A match is the best of three or fives acts, but the performers never speak. Their tennis does the talking. That’s the other thing: The volume. New York fans are loud – and not just about the tennis. They have full-blown conversations courtside; they answer their phones; they make business deals. But when the tennis compels them to hush, they do.
What is most compelling about the US Open is its relationship with hardened ground, much like the famous island most of the players stay on while competing in it. The grounds are concrete and hot, sticky some days because of the humidity. It takes a certain kind of player to excel in these conditions, someone who is up for a challenge of being the last one standing.
The New York crowd usually appreciates the great effort to do so.
There is no queuing. There are no Aussie Fanatics. There is no French ambiance with a steady padding of feet between Courts Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen.
There is instead that No. 7 train and it’s squeals, delivering the people and the pressure to the tennis. You can take the commuter train or try the Long Island Expressway. No matter what, it’s not going to be easy. Because – in New York – nothing is.
WORDS BY NICK MCCARVEL