‘Like Snoop Dogg’s Living Room’: Tennis Players Complain of Smell of Marijuana Smoke at U.S. Open
New York has and will always be different in terms of, well, anything. Now with marijuana legal here, tennis players are noticing the plant’s distinctive aroma as they progress through the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
On Court 17 on Tuesday, eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari complained of the smell to the chair umpire when she was enjoying a 4-1 lead in the first set. “The smell, oh my gosh,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “I think it’s from the park.”
She ended up losing to Rebeka Masarova, 6-4, 6-4. She told reporters after the match, “Sometimes you smell food, sometimes you smell cigarettes, sometimes you smell weed. I mean, it’s something we cannot control because we’re in an open space. There’s a park behind. People can do whatever they want.”
Yet, it didn’t have a losing effect on the tournament’s 12th-seeded Alexander Zverev. “Court 17 definitely smells like Snoop Dogg’s living room,” he said after winning his opening match on Tuesday. “Oh my God, it’s everywhere. The whole court smells like weed.”
The United States Tennis Association investigated. Chris Widmaier, a spokesperson for the United States Tennis Association, said officials reviewed the video of the tennis match and found “no evidence” that anyone was smoking in the stands of Court 17. Speculation is the marijuana smell may be wafting from Corona Park, which is located outside the USTA Billy Jean King National Center, the U.S. Open’s home.
“I smelled it actually today also,” said Marketa Vondrousova. “You smell it a lot. I think it’s just Court 17. That court is so far away, it’s almost in the park. I think it’s coming from the park.”
Life in New York City has been like this for a while and the players will just have to adjust to the smell and hold serve, so to speak.