U.S. Open Brings Tennis to Latino Hood and Latinos to Play Tennis

tennis.JPGYou know it’s U.S. Open time in Queens, NYC when Flushing Meadows Park suddenly loses its mostly Latino families with huge sprawling picnics, its Ecuadorian vendors selling food from huge steaming trays, and its soccer players representing every South American nation. The 7 train, crowded with working class people of color to begin with, becomes even more crowded, now with wide eyed mostly white tennis fans, most looking a little lost and scared. Most won’t give a lady with a baby in a sling their seat either (seriously I know). Residents of the mostly Latino hood of Corona, which houses the tennis complex where the open takes place, know that the Goodyear Blimp isn’t silent as it passes over their houses.

I went to the U.S. Open last year and this year went with my family to their free family day. I’m not a tennis fan but my partner is. This year (and in years past) the U.S. Open has featured Latin American players. I was able to watch el flaco Juan Ignacio Chela from Argentina practicing last week. Yesterday that practice payed off as he moved into the quarter finals. Other Argentino players in the open this year include Juan Mónaco who also advanced into the second week of the U.S. Open.

And you thought that they only liked soccer in South America.

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