It's about 1:30 and I'm supposed to meet my friend at 2 in front of Ashe so I enter the Stadium to see who's using the court...and it's Roger Federer and Mardy Fish. And there are only about ten scattered people watching. They must've just started because they're hitting from the baseline and it's laid back. Roger is focused as always and doesn't talk so much during the hitting but Fish is more vocal. He says, "Sorry Roj," twice after misses. And "Nice shot Roj" after a sweet stroke.It's rather windy today. Fish comments to himself, I think, " This wind is bad."They take breaks every ten minutes or so and sit down together on the chairs to the right of the umpire stand. Their coaches and entourage guys - Severin Luthi, Paul Annacone, David Nainkin, and a few others I don't recognize, stand around them respectfully as they chat. All I can think of is, wow, these guys are just as in awe of Fish and Federer as us onlookers. To be among the top 10 players in the world at the sport of tennis...these guys are simply marvels sitting on their blue and white wooden canvas thrones.It's very windy today on the court and at one break time, Federer mentions a match where it was really windy and he tells a story about it but I can't quite hear all the details. Then Fish shares a tennis/wind-related memory.They change sides, Fish comments, "Now I'm on the good side."Annacone instructs what he wants to be done and the Fish team complies easily. They play a game to 15, where the returner of the feed has to hit an attack shot and go to the net. They alternate who feeds who first. Fish jumps out to a 5-2 lead but Fed soon levels it at 5. Roger hits a vintage forehand winner down the line and adds a "Come on!" for an explanation point. He doesn't really smile when he says it, he's serious. It's as if the great one's competitive juices flow, even in simple practice drills like this. It's light-hearted but critical at the same time. Hitting shots like that are still thrilling, even for a champion like Federer.Fish then connects on a forehand crosscourt winner passing shot by Roger with no more than two inches of net clearance. Roger smiles and says," Whaaat??!"Then Roger hits a perfect winning volley and states, "That's a South African" but I'm not sure why. Fish clearly likes the brilliance of the shot and quickly adds, "Rafter."Fish is really enjoying this session of hitting with the Great Federer, the reverence and respect is so apparent to the eye and ear, and the tone of voice he speaks to Roger with. It's almost like he's hosting Roger at his home and he goes out of his way to entertain Mr. Federer.Fish ends up winning the game to 15.After the last shot before the next rest, Federer holds the ball and pretends to shoot it as a basketball as he tosses it to the net. Fish notices this and states simply, "Kobe."Then as they sit, Fish begins to discuss basketball. "Sharapova's guy Sasha Vujucic, is a really nice guy," says Fish, then launching into a story about some hooper from Stanford who played pro in Europe and Fed listens, quite himself enjoying the company of Fish. I can't hear all of what Fish talks about. Then Fish changes the topic and begins to talk about K-Swiss, their offices in California - I believe he said Thousand Oaks. Fish explains to Roger how K-Swiss has "two players in the top ten now, me and Monfils." But I can hear he pronounces Monfils as "Mon-fills."Fish seems very pleased with K-Swiss as he describes how open-minded the company is to suggestions and innovations. He says you can give K-Swiss any shorts you like and ask them to make them similar. You can also give them a material you like and they will use the same fabric. You tell them you play better in them and they listen. It was very interesting to hear Fish sing the praises of his attire company to Roger Federer who as we all know wears Nike.The last conversation I heard was about some kind of feed ball tournaments they hold, I believe in California. Nainkin explained it but I couldn't quite hear the details, from my seat by the right baseline side. Fish added, "Gavin (Rossdale) plays, Gavin plays."Nainkin adds with a smile, "Guys miss feeds sometimes."Fish adds again, "Spadea won it. Ten grand to win."Nainkin mentions Philip King.But I look up at the clock in Ashe and it's 1:59. I have to get up go and meet the friend-girl. It was an awesome, unforgettable experience to watch two great players and class champions like Mardy Fish and Roger Federer having fun during their practice session at the 2011 U.S. Open...Scoop Malinowski's book about "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" will be available at amazon.com in September.