My husband and I had an unexpected and very exciting treat this past Saturday. We were invited to attend the U.S. Open men's singles semi final matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. Arthur Ashe Stadium, a part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, is located within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and is the main tennis stadium of the US Open. It is the largest "tennis only" venue in the world!
This is the play board that shows the results of all the matches played before this date and the ranks of the players. Serbia's Novak Dojokovic played Switzerland's Roger Federer, and Spain's Rafael Nadal played Scotland's Andy Murray.
I took the photo above and below from the lodge section of Arthur Ashe stadium, where our seats were located, you can see a view of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and a portion of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park which was once the site of the 1939 New York World's Fair and 1964 World's Fair. The photo below is one of the 32 courts in the facility, where a wheelchair athletes match was being played.
It was 11:30 AM as we entered the stadium and the stands were just beginning to fill up.
The sky became overcast and a half hour rain shower delayed the beginning of the matches. I enjoyed watching the suction/fan cars that came out to clear the court of water.
Very soon the sky was bright blue again, and the ubiquitous sports blimp was in the air over the stadium to broadcast a panorama view on TV.
At the beginning of the first match the stands were packed with a capacity crowd.
A special recognition to the anniversary of 9-11-01 was on the court.
Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Bradley Cooper, Billie Jean King, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Andy Samberg, Paul Simon, Sandy Koufax , Stanley Tucci and Jeremy Piven are among the many stars watching the men's singles final and the camera placed their images on the scoreboards during set breaks.
Roger was a five time former winner of the US Open.
The four hours quality of play was intense, but Roger Federer was defeated in five sets in his quest for another US Open title with a 7-6(9), 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 5-7 defeat against Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.
After a brief interlude the second set of men's singles took the court.
(Andy had changed his shorts from black to white towards the last set)
It was nice to see these two players grace and sportsmanship. Their matches were particularly exciting to watch.
Rafael Nadal beat Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 to set up a final with Novak Djokovic this past Monday.
I loved this scene above on the scoreboard as the blimp showed us the sun go down behind the buildings in Manhattan in a blaze of color.
We were still in the stadium well into the night and saw the harvest moon rise in the sky. The two semi final matches lasted many hours, and in my opinion it requires fortitude from the fans in the stands to sit such a long time. I had to take a few walks to stretch my legs during the matches. The excitement of play on this level is mesmerizing, however, and I marveled over the stamina of the players and their strength and skill to be able to volley a tennis ball with a velocity as much as 135 miles per hour for so many hours!
The outside tennis plaza was still abuzz with activity, as the women's semi final matches followed the men's semi fanls, and that crowd was waiting to enter Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Novak Djokovic was the ultimate winner of the 2011 Men's Single competition on Monday, September12, 2011. Djokovic battled back problems during the finals, but used his superior return game, defense and speed to play with confidence to defeat the 10-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1, to win his first career US Open crown.
It was very exciting to be part of the action and see history being made! I'm almost encouraged to take up tennis...that is if I had younger and better knees that could take all that stress. I think I am destined to limit my activity to power walking in the park everyday.
Do you play a sport? What is your favorite way to keep physically fit?
I'm adding this post to the "Outdoor Wednesday" event on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer, and Watery Wednesday and Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday -- the letter is "V" and I'd say it was very exciting to see the men's semi final US Open match!