Articles, Blog

We Tried To Be US Open Ball People

November 5, 2019

– Oh (bleep). (Bleep, bleep, bleep). (energetic music) We’re here at Arthur Ashe stadium, and we’re about to become ball people. – Close to 500 individuals try out to be a US Open ballperson. We’ve taken a hundred new rookies. – Oh, I’m gonna let my team
tell you about their stories. – To be that close to players, I mean, it’s the best seat in the house. Obviously, Serena’s a big server, and she hit this incredible ace out wide, and I caught it, and the whole crowd just kinda went crazy. They’re, like, you know, clapping. – I’m the youngest ballboy that’s ever tried out at the US
Open at seven years old. Went to the tryout, showcased
that I can run and throw, and the rest is history. – I’m always so amazed by the ballpeople, ’cause there’s such an
etiquette to what they do. They’re so professional. They, like, run, run, run, run, run, grab the ball, run, run, run, run, run. – It would be so cool to be out there, with everyone watching you. Well, no, not you, but,
like, you’d be behind them. – I used to work at a tennis club, and I definitely wanted to impress them. I’m forty, and Kramer, Seinfeld references will probably get thrown out there. – I may be old, but I’m spry. – I’m pretty confident about this. – I think I can do the standing part, but everything else, I’m just like kinda dreading. – The things that our
evaluators are looking for when they’re doing the tryout is focus for the individual,
– No! – How good their throwing arms are, – Oh, that was bad. – How well they run, if they’re agile, fast, – People always think that
the exercise is the hard part, but I think the hardest part is just standing still when you’re not moving. – You gotta struggle through
it if you’re on camera. – How fit are you? – Cathie’s tough. – So you have to have a good arm? If you’re in the back?
– Yeah. – What’s most important
if you’re at the net? – Speed and agility and we usually ask for two hands. – Two handed pickups. – Right.
– Okay, okay. – [Sarah] Regina, are you nervous? – Yes. I’m so nervous. – [Sarah] It’s happening.
– I can’t even touch my toes. – [Sarah] What about you, Dorsey? – Nervous? No. – Two hands. Oops. Sorry. – [Regina] That was good.
– I’m already tired. – [Regina] I’m very impressed. This is the one. (laughs) – Was I doing that? – [Sarah] Dorsey’s really good. Dorsey’s a teacher’s pet, I swear to God. – You get to him, you stand next to him and pass the ball behind your back to him. – [Sarah] Behind the back, okay. – [Cathie] Pass it to him. Not in front of him! What was that? – I don’t–
– [Cathie] Okay, get out. Keep going. Keep going! Keep going! – [Sarah] He’s earning it. – There are really, I don’t
have any words right now. – Dorsey did a really good job, but he also got to watch
us mess up first, so. I’m just saying. – I’m a quick study. – Alright, Justin, come on over. I need someone to throw. (upbeat electronic music) – I’m not throwing it far enough. How are we doing so far, I guess? – Well, I have to write my– – Okay, we’ll give you space. It was, like, the etiquette
that was tripping me up. – Can’t believe I ran with
my hands behind my back. – I wanna see what that
looked like in slow motion. – Like if a porpoise got on a tennis court and was just like (laughs). Dorsey knows he was doing good. He’s smiling. – They’ll be shots down the middle. The two backs have to
determine who goes for it. – You got it? Sorry. Then why did I say that? I’m sorry. – Closer to you, then
just grab and go back. If it’s in the middle, you
should both attempt to go, but then whoever’s closer
should put their hand up. (yells) – She hates me. (shoes scuffling) – I guess there are some times when the match just keeps going and going. – I’ve come up with some
evaluations for you three. – Okay. – Why don’t we start with Sarah? So we evaluate, we talk about your hands, like, how you pick the balls up. – Oh, okay, not like
– Not, not the– – How pretty they are? – Not how the manicure looks, no. – Okay, ’cause it’s really bad. – Oh, that’s what I wrote. (Sarah laughs) So anyway, the speed for
you was a little bit slow. The footwork/agility was
a little heavy footed. – I took, like, a dance
class in college, and the– – You couldn’t tell. Your net court to throwing ability, from the net to the back was pretty good. Your throw was sort of a high fly. It got as far as it could anyway. Um, your hands on that were a
little shaky with the grabs. – Shaky with the grabs.
– It’s better than bad, but shaky. – Okay, bad, shaky, and then – Average.
– Average, okay. – So, distance was a little short. – Alright.
– Court awareness was okay. Speed was good, footwork/agility was good. From net to back was good. In the back, though,
your accuracy was okay. Your throws were, um,
in the high fly range. Your distance was good, uh, your hands were good, and your court awareness was good. On your speed, – No! Yes, I did it. Yes! – They wrote “nonexistent.” Okay. – I thought we were friends. – Footwork/agility was not applicable, so it wasn’t even there. Your net to back court throwing ability was basically negative. Accuracy on the back was none. Shotgun or high fly was neither. Distance, there was none. Hands, there were none. Court awareness is none. You’re really not quite
ready for this year. You’re a little tall for the nets, but, and you have hair on your face, you’d have to shave that off. – I told ya, I’d do that. – Mmkay. So I would actually
take you to a callback. – Alright. – And basically, you’re not
ready probably ever, so. (laughs) I’ve never seen you play tennis, but – I’ve played.
– After seeing that performance, can’t get any worse. – Alright, bye guys. It’s been good. – Brutal.
– Bye, Regina. – Bye.
(laughs) – Go start practicing your tennis. – Being a ballperson looks much
easier than it actually is. – You also have to have,
like, really good balance, ’cause you’re running and then you have to stand still all of a sudden. – You have to be able
to run fast, throw far, and also just, like, the
etiquette behind it is very difficult. – I had to laugh to make
myself feel comfortable. – I had one facial expression,
and it was exhaustion. Yeah, I got my eyes on the ballpeople now. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Ballpersons? You’re
the star of the show. – You’re the star of the show. – This year.
– Whoo! – [Dorsey] I’ll tell you what, the next time I’m playing tennis, I’ll call you guys, and
you can be the ballpersons for my match.
– For you playing tennis? Great. – You’d get plenty of practice. ‘Cause I hit it in the net all the time.


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