Andrea’s Top Five…of the 2010 US Open

Written By: achangeofends - Sep• 15•10

Best Matches

5. Kim Clijsters d. Venus Williams – These two have some serious history at the US Open, but Kim’s got a pretty tight hold over Venus. In 2005, Kim won a three set quarterfinal against Venus before storming on to win her first major title. Last year, these two played what I consider to be the weirdest match of the 2009 US Open in the round of 16, each winning a 6-0 set before Kim won the decided 6-4. Again, Kim went on to win the title. This year, these two met in the semifinals. Venus had pretty much stormed through the draw up to this point, while Kim showed some vulnerability against Sam Stosur in the quarterfinals so it looked like Venus might have a shot at a third US Open title. It looked even more like that after she won the first set. However, Kim won a tiebreak in the second and it was easy sailing from there all the way to the championship title. If only the championship match was as exciting.

4. Mikhail Youzhny d. Stanislas Wawrinka – I’m guessing the television execs weren’t so pleased with this match up, which was supposed to feature Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych, instead they got Mikhail Youzhny and Stanislas Wawrinka. The casual tennis fan wouldn’t even recognize these names. For those of us who do, these guys competed hard. Wawrinka took out Murray in four, Querrey in five, and went on to play five great sets against Youzhny. He had never previously made it past the fourth round in a major and was battling an injured leg. Youzhny is a previous US Open semifinalist, but has had mixed results in the last year. This was a great match for both guys. Too bad one of them had to go on to play Nadal.

3. Sam Stosur d. Elena Dementieva – This was another match that didn’t get the attention it deserved. Honestly, I only saw highlights because it was never shown in its entirety, but from what I hear, it was the best women’s match of the event. These two played well into the early hours of the morning, the latest end to a women’s match in US Open history. Elena Dementieva is often touted as the best female player never to win a Grand Slam. Sam Stosur had never made it past the second round at Flushing Meadows. After three grueling sets and the late finish, Stosur came back and gave Kim Clijsters a run for her money in the quarterfinals. Awesome performance from Sam.

2. Fernando Verdasco d. David Ferrer – This match was awesome. I can’t remember which match/matches were being played simultaneously, but it didn’t get the TV coverage these guys deserved. The two Spaniards started playing in the afternoon and battled late into the evening, neither giving anything up. Fernando looked like the eventual loser when he went down a break in the fifth, but fought his way back on serve and hit the best match point of the tournament. It’s matches like these that make me sad there’s a loser.

1. Novak Djokovic d. Roger Federer – The match of the tournament. Roger Federer has been the King of Tennis for a long time now. It’s tough for the King to give up his throne, but Federer is 29 and there are a lot of talented younger players out there. In the past couple years, Djokovic has been able to give Roger a run for his money, but for three years running, Novak’s US Open goal has been halted by Roger Federer. Not this year. While most of us believed Roger had things firmly under control, Novak came out fighting and played an incredible match to make it to his second US Open final. Photo by Emmanuel Dunand at Getty Images.

Surprising Moments

5. Foot Fault Déjà Vu – At least Andy Roddick didn’t threaten to kill the lineswoman. He just called her stupid. Come on, we all know Andy’s not the biggest fan of umpires. Remember when he told kids to stay in school so they wouldn’t become umpires at the Australian Open? I don’t think Andy’s reaction was all that surprising, even when he was still carrying on about it three or four games later. He likes to gripe and it works for him. The actual surprise here is how popular calling foot faults has become since the Serena incident. Watching the replay, Andy definitely did the first time, but he was called on it a couple of times, a real rarity in a professional match. It wasn’t just Roddick either. Several stars were called out for foot faults during the fortnight. It’s like the new umpire fad.

4. Donald Trump shows up in Wozniacki’s box – This is just weird, but I don’t have a category for that. What the hell does Donald Trump have to do with Caroline Wozniacki? He appeared in her box for the quarterfinals and semifinals. When asked about her strange new friend, Caroline responded that Trump’s agent had called Caro’s to get the seats. Was he just too cheap to buy good seats in Ashe?

3. Women’s Final Doesn’t Even Touch the 1 Hour Mark – This was really hard to watch. I like Vera Zvonareva and she’s come such a long way, but Kim stormed through this match. After the great Federer/Djokovic match from the day session, the women’s final was a real disappointment. Vera had played so well over the last two weeks, we all had high hopes she could take the final to three sets. It’s no surprise Kim won, but the way she won was pretty shocking.

2. Novak Djokovic wins a 5 set semifinal against Roger Federer – If you watch the playback of the end of this match, no one was more surprised about Novak Djokovic’s win than Novak Djokovic. The guy stood there in shock for an unsettling amount of time. Going into this semifinal, everyone was pretty certain Roger would come out on top. Don’t lie, you thought Roger would win. This surprising win also gave Djokovic back the number 2 spot in the rankings.

1. Victoria Azarenka faints during her match – Brad Gilbert was adamant that Victoria Azarenka would storm her way through the draw and win the whole thing. Bad luck, Brad. Vika gave us the most shocking moment of the tournament by fainting in her second round match. The secrecy that followed the event made it even more mysterious and enthralling. Finally, Vika explained she had fallen in the gym the day before and was suffering from a minor concussion. Talk about bad luck.

Photo by Al Bello at Getty Images.

Upsets

5. Beatrice Capra d. Aravane Rezai – Beatrice Capra isn’t even a professional tennis player. Let me say that again, Trice is not a professional. I wasn’t aware that non-professionals could even enter the US Open. However, this 18 year old certainly proved she deserved the spot, beating 18th seed Aravane Rezai en route to the third round. If she had beaten Maria Sharapova, she probably could have been the next Melanie Oudin. But, isn’t it better this way? Look where Melanie ended up.

4. Vera Zvonareva d. Caroline Wozniacki – Vera Zvonareva was this year’s Wimbledon finalist and the number 7 seed, so it’s not a stretch that she made it to the final. However, Caroline Wozniacki came into this tournament as the number 1 seed and US Open Series Champion. As Serena was absent from the draw, this seemed like Caroline’s best shot at winning the US Open title, or at least the easiest chance she would get. Plus, Caroline had had little trouble getting to the semifinals, easily beating former champion Maria Sharapova in the 4th round. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the 20 year old Dane. She’s got a lot of career left and her return abilities rival that of a backboard.

3. Janko Tipsarevic d. Andy Roddick – Wishful thinking may have driven me to predict another semifinal appearance from Andy Roddick. He’s had a rough summer. He crashed out of DC and missed Toronto sighting a mild case of mono. I honestly don’t think Andy’s been the same since losing Wimbledon last year. I think that was his last great push at winning a major and like always, Roger Federer was standing in his way. Roddick was the 2003 US Open champion, but hasn’t been able to garner another Grand Slam since. For those of us who love him, it’s rough to see him fall in the second round at anything, no less the US Open. If you’re like me and you’re nostalgic for the days when Roddick was on top, check out this article from the Sports Illustrated vault (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1029811/1/index.htm). Thanks @linzsports for posting this link on twitter. Man, hindsight really is 20/20.

2. Michael Llodra d. Tomas Berdych – Tomas Berdych was always considering a tour underachiever, until he made the semifinals of the French Open and did the near impossible, taking out Roger Federer at Wimbledon, en route to his first major final. He’s had an amazing year. The problem is, once you “breakout,” people expect you to keep up that level of play. Everyone, including me, had already set up the Andy Murray/Tomas Berdych quarterfinal when the draw came out. Turns out neither of them made it there. Michael Llodra may have turned 30 this year, but he’s never played better. I guess he odd serve and volley game confused Tomas because this first round loss confused all of us.

Photo by Al Bello at Getty Images.

1. Stanislas Wawrinka d. Andy Murray – I’m kind of glad I didn’t buy Sunday tickets to the US Open because this match would’ve made me miss my flight. I was shocked when I checked twitter and saw Murray was losing to Wawrinka. I was waiting for my plane in JFK and booked it over to the sports bar. Just as things were getting good, some jerky bartender changed over to the Mets game. Really, the Mets game? I just got up and walked out. Don’t worry, I hadn’t even ordered yet. Luckily I found somewhere to watch this match. Murray’s likely in the best form of his life and certainly the most talented player currently on tour who’s never won a Grand Slam. The guy can’t seem to catch a break. He’s made a couple major finals, but Roger Federer has always been there to stop him. Now that Federer isn’t the dominant force he used to be, it looked like Andy might have a chance. He WAS a better hardcourt player than Rafael Nadal. I certainly saw him making it to the semis, but Stan Wawrinka pulled off the shock win.

Fashion Dos

Maria Sharapova – I wasn’t sold on the Donna Reed outfit when Nike released pictures of their players’ kits. However, I did a complete 180 when Masha walked on court. The girl could wear a trash bag and she’d still look like a supermodel, but the retro turquoise number actually looked super cute. I liked her purple night dress even better. It’s just a shame she didn’t stick around to wear it more often. That being said, do not purchase either of these dresses from Nike. She’s an international tennis superstar and 6’2” blond with a modelesque physique. If you are a housewife who plays local league tennis and has some cash to burn, you will look like an idiot. Don’t worry, I would look just as silly. If you want to get some of Masha’s look, try her USO practice skirt. It’s got the same button details as the Donna Reed dress and it’s slate grey with turquoise accents. You’ll get a similar, but more subtle look.

Photo by Matthew Stockman of Getty Images.

Ana Ivanovic/Daniela Hantuchova – I feel like these two should’ve been in an issue of People magazine’s “Who Wore it Better?” section. They both wore a pink/purple Adidas dress. It was very simple and fit them both great. These two are arguably some of the most attractive women on tour so I’m sure whatever they chose would’ve been a hit. Anyway, no one wins. I think they both wore it the best. In this case, you might be able to get away with purchasing this one, but it’s still iffy.

Sam Stosur and the Lacoste Ladies – I pretty much always love the way Lacoste dresses their lady tennis players. Sam Stosur’s outfit at the 2010 French Open is one of my favorite tennis dresses. It was simply and timeless. Sam wore both purple and white versions of the US Open dress, as did the rest of the Lacoste women. Again, it was a simple, practical tennis dress with some cute details. Best of all, normal people actually could wear this and I’m sure Lacoste sold a ton of them in their shop on site.

Roger Federer (the nighttime edition) – Roger Federer usually looks pretty good. I mean he is besties with Anna Wintour, that’s got to come with some kind of fashion sense. When he unveiled the all black look at the US Open a few years ago I was thrilled. In terms of men’s tennis fashion, I’ve never loved a match more than the Roger Federer/Andy Roddick match at the 2007 US Open. Both guys looked super classy in all black. Anyway, I can’t say I was thrilled with Fed’s daytime choice this year, but I’m a big fan of the night kit. Instead of an all black kit, like he’s worn for the last couple of years, he went for an all navy look. I recently expanded to wearing navy from all black so I’m a big fan of the look. It’s a twist on a classic. Plus his clothes always fit immaculately.

Rafa Nadal (also the nighttime edition) – I don’t think I’ve ever praised Nadal’s fashion before. Honestly, I took an early dislike to the guy because he wore Capri pants and tank tops. In case you’re wondering, men should never, I repeat never, wear Capri pants. However, he’s gotten way better in the last couple of years. I can’t say I was crazy about the neon green daytime outfit, but the all black looked great for night matches, definitely a fitting look for his first US Open title.

Fashion Don’ts

Nadia Petrova – Wow. Just wow. I don’t even have words to describe what I think about this dress. Was it some weird attempt to distract her opponent? Did a rainbow fall on her? Was she wearing white when someone threw up a jumbo bag of skittles? Someone, somewhere should have stopped this.

Photo by John G. Mabanglo at Landov.

Janko Tipsarevic/Marin Cilic – I realize there were significantly worse monstrosities than this all maroon look. However, I really didn’t like it. Either the shirt or shorts could’ve been maroon, no problem there, but for some reason, both made the look overwhelming.

Venus Williams – Again, what can I say? She had a different outfit for every match and every one was just as bad if not worse than the last. I got to see the black fireworks number in person. It’s kind of see through, has almost no back, and you can see the sparkle from hundreds of feet in the air. Lucky for us, it came in lots of colors, not.

Photo by Timothy A. Clary at Getty Images.

Novak Djokovic – The actual outfit was fine, but what was going on with the designs. It looked like Ed Hardy started his own tennis line.

Mama and Papa Djokovic – If Novak’s outfit looked Ed Hardy-esque, I don’t even know who designed these t-shirts. I’m sure you’ve heard, because they got an awful lot of press, but Nole’s parents donned t-shirts prominently featuring his face. I’m glad this happened though. It gave me the opportunity to remind my own parents that regardless of my accomplishments, my face should never appear on a t-shirt.

Players Who Reminded Me Why I Love Them

Tommy Robredo – The forgotten member of the Spanish armada, Tommy made it to the 4th round of singles as well as the semifinals in men’s doubles. He’s a cutie pie and seems like an all around nice guy. He may not be number 5 in the world anymore, but he’s too often forgotten amongst other Spanish players like Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.

Vera Zvonareva – I don’t care that she lost embarrassingly in the final. She showed heart and kept her cool. She made two major finals this year. Even though the commentators couldn’t let her forget last year’s massive breakdown, she proved them all wrong. Would it have been even better if she won? Yes. But, she’s a career high number 4 and donated her winnings to charity. She’s also got one of the hottest coaches around. Who wouldn’t love her? My favorite thing about Bepa is how relatable she is. She shows the emotions everyone else is feeling. If I were in her place, I’m pretty sure I’d be the same way.

Photo by EPA.

Novak Djokovic – Dude fought hard. And, for me to like anyone who beat Roger, well that’s big news. He was also basically the classiest loser I’ve seen in a long time. In addition to all this, he gave us some of the best sound bites of the whole tournament. I don’t have a bad thing to say about the guy.

Caroline Wozniacki – She’s adorable. The idea that this girl is six months younger than me still blows my mind. She did an awesome job of dealing with the pressure of being the number 1 seed. I was pretty sure she was going to win the tournament after watching her beat Maria Sharapova, but she played respectably all the way into the semis. Frankly, I’m happy to see someone on top who’s not Serena Williams. Wozniacki isn’t jaded yet and still seems to revel in each win. Plus, her ability to return pretty much anything astounds me.

Sam Querrey – He was the last American standing in the men’s draw. I think he really is the future of American tennis. I got to see Sam practice on one of the outer courts over Labor Day weekend. His behavior is really the reason he ended up on my list. I don’t think I’ve seen a player who was better with fans. He stuck around for a really long time to take pictures with everyone who asked. I’ve seen players spend extra time before, but they usually look like they can’t wait to get out of there. Sam was super relaxed. For some reason, I find the fact that he still says “you’re welcome” to be incredibly endearing. Plus, he played an awesome five setter against Wawrinka. No worries Sam, you’ll make the quarterfinals soon.

Players Who Reminded Me Why I Don’t

Gael Monfils – I don’t think I even have to explain this. What the hell was he thinking? This kind of reminded me of that time that the Olympic snowboarder was going to win the gold medal and then did a trick because she was so far ahead, ended up falling and taking home a silver medal instead. Not quite the same, Monfils had no real shot at the title, but he was actually up a break on Novak Djokovic early in the first set. Gael, you really shouldn’t showboat unless you’re up two sets to love and a couple of breaks. He let the match get away from him fast. What’s really sad about this is that Monfils is actually really talented. I’m not sure he’ll ever really live up to his potential.

Photo by Emmanuel Dunand at Getty Images.

Melanie Oudin – The media hyped her up way too much. I have no issue with the fact that she lost in the second round. Making the quarters last year was pretty extraordinary and I thought she was really cute. However, this year, all she’s done is complain about the expectations put on her.

Venus Williams – I find her incredibly pretentious and annoying, things I often think about Serena as well. Did she really need a new outfit for every match?

Teymuraz Gabashvili – Maybe he’s a great guy. I don’t know. I’m too distracted by the fact that his head is shaped like a lightbulb. This wouldn’t normally bother me because I just don’t watch him, but he played Nadal in round one which meant it was televised.

You Decide – Send me a suggestion. Which player bothers you the most and why? I’ll post the best response, which pretty much means one that I find amusing. Email me at achangeofends@gmail.com.

“Newbies” I Adore

Mandy Minella – I saw Venus beat her soundly, but she still stuck around after the match to sign autographs. Even in defeat, she was smiling.

Beatrice Capra – The media loved her. Like I mentioned earlier, she’s not even a professional. She may have gotten bageled by Maria Sharapova, but she definitely made an impression.

Peter Polansky – I love Canadians. He’s young. He’s cute. He almost beat James Blake. All great things in my book.

Ryan Harrison – The media jumped on this. He beat Ivan Ljubicic in the first round, which honestly didn’t surprise me that much. He’s 18, good looking, and well spoken, a real media dream. Too bad he didn’t make it further in the tournament. He did book himself a spot in this week’s Davis Cup tie though.

Andrea Petkovic – She’s not exactly new, but she’s only become recently popular. Petko’s personality is awesome. She’s funny in that great sarcastic, self-deprecating way, which is pretty much my favorite. She dances when she wins! The second I saw the Petko dance I was done for. She also makes YouTube videos, which are kind of weird, but I like the intentions. Plus, she’s got an awesome first name. 🙂

Photo by AP.

Twitter Storylines

John Isner and Caroline Wozniacki’s shameless flirting

Feliciano Lopez complains about the ex

Fernando Verdasco loves taking pictures

Dmitry Tursunov mocks his tweeps, albeit subtly

Brad Gilbert shares outrageous opinions on the GOAT

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