Archive for the ‘u.s. open series’ Category

trophy watch: two wrongs don’t make a trophy

August 22, 2011

Clay is meant for playing on. Well, we could be wrong… that might not be clay. But does that much matter? Whatever the trophies that Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray hoisted yesterday are made of whatever material has been sacrificed to the gods of Midwest art (read: too much Sears’ sale collection, not enough Ikea faux trendiness). But, we understand: trophies don’t have to be trendy. But could they at least illicit some sort of excitement from the winners? We’re guessing Sharapova was told: “Don’t worry, Maria! This one doesn’t have a lid! But it’s full of some guy from Toledo’s ashes! CONGRATS!”

Now Maria and Andy can add their names (more confidently) to the list of US Open hopefuls as the year’s final major is set to start in just one week’s time. Maria’s conquering of Jelena Jankovic in Cincinnati is rather significant in the sense that Sharapova double faulted to finish out the first set. Game, set and match? Not quite. Nice to see Maria fight back to win 4-6 7-6 (3) 6-3. And — nice to see Jelena fight back herself. Just a week ago, 37% of TSF readers voted that JJ would “settle into the top 20 to 40″ with the way she’s performed in the recent past. Is she herself a valid candidate for the title in Flushing? 2008 calls.

And the boys, too. For Murray it was a great end to a rather underwhelming summer. The Scot showed us flashes of his post-Australian Open slump, including a 6-3 6-1 loss to Kevin Anderson in Montreal last week. But this week he was the man who didn’t succumb to the heat, an injury, himself or just plain, bad tennis. A recipe for success in New York City? Certainly could be. A 6-4 3-0 win over an injured Novak Djokovic (shoulder) puts Murray with Roger Federer as one of two gents to beat Djoko this year. More importantly? The top four all have legit shots to win a seventh match inside Arthur Ashe.

TSF Vault: Trophy Watch | US Open

(Photos by Getty Images)

sunday survey: who will go furthest?

August 21, 2011

Who’s got next? Oh, how the tables have turned! Mardy Fish is having an Andy Roddick-like summer (think 2003, when the Austin native was 20-1 prior to the Open), Fish winning a US Open Series title while making the final of two more and was red-hot this week in Cincinnati. Fish will no doubt be the highest-ranked American in the draw (Roddick is due to fall out of the top 20 next week), but will he go the furthest at Flushing?

You never know what will happen in New York. And have you noticed? Summer has been quite the season for Ryan Harrison, Alex Bogolomov Jr. and James Blake. While it’s unlikely, any of those three fellas have a legit shot at making a run at the year’s final major. Why not?! So this week, we wonder: Which American will have the best US Open? Vote below and argue your case in the comments.

(Photo by Getty Images)

short balls: tennis in cincy is a BFD, is the open draw fixed? and more

August 18, 2011

Cin-sational: If you didn’t think that the Western & Southern Open wasn’t a big deal, take a peek at Cincinnati.com. The online hub for everything Cincy can’t get enough of the ATP‘s Masters 1000 event that is now a double dip (and mini US Open) with the women joining the men for the first time this year. The .com team has littered (in a good way) their homepage with blown-out coverage for the entire week of the tourney, which goes through this weekend. Think the New York Times should take note? We’re not so sure that they can fit some 19 links on their top bar alone, as the Cincinnati site did on Thursday. #crowded

It doesn’t stop there: If a regular old news site isn’t enough for you, CincyTennis.com offers some of the best coverage of a tournament’s site outside of the four majors. We’ve been keeping an eye particularly on the writings of TSF contributor Benjamin Snyder, who is writing for CincyTennis. | Draws: Men | Women

Fixed? ESPN‘s Outside the Lines had quite the compelling report (with plenty of fancy numbers) saying that the top two players in the US Open get a fixed draw to deal with year in and year out. Watch the report for how they average out the players’ rankings that the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds must play against. You think it’s rigged too? We can’t quite buy it. | Reaction: Busted Racquet

What’s up with the Williamses? Both Venus and Serena are expected to be at America’s wedding of the year. That’s right, Kim Kardashian is finally tying the knot! Was Serena’s injury well timed? We all know Serena doesn’t like to miss a big party, and if she did well in Cincy that meant no E! red carpet for Kim’s nuptials. Just… thinking out loud. Meanwhile, Venus sat down with Tennis.com and revealed that she is, indeed, a grunter. And what else? She sees more of a future for herself in the design world than running the WTA from Stacey Allaster‘s spot. And while Venus said she wasn’t “a committer” in her interview, she and Serena committed to a December exhibition — in Italy. They will be joined by Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta.

Roddickulous: It was a manic Monday for Andy Roddick in Cincinnati, who was attempting a mini comeback of sorts prior to the US Open. A-Rod blew a set and a break lead, then was broken in the third set when a point was awarded to his opponent as Roddick was serving at break point down and smashed a ball into the crowd. Cue the arguing from Andy. | Change of plans: Roddick takes Winston-Salem wildcard

Love kills? Things didn’t go so well for love birds Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy this last week. Rory finished 64th at the PGA Championship while Wozy was stunned by American upstart Christina McHale in the second round in Cincinnati. At least they could cuddle, right? Rory visited Caroline in Cincy for the tourney. | Open Court blog: Caro’s dad/coach just dad now

short(er) balls: Commentators (and brothers) John and Pat McEnroe talk all about the US Open in ESPN call. | Trendy, chic fashion for black men? A new duo is emerging on the cutting edge. | Who is running things at J.Crew? That’d be Jenna Lyons. | Check out New York magazine’s fall fashion coverage. | A teaching professional has been arrested in the Boston area for video taping a male member in the locker room. | New York fashion makes its way to Cincinnati for runway show during W&S Open. | Are you a recreational player trying to look cool? That’s uncool, the Wall Street Journal says. | Johnny Mac knows that your body starts to break down as you get older. | US Open wildcard playoff (for a spot in the main draw) will go through Sunday. Among those playing: Beatrice Capra. | Blake Strode looks to win the National Playoffs once again, gaining entrance to the USO qualifying draw. | Headed to the Open but not sure where to eat in Queens? The NYT has got you covered. | Rafael Nadal will appear at Macy’s in New York on Thursday for an unveiling of Armani jeans.

(Caro and Rory photo by the AP)

the boys of summer

July 31, 2011

It’s summatime. You know, that part of the year that LFO loves when the girls stop by … and when they wear Abercrombie & Fitch. But what about the boys of summer? For the Americans, it’s so far been a rather decent one: John Isner won in Newport before Mardy Fish took him down in Atlanta. This week in Los Angeles three of the four semifinalists — Fish, Ryan Harrison and Alex Bogolomov Jr. — were Yanks themselves. Sure, there was that whole Davis Cup thing, but as Mardy himself says, we don’t like to even think about it.

But Fish, who is set to expand his lead in the US Open Series standings this week regardless of how he plays tomorrow, isn’t take much time off: he’ll play the Legg Mason Classic next week in D.C. (where, Fish noted, he has been guaranteed a Wednesday start) before going to both Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati. If you include Davis Cup, that will mean Fish six weeks of solid tennis between Wimbledon and the US Open. A rather heavy sched, isn’t it, Mardy?

TSF Vault: Ryan Harrison | Mardy Fish

“It doesn’t feel like I’m on the road,” Fish said at the Farmers Classic, sighting sleeping in his own LA-area home with his wife Stacey and their dog, Charlie. “I’m hoping this week is going to feel like an off week … but I guess you can ask me about it again at the US Open.”

Fish isn’t the only one who has had success in his home country during the last few weeks. The aforementioned efforts of Isner haven’t gone unnoticed, though the North Carolina native did blow a match point in his final appearance at the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Harrison, too, has been loving the sun: his first two ATP semis have come in the last two weeks, both against Fish.

“I want to be in another semifinal,” Harrison said. “There are a lot of good players out there.”

Andy Roddick isn’t one of them — at least not in DC. The American has pulled out of the Legg Mason, siting an abdominal injury. After skipping the French, a lackluster performance in London and a devastating Davis Cup effort, Roddick is the one American that the question marks are really revolving around. Ah, how the stars have re-aligned themselves.

Bogolomov Jr. reached his first ATP semi with his effort in LA, and James Blake looked pretty good in his second-round loss to Juan Martin del Potro. Robby Ginepri‘s making a go at a return. Reason to celebrate? We’ll take it.

Fish (unsurprisingly) still tips his hat to Roddick as America’s top player, but might the other fellas be making their own cases this summer? You betchya.

(Getty Images photo)

trophy watch: he who stands taller

July 26, 2011

Two straight for Fishy: Mardy Fish denied John Isner from pulling a Mardy Fish yesterday in Atlanta. Last year, Fish had won Newport and Atlanta to kick off a hot summer, and with Isner taking the North American grass court tourney this year, he was trying to pull a Fish and double dip to start his own US Open campaign. But Fish, the no. 9-ranked player in the world, fended off Isner in Atlanta at the Atlanta Tennis Championships, beating his countryman 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-2. John doesn’t look too happy now, does he? The reason? It was the second straight year Fish had beaten Isner in the final here, saving match points this time around to take a cup over a platter (better to drink out of!). There’s still a few weeks before the big show in NYC! Cheer up, Johnny boy!

Vera, unplugged. It was the turnaround that Vera Zvonareva was in desperate need of. The Russian had struggled through Europe, whimpering out of Wimbledon where she so forcefully made the final last year, losing out to Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round, 6-3 6-2. But Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vera’s countrywoman, made the biggest Baku headlines for the week for her 25-double fault match that she WON. More importantly? Vera was the week’s winner. Zvonareva took down the tough Anna Tatishvili, 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-2.

Gilles, too. Meanwhile, on clay, Gilles Simon took Nicolas Almagro to task, winning in Hamburg, 6-4 4-6 6-4.

(Isner and Fish via Getty; Vera via the Baku Cup/WTA; Simon via the AP)

sunday survey: what’s your favorite part of the summer sched?

July 10, 2011

Summer tennis is here. So while Serena Williams might be off her seat and back onto the court, the summer season marks the one time of the year when a big majority of American tennis fans get to actually watch top-notch, professional tennis. From World Team Tennis to the US Open Series to the year’s final Slam, tennis will stretch from Newport to Vancouver to Washington, D.C. and St. Louis this summer. So we’re curious: which is your favorite? First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters seem to be digging WTT, but what about you. Tell us below.

(Image by Donald Bowers Photography via Flickr)

sunday survey: your summer story

September 26, 2010

There was lots of things happening on the pro tennis tours this summer. There were some strange storylines with confusion surrounding the injuries of Serena Williams and Juan Martin del Potro and a wild US Open culminated with two familiar champions winning in vastly different ways.

We asked earlier this summer what you thought would take shape for the US Open Series, now we’re curious – with the Series past and the year’s final Slam in the books: what was your summer story?

Was it the absence (and off-court activity) of Serena? Was it the mom-can-defend Slam run by one Kim Clijsters? Was it Rafa claiming his ninth major, completing the career Slam? Or did something altogether different capture your tennis eye (like, say, Nadia’s outfit)? Perhaps you were inspired by the runs of Vera or Novak, or loved the story that Sweet Caroline just may prove her #1 ranking after a title in New Haven and an impressive run to the semis. Dare we even mention the Andy Roddick debacle? Maybe that was your fave for other reasons…

Tell us in the comment section below.

(photo by kyliemm via flickr.)

sunday survey: your summer thoughts

July 25, 2010

Novak Djokovic and Vera Zvonareva have already pulled out of their respective first stops on the US Open Series calendar. Vera won’t be popping in at Stanford for The Bank of the West Classic, and Novak isn’t heading to LA for the Farmers Classic. As the draw shows [PDF] and Chris Oddo notes, the BOTW isn’t hurting too much without the Wimbledon finalist on hand. And Andy Murray is headed down to LA to fill Djoko’s slot.

Andy Roddick is already struggling in his summer season, losing in the semifinals at the Atlanta Tennis Championships to a slimmed-down Mardy Fish. Will it be a ho-hum summer for A-Rod or will he pack at the Open like he wants to?

Sunday Survey: What do you think the big story lines will be for summer 2010? Injuries galore? Serena missing? A Delpo comeback? What woman can break away from the pack and become a favorite for the year’s last Major? And who of the men will make their claim for a Slam title in New York? Rafa? Roger? Andy(s)? It’s your turn to tell us in this week’s version of the Sunday Survey.

(photo by MartinWorster via flickr)

summer #2: sticking to (and loving) what works

July 16, 2010

The USTA has stuck with its “It Must Be Love” ad campaign for the 2010 US Open and has just released their series of commercials that will run during the US Open Series. There’s Andy Roddick and Serena Williams joking about Twitter, Roger Federer cautioning the between-the-legs shot and a host of other players in the interview chair for the 30-second spots.

We’re feeling pretty good about round two of this campaign, which was successful last year for the USTA. The humor of the players comes out, but at times you can feel it being forced a bit (ie the Bryan Brothers arguing who is who). While the campaign focused mainly on players who speak brilliant English, our favorite commercial by far is Rafa‘s in his adorable accent.

Nadal: “I love … paaaaaahsta ahn gumbaaas.” You’ve got to watch it to believe it. And of course, ever the fidgety 12-year-old boy that he is, Nadal is kneading a tennis ball in his hands the entire commercial, unable to stay still through the shoot. It’s real and endearing.

Check out all of the commercials on the US Open’s YouTube page via this link.

(screen grab via youtube)

please hold our calls: tennis channel’s summer coverage

July 15, 2010

In an effort to bring our readers better service, the west coast offices of TSF recently signed up to get Tennis Channel.

DecoTurfin’ U.S.A.: The network’s 2010 Olympus U.S. Open Series coverage will cover nine tourneys starting July 23: the Atlanta Tennis Championships (Atlanta), Farmers Classic (Los Angeles), Legg Mason Tennis Classic (Washington, D.C.), Rogers Masters (Toronto) and Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinnati); on the women’s side, they’ll cover the Bank of the West Classic (Stanford, Calif.), Mercury Insurance Open (San Diego), Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open (Cincinnati) and Rogers Cup (Montreal). FYI, they will not be covering Pilot Pen (at Yale).

Schedule: Dates, times, and info about commentators all after the cut…


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