US Open Report Day 3
I got there a little late, which was somewhat intentional, since I didn't suspect they'd start on time. Fortunately, the weather held off. It could have just as easily spritzed on and off most of the day with the way the sky looked, and we know what that means on a hard court.
Anyway, was able to buzz through the LONG lines of folks that either didn't have tickets or were carrying bags, so got in through the main gate probably just after 11:30 AM. Decided to step into the Grandstand for a moment and see what all this buzz about Ivanovic is about. I guess I had seen her a couple of times on TV. Yeah, she is pretty hot. I like the fact that she looks like a woman, and not one of these Olsen twin types. Nice game, nothing that struck me as too spectacular, but that could have been more based on how her opponent plays. One thing Ivanovic did was receive second serve from Dushevina like a batter in the batter's box in baseball. She would position herself further to the left and start in a ready position to strike a forehand. Not sure if this is something she typically does, or if it was due to the lack of pace on Dushevina's second delivery, or if she was trying to be a bit of a bad ass.
Was going to step into Armstrong and watch some Safin, but he was laying it pretty good on Vik at that point in the 2nd set so made my way to the outer courts. I guess the starting times on the outer courts varied a bit based on how quickly they were able to dry them all. First stop was court 5 where Coria and Sweeting were playing. I question the USTA on a number of court selections, this being one. Coria, a reasonably recent fixture in the top 5 and Sweeting, supposedly a rising young sort of local hope are put on a court with perhaps the least seating. I would have thought it would have drawn at least a court like #6 that has about 10 rows of bleachers on one side. Sweeting was serving at 1-2 in the first. I guess I had just missed where Coria slipped on the line and hurt his leg/groin. Sweeting held. Coria serves and gives back to back doubles - one second serve missed by at least 10 feet. At 15-40 he doesn't make an attempt on Sweeting's ordinary return. Calls for the trainer, trainer works him over, a couple of guys in suits also present, 10 minutes later he calls it quits. Too bad for Coria. I read in the earlier report that it looked like he was practicing well, but I'll have to see him be able to put a serve in the box consistently during matches to be sold on any kind of potential comeback.
Checked out a few games of Mayer-Koubek. I didn't realize Mayer has such a weird takeaway on his forehand. Arm goes way up in the air and almost straightens completely before it loops through on the stroke. Guess it looks even more pronounced since he's a tall, almost gangly guy to begin with. I wonder how he manages to get away with this against players that press him more or hit consistently harder shots. Koubek certainly isn't one of those guys. One thing that was slightly amusing was the conniption Ahsha Rolle was having on the adjacent court. I kept turning around as she'd let out these screams after losing a point. On the third one it looked like it was starting to piss off Mayer, who gave an annoyed look in her direction. Ms. Rolle seemed to have similar eyes to a Ms. Capriati. She thought every ball that hit the line on her side of the court was out.
Tojo and Sebby was pretty packed so only watched a few slightly obscured points of this one. They were still early in the second set. I imagine it was probably some entertaining tennis based on their styles. Forget about Nalby-Berrer. Long lines to try to get into this one. Always lots of Argies in NYC to support Nalby.
Even though I'm generally opposed to going into Ashe, I made an exception this time. I've never seen Nadal in person and I actually had a fairly decent seat as the ticket was a gift (if it was up to me I would have bought a grounds pass). Not much to say about this one, and I'm sure the whole match was on TV. Caught the very end of the 2nd and the 3rd.
Walked around some more. Watched a few minutes of Verdasco-Santoro. I think it's getting tough for Fabrice to keep winning matches. Then watched a bit of Kim-Hernych, mainly because I wanted to scope out a seat for the Tursunov match that was on next and seating was fairly limited. Kind of a different match to watch as these are two of the flatter hitters you'll find today. Hernych was up 2 sets, but Kim went up a break in the third so I decided to wander.
Thought it was a good time to get something to eat before settling in on the Tursunov match. Felt like something different and the Indian booth had the shortest line, so Indian it was. I got the lamb curry plate that came with rice and some cooked chick peas. I also got a piece of Nan on the side for a $12 lunch - not bad. Took it over to court 7 to eat. Odesnik-Sluiter were just warming up and I could see what was going on over on court 6 to know when to jump over when the Kim-Hernych match ended. Odesnik's lefty serve reminds you of McEnroe as he sets up almost with his back to the court. Unfortunately, little else of his game reminds you of Johnny Mac. Actually, I thought he would beat Sluiter. From the little I watched, it seemed that Wayne had better control of the rallies, but it was probably one of those matches where the tour veteran just had a better ability of figuring out a way to win points. Odesnik's still young. Maybe some potential there, although he seems a bit on the small side.
Hernych was able to close out Kim in 4 sets, so I made my way back to Court 6. Tursunov and Kunitsyn were joking around with one another as they took the court. Then it was all business for Tursunov as he got off to a quick start and won an easy first set with 2 breaks. I could see the big screen from where I was and saw that they were showing the Monfils-Russell match in the Grandstand. I knew there was no chance I'd get in there, but took a walk over to see what was happening on the big screen. They were just entering the 4th set breaker, so watched the end of that one. I would have liked Russell to win. Seems like a good kid, although he's certainly no kid anymore. I guess his career's been plagued by injuries and had that one moment in the sun when he nearly pulled off what would have been one of the biggest upsets ever against Guga at RG.
Back to the Tursunov match where I believe they traded 4 straight breaks after I had left. Kunitsyn held to 3-3 and actually had at least one break point on Tursunov to go up a break. Smooth sailing from there for Dmitry. Just too much game for Igor, and he started blasting some of huge forehands. As I mentioned on the Tursunov board, he also threw in a few of these sky high defensive lobs which he seems to increasingly like to do. I think he had one in the LA final against Haas and the commentator said it was the highest lob he had ever seen. May be part of his personality coming out in the that shot. One time it worked as he was able to rip a winner a few shots later. Good interaction with the crowd afterwards. Lots of autographs and pictures.
I caught the entertaining finish of the Okun-Starace match. Very vocal support for Okun. At 2-3 in the 4th set with Starace serving, there was a bad call on the baseline that was called out off a strong Starace forehand. The umpire overruled but Starace was none too pleased as they had to replay the point when Starace would have been in a winning position. Starace looks over at the person in the baseline chair and says what certainly amount to "*uck you!" in Italian. Evidently, the chair umpire wasn't fluent in Italian as no warning was issued. Okun went on to break and close out the match easily. He was very happy and very pumped up. Ram and Erlich came in and sat with the boisterous Okun support group for the final few games. Ram seems like a very nice guy. The bleachers weren't too full and a number of little kids came up to them for autographs and pictures.
Watched a few games of Muller-Spadea. I think Muller forgot how to play the game. I know he's a head case, but at least he used to have a pretty big lefty serve that won him a lot of points. It looked ordinary at best against Vince.
Caught a quick glimpse of Del Potro-Falla as I wanted to see what this kid is all about. Well, he's still very young and I guees he has quite a bit to learn about playing on the hard courts. I know Falla likes to play on hard courts, and the result shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
Pretty much the last match I watched was the end of the Moya-Calleri battle. They had some great points in the last few games as Calleri really gave it everything he had. Good win for Carlos.
It was getting close to 7 PM. I could have stayed another 5 hours as the matches on the outer courts went on most of the night. But I was beat, and I figured if traffic wasn't too bad I could catch some of Murray-Kendrick, who had just taken court on that nice direct TV package that shows the 3 show courts as well as courts 10 and 11.
Good day of tennis. Really nothing on the upset front with the exception of Myskina, I suppose.