US Open: Brief Tribute to Venus v Monica Crowd
There was a wonderful point in the 2nd set of Venus-Monica.
Mostly, it was indicative of the fact that the crowd really knew its tennis. Monica was serving. Crowds in general being both pro-Monica and not-pro-Venus, this crowd was decidely pro-Monica.
It wasn't anti-Venus though. Well behaved, didn't yell out during service tosses. They just cheered Monica a lot louder. But you know, when a crowd feels it favorite ready to do something, there's a rustle to it. It almost like very, very faint cheering, that grows louder and louder..
Monica whacks a stiff serve, which Venus returns weakly.
The crowd noise grows slightly.
Monica smacks the ball into the right corner, more a setup shot than an attempt at a winner, but it wouold have been a winner against most of the top 20.
The crowd noise grows even more.
Venus lunges to the right and returns it with topspin, and jumps back to the middle of the baseline.
Monica REALLY smacks the ball into the right corner.
This is the winner.
The crowd FEELS ready to explode.
Venus barely reaches the ball, but returns it on the baseline at Monica's feet.
Monica smacks the return but mishits slightly, so the ball is returned with little pace.
There's a massive crowd-sized sigh, like the entire stadium let out its breathe. The point is still going on, an blistering exchange of groundies. But the whole crowd knew Monica had been in control of that point, and then let Venus off the hook. Venus did win the point about 12 shots later, but the thing that impressed me was that the crowd understood the dynamics of the match so well, they were reacting to who was in control of the points, not just to who was winning them.
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.