered a sample at a memorable 7 a.m. fitting session in her hotel room at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, Williams had forgotten about the rebellious outfit.
“We hand her the catsuit and she says, ‘This is for me … to wear playing tennis?’ ” Sheets recalled. “She went into the bathroom and came out where there was a full mirror in front of the door. She was just glowing, with this huge grin on her face.”
At the sight of Williams in the catsuit for the first time, Sheets’ split conscience spoke up.
“I remember very specifically having two guys on my shoulders. One on my left and one on my right,” Sheets said. “The one on my left said, ‘You are absolutely crazy if you’re gonna have her walk out at the US Open, upset the USTA, the WTA and have Puma scrutinized. … You can’t allow this.’
“The one on my right said,‘This is the most incredible thing we’ve ever done. We’re gonna upset all of tennis. We’re gonna upset the entire world. The press is gonna be all over this. And Serena loves it. We’re not turning back at this point.’ ”
Due to delays at a factory in China, the catsuit almost didn’t make it in time for the US Open. At the 11th hour, a Puma representative flew the garment from Hong Kong to New York, where Sheets picked it up at the airport. He handed it off to Long, Williams’ brand manager, who gave it to her and advised she try it on before her opening match at the US Open.
“I had to beg Jim Curley, who was the tournament director then, to allow Serena to wear it. He thought I’d lost my mind but gave the OK,” Long said. “I’m standing in the hallway waiting for Serena to come out to go on to Arthur Ashe Stadium court in the catsuit. She bends over and whispers in my ear, ‘This is the first time I’ve put this catsuit on … hope I don’t lose.’ ”
On Aug. 26, 2002, Williams stepped onto the tennis court and unzipped her jacket to unveil her skintight catsuit. Later that evening, this is how CNN anchor Anderson Cooper opened the program:
Despite widespread criticism, Williams went on to win the 2002 US Open, defeating her sister Venus while wearing the outfit that she accented in the final match with a pink headband and armband.
“Man, that outfit turned a lot of heads …,” wrote Williams years later in On The Line. “But what most people don’t realize is it was so comfortable! Of course the catsuit was so hot I would have worn it even if it was the most uncomfortable thing in the world.”
It doesn’t feel like common knowledge that Puma designed the first catsuit Williams wore in her career. Type “Serena catsuit” in Google, and the first images and news stories that surface are those surrounding the Nike one she wore at the French Open in 2018 that the French Tennis Federation barred from returning, saying “one must respect the game.” Nike responded to the ban and comments by releasing an ad with the powerful tagline: “You can take a superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”
“Serena’s legacy with Puma feels like it all got erased when she went to Nike,” Bertone said.
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In December 2003, after winning her first six Grand Slam singles titles while repping Puma, Williams left the company to join Nike on an eight-year endorsement deal reported to be worth up to $55 million with performance incentives. By comparison, Williams earned a reported $13 million from Puma in the first five years of her career. (Dominguez recalled that Williams never had the opportunity to wear the final outfit she designed for her. So Puma outfitted actress Kirsten Dunst in it for the 2004 film Wimbledon.)
“At the time, we went as high as we could go for an athlete, knowing full well that Nike would outbid us,” Bertone said. “People nowadays have no idea about Serena and Puma.”
There’s a memory in particular that Bertone cherishes from Williams’ early days with Puma. In the late ’90s, they crossed paths at the Atlanta Super Show, a sporting goods trade convention.
“I remember seeing her and shaking her hand, like, ‘Holy s—. You’re a superstar now,’ ” Bertone recalled. “She had become a young woman and was much taller than the first time I saw her. She was wearing all her Puma apparel and it was just so nice to be like, ‘This is working!’ ”
She’s since gone from a promising 16-year-old athlete a brand took a chance on to reaching the pinnacle of both tennis and style-bending.
“I consider her a fashion icon,” said Deal, the first designer of color Williams worked with at Puma. “She’s completely changed the way that women dress for sport.”
In 2019, Williams and Nike teamed up to create an apprenticeship program to promote diversity in design and provide a foundation for a new generation of designers from underrepresented backgrounds. In August, Nike announced the Serena Williams Design Crew’s first collection, set for a fall release, featuring apparel, footwear and accessories and crafted by 10 designers from diverse backgrounds.
Now, it seems, Williams is the one on the receiving end of a young aspiring designer’s sketches.

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US Open, Day 11

US Open 2021 offers a free day for the fans today. We watched four matches, two main draw men’s doubles semi and two wheelchair men’s singles, quarter final @ Armstrong. Either it’s a rainy day or New Yorkers don’t care for freebies (as no free lunch … inferior …), the stadium is very empty.

We stayed on to watch two wheelchair men’s quarter final singles matches. Oh boy, both matches are exciting, especially the second one.

 

The broken racket is from Sam Querrey.

  1. Johnson/Querrey lost to #4 R. Ram/J. Salisbury
  2. #8 J Peers n F Polasek lost to #7 Jamie Murray/B Soares
  3. #1 Shingo Kunieda 🇯🇵 def Casey Ratzlaff 🇺🇸 6:1, 6:0
  4. Tom Egberink lost to Gordon Reid 🇬🇧

Men’s doubles semi: Johnson/Querrey lost to R. Ram/J. Salisbury @ Armstrong. We stayed a few rows from the court because the players are so tall: Sam Querrey (1987-) is 6’6″ and Steve Johnson (1989-) is 6’2″. Not to mention the little tree John Isner (1985-) who is 6’7″. No wonder Pete Sampras (1971-) who is 6’1″ said, that during his time, he was considered tall.

Murray/Soares won their first set on their opponents’ double fault. Has any one saw his mother Judy watched him – Jamie (1986-) play? Mrs. Murray is always a presence at her other son, Andy’s (1987-) match all the time.

The first wheelchair men’s singles quarter final, #1 seed Shingo Kunieda 🇯🇵 def Casey Ratzlaff 🇺🇸 6:1, 6:0

The second singles, Tom Egberink lost to Gordon Reid 🇬🇧

As we were leaving, the evening crowd gets in. The Mets dog is working, again, and the pretty sunset color.

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Day 9 at the Open


The second week at the US Open tennis 2021. I got a Louis Armstrong ticket @ $135 (Sec 6, row C), parking at the commuter lot is $25, in lieu of the normal rate of $5, or it’s free for Benz.

We picked up our breakfast from Flushing to have at the Open. The leek or chives pan cakes are great.

~ Unisphere: This spherical stainless steel globe was part of 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Four matches, two mixed and two women’s doubles sandwiched at the Louis Armstrong:

Giuliana Olmos/M. Arévalo def E. Perez/M. Demoliner. Giuliana’s outfit is pretty.

Jessica Pegula (born Buffalo, New York in 1994) and Austin Krajicek (born in Tampa, Florida in 1990) def Alexa Guarachi and Neal Skupski.

Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey def Horia Tecau & Kevin Krawletz: a very mechanic match.

This year’s Ralph Lauren’s outfit is pretty colorful; and the Mets uniformed dog capped our day.

 

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Shame on USTA

The photo is Zheng Saisai, NOT Zhang Shuai 

Can’t USTA get their act together: using Zheng Saisai’s photo for Zhang Shuai?

The second match at Louis Armstrong stadium is women’s doubles which is our main attraction: Zhang Shuai and Sam Stosur. There are a few interruptions from system malfunction (?) and the biggest one is, USTA put up (郑赛赛 1994-) Zheng Saisai’s photo for Zhang. This is a bit too hard to swallow.

I like both players, Zhang Shuai and Sam Stosur. It was Stosur who talked Zhang out of retirement in 2015. They’ve won Aussie Open doubles in 2019. They’ve similar physiques, wear identical outfit. The Aussie’s arms are more muscle than the Chinese.

I’ve seen Zhang many times and enjoy her skill as well as her physical appearance – she has the perfect body for tennis. Her arms are particularly pretty. Stosur is in great shape and a slightly shorter than Zhang. Her torso is also slightly thiner than Zhang’s.

 

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Day 4 after Ida

10:06pm

The fourth day at the US Open tennis 2021. After a heavy rain the previous day and night from tropical storm Ida (挨打 … can’t help it every time I hear this name) when many have died, the weather couldn’t be any better.

I bought a cheap seat for $32.25 online (section 316, row X): $25 for the ticket, plus $5 per ticket service fee and $2.95 order processing fee charged by TicketMaster. I took the LIRR ($9.25 each way! Gosh they should do better) instead of driving, and stopped by Flushing to pick up some dinner, for my Paris gang as well.
Unbeknown to me, my dad is a USTA celebrity now – here is his 28 seconds fame video. Even before he sat down, two young bubbly women behind me said, “I know you! I saw your video …”

俺来了 … omg 😳 俺终于变名人后了 – 犹爸晋升网红.

他过来还没有坐下 后面2个娃就说 “嘿 我知道你 就在那个视频里…” 一番合影 留电话 明天见 … 本来大家都挺安安静静的在看 一下子活跃起来了. 人见人爱的老头 从来没有看见过他重复印满警句的T恤. 80岁生日高空跳伞 现在85岁半退休(足科医生)还是一星期4-5次🎾. 他太太去世时我们非常担心 … 结果是多余. 反正和他一起不大笑难 2019 我们三人帮去法网 2年后 俺和小二 四肢不灵光 只有老爸还在打 谢谢更换的膝盖. 俺时常在想是不是也去更新四肢. 网红链. 周末快乐!  如果您觉得俺是个🎾bum 那是最大的冤枉. 犹爸每年2星期几乎24小时扎在美网 (全职诊所靠小密打理) 如果可以睡他一定就不回家了. 80年代🎾名人🦶都是靠他修理. 记得他初见俺娃 第一句话是 走走 让俺看看是不是🎾料 [呲牙][调皮][捂脸]

  1. Jenson Brooksby defeat Taylor Fritz @ Grandstand
  2. Sock def Bublik @ Court 5
  3. Ashlyn Krueger/Montgomery def Pegula/Muhammad @ Court 4
  4. Coco Gauff/McNally def Carla Suárez Navarro/Errani @ #17
  5. Karolína Plíšková def Amanda Anisimova @ Ashe

 

A lazy and relaxing afternoon, when you’re tired of tennis … watching.

Jack Sock vs Alexander Bublik Highlights @ Court 5

The last match I watched was Karolína Plíšková def Amanda Anisimova @ Ashe. Both played well. 

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Gaël Monfils at the Open

Gaël Monfils played his first US Open 2021 match on Day 2 at Court 17. The fun loving player is being loved back from all of us.

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The flag vendor

So, the US Open tennis 2021 is underway and vendors come in doves as well, selling from bottled water ($3 for a spring or $5 for two) to flags. I’m bit of surprised to see the Japanese and Korean flags but not Chinese. The sweet lady said, she’ll get me one 🙂 all in good spirit. Thank you.

An update: the sweet lady did get Chinese flags when I returned on Thursday. The Program stand is still doing a brisk business: Program + daily for $20, $5 for a daily alone and $20 for a poster). Thought the program and daily could be replaced by smartphone, unless you would like it as a souvenir.

The bottled water, sells by the street vendors this summer:

  • $1 on Brooklyn Bridge
  • $2 at Yankee
  • $3 for a bottle or $5 for two at US Open
  • $5 at AMC Fresh Meadows 7 plus sales tax

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Ashlyn Krueger, 2004

US Open 2021, Day 2. Court 11, willowy Ashlyn Krueger (2004-; prize win $8,713) is playing Anna Karolína Schmiedlová from Slovakia. Two AKs, -:). Krueger lost 7-5, 63-77ith , 6-3. I saw her teaming up with Robin Montgomery (2004-; prize money $8,493), in an American women’s doubles match on Court 4 two days later, winning the first round of women’s  over A. Muhammad and Jessica Pegula. 6-2 and 7-6. The pair lost their second round to Leylah Fernandez and Erin Routliffe 2-6 and 2-6.

Krueger lost her girls singles in the second round (1st round she got a bye), losing to P. Marcinko in three. The pair, Krueger and Montgomery got a bye in the first round and won their second round, defeating J. Garcia and M. Mutavdzic 6-4, 6-1.

Her singles match on Day 2

Ashlyn Krueger and Robin Montgomery on Court 6, Day 4, the first round of women’s doubles.

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US Open, 2021

A great photo of Serena who’s absent at the Open; seen on FB

US Open began yesterday, August 30, ending next Sunday, Sept 12. The prize is $57.5 million and the two singles winners take home $2,500,000 each, little less than 2020, $3 mil.

I got my day session (#3) ticket to Ashe at the window (ticket/box office), $44 (TicketMaster adds $5 per ticket service fee and $2.95 order processing fee) today. It’s cheaper than the ground pass which is at $65. To buy a day in advance or before the start of the match, $25 would do.

Gates opening time varies. On the first day, a huge crowd was gathered to get in and someone tweeted that a woman fainting, but I never encountered any lines on my days there. Actually, on my evening session, I got in way before 6pm. The parking isn’t as clear as Citifield’s.

The most talked about topic this year is bathroom breaks: Stefanos Tsitsipas (1998-) taking multiple 8 minutes bathroom break during his first round match, defeating Andy Murray (espn, WaPo, People, SportingNews …).

The perks: Amex, Chase and Benz all have their hangouts. Amex has Centurion Suite and the Lounge (photos above, is smaller than previous years), with a few booths to dispense their radios. Chase has one at the main building where we check in to play tennis. It required a sign up and reserve but my two reservations never materialized: Day 4 was on a waitlist and Day 9 never came. Benz had display room only inside. The outside of the gate one is gone.

Although I never encounter any lines to get in but I though USTA should or could offer wrist band for covid-19 vaccine proof, to reduce the among of work they’ve to do each time we go because many of us are multiple day attendees.

Day 2: I parked at Skyview (got hair cut too) and walked the Roosevelt Avenue pathway 5.2 miles for the day. The commuter lot is closed for the first four days. It reopens to commuters this Friday, at the usual rate $5.

Watched Barty at Ashe, Gaël Monfils at Court 17, and a young American, 17 years old Ashlyn Krueger (2004-), who lost to Anna Karolína Schmiedlová in three sets. Her prize winning is only $8,713.

Day 2, Tue 8.31 @ Ashe, $44 (Sec 317, row R), first round

  1. Barty
  2. Ashlyn Krueger
  3. Gaël Monfils

Day 4 Thur, Sept 2, 2nd round; $32.95; LIRR

  1. Jenson Brooksby defeat Taylor Fritz @ Grandstand
  2. Sock def Bublik @ Court 5
  3. Ashlyn Krueger/Montgomery def Pegula/Muhammad @ Court 4
  4. Coco Gauff/McNally def Carla Suárez Navarro/Errani @ #17
  5. Karolína Plíšková def Amanda Anisimova @ Ashe

Day 9, Tue Sept 7 @ Armstrong $135;

  1. Giuliana Olmos/M. Arévalo def E. Perez/M. Demoliner
  2. Stosur/Zhang def Dolehide/Sanders
  3. Pegula/Krajicek def Guarachi/Skupski
  4. Johnson/Querrey def Tecau/Krawletz

Day 11, Thur Sept 9 @ Armstrong, $0

  1. Johnson/Querrey lost to #4 R. Ram/J. Salisbury
  2. #8 J Peers n F Polasek lost to #7 Jamie Murray/B Soares
  3. #1 Shingo Kunieda 🇯🇵 def Casey Ratzlaff 🇺🇸 6:1, 6:0
  4. Tom Egberink lost to Gordon Reid 🇬🇧

The bathrooms are always well stocked, and what you can and can’t bring in with you.

The Ashleigh Barty Vera Zvonareva match was pretty boring, until Barty failed for serve out at 5:3. The second set went to tie break. After the match I spotted Vera Zvonareva got on the stationary bike. Looking over, is the New York Hall of Science, with the rocket park.

The K9s German shepherds, aren’t they handsome?! And the Mets dog too

The fashion is as usual, great to watch too. But I always miss the best dressers.

… and the uniform: on the first day, Sloane Stephens def Madison Keys – they wore the same outfits. Theirs, clearly set the tone for this Open.

  

more …

   

… and the final,

Emma Raducanu and Daniil Medvedev won the Final.

Med wrote: “Imagine being 18, playing in your 4th pro event, winning only a 25k before and now being @usopen champ! Incredible. @EmmaRaducanu”

Yes, her run is incredible. Hope she can keep up the pace.

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