Things We Learned on Days 9 and 10 of the U.S. Open


1. All day I’ve been thinking about that hug between Venus and Serena at the end of that match — which I found incredibly compelling and powerful, btw. That hug — not the initial embrace, but the second one, the one where Venus put both of her arms around Serena and drew her little sister back towards her — was such a MOMENT. In that moment, I could see Venus giving them both the permission to feel happy about this. To feel happy about the history they’ve made together, and to feel happy about the fact that Serena still has history left to achieve.

That hug was about acceptance and encouragement. It was about the past and the future. It was about solidifying, even strengthening, a connection that nobody else in the world can understand. It was two kids from Compton, realizing that they’ve realized their dreams, and that although their competitive drive and respect for the game will never go away, this is all just icing. They’ve already achieved their dreams. Now they have permission to appreciate it all.

2. I AM SO MAD THAT I DIDN’T GET TO SEE SIMONA/VIKA. Can you guys tell me all about it in the comments please?!?!

3. Federer looks great, you guys. Great. And it’s not surprising that people are picking him to win it all at this stage. But don’t forget, he’s the only guy in the semis that doesn’t currently hold a major title. So everyone left has been there and done that and is in great form.

Personally, I can see any of the final four guys walking away with the trophy right now, and that is not usually the case in the semis.

4. Like I said, I didn’t see the match, but this made me tear up. GO WOMEN’S TENNIS:

5. Marin Cilic is back into the U.S. Open semifinals. That’s incredible. HEAR HIM ROAR.

6. VIVA ITALIA. I haven’t been able to watch the daytime matches the past two days, but kudos to Pennetta and Vinci.



1. Venus and Serena

I had thoughts.

2. Winning Ugly

The three other quarterfinals we saw on Tuesday were hardly paragons of beauty. But at the end of the day, we have the surprise run of Roberta Vinci, who is rewarded for making it out of an ugly match with Kiki Mladenovic with a semifinal appointment with a peaking Serena Williams. As for the men, despite their at times patchy play, Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic have set up a quarterfinal that ought to be interesting but probably won’t be. Given Novak’s complete mastery of that rivalry, it’s hard to imagine Cilic getting past him to try for a repeat win. But stranger things have happened….

3. Le sigh pour Jo-Willy.

While it’s true that Marin Cilic probably should have won his quarterfinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets, there’s something to be said for the tenacity of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in staying with Cilic through five sets, while saving multiple match points. As with his fellow “new Mousquetaires” Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Jeremy Chardy, Julien Benneteau and the rest of the team, it’s hard not to find these almost-wins poignant as time goes on. For all of the joy, befuddlement, and talent they have brought to the tour, the tennis gods owe them at least a team victory, like a Davis Cup or Family Feud or something.

4. One little Halepeno packs a lot of punch.

After her fourth round win on Monday, Simona herself gave the best preview of her quarterfinal with Vika Azarenka, saying, “I know that she will fight because she’s a fighter girl.” And, Vika certainly fought — showing glimpses of the form that has brought her two Australian Open titles. But in Halep, Azarenka confronted an equally determined fighter, who continually tried to get back into the second set after going down an early break, and then broke open the third set and never looked back.

For Halep, whose rise has largely taken place in Vika’s injury absence from the tour, it was an important win for her to show that her rise to the number 2 was no fluke, and that she can hold her own against the player most have tagged as most potent challenger to Serena Williams, and a #fightergirl in her own right.

One Response

  1. qthetennisfan (@qthetennisfan)
    qthetennisfan (@qthetennisfan) September 11, 2015 at 12:09 am |

    good to see sam q do well in doubles after disappointing in singles, it seems they had a close loss in the men’s sf. Maybe bethanie mattek-sands brings out good tennis in her partners (eg safarova)

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