The China Problem
I love going to qualifying week at the US Open in New York. Qualifying week is free to attend and you can see Legends Doubles. I couldn’t believe my luck. I walked into Grandstand Stadium minutes before a mixed doubles match between Martina Navratilova and Michael Chang vs Lindsey Davenport and Jan Michael Gambil. Front row seat! One of those small rows in the front with only 2 seats and then the cameraman. I was up close and personal with the players. Wonderful!
Suddenly on my right I noticed a giant. The tallest Chinese man I’d ever seen blocked out the sun. “Ith thith theat taken?” he lisped, and pointed to the empty seat next to me. Now keep in mind, Grandstand Stadium was practically empty. The giant could have sat anywhere. But he chose to sit in the only other seat in my row. “It’s not taken.” He excitedly scooched in. “I LOVE Lindsey Davenport! She’s my favorite player in the WORLD!!!” I tried to calm him: “Well, you’re gonna get to see her up close in a minute.”
The players arrived and I admit I was a bit star struck. “I want to talk to her!” he confided through tears. “Henry, do not embarrass me” I commanded. “I LOVE YOU LINDSEY!! YOU’RE MY FAVORITE PLAYER IN THE WAH-ORLD!!” Everything stopped. Everyone in Grandstand Stadium turned to look at us. Even Martina Navratilova. Then, tragically, Lindsey responded. “Well, there’s a lot of other players out there; a lot better than me.” “OH MY GOD! AAAAHHHHH!” Henry collapsed into my lap sobbing. An audible “aw” went around Grandstand Stadium. The cameraman swung around to us. There we were on the JumboTron - me with my arms around a wailing Chinese giant.