Former NCAA Doubles Champion Francesca DiLorenzo now has another record, and it’s a unique place in US Open history. She’s the only player who’s ever had a kiss planted on them by a fan. At least the only one I ever witnessed. I did the math and I’ve been to 16 US Opens since 2001, and I have never seen or heard of a random fan stealing a kiss from a competitor. If you’ve been here, you know that security is pretty tight. If you don’t believe me, try getting to the lower level of Arthur Ashe with an upper level ticket. But that’s exactly what happened to DiLorenzo after her first round win on Tuesday in New York. A much older guy asked for a photo and gave her a peck on the cheek before DiLorenzo knew what was happening.
“That was very weird for me,” she told me today after a second round match. “I took a picture with the guy and then he then he literally came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I mean, maybe if it was somebody younger, like more my type. Maybe he’s Italian, but I don’t know. Pretty strange. Definitely one of those strange encounters. He was a little bit older. I didn’t know what to do. I was very shocked. I just took the picture and left. Yeah, too bad he wasn’t younger or anything.”
The bandit is still at large. If you have any information on this man, please contact his grown children.
—Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic