By Richard Kent BASN Writer
Updated: June 11, 2012
CONNECTICUT (BASN)–After taking a 9 day trip which took me past the US Open facility on the way to the airport, a tour of venerable Wimbledon and a stay at Roland Garros, the question inevitably arose as to which is the best major in the world.
Let’s start off by eliminating the Australian. It is just too hot there and on the prestige level, it is not very high.
Wimbledon was interesting to see, but it is much smaller in person than it appears on tv. The seating room at many of the courts is tiny and the grounds appear cramped. Certainly it ranks high on the tradition level and a win at Wimbledon is probably most prestigious to the players, but that warm fuzzy feeling of excitement was not there.
Roland Garros is beautiful. Make no mistake about it. Court 1 is a treaure and probably one of the most fun places in the world to see a tennis tournament. Sitting in the player’s box with the McEnroe family watching John and Patrick play doubles did not hurt either. The red clay is great to see but the bad news is that there are very few players, especially on the men’s side who can win on clay. Historically, there has not been a lot of rain at the French, especially on Finals weekend and the officials seemed puzzled as to how to handle the conditions. Many of the smaller courts were, as with Wimbledon too small to handle a decent sized crowd, which is a shame.
Which brings us home to our winner, the US Open. It is a happening as much as a tennis tournament. There are celebrities all over the place which makes people watching on the benches outside of the President’s gate a lot of fun, especially for night matches. And that brings us to the daily night matches. They are a treasure. Especially in week 2 when many top men’s and women’s quarters are contested at night. And how about the food and clothing booths and stores. Way more plentiful than at Wimbledon and the French. Plus for some reason, the crowds just seem more into the tennis than at the other majors. Not just for a Federer-Nadal match, but for any first round 5-setter between a Brazilian and a Spaniard. The crowd is simply more international in the most international city in the world. The weather can be a problem as in hot and rainy, but it can also be a perfect autumn day in early September. More often than not it is. The countdown begins for late August and Flushing Meadows.