Tag Archives: Sam Stosur

An awesome 10-hour day at the Open. I make my Deadspin debut. And the Onion skewers CNN brilliantly

VictoriaDuval

Spent 10 hours at the U.S. Open Tuesday, and as always, it was awesome.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The U.S. Open, during the first week of play, is the best value in all of sports. For my $56 grounds pass, I got 10 hours of high-quality tennis, seen up close. In no match that we (my mother, stepfather and wife) watched were we more than 20 feet from the court.

We saw parts of 11 matches; no, I’m not going to recap them all here. Just a few general thoughts from a day at the best tennis tournament in the world:

— Upset of the day was Victoria Duval, a 17-year-old Haitian-American from Florida, who is ranked No. 296, beating former Open champ Sam Stosur, 6-4 in the third. It was one of those electric Open matches where the crowd gets behind the underdog immediately, gets distressed when she falls behind (Duval was down 7-5, 4-2 at one point), and then rallies the underdog to a win she had no business achieving on a normal day.
Just fantastic. And Duval’s backstory is pretty remarkable too; she was held at gunpoint as a child in Haiti for 11 hours, and her father nearly died from an earthquake in 2010.

— Favorite overheard conversation on a day when you sat next to so many strangers in such a tight spot, you heard everything: “Where’s she from? Romania? Where the hell is that? Oh yeah, I’ve been there.”
— Cracks me up how many fans actually dress like they have a match that day. Dude, you’re in the stands, leave the headband and wristbands at home.

— Besides Duval, was very impressed with American hopeful Jack Sock, who won, and a really talented U.S. played named Denis Kudla. Neither will likely win a Grand Slam, but they’re at least capable of making U.S. men’s tennis relevant again.
— As the day gets later fans are able to sneak down to better seats, and for an early-evening match on the Grandstand my wife and I sat third row in the “corporate boxes” behind the players. It truly is terrifying seeing a 130-mph serve coming right at you. Even though I’ve watched tennis forever, the fast-twitch reflexes and reaction time of pro players amazes me.

— Finally, the most exciting match, on and off the court, was one that went to a fifth-set tiebreak, between a Canadian and a Brazilian. You’ve never heard of either player, but it was on an outside court we were near, the fans were crowded around tight like sardines, and the screaming and cheering could be heard all over the grounds. The Canadian guy got a bad call late in the tiebreak and lost the match, and near-fights erupted in the stands between the two nation’s fans. (You know, Canada and Brazil, those traditional enemies.)
Then the chair umpire got booed loudly when leaving the court. Good times.

**I probably should’ve led with this, but I’m not the best self-promoter in the world. Many of you have probably heard of Deadspin, the uber-popular sports website that gets millions of hits a month and has become more and more influential as the years go by (they break many stories, not just ones involving Brett Favre and his you-know-what.)

Anyway, a buddy of mine named Brian Hickey works there, and asked me if I wanted to write something for the site’s “Tuesday Night Fights” section, where a writer watched a random brawl captured on film (the one I wrote about is above).

My piece got published Tuesday night; (I’m the second essay down) Pretty psyched about it. Let me know what you think.

**Finally today, you’ve probably heard about the Miley Cyrus sex show (I mean, performance) she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday.

Here, the satirical website The Onion brilliantly explains why CNN.com put the Cyrus video on its front page Monday.
This letter is fake, but it absolutely, positively could be real.

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The Jets in midseason heart-attack inducing form. A beautiful 9/11 front page. And Serena acts disgracefully in defeat, again.

Yep, just another boring Jets win to start the 2011 season.
I thought last year they caused permanent damage to my ticker. But apparently my beloved Green and White are prepared to once again send me to an early grave.
Sunday night they played so poorly for three quarters against the Dallas Cowboys, falling behind 24-10, only to rally and win, 27-24, on a 50-yard field goal from Nick Folk with less than a minute left.
So many thoughts sprinting through my mind as I write this, 20 minutes after the game ended.
I’ll try to keep them brief:
—  Incredible ability of Mark Sanchez to shake off bad plays and mistakes and play well. Kid was terrific at the end, again, Sunday night.
— Joe McKnight, welcome to the Jets. That blocked punt that led to a TD that tied the game at 24 was phenomenal. What an athletic play for the second-year guy.
— Jets defense looked terrible at times, but you know what, they made a few big plays. None bigger than Darrelle Revis’ pick of Tony Romo in the last minute. No idea what Jessica Simpson’s ex was thinking on that throw.
— 1-0. Fifteen more to go for an undefeated season (ha).

Couple other quick NFL thoughts from Sunday:
— When’s the last time the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions both looked this good to start a season? Bills were shockingly good, but maybe the Chiefs are just that bad.
— The Colts without Manning … oy. Long, long season for Indy.
— Stunned at how easily the Ravens slapped around the Steelers. Those two teams always play 16-13 type games. Enjoyed seeing former Delaware Blue Hen Joe Flacco do so well.
— If Week 1 is any indication, should be another crazy, unpredictable NFL season. Awesome.

 

** Saw a bit of the 9/11 tribute stuff Sunday. But this maybe the best thing I saw. It was the front page of the Des Moines Register newspaper, in Des Moines, Iowa. Just beautiful.

**That’s twice in a row now at the U.S. Open.
The last two times Serena Williams has been at the final Grand Slam of the tennis year, she’s acted inexcusably, indefensibly awful.
Sunday’s outburst and behavior wasn’t as bad as this incident from two years ago, when Serena threatened to shove a tennis ball down a lineswoman’s throat, but in losing again to Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-3, Williams managed to disgrace herself yet again.
After being called (properly) for a hindrance violation (Serena shouted out after hitting a shot she thought was a winner before Stosur had a chance to hit a reply,) Serena berated the chair umpire for the next few minutes, saying at one point “You’re a hater and you’re unattractive inside … And I never complain. Wow. What a loser.”
She also told the woman “don’t even look at me.”
It is disgusting that Serena Williams acts like this. It’s even more disgusting that John McEnroe and Dick Enberg in the CBS booth defended her (Mary Carillo tried to criticize her a little, commendably).
In the post-match interview with the media, Serena seemed clueless and completely unapologetic about what she had done.
I’m glad she lost. Serena is one of the all-time greats in tennis history, and has added so much to the sport.
But she is an out and out bully. And thinks she’s above the rules. And so I’m glad she lost.
Just disgraceful.