25 Aug 2007
The Pilot Pen tennis open is held at Yale, about 15 minutes down the road from our house. Last night my wife and I, along with some of her coworkers, went to see two semifinal matchups - one women's matchup and one men's. For $35 a ticket, we were hoping for prolonged matches, but later regretted that wish as the evening kind of dragged on - we were there for over five hours.
The women's match was between two what's-their-names - Agnes Szavay from Hungary and Eleni Daniilidou from Greece. I was rooting for Greece of course, since I have unrelated relatives there. (Ha ha - how can they be relatives if they're not related? Well, an uncle married to my dad's sister has family there.) Szavay ended up winning, which was good since she seemed to be the better player. I saw some of her serves clocked at 112 mph (Venus Williams I know can serve in the 120s. Eleni was only serving around 97).
Szavay also looks like a tenant we used to have (we rent our upstairs). She got into this tournament by going through qualifying. Today I saw her on TV while waiting for a tire rotation (By the way, Town Fair Tire broke another wheel cover. Search this site and you'll find my previous complaints about them). She seemed the better player again today, but she ended up with back problems that forced her to "retire" against Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Back to last night: we saw James Blake versus Paul-Henri Mathieu. Blake won in a third set tiebreaker. Since he's originally from Fairfield, he was basically on his home court. Seemed like lots of single women showed up to gawk at him. The men's game was much faster, with serves reaching 130 mph from Blake. It was interesting that my wife's coworker's husband is from France. They were probably the only ones rooting for Paul-Henri. I made sure to point out that "Henri", pronounced in French, sounds kind of like "ornery", which means crabby.
Overall it was a nice experience. There was a food court and a bunch of booths with people trying to give away free junk. We happily took what was offered, including plastic snack bag clip thingies and key chain slash tape measure things. The walk from parking (10 bucks!) to the outdoor stadium made it seem like going to Six Flags or something. But it was nice to be able to say we went. Now I can cross that "chore" off my list! J