Rising American stars John Isner and Sam Querrey made contact with home during The Artois Championships on Monday, but not in the most conventional of ways.
Rather than making a call home like most overseas visitors, the ATP duo took advantage of a Mercedes-Benz, the Official Car of The Artois Championships, and headed into the heart of London to check out a tunnel linking the English capital with New York, a project that was started more than a century ago.
Isner and Querrey were able to interact with fans in New York and much to their surprise, a locker room attendant from the 2002 US Open was waiting for the two players, and scribbled down on a piece of paper for Isner, “Who beat you in the 2002 US Open Junior?”
Isner lost to Richard Gasquet, who is now ranked 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings and also competing at the Queen’s Club this week.
“It’s crazy, I’m not exactly sure how it works, but obviously it does some how,” said Isner. “We saw a guy talking on the phone with a friend of his in New York so that was pretty neat. There was a locker room attendant from the 2002 Junior US Open and he was there asking me a question from when I played there and I remembered him from when I played it. It’s insane, I’m not sure how it works, perhaps they should put some more of these structures up around the world.”
Querrey echoed the sentiments of his American counterpart but also questioned the reality of the project.
He said: “I saw it on CNN about two weeks ago. It seems pretty cool, it looks a giant telescope and there is one here and New York, but I am not sure if its real or not, I think it might be a video camera, I mean with the curvature of the Earth and the direction of the tunnel, how can you be sure New York is in the direction the tunnel has it, so I am going to study up on it and find out more but it’s a good idea, you can talk to your friends if you are in New York, so it’s pretty cool.”
The project is open 24 hours a day, and uses an extraordinary optical device called a Telectroscope, which allows people in both cities to see each other in real time. The visual art project is produced by Artichoke in partnership with Tiscali. For more information about the Telectroscope project, visit www.tiscali.co.uk
The two Americans will both be in action Tuesday, with Querrey taking on Frenchman Olivier Patience, while Isner takes on South African Kevin Anderson in a battle of the giants.
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