1. Victoria Azarenka singing Happy Birthday off-key to her “best friend” Gael Monfils in front of the Arthur Ashe crowd with nobody singing along after winning her match was one of the more bizarre moments of this US Open. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought so.
Well that was awkward.
— Jamie Hampton (@Jamie_Hampton) September 2, 2014
— Dan Evan (@Dan_EvanR) September 2, 2014
— Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor) September 2, 2014
Mary Jo Fernandez on Azarenka's singing on court (for Monfils' b'day): "I think I prefer the grunts." #USOpen
— Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9) September 2, 2014
It's safe to say Alexandra Krunic was embarrassed by Vika's on court singing.. https://t.co/8dlqs6rG2z
— Ramesh (@zbrain) September 2, 2014
2. Al Trautwig’s tennis commentary is an abomination. He doesn’t know anything about the game. When I recently moved, I got rid of my cable TV, so I’ve been inundated with ESPN3 commentary from Trautwig. Between confusing Venus and Serena Williams, not knowing what an ace is, and whatever this was …
“We have a diva meltdown alert on Arthur Ashe.” – Al Trautwig, making me murderous
— Amy Fetherolf (@AmyFetherolf) September 2, 2014
… it’s been painful listening to him. His gymnastics commentary has been similarly awful for years, yet he seems to keep getting gigs talking about sports he knows nothing about. I wish ESPN would keep him away from tennis.
3. Despite Azarenka’s less-than-impressive form tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her roll over Ekaterina Makarova in the quarters. A tough win might give her the boost she needs, and I just have a feeling about Makarova. As Lindsay notes below, Makarova’s been playing well, so I may be wrong.
4. The Vika netcord winner apology was fun:
6. This sounds like it was an illuminating presser with Philipp Kohlschreiber.
1. Vika-Krunic. Ohmygod, you guys. I need a timeout after that match. It was too much fun and also it terrified me.
I mean, where do you start? Krunic comes out looking like a scared kitten looking for a couch she could hide under, telling Mary Jo that she had gotten lost on Ashe and that she just wanted to stay out on court as long as she could. She got down an early break, and it seemed like that was that, but then Vika started missing and Krunic started PEAKING. The Serb never gives up on a ball. She’s so tiny that her arms never get in the way of her racket, she just uses it however she needs to, to block shots back, to pummel winners, to lob, to volley. It was just all clicking.
It’s interesting that because she’s so little she has to take so many more steps than the average tennis player to cover the court, but that means her feet are always moving and it helps her tennis so much. There is nothing lazy about her game and she is ready for everything. Footwork counts. Plus–that serve? HELLO.
That being said, Vika was able to withstand the assault and do what she really does best: Compete. It’s been a great year for the WTA, but things will be 100% better with Azarenka around and in good health.
Blah blah blah, the match was super entertaining and that was enough and we were happy and then we realized that was only the warm-up act.
— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) September 2, 2014
It was just all so much. From the end of the match being decided on a challenge and Cliffy getting crazed by the call, to Krunic staying on Ashe (I don’t think she knew she could leave without Vika!) and then Vika telling everyone that they had to sing Happy Birthday to her BEST FRIEND Gael Monfils, and then being unable to let it go and singing it for them off-key, it was just incredible theater. Jamie Hampton capped it all off.
Well that was awkward.
— Jamie Hampton (@Jamie_Hampton) September 2, 2014
I was dying laughing throughout the whole thing, and also feeling so much secondhand embarrassment. I completely agree with Jason:
The Golden Age of Tennis: 1 September 2014 9:40 PM (Cliffy yells "IT WAS IN IT WAS OUT") – 9:50 PM (Jamie Hampton tweets "that was awkward")
— Jason (@Hurleytennis) September 2, 2014
2. Except, you know, Jason spoke too soon because about 15 minutes later this happened:
Was planning on my 10yr tennis come back at this years open the last grandslam match I played.. But it will have to wait 1 more yr #itson
— Jennifer Capriati (@JenCapriati) September 2, 2014
I cannot. I just cannot.
3. I really can’t even remember what happened the rest of the day right now, and I was covering golf so I didn’t get to watch much of it, but I’ll try and dig deep into the memory bank for you guys.
Honestly, other than that it was a fairly straightforward day. Kohlschreiber offered barely any resistance to Djokovic, Murray made Tsonga looked like a tucked-in fool, and Pennetta did a great job staying solid against Dellacqua. The best was saved for last.
4. Obviously Genie Bouchard was the higher seed today, and her dismissal made it so that Serena was the only top-eight seed left, so her loss to Makarova today was notable. But it really wasn’t at all surprise when you look at their forms coming into this tournament. Makarova’s been deadly consistent over the past few years, and this year she’s been playing some particularly superb tennis.
Let’s take a look at Makarova’s losses to lower-ranked opponents this year:
No. 26 Svetlana Kuznetsova, Citi Open semis (she was ranked No. 20)
No. 23 Lucie Safarova, Wimbledon QF (she was ranked No. 22)
That’s it. She also has five top-10 wins on the year. Needless to say, I’m really excited for her match against Azarenka in the quarters.
5. I’m not sure how Stan won that match against Robredo–every time I glanced up he was playing atrocious tennis, seeing the trainer, or doing this:
— Dianne (@Champingthebit) September 2, 2014
I also saw that he and Tommy had a bit of a tussle during the match, but I’m not sure what that was all about.
But anyway, I think it’s a good sign that Stan can get through spotty matches like this, and I like seeing him so fired up. Upsets are fun during the first week, but during the second week I tend to root for the players who I think can push the favorites the most. An in-form and feisty Stan certainly fits that bill.
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) September 2, 2014
6. This made me emo:
— greenhopper (@geehopp) September 1, 2014
7. Other random tweets I favorited:
Loved Krunic's self-deprecation: "That's why Vika is twice a Grand Slam champion… Because she doesn't play the dropshot when it's deuce."
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 2, 2014
enthusiastic Cliffy has brought the best out of WTA this summer calling Kerber v Shaza, Ana v Shaza, Venus v Errani & now Veka v Krunic
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) September 2, 2014
Makarova in tunnel after beating Bouchard: "I am too tired to smile."
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) September 2, 2014
Krunic makes no sense to me. Truly amazing.
— Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) September 1, 2014
With Bouchard's loss, @Kfish_WTA informs me that for 1st time since '77, there will be 8 different women's Grand Slam finalists in same year
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) September 1, 2014
@TomPerrotta I love him.
— Alexandra Willis (@alex_willis) September 1, 2014
Murray wants to play with variety. Here's some variety for you, Andy: Keep your shit together in a third set for a change.
— Hannah Wilks (@newballsplease) September 1, 2014
Muzz acting like a dying old drunk man out there and Jo is still gonna lose in straights
— Rachael (@rchlsmpsn) September 1, 2014
Radek Stepanek is dressed like a third world cellphone vendor pic.twitter.com/bV2Ozk4Wfq
— caitlin thompson (@caitlin_thomps) September 1, 2014