Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Haven, we have a problem.

That problem would be one that not much can be done about...that of Mother Nature. Rain washed out play today at New Haven, possibly causing a pickle for organizers since Pilot Pen backs right up against the US Open. Players are NOT going to want to play more than one match in a day, and if that happens (and I think it will have to, but I'm not sure) it will be interesting to track the pattern of withdrawals. No offense against New Haven, but the big party is in New York. Some matches are finally getting played as I type this, but still, not a good day.

The one match that is finished is the rematch of America's answer to Ivo Karlovic, John Isner, against German Benjamin Becker. Isner took out Becker in a third set tiebreak (what else) in Legg Mason this summer, but figured him out much easier this time around, wrapping up a 6-3, 6-4 win. James Black is up a set and a break against Arnaud Clement as I type this.

Today was also supposed to be the first day of men's and women's qualifying play, but it appears that was rained out as well. Some interesting (at least to me) names in the men's draw include #1 seed Frank Dancevic (who was one of the many youngsters making a name for himself on the hardcourts this summer), #2 seed Robin Haase (he's gotten some quality wins this summer as well), Scoville Jenkins, Kevin Kim, Paul Capdeville, and Wesley Moodie among many, many others. The women's side includes the Chinese player Zi Yan (who made a nice singles breakthrough last week in Toronto), and Kristina Brandi (whose play I really enjoyed watching in DC). Let's hope at least a few, if not all, of those names make it through to the main draw. For these players, the tournament is the week before the tournament, and to make it to the big party is success in and of itself. Thinking of that helps to keep the whole show in perspective.

Notice how I keep referring to the US Open as the party or the show? I didn't plan it that way, just came out that way. I think it is appropriate. Each of the grand slams has its own personality, and if any of them are 'the big show' or 'the big party' it is definitely New York.

Someday, I will go. Someday, I want to go to all of them, but I will start with NY, as it is closest. This year, unfortunately, is not that year.

Swelling is almost completely gone...yay!

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