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Father and Son from Rochester Suburb Make First Trip to US Open

September 6, 2012 06:40 PM
John Speicher
John Speicher only got to see one match – a close battle between Samantha Stosur and Victoria Azarenka – before rain suspended play on Tuesday, September 4 at the 2012 US Open.
But the inclement weather could not dampen the spirits of the13-year-old junior, ranked 10th in the Eastern Boys’ 14s, as he made his first trip ever to the US Open, with his father Shaun by his side.
Speicher, who lives in Webster, NY (a surburb of Rochester), was excited to see both Andy Murray and his favorite player, Juan Martin Del Potro, practice next to Arthur Ashe Stadium, and witness a third-set tiebreaker between the world’s no. 1 player and last year’s US Open Champion.
 "It’s a lot different from watching it on TV," Speicher said. "You get to experience the challenge system and you get to hear the grunts. Even though you hear it on TV, it just sounds much different."
Tennis Beginnings
When John was just three years old, he began playing tennis, a sport his mother thought would help develop the footwork he needed for basketball. But a few years later, John developed a knack for sending balls over a net, instead of into a hoop.
 "We got him into tennis purely as another sport and he hasn’t put the racquet down since," said Shaun Speicher.
John, who describes his game as that of a "baseliner who will come to net," has been eager to visit the Open since he started playing competitively a few years ago. But because he was participating in local tournaments, he never got a chance.
This year, since the USTA National Regional Championships in Glen Cove, NY, ended September 3, Shaun made a point to buy tickets and give his son a chance to see the Open before school started.
While it was also Shaun’s first time at the Open, the best part of the day for Shaun was seeing the look on his son’s face as he made his way onto the grounds and saw the US Open live.
"It’s great being here with John," said Shaun Speicher. "Walking in through the US Open, seeing the players, looking at Del Potro practice, it’s been experiencing it through his eyes."  
John hopes someday to see his name and picture featured among the US Open champions. But on Tuesday, John hadn’t forgotten what he left in the trunk of their car, a day after winning the doubles title at the Glen Cove tournament.
"Since we were leaving right from the Open, we had to bring everything and I had the trophy in the car," said John. "So we hid it under the bags and then put a blanket over it, so no one could see it."