Anyone Home?

by: Peter Bodo | August 19, 2010

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103437387 Howdy, everyone. I'm still on vacation, but will be checking in daily between now and Monday, when I'll start posting from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Qualifying will be underway, and I'm all fired up about that.

I've been out of touch on a family camping trip these past five day, and am now reminded of just how fast the scenery flies by when you're traveling through certain portions of the year. Andy Murray's win in Toronto was mildly surprising to me, although this isn't the first time he's played his best tennis at a hard-court Masters 1000 events when all the top dogs are in the draw.

And the way Sharapova tested Cljsters in Cincinnati, bending her to the breaking point, promises to spice up the handicapping and bracketology for the U.S. Open. Who knows, now that Dinara Safina has finally won two matches in a row, maybe she'll also emerge as a factor in New York.

We won't hit boiling temperature until the conclusions of Cincinnati (ATP) and Montreal (WTA), but the pot certainly is beginning to simmer.

For those of you here in the eastern U.S., I can't say enough about the Adirondack museum, which is on a sort of campus with a gorgeous view of  Blue Mountain Lake. It has terrific, large, inter-active exhibits and a shortage of clutter. Maybe I just like it because so much of the the museum is about the history of the region and outdoorsy stuff, including boats and re-created schoolhouses, hunting cabins, and such. But I enjoyed it immensely.

Also, while camping not far from the boat launch people use to access islands on Indian Lake (you can camp on them, too), I was impressed by what I had always thought of as lowly pontoon boats. Maybe you have to be over the age of 50 to really appreciate what is essentially a giant, slow-moving, hard-to-maneuver raft, but I'm content to leave the sexy stuff like speedboats and ski sleds to kids. You could live on even a small pontoon boat for days on end, and there's all kinds of room for gear. And let's not forget that the fur trappers and other giants of the age of exploration traveled rivers on the forerunners of the pontoon boat, the poled raft.

Many thanks to Bobby Chintapalli and Jackie Roe for their outstanding coverage of the past week or so. They did a great job pinch-hitting for me and bringing you on-site reports. Enjoy the tennis today. It's nice to be back in communication.

-- Pete

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