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U.S. Open Postcard: Timing is everything in professional tennis

Serena Williams, left, and Venus Williams talk between points against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic during a doubles match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (Matt Rourke)

Serena Williams played both singles and doubles Thursday, which made for a long day and night.

Friday we’ll hit from 1:45 – 3:15 p.m. on the practice courts. Then Serena and Venus have their second round doubles match, which will be the fourth match on the Armstrong court.

Timing is everything in life and even more so in professional tennis, especially if you follow a men’s match that can go to five sets. If you were to ask as I write this postcard when our match will begin, I would say I have no idea. 

How would the New Orleans Saints feel if they knew they were going to play the Atlanta Falcons today but not sure when.

It imposes some complex challenges for meal timing, ankle taping and the warm up to name just a few.

Saturday, we play our third round singles match. But again, until 6 p.m. tonight, I cannot not tell you what time our singles will start tomorrow. Being televised on CBS, I assume they will dictate the timing around college football, baseball and every other TV venue that might compete for viewership.

Should be another long day. 

Mackie Shilstone, a regular contributor to | The Times-Picayune, has been involved in the wellness sports performance industry for nearly 40 years. He is currently the fitness coach for Serena Williams, has trained numerous other professional athletes and consulted a litany of professional sports franchises. He is St. Charles Parish Hospital’s Fitness and Wellness expert. Contact him at

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