It’s U.S. Open week, the end of tennis being a relevant sport until next spring’s Australian Open. But the U.S. Open is always a fun event, landing where it does on the American sports calendar, and taking place in the vicinity of late-summer New York City. New Yorkers are probably used to seeing more famous people than most, but that’s still not going to prepare you to see Roger Federer step out onto a Central Park tennis court to get his work in for the day.
And yet, that’s exactly what happened:
Little help, please? …Imagine you're playing recreationally at Central Park today. And this guy rolls up. pic.twitter.com/ZSw1sFIAP0
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) August 30, 2017
The night after a lengthy and hard-fought five-setter against American phenom Frances Tiafoe, Federer apparently didn’t want to make the trip all the way out to Flushing Meadows. That led to this cool visual.
It seems as though Federer did not make the trip out to Flushing Meadows on Wednesday for practice, instead choosing to have a light hit on the courts in Central Park.
But are the courts the same speed as the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center? A USTA rep couldn’t confirm the condition of the surface but did say that Federer called early on Wednesday morning to arrange a hitting session closer to his hotel in Manhattan.
With the help of former ATP pro Eric Butorac and some extra security, Federer’s unconventional practice session came to life at the Central Park tennis courts. It all made for an awesome experience for New Yorkers on Wednesday.
Federer is one of the favorites, assuming his back holds up, and to win the U.S. Open at 36 (which would give him three Grand Slam titles in 2017) would be an impossibly impressive accomplishment. And it’s things like this that make him so beloved, worldwide and in New York.