Friday, July 9, 2010

Tennis trip big success

I vowed to get out and about more, and Tuesday was a perfect example of how to do it. For Hannukah, Ben had given me tickets to the Tennis Hall of Fame's annual tournament, played on grass in an intimate setting in Newport, R.I.

We'd go to see the tennis and then spend the day in Newport. I was happy to do it, but I didn't understand how interesting it would be.

The day finally came, and off we went. Combined with seeing two matches and following a tour guide through the Tennis Hall of Fame, I learned a feast of tennis facts. For example, the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championship was held in 1881 on the grounds of the
current Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum.
It is the
only pro
on grass in

In photo
above, Ben and I stopped at the outside court
before entering the main grounds where we
we would see two matches on Court One.
Making it especially interesting, Frenchman Nicholas Mahut, now a
kind of cult hero, played in the second match, close enough that we
could see his every expression. Mahut shot to fame by competing
in a record-breaking 11-hour, 15-minute match against American John
Isner at Wimbledon. Mahut lost, but that seemed beside the point.
In Newport, Mahut won his match, defeating Columbian Alejandro
Falla 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

In photo at right, Mahut gives a little hand pump after a good shot, and below, Ben stopped (with me) along the
Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile path along the
Newport shoreline, with The Breakers,
one of the guilded age mansions in the
city, gracing the hillside facing the water.

We traveled two miles, chatting along the
way. I wasn't even tired. We turned around
and completed our 4-mile walk, then got in
the car to go home.

Earlier, after the tennis, we had stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant at the wharf. We got our coffee and took it down
to the Cliff Walk. Everyone was happy.

It turns out he had had a great idea. I loved spending the time day with him.

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