The US Open is so New York..crowded, hot, energetic, loud. I watched Djokovic play for the first time live in a few years and a few things stood out…he’s so skinny! How does he get so much power…it’s his technique, it’s pretty much perfect. For me that almost makes him boring to watch, he plays high percentage tennis, and his opponent today,Dutra-Silva, a counterpuncher, just didn’t have the fire power to dent Djokovic’s defenses. But what makes him interesting to watch is his extreme flexibility…and that perfect technique. Every ball is solid. After Djokovic, Stanford’s Mallory Burdette took the court against Maria Sharapova. In person Sharapova looks strong but elegant on court, and her footwork is quite good. Burdette is a power player and she’s a big, strong player, but not super fast. Sharapova made sure Burdette didn’t get set up often to hit her big groundies and the match was quick, 61 61.
Today I was in the President’s Suite, which is sweet, great food and great seats. I met a friend of mine from Houston, Emily Schaeffer, who was there with the Houston Tennis Assn, and was able to join them on a tour of Ashe stadium. Around the stadium are the media rooms (where there are stations for hundreds of writers, with monitors at each station, and computers), the players dining room (ran into Rick Leach there, he’s coaching a player), the players’ lounge (where Kim Clijsters was relaxing and chatting with one of the Bryans…looked like Mike,but she’s playing with Bob), and out into the players outdoor patio (saw Del Potro, Stosur and Navratilova), and then on to the area overlooking the practice courts (saw Roddick, who was shanking forehands…apparently he got that out of his system, since he destroyed Tomic later). There are WTA and ATP and Davis/Fed Cup offices, a travel agent to book flights home, a spot for players to book theatre tickets, etc, and in general it’s a whole other world there. And we didn’t even see the fitness or rehab area! There was also a room stuffed with stringers and a place to book practice courts. We saw the room where the players do the interviews too. All in all an interesting tour.
After we finished, I caught the end of the doubles match with Serena and Venus Williams. They played great, I was impressed with their net play. Though neither served and volleyed, they killed the returns and then Serena crossed or Venus hit some angle winners.
More tennis tomorrow, and another warm day (it was in the 90s today), but for now that’s the scoop from NY.