Given the bracing cold of this New York winter, the sight of tennis, with its perpetually tanned competitors, doing (something approximating) battle in midtown Manhattan was as sure a sign of the spring thaw underway as the sudden vanishing of our street corner slush ponds.
So how did this Showdown fare as an exhibition event? Let’s go to the checklist.
· Witty banter between opponents? Check.
· Circus shots, including a tweener or two? Check.
· Cute kid “randomly” plucked from the audience? Check.
· That kid being a ringer who knows how to wield a racquet well enough to take softballs from the pros? Check.
· Some spellbinding tennis that almost makes you forget that these aren’t fully competitive matches. Check.
All in all, the event succeeded.