Until you’ve been up close to watch John Isner ratchet up a 140 mph serve or witnessed the sheer force of a Serena Williams’ forehand when the stakes are highest, you haven’t experienced the power of the US Open.
By Nicholas J. Walz, USOpen.org
John Isner isn’t afraid to muscle up come summertime at the US Open. The American draws some of the largest crowds to his matches, as thousands rush to the Grandstand or Court 17 to get close to the court to see his booming serve.
And Isner is hardly the lone power player to hit the courts during the US Open. The power of today’s pros is something that has to be seen to be believed – and the closer you can get to the action, the better. Such is the beauty of the smaller stadium courts, or the field courts: With the ability to move around a bit, fans may see the action from various vantage points, or get right up against a fence and feel the force of two, or four, world-class players slugging it out.
It’s the high-definition experience television and computer manufacturers will promise but can never truly deliver. The forehand of Serena Williams excites nearly all of the senses. You see the blurred explosion, hear the pop of the ball and strings echo throughout Arthur Ashe Stadium. While it looks like an effortless forehand from your living room, it really is so much more.
In fact, the only force stronger than a Serena forehand – or an Isner serve, a Maria Sharapova backhand or a Roger Federer overhead – is the collective roar of the audience afterward.
The US Open figuratively powers New York City for more than two weeks in August and September; yet if the energy in those powerful, exciting moments could be harnessed, they’d light up not just Queens but all of the five boroughs.
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