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Our 2nd Day of Tennis

Our 2nd Day of Tennis
New York City, NY

New York City, NY


Sunday morning, we woke up at 7:30am again. While Morgan showered and got dressed, I ran across the street to pick up bagels and coffee again, then we headed back out to the Tennis Center to watch Christian Harrison’s first round match. So, here’s the back story . . . when I was a kid, I played Junior Tennis. The entire Harrison family also played, and their dad was the tennis coach at the local college. I used to travel to tournaments with them sometimes, and 8-10 kids would all stay in one hotel room with Coach and Mrs. Harrison! Pat Harrison, Christian’s dad, and Pat’s twin sister, Patty, and I went to high school together, too. Pat went on to become quite the tennis player. Patty also continued to play and eventually became a coach like her dad. Years later, Pat got married and had his three kids (Ryan, Christian, and Madison) who are phenomenal tennis players. Pat was the pro at our local tennis club, and his kids came up through the same Junior Development program that I played in as a kid. Once it became evident that these 3 kids had major talent, Pat moved his family to New Braunfels, Texas, and became the assistant pro at John Newcombe’s Tennis Academy. Ryan (age 16) has played in the Junior draws of all the majors and became the third kid to win his first pro tour match at the age of 16 this year! Christian (age 14) is debuting at the US Open this year. Both boys have already turned pro and are represented by IMG, a huge sports agency. Madison (age 11) is the #1 player in the Texas region in the Girls 12U and is closing in on the top 100 in the nation. Okay, so hooking up with the Harrisons in NYC was pretty much the highpoint of our weekend! After Christian’s match (sadly, he lost), we hung out with them, even getting to eat lunch in the player’s lounge this afternoon where we saw Amelie Mauresmo and Jelena Jankovic! We also happened to run into UGA’s tennis coach, Manny Diaz, who coaches Morgan at camp every summer! I think he was a little surprised to see us in there! While eating, Joel Drucker, who is a very prolific sports writer, came and sat down with us – he’s working on an article on the Harrison boys – and it turns out that he and Matthew went to junior high school together in Brentwood – how’s that for a small world?!?!?! Before lunch, though, we watched Ryan warming up with his doubles partner, Chase Buchanan , and Morgan got to take a picture with Chase. Then, I found out that Rafael Nadal was on the practice courts with his hitting partners and his Uncle Toni, so I went into semi-stalker mode! Of course, he was on the far court, so I crawled into the hedges, squatted down, and watched through the fence! When he came over to my side of the court, I was about 10 feet away from him – hubba hubba! 😉 The guys were all speaking in Spanish, so I couldn’t understand them, but it sure was fun being so close! Sadly, Rafa didn’t sign autographs after his practice. All afternoon, Morgan kept running into some of the players in the junior draw. They all said hello to him which he just loved! He was standing in the autograph area by the practice courts, and the guys kept walking to and from the player’s lounge and always said hi when they saw him. What an incredible experience! After Rafa finished practicing, though, Djokovic came on the courts, and Morgan was able to get his autograph afterward, along with Stanislas Wrawrinka’s and Justin Gimmelstob’s . We decided to head back to Armstrong after that to watch the Tsonga-Robredo match. Unfortunately, Tsonga lost, and Morgan wasn’t able to get his or Robredo’s autograph. Turns out that both Melanie and Ryan are playing tomorrow morning, but we don’t have tickets. 🙁 Well, Pat came through for us! He called us during the Tsonga match to tell us to just meet him at the gate in the morning and he would get us in! Awesome! Next up on Armstrong were Gonzalez and Niemenin in an incredible 4-set match! We stayed to the bitter end, then made our way into the empty Grandstand to take a few pics before heading by train to Times Square (I promised Morgan I would take him, even though it was close to midnight at this point!). We walked around for about an hour then took a cab back to the apartment just in time to see James and Reggie and the girls before everybody crashed!


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