Did you know we had a man at the US Open?

Mid Day - - CITY -

SHREE­RAM Gokhale, our Punebased cricket writer, is back from the US of A where he did duty as a line um­pire along with three other In­di­ans (Sa­gar Kashyap, Supreeth Kad­vigere and Saibal Ban­er­jee) at this year’s Open that has sadly be­come syn­ony­mous with Ser­ena Williams’s out­burst at um­pire Car­los Ramos at last week’s women’s sin­gles fi­nal in New York.

When we ask Shree­ram about his work­ing hours at the Open, he re­veals, “11 am to 8 or 9 pm.” Phew! Imag­ine stand­ing with both hands on your knees and con­cen­trat­ing while the ten­nis play­ers rally away. Of course, there are hourly breaks. For Shree­ram, who has of­fi­ci­ated at 11 Grand Slams that in­clude six Wim­ble­dons and one Aus­tralian Open, it’s a sheer hon­our to rep­re­sent Ten­nis Of­fi­cials of In­dia (TOI).

“Be­ing on court with the likes of Roger Fed­erer, Rafael Nadal, No­vak Djokovic, Andy Mur­ray, Ser­ena, Shara­pova means a lot since I am ba­si­cally a ten­nis fan, who turned into a ten­nis of­fi­cial,” says Shree­ram, who also en­joys of­fi­ci­at­ing games in­volv­ing ju­nior play­ers.

Some of the TOI group mem­bers did duty in the Re­view booths and although they couldn’t meet over a curry due to their, in Shree­ram’s words, “con­flict­ing sched­ule”, they man­aged to get to­gether for a Sun­day brunch on the last day of ten­nis ac­tion in New York.

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