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WTA Tennis




Dale Barclay and Emily Kirchner Win a Trip to the US Open

September 27, 2008 02:05 AM
2008 US Open Trip winners

We got to the US Open and walked around a bit before heading into Arthur Ashe Stadium. Our seats were high behind the baseline on the south end, but still had a good view of the court. Watching the action live is just so much better than seeing it on TV. Arthur Ash is definitely the place to be for a night match as the crowd comes alive. A bonus is the people acting for the camera on the big screen when breaks between the games occur.

Time and again shots that would appear to be going out, especially lobs would end up inside the baseline. The top ranked players are proof that practice makes perfect. At times it was like watching thunder and lightning with the speed and changing directions of the ball as the opponents battled the point out.

The big difference is the sound of the ball on their racquets. Some shots you definitely hear, others it was like there was a dampening device sucking up all the sound. The best shots were the volleys at the net. The rapid fire exchanges at times were amazing, especially in the doubles match we saw with the Bryan brothers on Saturday afternoon.

We saw Lindsey Davenport, Andy Roddick, Jelena Jankovic, Venus and Serena Williams, Novak Jokovic, James Blake, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dinara Safina and Mardy Fish besides Mike and Bob Bryan. I also saw John McEnroe hitting with one of the juniors. We saw all the matches we had tickets for, only leaving early Sunday night to get up early for the trip home.

I hope to get back their again someday. Every tennis player should try to go at least once. It is kind of like the pilgrimage for Muslims and Mecca. It is a once in a lifetime trip. The experience is worth the cost.

Emily Kirchner, LaCrosse Mixed Doubles Coordinator who accompanied me on the trip, turned out to be more of a tennis fan than me. She said a couple of times “I can’t believe I’m really here.” Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic were the only top players we did not get a chance to see. Ana had lost her previous match and Maria was out with an injury.

We met up with Lois Darkow, Milwaukee women’s coordinator, and her husband Hank. We had dinner Sunday evening at the US Open Club with them. They told us about their European adventures and we talked a little about tennis. It was nice to meet someone you knew. On the bus trips back and forth I talked to a few other people in the USTA. One person worked with deaf children in Southern California and another worked around San Jose. He said everything was run out of the district office and there were no LLCs. One person told me he was a FLUSTA member. FL stood for freeloader as his wife was very active in some USTA activities and he traveled with her to the Open.

All in all, it was an excellent trip. Emily and I appreciated everything the Wisconsin Tennis Assn. provided for us. Be warned, Emily plans to win next year.

Sincerely, Dale Barclay
LaCrosse Local League Coordinator