August 31, 2006, 2:02 pm
Hold the Fries, Amigo
By Michael Kimmelman
The Art of Tennis - Michael Kimmelman
I am sitting in the Grandstand players’ box during the match between the Spaniard Tommy Robredo and the South Korean Hyung-Taik Lee. As a rule, the higher-ranked the player, the larger and better-looking the rooting section. Robredo is in the stratosphere at No. 5 in the world.
So you can imagine.
Mostly, Robredo’s Team (that is literally printed on the back of the chartreuse T-shirt of one member) chats among itself. There is also some flirting with a stupendous young Swedish woman two seats away, and the occasional “Vamos.” Then in the midst of a tight match (one set apiece, on serve in the third) from the far end of the court, Robredo calls out a food order. He wants a large Coke with ice and a chocolate chip cookie. The guy with the T-shirt leaves a brunette, and hustles from the box.
He returns a couple of games later (I presume the lines at the concession stand must have been long — and by the way, it’s only Pepsi here, no Coke). Robredo strolls over to their seats in the middle of the game, takes a sip but declines the cookie.
It helps. He breaks Lee, wins the set, and then the match: 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.