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SportsTennisUS Open

Aces and Faults, Day 12

    ACE. In the larger room where ballpersons wait for their next court assignments, groups of six are called forward and dispatched to the various courts around the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds. As each group leaves the room to go to work, it is given a hearty round of applause by all  the other ballpersons in the room.

    FAULT. The Nike kiosk, on the tennis center grounds from 1998 through 2016, has disappeared. The company reportedly has chosen to emphasize online shopping, and one way Nike, and other shoe and attire companies, continue to market their gear at the Open is to dress up most their client players in the same outfits. That’s why so many players are wearing the same clothes.

    LET. In celebrating the 50th anniversary of U.S. Open tennis, much pleasant nostalgia is in the air. But 1968 wasn’t a simple matter of glee for Arthur Ashe, who experienced his Grand Slam breakthrough by winning the first Open men’s title that year. In an interview shortly before his death in 1993, Ashe wasn’t inclined to focus on his own good fortune. “I wouldn’t want to go through 1968 again,” he said, citing the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the riots and the backlash to black demonstrations at the Mexico City Olympics and Lyndon Johnson “essentially being protested out of office.”

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