See You In A Few Hours! 9/3-9/4/08
The Tues & Wed night sessions during the 2nd week are a great time to go to the Open because you get to see both a women’s and men’s quarterfinal match. For the Wed night session in 2008, I had plans with two of my co-workers to go to the Open. Neither was particularly into tennis but they still were looking forward to it and we headed out to Queens in time for the 7pm night match start time. However, the day session ran extremely late since the 3rd match in Ashe (Murray vs Del Potro) lasted almost four hours ending around 7:40pm.
At this point, the night session ticketholders were already outside the stadium ready to be let in. We were trapped in this chaotic scene for what seems like an eternity as the day session ticket holders all had to filter out and 23,000 night session attendees had to go through the turnstiles.
The first match was delayed a bit because the day/night crowd switchover was taking so long and it finally began about an hour later, around 8:40pm. This had to have been one of the latest match start times for a US Open night session. The first quarterfinal match was between Serena and Venus Williams and it was extremely close. The match went on for almost two and a half hours with Serena finally prevailing 7-6, 7-6. By this time it was after 11pm and the men’s match had yet to start. It was definitely going to be a late night at the Open!
The men’s match didn’t even start until 11:30pm. Fish won the first set 6-3 which was a big shock since Nadal, the Wimbledon champion, was the heavy favorite. Even though it was late, seeing Nadal lose the first set ensured that many people stayed in case there was going to be a major upset. However, as it got later, and Nadal easily won the 2nd set 6-1, more and more fans left and we were free to leave our upper promenade level seats to move down closer. This is why I love the late night matches- the corporate crowd usually leaves and the die-hard tennis fans are left to occupy their better seats. I was totally into it, not sure about my co-workers but we stayed until the bitter end, 2:11am on 9/4. This was the third latest finish in US Open history after #2 El Aynauoui/Ferreira at 2:14am and #1 Pernfors/Wilander at 2:26am (also 2014's Raonic/Nishikori). We all had at least an hour commute back home and would not be going to sleep before 3:30am. Not much time before having to be back in the office at 9am that day. As we parted ways we said goodnight, see you in a few hours!