A man with a voice like Pavarotti's is calling out continuously for Marius Copil, a 22-year-old Roumanian playing against Jimmy Wang, a 27-year-old player from Taiwan. "Come on, Marius," the man bellows like an opera singer and then claps his hands, making a cacophonous sound like a gun shot. I, unfortunately, am sitting right in front of this man on the bleachers.At one point, I turn and say to him, "With lungs like yours, you should be a singer." Without missing a beat, he replies, "How do you know I'm not a singer." Touche. I come right back, "If you are a singer, you have to let me know where your next concert is."So goes attending matches at the qualifiers of the US Open, still the best single sporting event in the world. Places like Wimbledon and Miami and Indian Wells and I I think the other slams, charge fees for coming into the qualifiers, but at the Open, it's still free. And as Michael pointed out, (one of our ardent Tennis-Prosers, who has given some very nice accounts of watching the qualis from the stadiums over the last couple of days) it is not exactly an unknown event anymore. On Friday, there had to be at least 10,000 fans at the Open, but there are also many courts to watch tennis on. I saw Ryan Harrison, Tipsarevic, Benneteau, Llodra, Troicki, Gulbis, Nieminem and Zopp practicing on outside courts (I never go into the stadiums to watch practices during the qualis. I am there for the little man, not the stars). By the time I'd arrived, after teaching two Bikram Yoga classes in 105-degree heat, Rhyne Williams had already advanced. He'd become my favorite of this year's qualis. There's always a player I latch onto, for lack of a better word, and follow. In years's past, there's been Salzenstein, Gimelstob, Pozzi, Witten and Mitchell Frank last year. Frank was nowhere to be seen in this year's qualis. (And that is the state of the qualis. In one year, out the next, or maybe, hopefully, in the main draw without having to qualify.) But I liked this Williams and his smooth game and smoother face. He looked like nothing bothers him on the court. So I went out to watch Kosakowski play a diminutive Japanese player. Taylor Dent was out there watching. When we watch tennis today, as Dent and myself and so many other fans were doing, half the time we are checking our cell phones. Dent would put his big handsome face down and play with his cell phone and then in the nick of time, pick his head up just in time for the next point. Kosakowski, sounds like a Harley motorcycle, also has somewhat of a meek personality on the court. Basically, he looks like an accountant out there without the glasses and the calculator. He's not very big and wears a baseball cap, but he has a beautiful game. He won the first set and then fist pumped--I left at that point--but I see he lost 7-5 in the third. Sometimes, beautiful games just don't get it done. But when's the last time an American had a good one-hander? Blake, Dent?Kosakowski was the only American male who lost yesterday. (Sorry, I don't really follow women's tennis much. But I see my lovely Tatijana Malek of Germany qualified, while my other quali woman fave, Anastasjia Sevastobal, lost to the No. 1 seed). Bobby Reynolds, Williams, Tim Smycek and Bradley Klahn all won and they all seem to have personalities like Kosakowski, well maybe not that low-key, but let's put it this way, the don't show up big and American on the court, like a Stan Smith or Arthur Ashe used to do. (Those guys weren't exactly big personalities, Ashe was later in his career, but the way they walked and their presence said "American.") That's why I do like Harrison, he is the ugly American that those of us who were around and following tennis in the 1970's, so remember in McEnroe, Connors and even Roscoe Tanner and Gene Mayer and later Tarango and now Roddick. Always nitpicking, bellowing about lines calls, squirming, fidgeting, mouthing off. Now, pretty much, the only way you know it's an American playing is he wears a baseball cap. There's no more drama of personality, mugging for the crowd and acting brash, except for Harrison, amongst the young Americans. Even Christian Harrison, isn't a chip off the old block, looking very subdued in his Open qualifying first dance. It's like all the new young Americans come out of Central Casting from Leave It To Beaver and not the Fonz of Happy Days.Harrison, as he practiced with Troicki, (the way the pros practice is that there are four to a court, and when they start playing points, Harry and Troicki would play two points and then Tipsarevic and Alejandro Falla would jump on and play two points. It's very energetic as they hop on and off court. And they'll watch each other, like Nieminem did with Gulbis yesterday and Tipsarevic with Harrison, making mental pointers probably, and showing enjoyment when a player would strike a particularly good shot) was all big man on campus drama. He was running madly around the court and once he turned around his racket in full sprint and hit the ball with his handle. He gleefully smiled at his coach as he walked back to the baseline. He's got that friskiness, and he likes the big show. Anyway, I digress, the two matches of the day that I saw yesterday were Copius-Wang and Reynolds-Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol (I kid you not, that's his full name). In the former, a huge crowd developed for the third set that carried into a tie-breaker. Copius hit a nice one-handed backhand, but Wang is a very cagey player, who once was No. 85. He plays an entertaining game (If you get a chance, go watch him play in the main draw. He has a nice way of looking up into the crowd after losing a tough point and kind of shaking his head ruefully without getting angry. He's very zen out there). Wang was wearing black neoprene leggings up to his knees and he's built like Pee Wee Herman, but he hit a number of crafty drop shots and nice down the line backhand volleys. Copius, who one Roumanian woman, very pretty, blond hair, involved with the man with the bellowing lungs, said was 28, but he's only 22, was twice the size of Wang, but the little man prevailed. It was kind of like watching Jeremy Lin school Deron Williams on the basketball court. The Reynolds-Guttierez match was exciting because the Spaniard, who's 23 and only ranked No. 242, came out hitting the ball like he was a combination of Jimmy Connors and Rafael Nadal. He was booming shots right from the git-go and doing some of his own early bellowing and Scoop, who I was watching the match with along with the irrepressible, Thomas Tung, another Tennis-Proser, remarked that he liked the Spaniard's "passion" and he picked him to win the match. I countered that I like Reynolds, and I do.Reynolds is from Cape Cod, who in this tennis world is from Cape Cod?, and he once was No. 63, but he's now 30. I think he looks like he's playing his best tennis. In 2005, when I was writing "Break Point" with Vince Spadea (still the best tennis book out there, by the way, for you fans who want a great account of a real player's--not a superstar, but a journeyman, grinder, what have you--journey/plight on the tour. Spadea actually ended his US Open career in the qualis. This is a guy Michael with his fancy camera and penchant for the big name players, would never deign to watch play) Reynolds played Spadea in Scottsdale. Funny, both men are listed at 6-feet, 170-pounds (Spadea is much more these days). Spadea lost the first set 6-1, and came back and won the next two 7-6 (the two times they played, Spadea won the matches 7-6 in the third set). I remember talking to Vince after that match and I said something like, "What happened. How could you lose the first set at 1 and come back and win?" And Spadea said something like, "He didn't have the balls to beat me."Well, Bobby Reynolds has the balls now...at least against Gutierrez yesterday. He smothered the Spaniard's "passion" and beat him in straight sets. I also caught a little of Klahn. He's the only lefty of the bunch to qualify (when was the last time there was a good lefty American? Tarango, guys named Connors, McEnroe and Tanner?) and he's got game. His forehand is big and he had the Frenchman, Florent Serra, swatting away Klahn's snapping serves for self-protection as the balls careened right into his body. So it was a big day for the Americans. A lot of coaches working in this country were out in sight as well. I saw big Tim Mayotte, Gilad Bloom and Jay Berger. And I walked the grounds of the Open in my flip-flops marveling at what has become of the Open (btw, there's a great piece in the New York Times Magazine this weekend about the wildest Open ever, the 1977 Open at Forest Hills http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/the-chaotic-spectacle-of-the-1977-us-open.html?hp). My first pro tennis memory was walking up to a side court at Forest Hills in probably around 1972 and watching Jimmy Connors (yes, he was playing on a side court) play tall Herb Fitzgibbons, who looked like Abraham Lincoln without the beard. (If I recall correctly, Fitzgibbons's was also a champion squash player, for those were the days when squash and tennis interacted more. If you asked Rafael Nadal to play squash now he probably wouldn't know how or he'd hit you over the head with his Babolat.). I remember walking right up to the court, I believe it was a grass court in those days, and the fence was up to about my 12-year-old waist. Maybe there were 50 other people watching, maybe less. The crowds were so big yesterday, that afterward, when I ventured into teeming Flushing to get some Chinese food, the lines were so long at Joe's Shanghai Restaurant, that I passed and went to a more out-of-the-way place. A part of me longs for those lazy floating days back in leafy Forest Hills, but another part of me says, "Bring on the crowds, the heat and glitz. Here comes the 2012 U.S. Open." David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez at the Taste of Cusine Party in the city Thursday night