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For 27 years, Lyncourt's Shirley Damiano has been making calls as a tennis umpire at the US Open

September 19, 2012 09:08 PM

By Donnie Webb, The Post-Standard

The year was 1961. Shirley Damiano was a widow and a single mother of three. A son would be born a month after the death of her husband, Carmen, a parole officer who passed away from a brain tumor.

Life was tough, she says. Damiano, of Syracuse, had no time to contemplate her fate. There were children to raise. In time, Shirley Damiano would explore an old passion, find an unexpected platform and ride along on the journey of a lifetime.

Now 77, Damiano just completed her 27th consecutive year of working as a tennis umpire at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows. She has worked every position on the court from chair umpire to lines judge.

This year, Damiano worked the women’s singles championship final between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka and both semifinal matches of the men’s championship. Based on high grades earned during the Open, Damiano was also selected to work the men’s championship match between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.


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