my teammate called in sick yesterday, and gave me his two tickets to the US open round 4 game between roddick and gonzalez. i thanked the virus (hope my teammate doesn't read this blog!), my stars, and cursed myself for not taking any action even after the maria maria incident.
the atmosphere at the flushing meadows was reminiscent of a mela. well lit stadium under a clear night sky, XXXXXXXL tv screens outside the courts, beautiful fountains, confused staff, delayed schedule were all part of it.
hundreds of people were court hopping to catch glimpse of games that were simultaneously in progress. in transit, one could pick food and drinks from one of the many food stalls that were put up. desi food was being served at new delhi masala ishtall. the long queues at the stalls didn't daunt the food lovers.
the tickets, 60$ a piece, were for the seats in what i would call a vertigo-zone, where neither a tennis ball nor a tv camera could reach. but watching the game live on the center court (arthur ashe stadium), with all the fan fare, was exciting.
the desi couple (dc) sitting next to me, and the referee of the game added humorous touch to the evening.
the dc were giving running commentary about the types, make, intricacies of kati rolls that they were hogging. while roddick was firing aces at 130 miles per hour, the dc were going strong at 6 rolls per set. when the last set was underway, the dc ran out of rolls. after some heated discussion, they left the court, never to return.
"thank you", "silence please", "....sh..shshsh...sh..", "gracias" - few of weapons employed by the referee to silence the crowd. worst, when roddick was serving at 6-2, 6-4, 5-1, and the crowd was going berserk, the referee yelled 'just one more game'! gonzalez must sue him for match fixing.
gosh! "game, set, match - roddick", was declared within 90 minutes of the start of the show. had the 11th seeded gonzalez played like a 11th seed or roddick played a bit like the 11th seed, the match would have been a better paisa vasool. but, as always, there is next time.