Random thoughts on the 2011 US Open
Friday was a sellout, even if you could not tell by the empty seats in Ashe. Lots of fans with Ashe tickets choose to wander the grounds, seeking seats close to the action or checking out exciting matches
Saturday I was lucky enough to be in the President’s Box (thank you USTA and Jon Vegosen), and was able to watch all four sets of Cilic/Federer. Federer looks great in red :-). I had a decent camera and took lots of photos of Fed. It is very easy to get good shots of him. It was a nerve wracking match, closer than the score. Cilic handled Fed’s power well. An opportune (for Fed) time violation warning which led to a break in the third was key, as was Fed coming back from 0-40 down in the first set, and then promptly breaking Cilic in the next game. I am not sure Cilic believed, and at the end Fed’s spins forced the tall Cilic to bend so much that Cilic seemed to tire.
Serena was impressive! I saw her at Stanford and for the first time in a while really understood the pundits’ conviction that the USO women’s title was in Serena’s hands. Her second serve is amazing. I watched her play Azarenka for a set…blowout, so left to see Fish/Anderson…missed a good set, but that’s the reality of watching live Slams, you cannot be everywhere at once.
I saw Wozniaki and American Vania King, good points but Wozniaki forced King into errors with her movement and consistency. King’s volleys were really smooth as befits a doubles Grand Slam champion.
The grandstand is awesome. I watched Ferrer/Blake. Ferrer hits harder than you might think. Blake played his go for broke style…no way was he going to out grind or out finesse Ferrer, making spectacular shots, and errors. Ferrets won in straights.
On Sunday night I saw a bit of Isner…the last set from the third row. He was playing another American, Bogolomov. Bogolomov’s returns were amazing and his forehand popped, but Isner had too much firepower, it was like a bantam-weight fighter vs a heavyweight.
A return to the Grandstand for the third set of Stosur/Kirilenko after Stosur "won" the match twice, only to have Kirilenko successfully challenge and negate the win. Stosur kept her composure while Kirilenko lost hers. I was sitting next to 2 guys who I think were her coaches. Stosur did not allow the Russian to get to net successfully in the third set often enough. Kirilenko screeches as she hits each ball!
On Monday I watched Sock and Oudin win their QF On Ct 11. Sock was seriously impressive, on the serve, return and at net, he was the best player on the court. Amazing volleys and court sense for an 18 year old.
I got into the Djokovic/dogolomov match, but after the amazing tiebreak, but it was clear after a few games that the match was over. The lines to get into that match stretched all the way to Ashe…where I went next to see Fish play Tsonga. It is amazing how many matches turn in 5 minutes…one instant Fish is up two sets to one, and on serve at 4-4, then suddenly Tsonga breaks to win the 4th and again the first time Mardy serves in the 5th and it’s all over. It was late when that match finished and the grounds were packed with the night session ticket holders by then, watching the action on the big screen, eating and shopping.
I went out to the tennis center Tuesday, but it rained all day and night, so the rest of the Open will be watched by me in the normal way…on TV.
I will post photos later.