U.S. Open Tennis Tournament – Favorite Sporting Event, Favorite City: One And The Same.
(ThyBlackMan.com) This Monday marks the start of the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Granted the ‘Open’ is one of the four majors along with The Australian, French and of course Wimbeldon, but it’s much bigger than that for me. It’s special. I, like millions of people the world over, love the sport of tennis, the running, constant energy needed to be successful, the strategy necessary to conquer an opponent that may have had your number match after match. The thing that separates the U.S. Open from any other sporting event in the world to me is the way it brings the best out of my hometown, New York City. It’s special.
The Super Bowl is always in some warm weather state despite having a New York team in it twice out of the last four years (I am not bragging however, I’m a die-hard Jets fan), NASCAR doesn’t have anything to do with New York at all, ever, the chances that either the Knicks or Nets ( Go Brooklyn!) will make the championship are about the same as me playing on center court at the U.S. Open, i.e. not pretty good at the moment. Yes, the Yankees have won a handful of World Series but at minimum two of the games in the series are played at their opponents home field, that means New York is out of the spotlight for a couple days. The U.S. Open is all New York all the time. I kind of like it that way. It’s special.
The producers at ESPN do a great job of showing the city’s skyline and street views whenever possible without any chance of overkill. I mean seriously, can you ever get tired of seeing thousands upon thousands of folks pile off of trains onto the Flushing boardwalk on their way to the tennis center? Well maybe you can but I can’t, and never will. Living 800 miles from home in Atlanta, I miss being able to spent the Open’s first Sunday at Arthur Ashe kids day with my sons or stopping by the tournament mid-week and buying a day pass to roam the different courts watching the best of the best play. There has always been something special about grabbing a train or a bus over to Queens and taking the rest of the afternoon off to enjoy tennis. One of the beautiful things about New York City living is the accessibility, all of the possibilities available on a moments notice. It’s special.
My first Open happened years ago, so many years ago I can’t say that I remember what year it was. Once I started going I made it my business to go as much as possible. Before I got paid to cover sports, before I had a chance to get my name and words into newspapers and magazines, I had the U.S. Open and four different daily local newspapers with plenty to read on the tournament and the world class talent on display in my backyard for a month.
That coverage from The Daily News, New York Times, Newsday and the New York Post made me want to be a newspaperman, a sports reporter, more than anything else. More than basketball, more than my beloved baseball, much more than football, the U.S. Open tennis tournament gave me the feeling that I wanted to put the goosebumps I had whenever I watched Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, James Blake or any of their contemporaries in action, into words.
This tournament is a major, it’s on national television, will no doubt have plenty of celebrities on hand throughout, but it’s even bigger than that for me. It’s special.
Staff Writer; Donnell Suggs