Things We Learned on Day Five of the US Open


1. Petra Kvitova’s record of playing so many three-setters is unparalleled in the last 10 years.

2. I was impressed by Tim Smyczek’s five-set win over Alex Bogomolov Jr. The diminutive American played a characteristically scrappy match to reach his first-ever third round at a Grand Slam, and will likely break into the top 100 for the first time in his career. His next match is perfectly winnable; he will battle Marcel Granollers for the chance to make the fourth round.

3. Steve Tignor’s take on the Isner-Monfils match was great:

I wouldn’t expect Isner to agree, but personally I thought the chants for Monfils in New York were an example of what makes tennis great, and maybe unique. People who follow the sport closely can’t just be fans of players from their home countries. It’s a game of individual stars who cross national boundaries. Even if you’re from the U.S., you’re not going to be much of a tennis fan if you don’t care about Federer or Nadal or Djokovic or Murray or del Potro (another New York favorite) or anyone else in the Top 10. That includes Monfils, the era’s great showman. Like the Big 4, La Monf belongs to the world. And that’s the beauty of rooting for international athletes: When fans from other countries identify with them, we get to leave our narrow, nationalistic conception of ourselves and, in a small way, revel in a different culture, in a different way of competing and expressing yourself. The chants for Monfils last night weren’t, as some said, anti-American. They were pro-tennis, and pro-personality.

4. Jamie Hampton was (rightfully) unhappy with the way she played in her straight sets loss to Sloane Stephens:

I think that I’ve had tendencies, shown tendencies to play really bad in big moments. Kind of sucks. I’m incredibly, incredibly disappointed in the way I played today.

5. I didn’t know Steve in person, but I will miss him.


1. So, I went to the tennis today. And I wish I had lots of you-had-to-be-there insight, but really, I don’t think I do.

You see, since I am writing about tennis during the fortnight for a couple of different outlets, and here at The Changeover, but I am not credentialed, I have not been back to the tennis since the qualification rounds.

But I got a free ticket for the night session tonight, through IBM, and I decided I couldn’t pass that up. It was pretty cool, because I got to get a tour of all the behind-the-scenes stats stuff, including their setup under Ashe. I took some pictures and will do a more thorough blog for you guys on that, when it’s not 2:00 in the morning.

Anyway, it was the first time in a while that I have been at a tournament when not “on duty,” and let’s just say that I, uuum, took major advantage of it. And by that I mean that I did a lot of hanging out with friends and drinking while keeping like one eye on the tennis. Hey. It was my only night off in quite some time.

So, I am thrilled for Hewitt. I am gutted for Delpo. I still really cannot believe that it happened. And that’s about it.

2. I wasn’t watching … how exactly did Murray lose a set to Leonardo Mayer on hard courts???

3. This cracked me up:

4. I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow, I promise. It’ll be easier when the computer isn’t spinning in front of me. And JJ will be back in action tomorrow, too. Have patience with us.

2 Responses

  1. coolede
    coolede August 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

    Im writing this here out of frustration, because I dont have a twitter account to respond to Juan Juan José Vallejo. I hope he reads this comment and correct his mistake.

    Rafael Noel posted a partial quote from Federer, who played in two of the three slam quarterfinals Blake reached, and in the Masters cup final in 2006-

    “An actual quote from Federer (not @PseudoFed): : “I had good matches against [James Blake]. Maybe the biggest matches of his career.”

    And then came this from Juan Jose:

    *nods vigorously* RT @scoobschris: Sorry Roger, I think Blake’s biggest match was the US Open SF vs Agassi. #itsallaboutme

    And here’s the full quote for Federer:

    “I’ve had some good matches against him. Maybe the biggest matches of his career, except maybe the match he played here against Agassi. Cincinnati, Shanghai. I’ve had some big matches against him, also the Olympics where he beat me.”

    Great journalism, mate.

  2. coolede
    coolede August 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |

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