Who was First Lady watching at the Open?

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Who was First Lady watching at the Open?

From Comcast SportsNet Friday, September 9, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) -- First lady Michelle Obama played kid-sized doubles against Serena Williams, clocked a 55-mph serve and even did some hula-hooping in her first visit to the U.S. Open.

Obama spoke to a group of local youngsters Friday as part of her campaign against childhood obesity.

"I'm not really good or anything like that. That's the beauty of tennis," she said. "You don't have to be good to enjoy it. I love the game, and my skills are very questionable."

Obama then joined the kids in a tennis video game, table tennis and other activities at an indoor facility at Flushing Meadows designed to get young players excited about the sport.

Obama and a pint-sized partner played doubles against seven-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe, who gave her some volley pointers. Williams, a 13-time major champ who advanced to the Open semifinals Thursday, rolled in after about 45 minutes and took over as Obama's doubles opponent.

"I've been trying to get to the U.S. Open my entire life," Obama said.

Joined by former and current players Billie Jean King, James Blake and Katrina Adams, Obama recalled that she didn't get into tennis until after law school because there were few courts where she grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Obama praised the U.S. Tennis Association's efforts to build kid-sized courts around the country and recruit more youngsters to the game.

Now she hopes she and her daughters will still be playing when they're in their 90s.

"It's a sport you can do forever," Obama said.

Obama later took in the Andy Murray-John Isner quarterfinal match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

CLEVELAND – Gone but definitely not forgotten.

Isaiah Thomas, out for the rest of the playoffs with a right hip injury, wasn’t in the Q Arena physically, but his presence – and his face via FaceTime – were inside the locker room in the initial moments following their 111-108 Game 3 win over Cleveland.

“We called him right after the game,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley. “He got to celebrate with us a little bit. It’s sad that he’s not here. We wish he was here with us. We just want him to get better.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens added, “I didn’t even realize that had happened until later on. one of my first text messages was from Isaiah.  He’s hurting not being out there but he’s completely invested, for sure.”

He initially suffered the injury on March 15 at Minnesota, but re-aggravated it in the first half of Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Cavs. Less than 24 hours later, Thomas was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.

Instead of Thomas being the rock of sorts that the Celtics lean on with his play, he has become their rallying cry for the remainder of the playoffs.

“All we can do is play hard for him,” Bradley said. “He was excited with the way we played. We’re a family. Other guys got an opportunity to step up for us. Marcus (Smart) had a big game for us. It could be somebody else next game.”

Smart led the Celtics with a career-high 27 points which included a career-best seven 3’s going down.

And most important, the Celtics avoided going down 3-0 which would have all but sealed their fate in this series considering no team in league history has ever come back for a 3-0 series deficit.

Doing so without Thomas, the Celtics’ leading scorer and the top regular season scorer in the Eastern Conference, made the win all that more impressive for Boston.

“It meant a lot,” Horford said. “We know, Isaiah gives us so much and gave us so much this year. For him, we definitely wanted to come out and fight for him and our season and our team. It felt good to keep believing despite being down big. Just felt good to win the game and bring life back to our locker room. Because going down 3-0, that’s a death sentence pretty much. This was big.”

Not only to the Celtics players but also to Thomas who also texted head coach Brad Stevens full of excitement following Boston’s surprising win.

“He was excited,” Horford recalled. “He was ecstatic. I know he wishes he was here being part of it. We just need to keep doing it for him and our group and doing the best we can.”