A decade long dream of seeing a G.O.A.T live in action came true at the US Open in Flushing meadows, Queens NYC. Time to get nostalgic and relive the glorious moments of seeing Rafa Nadal in action against a worthy opponent – Marin Cilic. While my friend and I are veteran fans of the GOATS, we were newbies when it came to planning a trip to a Grand Slam tournament. We were debating the options to buy tickets since all three Novak, Roger and Rafa were likely playing that weekend. Thanks to this hardcore tennis website https://www.roadto45tennis.com/a-serious-tennis-fans-tips-for-the-us-open-tickets-more/ we made some sensible decisions. The first debate was about the stadium. While we definitely knew we wanted to step into the Arthur Ashe stadium, the asking price was also exorbitant for a Sunday crowd puller event. So instead we picked Monday. The goats always played in the Arthur Ashe, so this meant we were likely to see at least one of them in action. Since we had only time for a single session, we picked the evening session and prayed for the schedule to be in our favor!
Why were you busy you ask? I’ll tell you why. We also got tickets, well it is really an admission to the taping session of Steven Colbert’s Late Show. Another wish came true and this trip just reached the next level of amazing, well not really since we didn’t know the schedule yet.
The schedule was out and Sunday was a blockbuster much to the chagrin of my friend who is a Roger worshipper. The day session had Roger vs Goffin and night session had Novak playing against Wawrinka. Imagine the fortunes of those lucky people! Their luck did not last long since the Federer match was one-sided and Novak had to retire. Nobody wants to see Roger or Novak win a easy breezy 3 setter walk over match. We all come from the tradition of the 6 hour marathon Wimbledon 2008 finals between Roger and Rafa.
Lo and behold, it was Monday. We saw the breathtaking moment of Nadal leaping into action at net for toss and then carefully executing his idiosyncrasies of not crossing any white lines and taking a eternity to serve. His quirks, mistakes and the spirit for fighting for every point was the reason we have followed his career like loyal customers of the iPhone. The same day we saw Bianca in action who eventually went onto win the women championship beating Serena Williams. Rafa of course won the championship after a nail biter final match with Medvedeev. My friend is still hoping to catch his favorite player in action and hope it comes true while the GOATS still reign. This is one place in the world, the tennis country with its loyal citizens who don’t mind a dictatorship.
How was the show, Colbert and the band you ask? The word “electric” comes to mind. While the show is taped, you get to be the live audience that cracks at the jokes and needs to be calmed for the next punch line. It was quite a smug moment sitting in the super cold Ed Sullivan theater like vegetables in the refrigerator.