Thursday, September 6, 2007

No shirt, no problem… at the US Open

I had a blast at the US Open over Labor Day weekend. Using the official Tennis Fun Scale – on which having a torrid Wimbledon-weekend fling with handsome James Blake is a 10 and watching Mynameis Somethingkova play in 110-degree weather without sunblock is a 1 – I give my trip a 9. For those not familiar with my scientific scale, that’s the score for watching a shirtless Andy Roddick show up out of nowhere to practice wiith coach Jimmy Connors a few feet in front of you. And before you ask, yes, he’s a hottie. I also saw Sania Mirza, the highest-ranked female Indian player ever, play doubles with a partner who was decked up in dazzling gold. I’d think she was going clubbing right after the match, but it was the middle of the day. Apparently in her next match she wore leopard print and shorts so short the umpire had to check whether they were legal. As for Sania, I heard she was an Aishwarya Rai-size superstar in India, but I can believe it now considering how popular she was in New York; she got more cheers than anyone I saw play. Enough about the players (shirtless or not)... let's talk about the fans. Some people really love their tennis. I met a fellow Chicagoan who was at her 28th straight US Open. Impressive? Sure, but not compared to one man in her group. He’s a cancer patient who stopped his chemotherapy for a week to be at the US Open. And not against doctors’ orders – his doctor was fine with it, saying mental health is as important as physical health.

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