Things We Learned on Day Seven of the 2014 US Open


1. What a win for Caroline Wozniacki, beating Maria Sharapova in three sets. After Wozniacki took the first set, Sharapova really found her range and was playing some untouchable tennis in the second set, but Wozniacki regrouped and never let Sharapova back in the match after an early break in the third. Wozniacki is never going to be the aggressive player that many want her to be, but at her best, she can stifle her opponents with impeccable defense and an underrated serve.

Wozniacki Winner

Wozniacki Wins(watermarked)


2. This is the quintessential Dominic Thiem Facebook post:

3. No, Serena. Please don’t encourage him.

4. I missed most of the tennis today because I was savoring the long weekend. I hope everyone else does the same!


1. There was a whole lot of upheaval about the scheduling today, but honestly, I felt like the U.S. Open did a pretty good job of handling it. (Communicating their decisions? Hah, well, that’s another story.)

All of the matches got completed by midnight, so the draws are still on schedule, and decisions were made pretty quickly. I know there was a lot of complaining about the fact that day-session ticket holders missed out on Federer, but I have a hard time imagining what a better alternative would have been–his court couldn’t be changed once the match started and the night-session ticket holders had to go somewhere. There’s a risk any time you buy a sports ticket, and the fact that they got to see two fun three-set women’s matches makes me feel a lot less sympathy.

As it was, Ashe ticket holders could watch great matches all over the grounds late into the night if they wanted to, and, most importantly, the schedule stayed on track.

Next time they just need to actually communicate these sensible decisions to the masses instead of leaving everyone guessing. Oh, and not holding stupid trivia contests on the official Twitter account when all hell is breaking loose would be good too.

2. I get very frustrated when people completely dismiss the way that some players play tennis, be it because of big serving or great defense or whatever. (And yes, I include myself in this because I slip from time-to-time too.)

Of course tennis players should work on becoming well-rounded players, but you so often see players try to re-make their game to suit the critics and/or really sure up their weaknesses only to have them completely get confused and lose sight of their strengths in the process.

I think that’s what happened to Wozniacki throughout the past few years, and it’s great to see her back playing her game–going for her shots when the time comes, but really being patient and staying focused on the athletic, defensive game that made her great in the first place.

Similarly, I saw a lot of people on Twitter bashing Errani after she beat Lucic-Baroni to make it to the quarterfinals, just because she didn’t hit a lot of winners.

But guess what? It worked. Errani’s game might not be flashy, and it might not win her Slams, but she does the absolute best with what she has and it’s taken her a lot farther than most expected her to go.

I love a go-for-broke game-plan like Lucic-Baroni’s as much as anyone, but if everyone played like that, tennis would be even more destructive than it already is.

Let’s celebrate the differences, you guys. It’s more fun that way.

3. I mentioned this on Twitter, and I really think it bears repeating: This women’s U.S. Open has been enthralling, even with all of the upsets, because the upsets have been mostly due to the underdogs playing superb tennis, and not the favorites failing to show up.

Sure, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, and Jelena Jankovic didn’t play their absolute best, but those matches were really about Lucic-Baroni, Shuai Peng, Aleksandra Krunic, and Belinda Bencic seizing the moment. It’s been pretty great to see. That has certainly not always been the case with the big upsets, especially in the women’s game, in the past.

4. That being said, I think that’s enough upsets for me for now. I think the women’s draw will be way better off if Serena, Vika, Bouchard, and Woz stick around for a bit.

5. David Goffin came out on fire, and I was really surprised that Grigor Dimitrov was able to turn that match around. Truthfully, I don’t think it’s a match he would have won a year ago.

But I hope that Goffin can continue his rise up the rankings, and that Dimitrov and Goffin will play many more matches in the years to come, hopefully in much later stages of tournaments. Because that was fun.

I must admit, though, I’m pretty excited for another Dimitrov/Monfils match at the U.S. Open.

6. Speaking of Monfils, he’s winning without drama, which is weird. But boy am I glad we get Gael pressers now.

Q. Were you really concerned about the raindrops that fell?

GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, ’cause, you know, it’s humid. Still, you know, even without the rain, is I think a bit slippery. You know, Richard sweat a lot, so it’s tough on the baseline. Then it was like rain a little bit. I tell Pascal, I mean…

Q. Do you feel more focused now than before?


Q. Because you seem to be winning matches with less complication.

GAEL MONFILS: I think I’m the same. You don’t understand why, but I understand. I’m cool. As usual. Still the same. Hanging around. No coach. I’m happy. Good (smiling).

7. Random tweets I favorited: