The Date: Aug. 29, 2007
The Venue: USA Hospitality Suite in the Arthur Ashe Stadium
The Crowd: USA Network employees, press and special guests such as your very own Freeloader
The Food: Gourmet fare including seared tuna, salads and choice cold cuts as well as hot dogs complete with sauerkraut and relish
The Bar: Stocked with the usual -- coffee, juice, soda, wine, beer, Evian water and liquor for homemade cocktails
The Swag: A USA beach bag filled with U.S. Open memorabilia, the network's latest shows on DVD such as the "4400" and a bobble-head doll of "Monk" star Tony Shalhoub.
How could a summer in New York be complete without Freeloader jumping on the 7 train and heading to the U.S. Open? Well lucky for us, USA was having guests at their suite in the Arthur Ashe Stadium to catch matches featuring tennis superstars Serena Williams and Roger Federer.
Although it was only day three of the two-week tournament, herds of fans filed through the gates of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Maneuvering our way through the crowd, we finally got to the stadium and were surprised to climb only one flight of stairs to get to our seats. The suite was pretty sweet, with posters depicting some of the network's hit shows, some good food to snack on and a flat screen for those who wanted to lounge on the sofa while watching the match. This wouldn't be a Freeloader experience if we stayed indoors; so we headed to a few front-row seats -- perfect for catching the action.
Even though the women's match went on a little longer than expected and the men's ended as it was predicted, Freeloader found plenty of entertainment in scanning the crowd. Since the night's matches would feature Serena Williams playing against Italy's Maria Elena Camerin and Roger Federer vs. Paul Capdeville from Chile, tennis fans weren't the only ones in the stadium. R&B legend Gladys Knight, sporting a bright-pink baseball cap, was spotted in a private box across the court. Ralph Lauren, who designed a line of clothing just for the tourney, enjoyed the match as well. Kelly Rowland, one-third of Destiny's Child, brushed by the USA suite catching Freeloader's attention right away.
And last but not least, Vogue's Anna Wintour was the talk of the party, thanks to her current Roger Federer obsession. All of USA's guests were wondering where she was sitting. Freeloader soon spotted her across the court, thanks to her signature oversized sunglasses and bob.
And that pretty much made the time on the 7 train worth it.