When I got out to the first day of the US Open Qualis--a special day in my book. The best day in the sporting year--a throng of people were outside the Media Credential office near the Players' Entrance of Arthur Ashe Stadium milling around. I couldn't get my credential because everyone had evacuated the office. I proceeded to enter the grounds--free, my friends!--with my five-year-old son, and I can't mention the age of my mother else--even though she doesn't read this blog--she'd kill me. We strolled up to the Dusan Lojda v. Yuichi Sugita men's match and watched as the lefty Lojda took down the Sugita.Here is one of the reasons why I love the Qualis. I don't know Lojda and Sugita, barely heard of the latter, but these guys could ball, long twisting rallies, absolute effort, only Sugita had a coach who painfully watched his charge blow a break in the second set and lose in straights. My mother, son and I walked right up to the court, sat on the baseline opposite the umpire and enjoyed stellar tennis.If this were a first-round match in the Main Draw, such easy access and great sight lines would be next to impossible.I went back in to get my credential--the friendly woman behind the desk told me that the quake originated outside of Richmond and by the time it struck in New York it was still above a 3 aftershock. The rest of the afternoon, fans addressed themselves with the question, "Did you feel the earthquake?" I wish I could've felt it, but I was in the car coming over the Whitestone Bridge. Another reason to love the Qualis, there's literally no traffic driving into the event. Along with my credential, I received my meal card, $20 a day even during the Qualis and I bought my son a Ben & Jerry's, had one myself and later had the piece de resistance, Le Poulet, chicken and spinach crepe.But never mind the quake and my appetite, we later ate at the recommended Imperial Palace on 37th Avenue in Flushing and had Noodles and Crabmeat, Tofu with Shrimp imbedded, Chicken and Broccoli and Walnut Shrimp, um, um, good. The two most interesting matches of my day were the aforementioned, in Scoop's column, Bradley Klahn v Tennys Sandgren match and the Mitchell Frank v Kenny De Schepper match. Yes there were actually tennis players named Mitchell, Tennys and Kenny, and he's from France no less.The Klahn-Sandgren match was interesting on a few levels. It showcased the present and future of American tennis. There isn't a young prospect--Klahn is 21 and Sandgren 20, both ranked in the stratosphere--who sports a one-handed backhand. I miss Taylor Dent already, and when James Blake heads to the hills, there's no Dmitrov to follow. Both Klahn (a plucky lefty, aggressive, fast, good spirit on the court, but white lefties--think Odesnik and Levine--haven't done well in America of late) and Sandgren (where did he get that name? Apparently, he's related to Alfred Tennyson, the English poet.) hit laser backhands, but they also play all-court game, approaching the net with good touch.And both Klahn and Sandgren, especially the latter, sport slightly pissed-off kissers. Have you ever noticed that tennis players, seemingly in my purview more than any other athlete, wear that slightly pissed-off look on their faces a lot? Think of Roddick or Murray, that's why Fish is refreshing as he often looks pleased and calm. But Sandgren in particular, and surprisingly more so after winning the first set in a breaker, looked out of sorts. It's this look of "I'm better than this guy (my opponent) so why should I have to struggle so out here?" I find it particularly distasteful and full of entitlement, but I can see where it originates. You're all alone out there and some things that happen while you're playing with such effort and determination can send you over the deep end. When I tried out and made the George Washington Univ tennis team in 1985 as a first year law student (but then couldn't play because of eligibility issues), no player on the team referred to his awesome volley, where he'd take a ball off his shoestrings with the easiest of efforts, as BFD. When I asked him what BFD meant, he blithely stated, "Big Fucking Deal."Sandgren, who does a Rafael Nadal on the ad court, hitting his backhand return and then doing a 360 turn to retreat back to the baseline, started saying to himself early in the second set, "What are you doing?" Then to some onlooker, "Shut up, man." Then he complained about a lines call to the umpire and on the next point, bent over and hit his sneaker hard with his racket. My son started acting up so I had to leave, but it looked like, and it became reality, Tennys was a goner.The best match of the day for me, though, was the Frank--De Schepper match. And true to Quali form, I had not even thought about watching it, but sat down in the bleachers behind Court 11 because my mother had to go to the bathroom and voila, the bathroom was right next to Court 11. I had heard of Frank, he being a product of Ray Benton's, former Jimmy Connors Senior Tour head, down at the regional USTA academy at the Univ. of Maryland campus. Both Frank and Denis Kudla came out of this academy, and both impressed me, but particularly Frank, who doesn't come from a tennis family and if my recollection is correct, attended a regular high school and commuted by metro to the academy after every school day. Very rare in these days of tennis prodigies having abbreviated school days in school rooms at the academies.De Schepper was the No. 13 seed in the Quali draw, a big beautiful Frenchman, looked like he should've been on Baywatch. I thought at first he'd be Dutch, what with his name. Frank is 18, ranked No. 678 and has no discernible weapons. Later I asked USTA junior coach, Jay Berger, why Frank is considered a top prospect--even though he doesn't train out of the Boca Raton National USTA center like Kudla--and he said, "He's got movement and intelligence." Think of that as a blueprint for a tennis player--movement and intelligence!Frank lost the first set 6-3 and fought back from a match point in the second set to win a breaker, but in the third set he served for the match and lost the game at 5-4 and then broke back at love and had five match points before sealing the deal 7-5. On one of those match points, Frank threw his hands into the sky, took off his cap and ran to the net when a lines person called De Schepper's shot on the sideline out. The umpire immediately overruled the call and said it was good, and Frank, get this, didn't bat an eye or even question the umpire, he just trudged back to work.Which is the admirable and distinctive part of Frank's game. He is a worker. He never displayed any negative emotion in a match where he was playing an older, higher-ranked player (24, No. 135) and even when a fan nearby me said of Frank, "He's choking. Can't handle the pressure."But Frank, wearing light blue K Swiss wear with black socks, had no black marks to his demeanor. He is incredibly fit and did scurry around the court, playing exclusively to De Schepper's rather lame one-handed backhand. And he looked with his reddish-blond hair and with his earnestness like Jimmy Stewart.And he reminded me of that essential nature of all sports, but tennis in particular. You have to have very short term memory and meet disappointment with a good head and a positive disposition. Frank exudes those qualities to the utmost and amazingly because he isn't one of those lemon-lipped American youngsters spewing discontent on the court, he is one to watch. Even De Schepper seemed impressed. At the net after the match, he gave Frank one of his glamorous smiles and shook his hand, as if to say, "Well done, chap. You exude an exemplary spirit out there." Or whatever the French equivalent of that is.