us open
Main court at 2019 US Open. Photo by Kristina Lynn/The Ball Out

New York City, NY — My first trip to the US Open was an unexpected experience. Arriving to center court, seeing a sell out crowd of more than 20,000 people on a Sunday night. The build up to the Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, round-of-16 match, was truly something to behold.

The energy in the arena was palpable. When the match started, I had never heard so many people so silent. I have never been to a sporting event where people would literally “shhhh” the other spectators at various points throughout the match. 

The sell crowd at the US Open to watch Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. Photo by Kristina Lynn/The Ball Out

If you have never been to a tennis match before, it’s unique in the sense that every point starts in silence as a player serves, but then reaches a crescendo at each points conclusion. I watched two of the best that tennis has to offer, on the men’s side, go toe-to-toe for nearly two hours.

Here is the crazy part — the match, potentially, was not even half over yet. I was told that the set tennis matches can last upwards of five hours. It really makes you appreciate the work that these athletes put into their craft in order to be prepared, endure and have the stamina to play this sport.

The third set was just getting started as everyone in attendance was getting settled into the two hour mark into the match.

Novak Djokovic practice his serve. Photo by Kristina Lynn/The Ball Out

However, while the sell out crowd was preparing itself for a long night, Djokovic surprised everyone by retiring from the match with an injury only a few games into the third set.

“This is ridiculous! We paid a lot of money for these tickets!” That was the reaction of the couple sitting behind me, and frankly you had to think it was a thought of nearly everyone trying to process what we just witnessed. 

The end result left us all wanting more, but it certainly did the trick because I can’t wait to go back to the US Open next summer! 

By Kristina Lynn

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