The Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

If the 800 hot dogs sold on Day 1 of the US Open is an indicator, it is going to be a great two weeks in Queens.

NEW YORK – Day 2 at the US Open featured suspension of play for rain and ultimately cancellation of all matches not taking place in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with its retractable roof.

Still, the rain didn’t stop the crowd from braving lines of twenty minutes or more at the Kosher Grill.

“I’ll wait five minutes then move on!” said Adriana of Westchester who clearly waited much longer for a sausage- and-peppers sandwich.

“A classic move!” she noted.

Sarah and Moshe, a religious couple from Riverdale, hosting Israeli relatives, braved the line for two pretzels and three pastrami sandwiches.

Clearly not everyone in line was there for the kosher food.

“There is the perception that kosher meat is better meat,” noted one patron.

He very well may be right. Jon Katz, of Englewood, New Jersey, operates Kosher Grill every day but Shabbat at the US Open. He began serving kosher food in 2003 at New York Giants football games. He then went on to found Kosher Sports Inc., which operates concession stands at professional sporting events in many cities in the United States.

Katz, who worked on the New York Stock Exchange before starting in the kosher food business, is now a partner in NY Brat Factory on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and serves homemade hot dogs and sausages, in addition to steak, pastrami, wraps, pretzels, cold beer and more on the grounds at Flushing Meadows.

If the 800 hot dogs sold on Day 1 of the US Open is an indicator, it is going to be a great two weeks in Queens.

Inside Arthur Ashe, fans were treated to tournament top seed Rafael Nadal battling Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.

After a bit of a scare in the 64 minute first set, Nadal went on to easily win in straight sets.

While Nadal has historically denied rumors that his family may descend from Spanish Conversos, one orthodox Jewish ball boy was close enough to Rafa throughout the match to hand him tennis balls, towels and (theoretically) tip his kippa to the victor.

This ball boy is no boy – he appears to be in his 30s and has been working big-court matches for many years.

Other ball persons go bareheaded or wear Ralph Lauren baseball hats. This proud Jewish man prefers to be on court with his black suede yarmulke.

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The Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

Querrey’s lightning serve helped him dictate the match to win in a quick one hour and twenty minutes.

The enthusiastic chants of the partisan New York crowd could not carry Dudi Sela to victory in his second round US Open match Wednesday evening against world No. 21 Sam Querrey.

Querrey’s lightning serve helped him dictate the match on the way to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win in a quick one hour and twenty minutes.

“You know, he is serving big and on my service game I was playing with a lot of pressure,” Sela told The Jerusalem Post. “I was not free, the points were so quick, I didn’t feel the match I didn’t even have time to change my shirt! It was really quick and there was no rhythm. I hate these types of matches. I usually put a lot of balls back. Today I couldn’t. From the first point, I couldn’t — he hit three aces in the first game. It was really difficult.”

Querrey jumped off to a quick 1-0 lead in the first set with Sela then holding serve. Querrey went up 3-1 and Sela fought back to tie at 4-4.

Querrey closed out the 29-minute set 6-4. The second set lasted just 22 minutes, and despite putting up a better fight in the third set, Sela couldn’t muster a comeback.

“He had one look where I broke him in the first set and he broke me right back,” said Querrey. “But then I was able to break him again to win that set. And once I won the first set, I gained a little more confidence and played even more aggressive, swung more freely and started to play better and better.

“Dudi is a tricky player. He’s got a fan club behind him, and they are loud and cheering on their guy.”

Sela is set to be in action in the doubles tournament on Thursday, teaming up with Steve Darcis of Belgium to face David Marrero of Spain and Benoit Paire of France in the first round.

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The Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

Loeb – ranked 156th in the world – acknowledged that she “had to battle” on court in a match which featured “interesting calls.” Loeb highlights “staying mentally strong” as the key to the match.

NEW YORK – After an impressive run at the US Open Qualifying Tournament, 22-years old Jamie Loeb fell just short of gaining entry to the main draw, losing 6-3, 6-4 to fellow American Sachia Vickery on Friday at Flushing Meadows.

Loeb, who is from Ossining, New York, and comes from a strong Jewish background, was coming off an enormous 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 triumph over former world No. 2 Vera Zvonereva in the previous round.

The 32-year-old Russian – currently ranked 742nd in singles – was attempting a comeback after nearly two years away from the tour. Her distinguished career includes reaching the French Open quarterfinals in 2003, the Australian Open semifinals in 2009 and a runner up in the 2010 US Open for singles.

She won a pair of Grand Slam women’s doubles titles – at the 2006 US Open, partnering Nathalie Dechy, and at the 2012 Australian Open, with Svetlana Kuznetsova. She also holds major titles in mixed doubles – with Bob Bryan at the 2004 US Open and with Israeli Andy Ram in 2006 at Wimbledon.

Loeb – ranked 156th in the world – acknowledged that she “had to battle” on court in a match which featured “interesting calls.” Loeb highlights “staying mentally strong” as the key to the match.

“It was a great win, and I am really happy to get through it!” Her determination to reach the main draw of her favorite tournament will have to wait at least until next year after being defeated by Vickery, who is also 22 and is ranked just one spot better than Loeb, at No. 155. Loeb easily defeated Na-Lae Han of Korea, 6-4, 6-2 in Round 1 of the qualifiers.

The youthful Loeb is just starting to show her potential.

She attended the University of North Carolina for two years before taking a break in 2015 to join the pro tour. In her sophomore season, she won the women’s Singles National Championship, earned ACC Player of the Year and helped lead a North Carolina women’s tennis team that won the ITA National Indoor.

In 2015, Loeb won the Stockton Challenger tournament and received a wildcard into the 2015 US Open women’s draw where she was quickly dismissed by Caroline Wozniacki. This year, Loeb was in the singles qualifying draw for both the Australian Open, where she lost in the second round, and Wimbledon, losing in the first round.

Loeb attributes much of her love of tennis to her family, who attended the US Open every year when she was growing up Unlike her siblings, who attended religious school at Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor, New York, her sister Jenna said that, “Jamie did not attend Hebrew school or celebrate her bat mitzvah – primarily due to a demanding tennis schedule.”

Jenna also said that Jamie has not yet visited Israel but “wants to go.”

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The Original Article Published on The Jerusalem Post

NEW YORK – Day 2 of the US Open Qualifying Singles Tournament saw American Mitchell Krueger come from behind to beat Canadian Brayden Schnur.

Schnur and Krueger also provided decent material for Jewish fans scanning the draw sheets in hopeful search for Jewish names.

Krueger, No. 198 in the world, is not Jewish, while No. 193 Schnur reportedly is “half Jewish.”

Late in the day, a player wearing a Star of David – inside of a gold tennis racket—appeared on Court10. Proudly Jewish, 23-year-old Jared Hiltzik, from Wilmette, Illinois, played tennis at the University of Illinois, and currently lives in Tampa, Florida. On Wednesday, he fell 7-6(5), 6-3 to Argentinian Marco Trungelliti.

Last year, Hiltzik appeared at the US Open, playing in the American Collegiate Invitational, which featured eight men and eight women in a single-elimination singles tournament. (The winners received a wild card into the 2017 US Open main draw or qualifying draw-depending on their ranking).

Hiltzik felt he played well, but had to deal with some back tightness throughout the match.

“I was alright, I had some opportunities,” said the world’s

432nd-ranked player to The Jerusalem Post.

Jewish and Israel tennis fans will be happy to know that Hiltzik is proud of his Judaism, though he admits that “I was not as involved with Chabad on campus as I would have wanted to be, being a busy student-athlete.”

Hiltzik has traveled to Israel twice – once as a child, and once last month.

“I proposed to my girlfriend on Masada!” he exclaimed.

He plans to get married next September. Hopefully, success at next year’s US Open won’t interfere with the wedding.

The main draw of the US Open gets under way on Monday in New York, with Dudi Sela currently the only Israeli with a spot secured in the singles event.

Yshai Oliel is slated to play in the junior tournament, while Jonathan Erlich will participate in doubles.

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