Veteran Maintenance Man Goes for Roger the Dodger

“They’ve named it twice—New York, New York—but there can only be one winner at U.S.T.A.!” said U.S. Open veteran J.R. Reid, a “cool 36,” who was born and raised in Harlem.

“My favorite part is the finals. When we get down to the finals, when we get down to the bread and butter—who’s going to win, who’s going to go home,” Reid said. “It’s a beautiful match for two weeks, but this is New York, so there’s only one winner. That’s what I look forward to.”

Here are his predictions: “I don’t think anybody’s going to beat Roger. I like to call him Roger the Dodger, because he’s the best. He’s number one and he’s going to stay number one until they find somebody out there to beat him. Right now, I don’t think anybody can."

I asked him about some of the amusing things he's seen over his several years working at the Open. He thought for a moment, then erupted: “The only thing that gets me and makes me laugh is the change of shift from the day to the night. We have to run around and chase the people out of here, try to get them out of here so the night shift can come in.”

Anything else?

“The [lower-level access pass] yellow tickets at 10:30 [p.m]. People looking for the ushers so they can go down to the lower level and see it. They ask everybody with a red shirt. ‘Yellow ticket! Yellow ticket! Do you have one?’”

Veteran Maintenance Man Goes for Roger the Dodger