Tuesday, August 30, 2011

US Open 2011

The last major event of the year in tennis, the US Open opened the day after Hurricane Irene came to the city. It was as if, everything was normal; when millions was still reported to be without power and floods threatened New York and neighboring states and cities. Imagine the scare, the suspense, the drama this Irene brought to the organizers of the the US Open, much more to the players and of course, to the fans. For sure, practices were cancelled, arrivals delayed, and what more. How it would impact on the players' conditioning, both physical and mental, is yet to be seen. To illustrate, Venus Williams' first round opponent on opening night, Russian Vesna Dolonts arrived from Moscow barely 4 1/2 hours from playing time. Whatever she felt, jet lag and all, she did not show during the game. She simply succumbed to a mild hurricane named Venus Williams.

The men's first round results were played according to the script. Seeded players, led by all time great and  5 time US Open champion, Roger Federer led the march. But the story of the opening day was reserved for the women's draw. Petra Kvitova, a former Wimbledon champion got her early exit. It was however the match of 2006 champion and hot favorite, No.3 seed Maria Sharapova that sent shock waves to those who watched the game. Pressured by an upstart, 19 year old British Heather Watson, seeded 102 and a former Wimbledon junior champion, the match was extended to 3 sets in 2 hours 34 minutes. Surely can not be considered as a first round work out.  Watson, winning the first set, 6-3,  threatened an Irene devastation in the Open when she rallied to forge an exciting 2nd set match which Sharapova agonizingly won 6-4.  It was a close shave for my idol, a game she still won despite having 50 plus unforced errors. She however won and for now it's good for her, for us her fans, fans attendance and gate receipts, and to ladies tennis..

Meanwhile, we will have 2 weeks of fun, and excitement. Watched those big, booming serves which could equal if not surpass Irene's category 4 fury rating.


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