Follow up to Tennis-the young D and I had a fantastic time. We first saw the 40-th ranked Sania Mirza, the young Indian who's not quite there yet, world-class-tennis-wise, defeated by F. Schiavone in 3 sets in her II round match.
I have a weakness for Mirza in spite of her demonstrated ability to win the first set and collapse shorty thereafter. When Dylan asked me who I was rooting for, I said "Mirza, of course, she's one of our peeps!" (puzzled look, I'm not known for my Indian chauvinism.) Mirza is a gutsy Indian Muslim, who has gotten plenty of grief from various overbearing mullahs in India because she does not dress "appropriately" as a Muslim woman. Covered up in purdah, perhaps? Move over, Serena, a new tennis style! Wimbledon chador whites, anyone? -To her credit, Mirza does not publicly comment on this. Discretion being the better part of valor, I suppose, given the many serious threats to others. Oddly, I did not see the security detail she's been assigned as a result.
We also saw another of my favorite players, the great Serena Williams, play against Daniela Hantuchova (when D. first saw her, he thought she was Sharapova, proving conclusively that all those tall Russian blond tennis players whose names end in -ova are clones.) Serena came back from a 2-5 deficit in her first set and won 11 of the next 13 games in sparkling, if not entirely consistent, style to win the match. Go Serena!, I shouted often, much to the shock of the reticent D. who declined to lend a supporting voice.
We also had a scare. The D gets cranky when hungry (as do I, according to Elizabeth,) and refuses to give a pre-hunger warning, so when we were waiting in Armstrong stadium for a match to start, I decided to get us lunch. Had no idea how long it would take in line for hot-dogs (20 mins) and that you had to wait to get back into the stadium at a game break (5 mins). Back I came and two nearby moms informed me that they had been about to call security on poor "abandoned" Dylan. This seemed more than officious...here's a perfectly content 8-1/2 year old enjoying the match. When I suggested they were overreacting, one said "...after all, this is New York!" and the other muttered something about "being sorry if something happened". My reaction, flak suit donned?
Firstly, the second row of Louis Armstrong stadium during the US Open is about as far from "New York!" as you can get, in the dire sense that the women were using the word.
Secondly, I'd suggest the other woman consider the irrationality of fearing, say, child abduction, when you're statistically more likely to be hit by lightning, twice. This tyranny of small numbers makes many lead a sadly restrictive life...note the fearful mom in this story in OTBKB, who says “I don’t want [my daughter] on the street[s of Park Slope (!)] at all. There are too many bad people around." No, lady, not nearly as many as crashing cars, falling trees and overprotective moms.
Dylan, having seen many sides of his father new to him, is safe at home now. [image:www.tennisreporters.net]