Day one of the main draw of the 2010 U.S. Open did not disappoint. After working hard through the tryouts and qualifying rounds, I felt fully prepared to participate in the 2010 Open, helping to ensure that the matches went smoothly.
I arrived early, giving myself plenty of extra time for the morning rush hour and hectic parking. When courts were assigned, I was beside myself ... Grandstand ... for the first matches played on that court all tournament! (The three main show courts Arthur Ashe, Louis Armstrong and Grandstand are not used for the qualifying rounds.) As a rookie, it is certainly an honor to work a show court, especially on day one. Somewhat surprisingly, the nervousness I felt during qualifying rounds dissipated and was replaced by ecstatic excitement. I was exuding confidence and knew that I was ready to perform my job to the best of my abilities.
The first match on court featured the number six seed and reigning French open champion, Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone. Japan’s Ayumi Morita was no match for the seasoned Italian, who showed a finely tuned all-court game dispatching her opponent quickly, 6-1, 6-0. Next on court was Robin Soderling, who has done what was seemingly impossible by becoming the only person ever to defeat Raphael Nadal at the French Open en route to his final last year and then defeating Roger Federer en route to this year’s French final (since 2003, Nadal is the only other player to beat Federer at the French). Soderling got off to a shaky start, but ultimately scraped out a five set win.
Perhaps the most disappointing point in the day came when 27th seeded Fernando Gonzales had to withdraw due to a knee injury. After my shift on the Grandstand, I moved over to Court 13 for about a set of Gonzo’s match before he decided to retire, he looked disappointed, but incapable of continuing play, at least not at the level that wins matches at a major.
After that match, France’s Marion Bartoli, the 13th seed, came on court and played steady to defeat Romania’s Edina Gallovits, 6-3, 6-2. I should mention, however, that some of the most sensational shots of the match came from blistering winners off Gallovits on the run forehand.
Interestingly, two of the women I was on court for today hit two-handed from both sides, but in different ways. Bartoli hits classically with a two-handed forehand and a two-handed backhand. Morita, however, switches her dominant hand, right on the bottom for her backhand-like a righty backhand- and left on the bottom for her forehand side (essentially a two-handed lefty backhand.) Bartoli had more success today and in her career so far, but it is interesting to see that a variety of playing styles can make it to even the highest level of the game.
<p>Daniel Kresh is a USPTA-certified tennis professional who recently accepted the positions of director of junior tennis and assistant tennis professional at the Three Village Tennis Club in Setauket, N.Y. He is also the assistant professional at The Port Jefferson Country Club at Harbor Hills. He may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.</p>