Feature: Game. Set. Match.

2012 US Tennis Open Qualifying Week

Author: Carole Di Tosti.
Published: August 25, 2012 at 8:50 am
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 Andy Murray: brilliant back hand return

For tennis fans around the world, these next three weeks are golden and the United States is front and center. This weekend marks the precursor into the last grand slam of 2012 and for the professionals and qualifiers of one of the most grinding, devouring sports on the human body, it will be victory for the very few and heartbreak for practically all.

Qualifying week is fan week. For players who are not ranked for the venue, professionals who are returning unseeded and those who are attempting to make their way into the big time, this week is the first step into US Open greatness. In the past I have seen the likes of Donald Young, currently ranked 80 for the 2012 Open (American Donald plays Roger Federer {# 1 in the world} in Round 1 this year.) and even Nicholas Massu (Singles Tennis 2004 Olympic gold medalist) a professional who wasn't seeded for the event, play in matches to qualify. Most importantly, it is a brilliant opportunity to watch top ranked players even number one, two and three out at Louis Armstrong or the Grandstand having  a practice go round and hitting against each other or a hitting partner.

What I love about this week is that you can be up close and personal, without the pushing, teaming crowds. You can get seats court side better able to watch the intensity of Fernando Verdasco (25), hear the usual German curses of Tommy Haas (21) when his form slips and see the slender beauty and power of Maria Sharapova (ranked 3) all in the flesh in a lovely reality show without charge. Qualifying week at the Open is free, and it runs through the weekend with Arthur Ashe Kids Day on Saturday and a full Practice Day on Sunday right before the Open begins on Monday, August 27th. But I warn you, the crowds show up on Saturday and Sunday, and unofficially with the people swarms and the masses of excited humanity, you know the Open has begun. 

Mardy Fish's slim-lined, power-packed serve 

In this atmosphere, the players are relaxed. They joke around with each other, their coaches and court side onlookers, and they are gracious, sharing a few brief words as they sign autographs because the pressure of the win/loss is absent. Thursday, August 23rd my tennis friends tell me they saw Feliciano Lopez (ranked 30) (Andy Murray's mom remarked he was Deliciano Lopez because he's a real swooner, gorgeous eye candy.) Fernando Verdasco, Victoria Azarenka  (ranked #1) KimClijsters (23) and others. Since this is favorite Kim Clijster's last US Open, that was a joy for them.

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Article Author: Carole Di Tosti.

Carole Di Tosti, Ph.D. is a published writer, novelist and poet. She writes for Blogcritics. She authors three blogs: 1) http://www.thefatandtheskinnyonwellness.com/ 2) http://www.achristianapologistssonnets.com/ 3) http://caroleditosti.com/ …

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