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US Open Tennis 2018

Superuser I
Superuser I

Early Rounds


As most of you will likely know I am a big tennis fan, so thought I'd also do a thread  for the US Open, won't be quite as detailed as the Wimbledon one. Hopefully a few will be interested. 


So it's the last Grand Slam of the year  in The Big Apple  and a few stories have developed.   Amazon Prime now have have the exclusive rights to it in the Uk/Ireland and not all has gone smoothly.  Some damning comments have come there way, though of course those satisfied  about a  service can be less likely to be public about it, however fair to say there have been technical issues. On the 2nd day the Match Of the day eventually went up  but on Tv app it said could not currently play as needed licence  though was later  resolved.   my picture quality  has been good enough but not quite standard I have been used to from other broadcasters.  I have also found the catch up service to be poor  (was only supposed to be 1 replay up to quarters) from day/night matches but see today an improved offering of 3 men's and women's matches.


Anyway news on some of the action, some brutal conditions due to the heat/humidity and in Dokovic's 1st round match he was suffering  and somewhat dazed, at one point he asked for a sick bucket! However eventually got past  Fucsovics in 4. Notice the  satorial elegance of Italian Fabio Fognini , perhaps he attends a few pyjama parties :smiling-face:  Conduct warning (which many thought unfair)  for French player Alize cornet for changing shirt on court after noticing it was wrong  way round also got folk talking . Andy Murray returned to Grand Slam action and had fairly tough opener against Australain Duckworth, another returning from injury but his movement improved as the match progressed in a 4 set with some flashes of former glory.  He stepped up against Fernando Verdasco last night where his shotmaking and  fitness was more like his old self but match sharpness and consistency not quite there. Had chance in 1st, took 2nd convincingly 6-2 but lack first serves issue in 3rd which he lost 6-4 and Verdasco  (playing best I've seen for a while) had edge in decider. However at 5-4 a mammonthy game and ensued with Andy showing great fighting spirit but could not take capitalise on the break points and so his campaign was over.  A bit of controversy though, in this heat they were implementing a heat break and Murray claimed the spaniard had received coaching against the rules but Verdasco had different story.    

Thus far Nadal and Federer have been smooth progress in slightly cooler conditions in the evening sessions. For the 2nd succesive slam Stan Wawrinka unseeded  put out Grigor Dimitrov and this time only 3 sets required,3 times Slam winner  who had knee surgery in 2017 went out in 3rd though to former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic who has now gone out in 5 to Isner.  


Controversy early on  was Nick kygriios apparently having a "pep talk "by the umpire Mohammed Layhani in his 2nd round encounter which some believe turned round his match with Herbert.. In the end their there was no sanction but the experienced umpire was made aware of the protocols and will be no subject to monitoring for rest of event.   Different umpire for match against Roger but the Australian did not really focus sufficiently,after getting better of initial play once Federer kept him at bay to take first 6-4 the muttering began and basically went walkabout in the 2nd. Whilst he challenged again in the 3rd a bit late and the Switz star was through in straights.


 All Brits out in singles already as Cameron Norrie exiited at around same time , Kyle Edmund had disappointing exit on Monday to Lorenzi suffering from cramps and Johanna Konota was no match for 6th seed Garcia on Tuesday.  Big upset on opening day as top seed Simona Halep failed to deliver going out rather tamely to  Kaia Kanepi    having reached 2 finals  and taking Premier title in lead up events.  Former Wimbledon  champ Muguruza had other poor slam after going out to Muchova in 2nd round and followed soon after by 2nd seed Caroline Wozniacki  going down 6-4,6-2  to  Tsurenko  and more carnage as Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber lost 6-3 in third to Cibulkova who can cause problems for some of the top players . Petra Kvitova also out in 3rd round to Sabalenka who's had some big scalps and whilst  a bit surprised at 6-1 2nd set , thought this may well be outcome.   Defending champ Sloane Stephens was also in trouble  in 2nd Round but rallied to beat Kalinina 4-6, 7-5,6-2.  Looked in control of 2nd but went from 5-3 to 5 all and then tight game before eventually took control after easy opener in title defence.    She had more straightforward win over Azarenka. Litle trouble for Serena in opening rounds  and her clash with  Venus did not live up to the billing as she crushed older 6-1,6-2 showing some great form but Venus struggled with serve. 

First big upsets in the Men's contest, firstly  Sacha Zverev again underperformed in  a slam as he lost 6-3 in 4th to his fellow German Kohlscreiber  in 3rd Round, now only once been past last 16  with Quarter Final showing at French in slams.   Kohlscreiber     countered weapons and returned very well even if the yoiung star had an inconsistent performance.  Ivan Lendl recently joined his coaching team  but there was to be no quick fix.  01/philipp_kohlschreiber_stuns_alexander_zverev...   



Superuser I
Superuser I

Last 16 Sunday


Bit of a surprise in last 16 as Dominic Thiem put out Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson in straights, handling his big weapons and keeping him under pressure.  However the South African had a tough rouute     Nadal through to quarters to face him, has been extended to degree in last two matches against Khachanov and Basilashvili.  In 3rd round against the Russain whilst winning in 4  was under quite an onslaught at times with his young opponent outhitting him and proving strong on serve.  Took first but once failed to serve out 2nd match turned. Nonetheless 3rd and 4th were breakers and 3rd one had a few enthralling points.   Khachanov recovered break in 4th  but succumbed in the end and a few doubles hurt his cause.    The 4th round against  Basilashvili looked more straightforward initially but Nadal coming out on top of most of the rallies even if the Georgian was trying to take it to him.  However stayed wih Rafa in 3rd putting him under pressure and managed to win exciting breaker, even if it only delayed the inevitable. will now take on Dominic Thiem,the Austrian having some success against him on clay even if could not do much in the French  final but whilst done well here, hard courts tend not to  yield quite the same success.   In the late night match Del Potro breezed past Coric who was unable to make   a dent in his power game really from end of the 1st in 6-4,6-3,6-1 win.    Next test will be against big serving American John Isner  who  got the better of Canada's Milos Raonic who has similar style and one of the match ups with the quicker points. Meeting for the   2nd consecutive slam and this time went to 5 but Isner took decider 6-2.


Serena had more of a contest with Kanepi in last 16 though didn't look like in initial stages as took first in a bagel and in fact only dropped 6 points, 2 breaks to 1 in Kanepi's favour in 2nd as forehand went a bit awry but regrouped in 3rd to take it 6-3.   She will face Karolina Pliskova in the quarters  with the czech thus far winning all matches in straights-reached scheduled place with a 6-4,6-4 win over Australian Ashley Barty.     Sloane Stephens kept her title defence going with a relatively straightforward 6-3,6-3 win over Elisie Mertens but a few close games and some breaks throughout, Stephens' defence and attack proved too much though-some intriguing rallies in the closing stages.  In a repeat of last year's quarter she will be up against 19th  seed Anastasija Sevastova who got the better of 7th seed Eleni Svitolina in  abit of a topsey turvey affair 6-3,1-6,6-0, though the Ukranian yet to really excel at slams.


Doubles Action


A few upsets, in the Men's Doubles already the top 2 seeds out , Marach/pavic lost at first hurdle to Mayer/Sousa 7-5 in 3rd and the 2nd Kontinen/peers lost their 2nd match to Chardy/Martin 7-6 in 3rd.  Only Wimbledon have best of 5 for the event.  the 4th seeds JamieMurray/soares  still going strong with two convincing win thus far and in action again today.  Only big upset in Women's Doubles thus far is the defeat of 5th seeds  Klepac/Martinez Sanchez to Pavlyuchenkova/Sevastova.  In the mixed Jamie playing with a different partner in Bethanie Matek Sands with doubles pedigree but had time out for injury last seaon.  and they have been in good form in opening matches, combining well and both players like to come forward.  Sands is also used to playing with left hander. They're into quarters and only 2 seeds left 2nd Melichar/Pavic  (one half of Wimbledon champs) and 5th Hlavackova/Roger-Vasselin.  Having  promoted their 2nd round match with 8th seeds Spears/Cabal which they took 6-4,7-6 for some reason stream did not appear till match well under way.  Prime did show the full match replay on their main channel but initially claimed it was live!


Overall though the service has improved, from 4th day there were far more replays available on Demand and generally more streams. I also received a response about issued I had raised. Nonetheless they may not have been totally prepared and seems some folk still have problems.  Earlier reports with Roku and some LG sets had particular issues  From communication I had they stated  technical problems were being sorted out and had listened to requests going forward but to contact again if further issues.



Link to some Iconic Hairstyles!





As an ex-bookseller it’d be easy for me to stick the boot into Amazon… but surprisingly I won’t this time. Broadcasters nearly always have shaky starts when they enter into a high-profile, new-for-them territory. (Who’d have thought back in 1992 that Sky’s football coverage would become the benchmark for every other football broadcaster for example?) Guess it’ll depend on how they use the *ahem* feedback - and how quick they are to improve what they're doing.


And LOL at Murray's Instagram comment. Seems to be some strange goings-on at Flushing Meadows all round at the moment...

 Say "Hello!" to the Community in The Introduce Yourself Thread.


@AntS wrote:

As an ex-bookseller it’d be easy for me to stick the boot into Amazon… but surprisingly I won’t this time. Broadcasters nearly always have shaky starts when they enter into a high-profile, new-for-them territory. (Who’d have thought back in 1992 that Sky’s football coverage would become the benchmark for every other football broadcaster for example?) Guess it’ll depend on how they use the *ahem* feedback - and how quick they are to improve what they're doing.


And LOL at Murray's Instagram comment. Seems to be some strange goings-on at Flushing Meadows all round at the moment...

Suppose there are always teething problems no matter how much testing, even if challenges with live streaming big events.  Whilst would've preferred Eurosport/Sky  to be the broadcaster more competitors in the market now.  Vast majority of ATP tennis will be on Amazon Prime in 2019, whilst Eurosport will still have Austrlian/French till 2021 anyway.  Amazon will also be live streaming 20 Premier League football matches in 2019.


I edited my post above -paragraph before final link giving updated information on service.   Certainly some funny goings on the US this year-yeah Murray and Kygrios tend to exchange a few witty mesaages at times. :smiling-face:


Last 16  Monday


The main talking point was a bit of a shock as Roger Federer was knocked out in the last 16 by 29 year old Austraian John Millman who has not set the world alight in slams, seemed to be routine busines when Roger was up a set and 5-4,40-15  but did have a great serving day and when he lost the 2nd 7-5 the match turned and the slam record holder could not find way back. Afterwards Federer claimed he struggled with the hot and humid conditions though it was a night match . He did have break in 4th but Millman came back to take it on the breaker .


A Quarter final clash with Djokovic had been billed from the beginning of the tournament but now Novak will have less high profile match with the Australian.  He  earned his place earlier with a straightforward win over Jao sousa , the serb far steadier and kept  Sousa under pressure in  rallies, serve and return


Marian Cilic and kei Nishikori completed the line up with straight set wins over David Goffin and Phillip Kohlscreiber.  Cilic did not have his best serving display but once he recovered a break in the first kept the French player under pressure off the ground and was effective with some of his voleys, whereas Goffin failed to make the target with  his baseline game for the most part.      Nishikori looked convincing over Kohlscreiber and it was only in the third when the German was able to put him under pressure on serve and with more  strong winners   He will face Cilic, having come out on the losing side in the 2014 Us Open Final.


There was an interesting contest between two 20 year olds but it was Naomi Osaka who get the better of Aryna sabalenka.  Sabalenka gas had the better resukts of late with wins over several top 10 players in the summer including Wozniacki, Kvitova and Pliskova.  and had 12 wins in her last 13 matches,however could not quite sustain the momentum here.    There were many absorbing rallies but overall the Japanese player had the best combination of defence/attack, whilst sabalenka had some wild errors in key moments.  Osaka took final set 6-4, though aided by a double on the 4th match point.  In the quarters she will face Lesia Tsurenko who came from a set down to beat Marketa Vondrousova  6-2 in the third. Initially appeared ailing in the sweltering conditions but once she foind a way through the 2nd set 7-5 played the more commanding tennis.  In the night match Sharapova was put out 6-4,6-3 by Suarez Navarro , the spaniard's defence proved too much whilst Maria struggled somewhat on serve and the error count was too high to find a way back into the match.


Jamie Murray had a good day in the doubles with both Bruno soares and Bethanie Mattek sands as he made his way into the quarters and semis respectively.  In Men's Doubles had straight sets win over Hasse Middlekoop , whilst taken the distance in Mixed with Kichenok/Koolhof bit of a mouthful  Know) They were  under pressure in 2nd and 3rd breakers but in the Championship one (decding set 1st to 10)  counter attack withy some great volleys/returns to take it 10-7.    Brit player Dom Inglot was in action with Skugor but outplayedby Mike Bryan/sock 6-2,6-4.




Quarter Finals-  Tuesday

The day’s play  started off with  defending champion Sloane Stephens attempting to reach semis once again.  Last year she was taken all the way to a final set breaker by Sevestova and was facing the same player again. Immediately it was clear there would another challenge, Sevestova was far more secure on serve and Anastasija hit some amazing returns and showed great variety which bamboozled the title holder.  Whilst some good shots not the consistency and she was being too defensive today and generally not feeling the ball well. Soon she was 6-2 and 4-1 down, had mini comeback with point for 4 all but could not sustain and her campaign was sadly over  pretty quickly.


In the  Men’s Day session quarter we had two  big hitters in Del Potro and Isner battling for a semi final spots, both were strong on serve in the initial stages with not much between them, however Isner got the better of the first breaker by creating the early winner but could not sustain the momentum  as was quickly down an early break as Juan proved to be the better returner and had to fight again to claim the 3rd. He failed on a break point and was unable to stop the Argentine moving ahead.  After the heat break the Isner struggled physically though Del Potro had problems of his own late on , nonetheless nothing could prevent him reaching another semi with convincing 6-2 4th set.


So on to the night session and Serena Williams took on Katerina Pliskova who stopped her in the 2016 semis. She got the better start as Williams was more prone to error, took a 3-1 lead and had 3 breaks points but when she did not capitalise  it gave the 6 times champion hope. once serena stemmed the tide there was no stopping her as she proved more effective on serve and in the  rallies that did ensue,aggression seen Williams able to pick off Pliskova’s  game for some quick points. The Czech was somewhat demoralised as the match slipped away after the first, though  got one break back in 2nd as she went down 6-4,6-3.   I did hear afterwards that Pliskova father in law had passed away before the match and she broke down in the press conference.   However some Serena fans mocked her on social  media due to comments she made previously which they considered disrespectful    “ok she has the all the respect from me, she has a big game but sometimes she acts bigger than the game”


The last evening match became a bit of a blockbuster with defending champion Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem the French Finalist. Still to catch some of it on demand but by all accounts a great contest!  Thiem made an explosive start keeping Nadal on the defensive, 13 winners in the first and only 2 errors and Rafa could not counter him. Amazingly it was  a bagel set but Nadal found more on the serve in 2nd and adjusted his court position and the contest was on.  Thereafter it became quite a physical  battle with some pulsating rallies, a few errors at end of 2nd put the Spaniard right back in the hunt. Thiem still kept pressure on and served for the 3rd at 5-4 but could not consolidate with some great returns from Nadal and then capitalised to take 3rd 7-5.   Both 4th and 5th went to breakers and Dom extended the match.  Thiem had shot near closing stages but could not find a way through the champion in the final analysis.   Yes they have had  5th set breakers at the  Us Open for some time!




Quarter Finals- Wednesday


So would we have any further drama in the remaining quarter, as it turned there was another 5 setter between  Cilic and Nishikori.  In the early part of the match Cilic was dominating with serve and weapons with kei unable to counteract it.  However as the match progressed the Japanese player began swinging and taking a few more chances and reading the Serb’s game. Marian started to feel the pressure and came back from 2-6,2-4 to take  a 2 sets to 1 lead. Cilic came back in the 4th but some great returns seen Nishikori  through  6-4 in the decider.   

In the semi he will face Djokovic and whilst Millman engaged him in some lengthy rallies the serb always seemed to be in control, his combination of defence/attack proving too much for the Australian who had the great win over Federer. Novak through in straight sets


In the women’s matches firstly Naomi Osaka had an easy time as her opponent  Tsurenko was suffering from a viral illness and unable  to offer much resistance, her only hope was to go for early winners but failed more often than not and Naomi was so effective on serve and off the ground.   In the semis she will face Madison Keys who got the better of Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4,6-3.  It was pretty  noisy during play  at this match with a lot of chatter (perhaps some fuelled) in the opening stages and Suarez complained to the umpire but he was not very assertive in his response. Anyway Keys seemed to block it out more effectively and was a bit more dominant on serve and able to make her weapons count.  Carla can be crafty and defensive skills and topspin proved fruitful  on occasions, however not enough consistency from the Spaniard.


Doubles Action

Jamie Murray was busy but mixed results with his partners Bruno soares and Bethanie Mattek Sands. In the Men’s Doubles they were form favourites against Jaziri/Albot but went down an early break , soon recovered but again came under pressure at end of set and lost it 7-5.   Dropped serve early in 2nd and had battle on their hands. Serve/Volleying just not as effective whilst opponents were inspired, chances to come back but ultimately went down 7-5,6-4 in Quarters.  In the mixed against  mcHale/Harrison  strong start but opponents returned well in 2nd coupled with effective net play and lobs and we were into match breaker.  It ebbed and flows but Sands set up the points well for Jamie in the crucial point and they went through 6-4,2-6,10-8 which seemed to delight the crowd. through to final to face  Rosolska/Mektic.


In the women’s doubles Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova saved a match point to over Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs  taking final set breaker 7-6 to face Barty/venderweghe in semis.





Women’s/Doubles Semis


The women’s semis in the evening session and Serena was not delayed long, only dropping 3 games.  Sevastova got off to a good start with a break for 2-0 and was using similar tactics to those employed Roberta Vinci who caused an upset at the US Open in 2015. She tried to extended rallies and use spin to effect, however this only worked for a short period once the former champ found her range and she unsettled Sevastova by moving forward far more often than the norm. once the set turned the Lativan would often go for too much whilst Williams was strong.

In the final she would meet the winner of the match between Naomi Osaka and fellow American Madison keys. Keys lead their Head to Head 3-0 but this proved not to be significant.  Keys had 3 break points for a 2-1 lead but could not convert and Osaka took advantage as Madison at times going for broke would err far too often.  Soon Naomi was a set and a break up, both players performance was better in the 2nd but Osaka proved to be the stronger fending off 13 break points in total. The 3rd game of the 2nd set proved to be crucial and her serve was effective on the big points and was the one with the more controlled power and tactical awareness.  She  comfortably served out at 5-4 to progress to the final.



The Doubles matches provided some excitement as both Kubot/Melo and Mike Bryan/Sock advanced to final in 3 sets.  Serving/volleying  both strong in semi with Albot/Jaziri  but 7th seeds got more of key returns to advance.  Similar with Bryan/Sock though the Americans had bit of a lull which seen them lose breaker in 2nd after match point, responded well though with crowd support. 06_doubles_semifinals_pack_excitement_and_drama.html?chip=27

In the women’s doubles semis we had relatively close two setters, Coco Vanderweghe and Ashley Barty upset the  top seeds Barbora Krejcikova  and Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 7-6.  The Czech pair got the early break but they were pegged back and some delightful exchanges at net, however the US/Aussie partnership were able to use their power and skills to greater effect.  They will take on Timea Babos/Kristina Mlaedovic who were tested in first by Sam Stosur (the 2011 singles Champion) and shuai Zhang  but once they captured first on breaker were able to maintain control.


The Men's Doubles Final and Men's Singles semis are today, Nadal taking on Del Potro and Djokovic V Nishikori. Mixed and Women's Final Saturday.  Men's Final of course on Sunday, preceeded by Women's Doubles Final.  Should have it all rounded up by Monday.


Some  highlights/pick of shots on this page





Men’s Doubles Final


Mike Bryan and Jack Sock in 2nd consecutive Slam final (in absence of Bob)  and dominated in their clash with Kubo/Melo. The polish/Brazilian partnership did not have their best serving day,whilst the Americans were strong on returns.   Jack dominated with his forehand and Mike was tough on the volleys.  Once Bryan/Sock got the first break went from strength to strength in 6-3,6-1 win.  It was Mike's 18th slam overall, unfortunately Kubot/Melo just had no answer on the day.


Men’s Semis 


Nadal and Del Potro had a dramatic match at Wimbledon and the thought this could be another close encounter.  Whilst Rafa called for trainer prior to match he was competing well,even if Juan initially dictatimg more with power game, kept him under pressure with movements and  key returns. However Del potro convincingly won breaker and early in 2nd set it was clear Nadal was restricted due to knee injury and once he lost 2nd 6-2 was clear he could not carry on. Del Potro through to 2nd US Open Final but in not in the manner he would have wished.  Still he has been impressive throughout tournament.


Djokovic lost to Nishikori at the same stage in 2014, however from  the start it was clear he was determined to avoid a repeat.    Kei competed well in the first two sets  but Novak was strong in the rallies and it was difficult to break down his defences.  Nishikori did not have quite the same penetration on the serve or groundstrokes and Djokovic focused throughout, with few vulnerabilities.  He took first two sets 6-3,6-4 and Nishikori became a bit demoralised in the end as Novak took the 3rd 6-2.



Mixed Doubles Final


Saturday play started off with the Mixed final and Jamie Murray/Bethanie Matek Sands the favourites due to their experience, however got a strong challenge from Alicja Rosolska/Nicola Mektic.  The Polish/Croatian team got the better of the opening exchanges being stronger on serve/returns/volleys and put Matek Sands under pressure on her delivery. Break points were saved but the Brit/American team broken twice on deciding points and before long had lost the first set 6-2.   However they kept in contention and took their chances after a few errors and closed out 2nd 6-3, so it would be a Match Tiebreaker  to decide the title.  Only Wimbledon plays best of 3 full sets in the event.  Bit of a dramatic breaker but Murray/Matek Sands came back from 1-4 to lead 7-4 courtesy of a few great returns and lob from Bethanie. Jamie netted match point on serve at 9-8 but had fabulous forehand winner to take title 11-9.  Overall 6th slam for Jamie and 8th for Bethanie. 


Matek Sands has  had some outlandish outfits over the years and apparently wanted Jamie to wear long white socks or similar ornate hat if they reached final, however in the event Jamie decided not to comply!


Women’s  Final


Imagine  most will have heard about this by now, created a few headlines!  The actual match somewhat overshadowed but will give some background here. Both players were 0-30 down on opening service games but rallied, however Naomi Osaka soon settled and put Serena under pressure as her groundstrokes were executed with pin point accuracy.  She had excellent movement and was using the angles to good effect. Her serve was also more reliable and with 2 breaks had the first 6-2.  It was in the 2nd that the drama   ensued.  Serena got a court violation for coaching and took affront at this insisting she does not cheat. After she got appoint penalty for racquet abuse  things exploded further and she was angrily demanding an apology and even bringing her daughter into the argument.  Anyway initially it fired her up  and she finally broke for 3-1 on 6th break point, Osaka saved quite a few with aces.  However Naomi broke twice to then lead 4-3, strong in her first grand slam final with some impressive tennis.

  At this point on change of ends Serena called the umpire a thief and a lier. Carlos Ramos at this point then docked a game though both players were initially unaware and then the Referee and WTA Supervisor  were  brought into it but decision unchanged. So Serena was serving twice in a row , she easily held but Osaka served it out to 30 to take the title.


At the cermomy boos and Osaka in tears ,Serena did attempt to comfort her and asked crowd to stop. Whilst some anger may have been justifiable in the end she completely lost control, however do give some credit for her speech. Though has had episodes a times when going for milestones, despite public bravado can feel pressure and that can be worse when players get older (still fairly early in comeback) The umpire was escorted off the court immediately the match was finished and did not take part in the cermony (as is the usual custom), though suppose for understandable reasons.


My take on it,I think first two violations reasonable  even if some umpires ignore first coaching offence, it is the inconsistency which causes problems. Think the game penalty more debateable at that point in the match and whilst Williams was rude worse things have been said without censure on occasions.  Nonetheless this umpire is known to be a stickler for the rules and for instance Nadal had issue with him before  when he got warning for time between serves.  Therefore in this regard  would say the accusations of sexism are  not proven.    Video Highlights


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