Things We Learned on Day Four of the US Open

Juan José

1. Daniel Evans keeps the surprises coming. The British upstart, who destroyed Kei Nishikori in the first round, was terribly mediocre to start the match, and Bernie didn’t have to do much in order to take the first set in a little over twenty minutes. This US Open’s Cinderella story seemed to be on his way out, as Evans went down a break in the second set. However, that’s when then fiery man from Birmingham started to show the kind of shots and composure that lead to his win over Nishikori. And Bernie just couldn’t find a way to subdue the man with the iffy drive backhand.

At some point I’ll write more about Dan Evans’ game, and how far he can go in the ATP Tour. He’s certainly an interesting and fun player to watch, but there are red flags all over the place: Evans has struggled in the past to put in the necessary work to become a top 100 player. So any projections about him have to be taken with a large grain of salt.

2. That being said, I’ll always remember that Evans-Tomic match for the spectacular return of Bernie’s famous hat.

3. Some might find it a little excessive to see Christina McHale go hug her team after clinching an extremely nervy win over young Elina Svitolina (she of Baku fame), but after all that the young American has been through, it was thoroughly warranted. No complaints here.

4. Rafael Nadal is looking really, really good. Like the favorite should, and maybe better. His upcoming match against Ivan Dodig (who beat him in Canada two years ago) should be very interesting.

What I don’t understand is Nike’s decision to dress him in either white or gray. Seems like a bizarre choice for someone who’s always looked his best in vibrant colors.

5. John Isner can commiserate with Andy Murray about having his home crowd root for his opponent during a big match (not that Murray cares anymore, since the Wimbledon crowd did help him out at this year’s final). Fortunately for John, he found a way out of a seemingly inevitable five-set struggle against Gaël Monfils. The former Georgia Bulldog has played a heck of a lot of tennis during the summer already, so any energy that is saved is more than welcome. Particularly when he’s now just one match away from a potential fourth round match against Rafael Nadal.

6. I simply have no words for this atrocity:

Caroline Wozniacki: #FailedbyStella

7. NewBalance joins in on the #Fail epidemic going on at the US Open with this horrendous shirt for Milos Raonic:


The amount of horrible kits out there is simply staggering. What’s going on, people who make tennis clothes?

8. Petra Kvitova won a tennis match in straight sets. We have official confirmation that it actually happened.


1. I had no idea that Errani is having this much trouble dealing with the pressure. Her press conference sounds really sad.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Errani throughout the past year as she has shot up the rankings, and throughout 2013 I’ve been impressed by how she’s kept her form up–I mean, even after losing her semifinal points from last year, she should still be within the top 6, which is pretty incredible.

But it seems like when Sharapova dropped out and she got a quarter to herself, she freaked out a little bit. I hope she starts having fun playing tennis again.

2. Speaking of pressers, it is really great to see the U.S. Open getting the transcripts up incredibly briskly. It’s just wonderful. And guess what? I’m still reading all of the articles I can coming from writers that are on site. But now, I can also see the transcripts and get the context of everything.

3. Here is my piece on James Blake for Sports on Earth. I went back and read through his book before writing it, and wow–if you haven’t had a chance to read “Breaking Back” yet, it’s definitely worth a read. That Blake guy, he’s pretty great.

4. Steve Tignor on JJ and Kleybs. Need I say more?

5. Christina McHale has found some rhythm again, and I could not be happier for her. She’s faded to the background as a lot of Americans have surged and she’s had a really rough year, but she has too clean of a game not to get back into at least the top 50.

6. I … just don’t know what to say about Bernard Tomic. I’m pretty speechless, to be honest. He needs some help, I hope he gets it. And not from his father.

I mean …

That being said, kudos to Dan Evans. It’s always fun to see guys get it together.

7. Sam Querrey, I might be officially throwing in the towel. MANNARINO? I know you’re “bummed,” and you should be. You should be downright furious with yourself.

8. It’s been a fairly straightforward first week, for the big names at least. That means that Labor Day weekend and beyond should be a whole lot of fun.

9. Thoughts on the Isner-Monfils match are coming in the morning!

5 Responses

  1. Jewell
    Jewell August 30, 2013 at 1:53 am |

    That jacket’s clearly inspired by Jimmy Saville – GROSS.

    Wozniacki’s kit designers have been pretty much terrible for years. I don’t understand it.

    Rafa’s won both his HC slams in darker kits. IT’S AN OMEN!

  2. Rachel
    Rachel August 30, 2013 at 2:12 am |

    Not only are some of the kits hideous, but I’ve also noticed several players tugging at their tops…they should at least make sure the outfits are wearable for playing tennis. Who wants to tank a match because of an ill-fitting tank? Also did you see Mladenovic’s sweat-drenched number in her match against Hampton? What’s up with that? It’s like they don’t play test anything!

  3. harmeen
    harmeen August 30, 2013 at 5:48 am |

    One thing I learned is that Isner isn’t very subtle:

    “I miss the south. #godscountry”

  4. Diana
    Diana August 30, 2013 at 8:01 am |

    Some of the outfits are horrendous!Especially those of Nike(Azarenka in particular and even Sharapova’s dress that Boucahrd ‘got’ to wear instead ugh..)
    It’s hard to hear that about Errani, had no idea about the pressure and all.Hope she’ll enjoy playing again.I think she also gets criticized a lot about her playing style, unfairly.

  5. skip1515
    skip1515 August 30, 2013 at 8:04 am |

    Hey, I feel for Errani, and applaud her openness about her struggle to maintain competitive fire, but given her game it’s kind of understandable; knowing that you have to hit a minimum of 17 balls every friggin’ point has to start weighing on you, especially when it’s really true when you play up.

    Okay, so 17 balls/point is an exaggeration, but the life of a dogged retriever is hard (ask Bjorn, who had far more tools than Errani). At 5’very_little it’s not as if she can set out to develop a big serve or imposing net game. She’s been a gamer, though, so here’s to hoping she finds her spark again.

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