One of the reasons I wanted to come to the US Open is that the center has the largest tennis stadium in the world. Arthur Ashe Stadium can seat 23,000 people. I wanted to hear all those folks cheering the world’s best players during the evening sessions. Nighttime in New York!
My seats in Arthur Ashe are about as high as you can get. So far I have been directly behind the baseline, looking almost straight down at the players. It’s a weird angle, and they’re so tiny.
As the Open enters its second week, Ashe will get more full. But right now it’s half or less. Hope springs eternal that the roar of 23,000 fans will blast my eardrums in the days to come.
Now … consider Court 17. Here’s what it looks like:
Twenty-five hundred folks, and it was rockin’! I could see the sweat and hear the breathing as Federico Coria or Gael Monfils lunged for the ball. Yes! This is what I want. Small is beautiful.
Speaking of which, one of the matches on 17 featured Emma Raducanu, a teen from Great Britain. A tiny girl in the front row held up a homemade sign for Emma. As the breeze tossed it around, I could read the word “Love”. Emma smiled back.
At the end of the match, which Emma won, she spent at least ten minutes signing programs and giant tennis balls. Selfies abounded, always with that giant smile. Every little kid who came up to the low fence bordering the court was “seen”. Lovely and just what the world needs.