A bit overdue, but the U.S. Open, along with Serena Williams’ memorable meltdown, is still fresh in our minds. First, thanks to our new friend Pam for suggesting we go to the U.S. Open at all. Given Tom’s rants on the U.S. Open last year, I didn’t think he’d be for it. But THE PAST IS THE PAST! So to opening day we went.
We watched some sprightly nobodies play on the smaller courts before taking our reserved seats in the heavens of Arthur Ashe Stadium. From there, Serena was an ant in a tutu. We squinted down at the little blue rectangle. Judging from the crowd’s roar, we assumed that Serena was quite effortlessly dispatching one Magda Linette from Poland (6-4, 6-0). Better luck next time, Mag.
Serena was in a much better mood then.
You’ve probably heard by now, or watched the whole thing unfold. Perhaps you disagree, but Serena could have handled it better. Kudos to Naomi Osaka for handling it with true grace, humility, and what during the match seemed like super human detachment. The $10 million a year she’ll get from Adidas should more than make up for the boos she had to listen to at the ceremony. When I’m having a bad day, rolling around in money certainly helps.
Serena drama or no, this year’s U.S. Open has cemented tennis as one of our favorite spectator sports – badminton remains my favorite to play – and Tom and I have established a small life goal: to go to all the Grand Slams at least once. We’ve got our eyes on the Australia open in Melbourne next.
Anyway. I haven’t forgotten what you’re here for: Tom’s thoughts. Not mine. Not Serena’s, and certainly not Alexis Ohanion’s.
“He’s probably afraid of disagreeing with her,” I said.
“Yeah, because she’d probably rip off his arms and beat him to death with them.”
Some jokes never get old.
Without further ado, some Thomsian highlights from this year’s U.S. Open:
On a silver-haired ball boy: “He’s more of a ball gentleman.”
On a rather heavyset umpire. “She’s what’s known as a ‘plump ump.’”
On Nadal, whom Tom vehemently dislikes: “I don’t like Nadal.”
And: “You know he’s the only guy that thinks he’s too good for sleeves.”
And: “If he wins, maybe he can use the money to buy some shirts with sleeves. It might cost more, but that’s because it’s more material.”
During a riveting five-set quarter-final, Nadal played and ultimately defeated my new favorite, Dominic Thiem.
“Pronounced ‘team,'” I said to Tom.
He nodded and we cheered for Thiem, wanting this young, humble-seeming Austrian to give the wedgie-picking world number one a run for the money.
“It’s ironic that in this game where you play alone he put the ‘i’ in ‘team,’” said Tom.
After losing the first set 6-0, Nadal came roaring back in the second.
“I think Nadal’s gonna win,” I said to Tom. “He’s mad now.”
Tom corrected me: “You’re mistaking his ugly mug for anger.”
In the third set, shortly before Tom bleary-eyed, went to bed, the camera zoomed in on an anxious Ben Stiller, a known Nadal fan.
“Let’s be honest,” said Tom, forgetting Nadal for a moment, “Ben Stiller lives in the shadow of his father.”