©Colette Lewis 2006
Flushing Meadows NY--
Ernesto's remnants resulted in a LaGuardia landing that resembled the latest Cedar Point ride, but safely on the ground, we weren't about to complain. The hotel shuttle was prompt, we were recipients of two random acts of New York courtesy (given correct directions, clearing space so we could pass with our bags)and we were checked in and on our way to the BJKNTC by 5 p.m.
Unfortunately, the hotel shuttle, which was gratis from the airport but not to Corona Park (making me wistfully recall the free trams in Melbourne) dropped us a ten minute walk from the gate, and in the steady, windblown rain, with computer in tow, it was not a leisurely stroll.
Credential pickup was quick and painless this year; I got an M (media) from Tennis Magazine, Paul has a P (photographer) from
ustaboys.com where most of the photos he takes during the week will be displayed.
We had hardly gotten through the gate when Brennan Boyajian's mother Patty flagged us down, more appropriately dressed for the weather than we were with her bright yellow mackintosh. With the player meeting and draw release scheduled for 7 p.m., we had time to get a locker (no workstation at the moment--we're on a waiting list) and eat dinner at the media cafeteria. The food is good and inexpensive, a stark contrast to the prices the public pays at the concessions on the grounds. We ran into Marcia Frost, who had the results of the qualifying at the Sound Shore tennis club. We learned that four girls--Gail Brodsky, Kristy Frilling, Reka Zsilinszka and Julie Boserup--and four boys--Dylan Arnould, Drew Daniel, Mateusz Kecki and Jason Jung--qualified from the U.S.
Presiding over the player meeting was Paul Roetert, the Managing Director of High Performance for the USTA, and it was well-attended (the photo below was taken while players, parents and coaches were still filing in) and short. A few words from a trainer, the ITF media assistant and the referee, some introductions and then the draw, which held several surprises on the girls side.
The only Radwanska in the draw is younger sister Urszula, with Agnieszka a last minute scratch, as is Alexa Glatch. But Veronica Li, beaten by Brodsky today in qualifying, got in as a lucky loser, giving the U.S. 20 girls in the 64-player draw.
The boys side features a very intriguing first match for Donald Young, as Jaak Poldma of Estonia is a very dangerous player and proving it in Canada, where he reached the finals against Canadian Peter Polansky, who did earn a special exemption into the main draw. Polansky could face top seed Martin Klizan in the second round. There are 18 U.S. boys in the main draw and none play each other in the first round.
See usopen.org for the draws and Saturday's schedule, optimistically starting with 11 am matches.
We were completely soaked by the time we arrived back at the hotel, even with an umbrella, and it continues to rain, so it may be another late evening on Sunday.