Sports

Guest Column

My Very First US Open Tennis Ball Boy Experience

fc86a9112f6bda242068_IMG_0545.PNG
24c032024a62e69d227d_IMG_0546.PNG
dc02913e451c16932632_IMG_0547.PNG
d661eb8092c1aa398b20_IMG_0548.PNG
fc86a9112f6bda242068_IMG_0545.PNG

 

It was a nice summer day, not too hot or too humid, as I ran my nervous self out across the tennis court in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York. I was at the 2015 US Open Ball Person tryouts, following the footsteps of my brother Shaun. I would have to say, it was a ton of fun trying-out although, as I looked back, I was quite a disheartened 14 years old when I found out I didn’t make it to the final cut of the rookies.

 

The next year comes and I felt as ready as I’d have ever been. I wasn’t as nervous as the previous year at the tryouts, but I could still feel the pressure as I was quite overwhelmed by the number of people, over 450 actually, that were trying out for 75 odd spots. I felt I stood out among other contestants, maybe because I was a 6’3 15-year old athlete, but also because I did really well at the net and back. I got called back as I did last year, and I think I really showed off my skills, especially my athleticism after I made some really nice catches and throws. The following few weeks were treacherous and long. When I found out I was going in for the qualifier week, I was extremely happy, but knew at the same time that my spot was a deserving one after my performance. 

 

 

After that, the rookie training followed and soon after we finally got our uniforms. The US Open came faster than ever and before I knew it I was at court 5 as a ball person for the first time. I was extremely nervous and tentative as ever but I soon got comfortable after I got involved with my crew. I was so happy and relieved that I couldn’t help stop smiling for the rest of my shift. I also realized I was on a televised court and it finally hit me that I was in an international sports event as a US Open Ball boy, a dream I shared with my brother Shaun who was ball boy as well. I made some really good friends and we hung out anytime we could. 

Sign Up for E-News

The initial experience was great. I got to see ball boy players, young players, retired legends, experiences coaches, and of course, the whole show of the top players from all around the world with the likes ofKyrgios, Jack Sock, Wawrinka, Djokovic, Karlovic, Nishikori, Thiem, Steve Johnson, Radwanska, Pliskova, and Kerber to name a few. Although I would usually reach home at midnight after a long day starting with high school soccer at 8am and then rushing to my shift at 10am, a 140-mile round trip daily, I had a lot of fun and never got tired of having to go there every single day for almost 3 weeks. I would never have traded this experience for anything and was glad to have watched my favorite players play, whether they would be in Arthur Ashe stadium, or 5 feet away from me. 

 

The time went by way too fast, although I’m ready for another great experience next year. Besides all the fun I had, being a ball boy, I learned many important things about my future as an athlete and a person. I learned to stay composed, even at match point, and push yourself all the way to the edge, and then further. I saw how many players had the audacity to hit a winner even when they looked as if they were going to lose the point. I understood how the destiny of these players, and mine, lies in your hands.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Bee Day at Hanson Park!!

May 20, 2018

Please join the Hanson Park Conservancy on Saturday, June 23rd for Bee Day at Hanson Park!  At 2:00 PM Grant Stiles from Stiles Honey will be sharing his knowledge of bees with his presentation, “Fundamentals of Beekeeping and the Importance of Honey Bees in Our Society.”  Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy the beautiful surroundings as Mr. Stiles answers all of your ...

Golf Outing On May 26 Benefits Retired Racehorses

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, N.J. —May 29, will mark Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 26th Annual Charity Golf Outing being held at the beautiful Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, N.J.

This much anticipated event is held in conjunction with SRF's online auction which will open for bidding beginning Friday, May 25 and end at 7 p.m. on  Thursday, June 7. The outing ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_67c8ffc06fa8f1db5cd0_22b088bd-9913-4530-ad3b-981f9ad2ba55

Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption

Other

Wed, June 6, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Workshop on New Jersey Sales Tax for business ...

Business & Finance Education

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Belmar Mayor Grants ‘Larry the Lobster’ His Freedom to Kick Off New Jersey Seafood Festival

May 19, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Mayor Brian Magovern wasn’t going to let the rough ocean surf and high winds get in his way yesterday of pardoning “Larry the Lobster” to begin the New Jersey Seafood Festival.

Instead, Magovern moved the May 18 event from the Fifth Avenue beach to the quieter waters of the Shark River Inlet. Accompanied by a small group of borough officials and ...

Food to Travel For - Two Jersey Shore Dining Hot Spots in National Limelight for Specialty Eats

BELMAR, NJ — Two Belmar specialty eateries have made the national food-hopping map. Coney Waffle Ice Cream and Sweet Shop on Ocean Avenue and Hoagitos in Belmar Plaza are featured this month on television shows touting what makes them stand out from the rest.

The over-the-top ice cream creations of Coney Waffle are in the spotlight in Viceland’s “The Ice Cream Show” in ...

WHRHS Baseball: Roxbury Baseball Powers Past Watchung Hills

May 19, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury High School baseball team won its 14th game on Friday, rolling over Watchung Hills 9-1 at home.

Offensively, Roxbury did its damage early, scoring twice in the second inning and then five more times in the third to take an early 7-0 lead.

Roxbury’s Will Findlay had two hits and Donovan Brady, Andy Axelson and Brian Dachowski all had base hits. In ...

WHRHS Boys Lacrosse: Bridgewater Upsets Watchung Hills in OT for SCT Title

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - So close. The Watchung Hills boys lacrosse team fell to Bridgewater-Raritan, in overtime, as the Panthers won a fourth-straight Somerset County Tournament title on Saturday, 5-4, at the Torpey Athletic Complex.

Watchung Hills took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter with goals from Gavin DeFuria, Connor James, and Joe Rica. 

The last game the ...

DiGanci Named Interim Principal in Watchung, Meet and Greet Scheduled

May 23, 2018

 

WATCHUNG, NJ - Dr. Thomas DiGanci has taken over the helm of Bayberry School in Watchung and a meet and greet has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m. 

DiGanci is a former principal of both Valley View School and Watchung Hills Regional High School. He will serve as interim principal at Bayberry School through the end of the school year.

The next ...

Hillsborough Man Sentenced for Bribing Doctors in $100M Test Referral Scheme

NEWARK, NJ – Five individuals including a Hillsborough resident  were sentenced Friday for bribing doctors in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough and Kevin ...

North Plainfield Middle School Hosts Holocaust and Genocide Open House

NORTH  PLAINFIELD, NJ - All are invited to the 2018 North Plainfield Middle School Holocaust/Genocide Open House on Thursday, May 17 at 6 p.m. Students and staff will be on hand to serve as docents for a unique exhibit.

It is a museum in a school, created by the school, constructed by the school and for everyone in the community. featuring  over 400 posters, memorabilia and artifacts ...

WHRHS Boys Lacrosse: Bridgewater Upsets Watchung Hills in OT for SCT Title

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - So close. The Watchung Hills boys lacrosse team fell to Bridgewater-Raritan, in overtime, as the Panthers won a fourth-straight Somerset County Tournament title on Saturday, 5-4, at the Torpey Athletic Complex.

Watchung Hills took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter with goals from Gavin DeFuria, Connor James, and Joe Rica. 

The last game the ...

Podcast: The Royal Wedding Through the Eyes of a Brit

May 19, 2018

In our May 18 podcast, Giles Bootheway, a British citizen who teaches at St. Bonaventure University, shares his thoughts on the Royal Wedding with TAPinto Greater Olean Co-editor Richard Lee.

PLAY

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get ...

Charity Golf Tournament to Benefit Parkland Cares and the Jason Taylor Reading Room, May 17 -Travels Charity Spotlight -

PARKLAND, FL - Parkland Cares will hold a Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 17 at Parkland Golf & Country Club, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Jason Taylor Reading Room and Parkland Cares.  The event is presented by Steven Douglas and former NFL player and Hall of Famer Jason Taylor will be in attendance.

Howard Dvorkin, CPA, is chairman of Debt.com and a 30-year ...

Food to Travel For - Two Jersey Shore Dining Hot Spots in National Limelight for Specialty Eats

BELMAR, NJ — Two Belmar specialty eateries have made the national food-hopping map. Coney Waffle Ice Cream and Sweet Shop on Ocean Avenue and Hoagitos in Belmar Plaza are featured this month on television shows touting what makes them stand out from the rest.

The over-the-top ice cream creations of Coney Waffle are in the spotlight in Viceland’s “The Ice Cream Show” in ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...