Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Selling Shirts Big Business at the Open

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Selling Shirts Big Business at the Open

Article excerpt

Official U.S. Open T-shirts go for $19 and up. Cruise the streets, sidewalks and parking lots around the National Tennis Center and you can find knockoffs of the shirts for a fraction of that price.

And the fraction gets smaller as the day goes on.

In one parking lot, vendors working out of big cardboard boxes greet arriving fans with armloads of unlicensed T-shirts and the repeated sales pitch, "U.S. Open shirts $10."

Come night, those same buyers and those same sellers are closer together, with the going rate down to $5.

And, if you show enough disinterest, the sidewalk entrepreneurs will let you have the shirt for $4.

Strategy Session: What do doubles players talk about when they put their heads together between points?

Not just tennis.

"Where we're going to go to get some dinner," Ken Flach said after he and Rick Leach won the men's doubles title Friday. "So many good restaurants. One minute we are going to go Chinese, then it is Indian. It is really tough to decide."

The soul as well as the stomach requires intense on-court discussion.

"You know, he'll see some girl in the third row and I'll see one in the fifth row," Flach said. "A lot to talk about."

And our guest in the booth tonight is ...: There was plenty for Flach to talk about after the match as well.

He donned a headset and helped with commentary on British Sky Broadcasting's coverage of the women's singles semifinals.

Goodbye, (Center) Court Jester: And on his way out the door, Andrei Medvedev leaves us some closing thoughts on the U.S. Open.

"This is the worst Grand Slam," said the 19-year-old from Kiev who became the tournament's unofficial gadlfly before losing to Cedric Pioline in the quarterfinals.

Medvedev then offered a sort of Cliff's Notes synopsis of his two-week treatise on Open woes:

"First of all, it's outside. Second of all, it's close to the airport. …

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