Monday, September 7, 2009

U.S. Open 2009

As we make our way through the second week of the U.S. Open, let's stop for a moment and look at the tournament's stories. Tennis in New York - technically in Flushing Meadows, Queens - is usually filled with intrigued, sometimes filled with Cinderella stories, and always filled with excitement. The Wife loves to watch the matches of grassy Wimbledon, but I prefer the American-packed confines of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Roger Federer
The Swiss mister has become redundant, hasn't he? He broke Pete Sampras' record a few months ago, and now he has 15 Grand Slam champion titles. If he wins this tournament, he will make it 16, and he will have been the victor here six times in a row. Roger never has to fall down again after winning the championship point. There's no reason to. He's done it all, and I hope he continues to dazzle us with his prowess and power.

Kim Clijsters
Hey, Kim! I thought you retired a couple years ago, but it's great to see you back! And you're doing so well, too. Knocking off Venus was quite a feat. But I shouldn't really be surprised. After all, you know how to win in America - you were the Champ only four years ago, and you may be the one again. Good luck against Na Li!

The American Men
There will be no American men in the quarterfinals. There has been at least one American male present since the tournament began 128 years ago. But not this year. No American men in the U.S. Open quarterfinals! Not this year - not in 2009. So thanks for all you've done, guys - Andy, James, John, Sam, Taylor, and everybody else - to break a 128-year-old record.

Melanie Oudin
If you love Cinderella stories, there's no bigger one at the Open this year than Melanie's. Hardly any tennis fans knew her name six months ago, but they all know it now. She's the youngest player since Serena Williams (way back in 1999) to make it to the quarterfinals. She beat two big (and very Russian) names - Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova - to make it this far. And what's the word written on her shoes? "Believe." Oh, yes, Melanie - we do believe in you.

American commentators
So you're a professional tennis player, and your days of competitive play are behind you. You wonder what you're going to do next. Not to worry. Just take a cue from Lindsey Davenport, Mary Jo Fernandez and Justin Gimelstob - become a commentator! They followed in the footsteps of Mary Carillo and Johnny Mac, and you can too.

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