Thursday, September 7, 2017

Kristi does: The U.S. Open

As I've mentioned many times, any event involving a gathering of celebrities is of interest to me, particularly events that intersect with fashion. So what fashion-fueled celebrity gathering presented itself to me most recently? The U.S. Open of course.
For those of you who aren't tennis fans (example: me), the U.S. Open is the final tennis major or Grand Slam of the year (other Grand Slams: Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon). It's last because we are America and we insist on the "save the best for last" moniker that has been our senior class motto since 1776. The Open honestly has it all: amazing athletes wearing coordinated Nike outfits, A-listers, cocktails, fried chicken, french fries, beer, pizza, hot dogs, wait, what were we talking about.

Before going to the event, I had minimal tennis knowledge, most of which was garnered from my friend Chloe who played in high school. She imparted this very important wisdom about how to angle your racket while serving: "You cut the cheese then swat the fly" and anyway my tennis lessons did not go much further as I could not stop laughing at "cut the cheese." OH SURE, LIKE YOU DON'T LAUGH AT FART JOKES, PLEASE.

I wanted to go not only because of the celebrities that attend but also because of all the celebrities who attend and sit among the common folk. Can you believe that? Like, I could bump into Anna Wintour and accidentally spill waffle fries on her. Why do they even risk it?

For the record, and don't worry my family and friends know this, if I reach any D-list level of fame I will:
1) Forget all of my friends immediately
2) Insist that my posse refer to me only as the sound "swish"
3) Introduce myself to people by holding my hand out to kiss, but not actually kiss, but air kiss, because I cannot have peasant saliva on my dainty yet famous hand

Anyway, I was lucky enough to see the quarterfinal matches of Madison Keys v. Kaia Kanepi and Roger Federer v. Juan Martin del Potro. Some things I learned from my first foray into the tennis world:

Why can't all sports be in Arthur Ashe Stadium?
It's gorgeous and the roof opens and closes depending on the weather (don't we all though). It's also enormous and can hold more than 23,000 bougie ass people dressed in polos and boat shoes. I have honestly never experienced more khakis and Vineyard Vines and sweater capes (when people tie sweaters around their necks) in one place before. That's saying a lot because I've been to the Hamptons and I went to college in the south, aka, sweater cape heaven. Nonetheless, every seat has a pretty sweet view and you don't have to worry about rain or wind or fucking pigeons blowing in the wind toward you. This is how all sports should be experienced.

Tennis players are fit, but not as top heavy as I would expect
This sounds so scientific because I am a very fact-based individual. I had no idea how hard they hit those balls (hehe balls, grow up you guys). Both the men and women had serves well over 100 mph, so nearly as fast as me driving to Zefron's house after his security gate's code is leaked online. Because of this, I just expected their upper bodies to be a little Hulk like, but anyway here's Roger Federer:
Let the record show that I'm not body shaming, merely sharing my surprise. 

UPDATE: I just found out Federer made $67 million in 2016, making him the fourth highest-paid athlete in the world, so as it turns out I love tennis bod.

It's a very sweaty affair
And not just from the meat sweats I get after eating 150 chicken fingers. The players looked like they were soaked. At one point, del Potro changed his shirt. Full disclosure, I didn't know how taxing tennis was. Maybe because movies tell me that Nilla Wafers like Kirsten Dunst finish a match with every hair and eyelash in place and negative amounts of sweat (but like "Wimbledon" was kind of a good movie, so whatever). 

There is no halftime show
The fact that Serena didn't show up at halftime to play in a match against her new baby was really disappointing. And to make matters worse, BEYONCE DID NOT SHOW UP. What even is the point in going to a sporting event if Beyonce isn't there? I'll offer this as feedback to the World Tennis Association.

I think I want to be Madison Keys?
Okay and not just because she has flawless skin that I could see from miles away, but also because she's 22, was the first American woman to debut in the top 10 since Serena, is coached by hall of fame HBIC tennis legend Lindsay Davenport and to top it off, she's humble AF. After she won her match in two straight sets, she just said how excited she was for four American women to be in the semis.
Here's a shot of her almost doing a split while sliding for a shot. A split. You guys. Have you ever accidentally fell into a split position because it's not as delightful as it sounds. If (literally) placed into that position I assume my inner thigh muscles would say "I quit" and exit the legs. I have a lot to learn and stretch if I want to be Madison when I grow younger.

This is the first semifinal featuring all U.S. women since 1981
Reminder that the glorious year of 1981 also gave us the births of our Lord and Savior, Beyonce, and Saint Serena Williams. They both approve of this semifinal. Venus Williams! Sloane Stephens! Coco Vandeweghe! Madison Keys! I love this and it inspires me to actually learn tennis and not just through Wii Sports.

UPDATE: Madison beat Coco in two straight sets to advance and Sloane Stephens came through with the underdog win and beat Venus! For some background, Sloane is 24, came into the U.S. Open ranked 83, and the point here is she's a boss ass bitch, an amazing player whose net game is insane plus she's gorg and I have the receipts:
It's best to bring binoculars
Per a ham sandwich throwing incident with Katy Perry at a Brooklyn Nets game, I am banned from front row seats at most events featuring humans. But, binoculars rectified the distance issue, allowing me to watch Katie Couric chat with her husband. I also stared for an unreasonable amount of time at a woman who looked like Yolanda Hadid and for coolness factor, let's just say it was her. With my Pandora's Box of creep fully open, I also found James Franco. He was wearing all black while having an oddly intense conversation with the guy seated next to him. Based on his serious demeanor and hand gestures, I'm positive he was listing reasons why Danity Kane is the greatest girl group of all time. Here are my extra HQ shots of both of them:
I know, you're wondering why People magazine and The New York Times haven't asked me for these exclusive shots because the clarity and up-closeness are quite professional. It's important for me to divulge that I quite literally found James Franco using my creeper senses. I was randomly browsing an area of the crowd with binoculars, as one does, and spotted him immediately. If that isn't a marketable skill, I don't know what is. 

And lastly, a summary of how tennis scoring works
Okay so basically the court looks like four Pop-Tarts laid together with two breadsticks on each side. For singles matches, the breadsticks are just for show because if you single you shouldn't be in the breadsticks. 

Serving: If you stand on the left side of the horizontal Pop-Tart, you have to hit into the vertical Pop-Tart on the right, and vice-versa. You get two chances to get into the Pop-Tart. If the ball goes out of bounds, some random man in a folding chair yells "AHHHHH" and your opponent gets a point. Also at this time and any time a ball goes out of bounds, a small child darts onto the court to retrieve the ball like some sort of frantic Hungry Hungry Hippo game.

Points: So you get 15, then 30, then random as fuck 40, then game point to win the game. You have to win 6 games to win the set and then 2 (for ladies) or 3 (for guys) sets to win the match. As a note, if y'all are tied at 40, they don't call this Jay-Z's 40/40 club, instead, they call it "Deuce," because alluding to poop seems much better.

Tie-Breaker: This happens when it's already 11 p.m. and you're dying to go to sleep but two men insist on making a match longer. Federer and del Potro did this when they were tied at 6 games a piece in the third set. There was lots of rallying and honestly it was exciting but made me realize tennis scoring is like a Russian nesting doll. You get points which count for points which then count for points which, SHOCKER, count for points. POINTS IN POINTS IN POINTS.

Winning: Apparently, if you win you have to pose like Tim Robbins in "Shawshank Redemption" when he finally escapes.
I don't find this nearly extra enough. I've given this a lot of thought so as to be prepared for when I win a U.S. Open match, and decided on these two moves as my winner finishers:
And that's it! I've now been to a major tennis tournament and I'm a converted fan and I don't know, I guess I'll probably be hanging out with Serena and Venus soon enough. Will keep you posted.

Let me know if y'all have something you'd like me to try, which disclaimer, this request has to somehow involve celebrities and/or food. Or both if you're creative. See you next Sunday for the Emmys!

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