Four weeks! The countdown to my favorite grand slam of the year begins! The US Open in NYC! But before we get to the city that never sleeps, there is a fabulous series of tournaments across the US that leads up to the Open. First stop…Atlanta!
Atlanta loves its tennis. The city has the most recreational players in the entire United States. So it’s only fitting that we begin there. The final came down to two Americans (again, very fitting since it is the US Open series), John Isner and Ryan Harrison. The only way I could describe this match would be like watching tennis Tug of War.
Picture two players, one of each side of the net. Each is holding one end of a rope, and there’s a puddle of mud in the middle. The first person to tug on their rope hard enough to drag the other person into the mud wins. For the entire first set, they were steady, each player pulling equal tension. No movement towards the mud pit. Isner wins the tiebreak of the first set. Harrison’s toe touches the edge of the mud pit. Second set, Harrison tugs ever so slightly, moving Isner closer to the pit. But no, Isner pulls back to steady the distance between him and the mud. In the end, Isner tugged one final time, and Harrison comes crashing into the pit of tennis defeat! Final score: 7-6, 7-6. It doesn’t get closer than that.
I’ve mentioned before about my disdain of smashing and throwing of racquets. Every once in a while, a player will also think it’s a good idea to punch their racquet strings. You know, like as if it was a person’s face (which it’s not). The racquet head is a series of very thin strings woven closely together designed to strike a tennis ball with force and spin. IF you decide to punch your strings in the face, please note the strings WILL cut your knuckles and bleed. Then you’re dripping blood on the court, your shorts, the towel (that the ball kid has to carry around for you), and you’re playing with a bloody hand like you just lost a bar fight. Listen…you’re not going to win. The strings always win. Don’t punch your strings (John Isner).
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