Thursday, September 07, 2006

U.S. Open Notes

This has been one of the best U.S. Opens in recent memory. It's had everything: thrilling five-setters, improbably come-backs, a brilliant champion, and compelling, historical moments. In no particular order, some thoughts:

* The USA network's broadcast is so vastly superior to CBS's that it's embarrassing. When glamour players aren't on court, CBS will go to the studio for video packages about Roddick or Agassi instead of showing us the action.

* How great is Richard Gasquet? His marathon 4th round match with Lleyton Hewitt was one for the ages. Gasquet is a stud athlete and has all the tools to be great. If someone besides Nadal is going to emerge to challenge Federer, Gasquet might be the guy.

* I can't remember ever having so many former champions in the tournament so late: Agassi, Hewitt, Safin, Federer, Roddick, Kuznetsova, Henin-Hardenne, Serena, Davenport, Hingis. That's pretty great.

* Wouldn't it be nice if James Blake became the new future of American tennis? Could it happen to a better guy? No way.

* Let's hope that Federer pulls a hamstring right before Wimbledon next year so that Andy Murray will have a shot at winning the title before the weight of patriotic obligation crushes him the way it did Tim Henman.

* Vince Spadea = awesome, with a capital AWESOME. Reihan must love his flow.

* A word about the advertising:

-Sharapova's Nike ad is beautiful and clever, but has really, really low repeatability. By the third go, I was hitting mute.

-The Pay It Forward Liberty Mutual ad is so effective in its emotional manipulation, that I dare you not to cry when you watch it.

-Some companies make very strange choices for celebrity voiceovers. Financial companies have made good use of actors such Sam Waterston and Steven Hill. But why in the world would AIG hire Stockard Channing? Do you want to trust your money to Rizzo?

And ever worse than that is TIAA Cref's use of Fisher Stevens? This is not a voice, or a body of work, which inspires fiscal confidence. I just don't get it.

No comments: