Thoughts from Key Biscayne

Earlier in the week on Tuesday, two friends and I drove over to Key Biscayne to watch The Big Boys play tennis. Here are some observations on what we saw and did.

  • It was a 12-hour day (6 of driving and 6 of watching); but as usual, it was worth the effort.
  • We bought tickets through the USTA for $32 (“their day” at the tournament); and in the main stadium we were FIVE ROWS FROM THE TOP. Not a real good place to watch a tennis match.
  • Another friend, bought tickets through an online broker for the same day and sat in the 10th row, corner of the court, in the shade. But, paid $125 per ticket.
  • So, we spent most of the day in the smaller Grandstand and sat in the seventh row from the court. I would rather watch a “second tier” match upclose, than the featured match from the top of the stadium.
  • Our friend believes that you can buy Grandstand reserved seats for just a little more than the regular ticket: get a reserved seat right near the court, in chairs with backs. Sounds like a plan for next year.
  • On the players, Andy Murray has the sweetest backhand you will ever see; and is one of the smartest players on the tour.
  • Andy Roddick on the other hand, doesn’t and isn’t. He insists on still hiding in the add corner to hit his forehand both crosscourt to a righty’s backhand and down the line to his forehand. While he got away with it against Frenchman Gael Monfils that day, it was his downfall against The Fed later in the week (when Fed consistently beat him with the crosscourt forehand, that Roddick could not get back to cover).
  • We also went to one of the outer courts to watch men’s doubles (and sat in the front row). Even the “no name” journeymen doubles players are incredibly good, fast, and talented.

P.S. Even though Serena lost easily in the finals, give her credit for playing the whole match while injured. Would Djokovic have done the same?

4 thoughts on “Thoughts from Key Biscayne

  1. George,
    I love reading your stuff. Thanks for including me. Sorry I didn’t see you on Tuesday! I agree with your comments on where to spectate. Too bad there are so many wasted good seats in the stadium!
    We watched two good movies on the bus, and the 5-6 hours of travel went by very quick.
    Considering her spotty past, I have a tough time making a heroine out of Serena. How is it she got injured anyway?
    See ya soon. Spike

    Spike – Yes, the three of us were amazed we did not see anyone we knew there on Tuesday!  She said she pulled it the day before.  Geo.

  2. If there is a probability of self-harm, I had the opinion that there is really no virtue in playing on when injured – one should be governed by the goal of being in top shape both both for one’s self and for the game of tennis. Maybe I need to reconsider. Does anyone enjoy seeing an injured player beaten?

    Nick – This, from the guy who is icing, ibuprofing, and forcing himself to play thru the pain at tournaments this winter?!?  Geo.

  3. George, sounds like you had a great time; many of us in the northern hinterlands are very envious of your situation.

    From observations at the Cincinnati ATP over the past years, many of your thoughts ring true. Though I am still kind of iffy on Andy Murray, he occaisionally regresses to petulant adolescent theatrics, he has really started to play well over the last year.

    Most of us agree with you on Roddick. He seems to be a very nice guy, but his head must be made of cement. Now it seems obvious why Brad Gilbert walked away from him, even when Andy had some of his greatest improvements and success, he quit listening. I wish him the best, but he is approaching the twilight of his career. He is right about the same age when Gilbert got ahold of Agassi and turned his career back around. Five more great years and 2 (3?) more Slams after hooking up with Gilbert. Maybe Andy will have an epiphany and go back to Brad and start cooking on the front burner again.

    Your point of the back courts at the big tournaments is spot on. For $20 many times you can see some awesome matches, from the front row, especially of teh newer up and comers. The almost universal reaction from the front row seats of people there for the first time is “How do they hit the ball so freaking hard every point and it still goes in?”

    Please say hi to Joe Bachmann for all of us digging out of the snow in Columbus.
    See you at Newks in October.

    Hi Arnie – yes, i just said to DeDe (as she was dangling her feet in the pool), “It is snowing somewhere.”  We are very lucky.  Geo.

  4. Well, it’s also about to snow (we are told) here outside Chicago, so I feel your pain, Arnie, especially because you’ll probably get it after us. Dangle a foot or two for me, George and DeDe. See you in October, everybody.

    Lenny – in not too many years, you and Bonnie will be dangling your own feet down here… i am looking forward to it!  Geo

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