Aubert, Hayward enjoy U.S. Open

They had such a good time at one professional tennis tournament, they began to dream — big.

After spending a few days with their husbands watching the BNP Paribas Open professional tennis tournament in California several months ago, Jennie Aubert and

Stacey Hayward started talking about the U.S. Open.

“We came back from the Indian Wells tournament and had such a great time and the U.S. Open hype was starting,” Hayward said. “We said to each other, ‘Oh, it would be so fun to go.’ Then Jennie was like, ‘We should go, just the two of us, sneak away for a few days.’ ”

“When I mentioned it, ‘Jake, would you care?’ he said, ‘Go ahead.’ ” Aubert said. “As soon as he said that, we said, ‘OK, we’re going to buy the tickets.’ I don’t know if he thought we were totally serious or not.”

The two Grand Junction women immediately began planning. They picked a hotel and the matches they wanted to attend and planned a little shopping.

“We were planning on shopping and going to restaurants,” Aubert said. “The husbands weren’t interested in that.”

Aubert, 37, and Hayward, 35, were in New York City from Sept. 7-11 for the U.S. Open.

They stayed in Manhattan and took the subway to the Billie Jean King United States National Tennis Center in Queens.

“I was impressed,” Hayward said. “We took the subway. We felt safe and comfortable doing that.”

They had tickets for two day sessions and two night sessions at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“We didn’t realize how good are seats were,” Aubert said. “We got an upgrade for some reason. We walked in and were courtside, and to see how massive the facility is and to be as close as we were ... we were sitting right behind the players, six rows up.

“We enjoyed every moment of it. With the night session, we got there at 5 and it was almost 2 in the morning when we got back (to the hotel). We spent most of our time at tennis.”

“It was electric,” Hayward said.

They saw Yanina Wickmayer knock off Katreryna Bondarenko and Serena Williams defeat Flavia Pennetta before Williams’ blowup in a semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters.

“Serena has an aura about her, seeing her come out (to the court for her match),” Aubert said. “She’s very intimidating.”

Aubert and Hayward watched Rafael Nadel defeat Gael Monfils in the men’s fourth round and Novak Djokovic dispose of Fernando Verasco in the quarterfinals.

Hayward and Aubert were even able to get Djokovic’s autograph for their sons. Aubert has a 9-year-old son, Luke, and 4-year-old daughter, Emma. Hayward has three teenage daughters, Channing, 17, Kenyon, 16 and Bronte, 13, and two sons, Trigg, 8, and Dax, 3.

“We bought souvenir hats and our goal was to get autographs for our boys,” Hayward said. “We had a plan, the last few points of the match we would inch forward. We knew we had to be in a certain area. It ended, they throw the balls up into the crowd. We made our run for it.”

“Stacey did this huge lunge with the hats and yelled ‘Novak!’ ” Aubert said. “I thought we weren’t going to get it. He looked our way and grabbed the pen and we got the autograph.

“I got home and gave it to Luke and he put it on and went right to tennis. It was really cute.”

Now, Aubert and Hayward are considering plans to see the other three Grand Slam events, the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

“That’s our bucket list,” Aubert said. “It’s so amazing to watch. How could you not enjoy something someone’s good at?”


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