| By Jeremy Friedman
Photo courtesy of USTA/Mike Stobe

 

The outlook held fear

that the US Open would close this year

before its first day

Flushing's jewel flushed away


 

But even as the City’s marathon vanished,

news reports say New York tennis

still will be played in late summer 2020,

just with new restrictions – and the stands empty

 


’19 saw 19-year-old Bianca best Serena,

while Nadal held off Medvedev in set five

Now the tournament itself resists being broken by an invisible foe,

having decided not to cancel, at the fork in the road

 


Broadway shows are closed, but there will be scenes –

drama culminating in champions' crowning –

at the King center in Queens,

home to the royal courts of Arthur and Louis

 


Months ago, space here served the cause of pandemic relief

This upcoming August and September,

the racquet is the scepter,

as the venue returns to its sports purpose, with prize purses

 


Yet with the grounds closed to the public, tennis will be different

No late-night cheers by devoted fans – the hard-core

No raucous underdogs’ rallies on the hard courts

No bows to the crowd in ovation-filled trophy moments, heartfelt

 


And amidst much controversy, some may even decline to play

Still the news resounded loudly that, with Wimbledon gone,

the virus hasn’t yet slammed shut NY’s Grand Slam event,

which, for now, remains open to be contested this year

     albeit quietly and seen only on TV

 

 

Jeremy Friedman is a lawyer and poet, whose poetry profile is online at www.PoetLawyerate.blogspot.com. This poem is a sequel to his poem, Missing Wimbledon 2020.