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A Day at the US Open

By Bruna Pacheco and Keiran President
On September 21, 2018

BrunaandKeiran

The last Grand Slam of the year came and went, and the OU tennis team members were there, experiencing it for themselves, as they traveled to watch the tournament on September 3.

I (Bruna) have had the chance to go watch the Miami Open three times. However, I’ve watched only smaller tournaments like Challengers and Futures — never a Grand Slam.

I (Keiran), on the other hand, have never been to a professional tournament. The biggest tournaments I have been to are those I play in, which are not professional, despite what the NAIA may believe. So I was stoked to be attending.

People back home in Brazil were always saying if you are a fan of tennis, you should definitely go watch the Miami Open. Not only because of how close the seats are, but also because there are several practice courts and you can easily get your idol’s autograph. Plus, if you are lucky, you get a photo as well.

I haven’t had many people tell me about their experiences at a pro tournament, but I have imagined myself being there as a player one day. I would be the famous person fellow tennis enthusiasts/fans were excited to see and talk about.

The first match I ever remember watching was the final of the US Open in 2006: Maria Sharapova vs Justine Henin. I’ve played tennis since I was six, and I also watched tennis on TV at a really young age. It is funny how I still remember this championship match. After seeing it, I’ve always wanted to go watch the US Open.

Honestly, I did not watch much tennis as a kid. But I vaguely remember seeing James Blake at the US Open. He was one of the few black men on tour, and all I can remember saying was, “I want to be like you.” He had one of the biggest forehands in his time, along with his one-handed backhand.

The 2018 US Grand Slam championship match happened at night. The New York lights wouldn’t stop shining. That giant stadium … I had always wished that one day I would be fortunate enough to experience that, and, this year, I did.

Bruna and I shared the same wish, which did come true. A day at the US Open was on my bucket list along with the other three Grand Slams: Wimbledon, Roland Garros and Australian Open. The greatest thing about this visit was that it was US Open’s 50th Anniversary, so of course we had to get souvenirs.

My day at the US Open was fantastic. Once we got inside, we had to meet with our coach to leave at 7 p.m. Keiran and I got to hang out all day. We went to the main stadium and watched a little bit of the women’s draw which, let me tell you, just … wow — what a match.  We saw some practices which were interesting to watch, and we attempted to take a photo with a super-spoiled tennis player: the one and only Nick Kyrgios. We watched some doubles, as well, which was great because of our love for the game of doubles.

I also had a great day at the US Open. The excitement was so real, but, of course, I played it cool. In my head all day, I was reciting “Momma I made it!” Even though to really make it, I would have to be on the court playing. However this was close enough … for now. We had fun exploring the grounds together. Some of our teammates would sit around and watch an entire match which, in my opinion, is boring! There was so much to see, participate in and learn.

As Bruna mentioned, we got to see some of the pros practice, where we picked up some drills we run back at school. They were interesting and new, and we couldn’t wait to go back and try them out. We saw the likes of Rafael Nadal, Mike Bryan, Marin Cilic, John Isner and Kansas-native Jack Sock on the practice courts.

Overall, it was a day to be remembered, and I would not have wanted to spend it with anyone else.

Aww so sweet of you! The feelings are mutual. We had a blast together and, honestly, couldn’t have enjoyed it more.  

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