I’m running, no sprinting, out of the bowels of Arthur Ashe Stadium, one last time past the cafeteria, through the media garden door, into the plaza, round the fountain, and up the Court of Champions. I’ve got five minutes to catch the shuttle bus and the main entrance gate ahead of me is closed. I’ve got forty pages to read about Old Testament codes of purity related to things like bestiality and eating pork because I have class tomorrow. The gate is locked and I’m cursing and I’m going to miss this bus and I’m going to get in past midnight and I’m going to be tired all day and...
The US Open is like Wimbledon’s rowdy little cousin. There aren’t perfectly chalked white lines or delicately mowed lawns or robotized ball boys. No, Queens has some hard court bounce and bravado. The pop music echoes between games, the fans scream when they feel it necessary. Even the players get creative and colorfully coordinated, freed from their white-clothed shackles, matching neon oranges from headband to shoelace. Across the East River, in Manhattan’s shadow where there’s room to breathe, the grunts grow louder and the cheers build to roars. If Quentin Tarantino were directing this major tournament, he’d call it Tennis Unchained.