Tuesday, September 08, 2009

U.S. Open Notes

Thoughts from the first week:

* Dent-Navarro may have been the best match I saw. Both guys coming in behind nearly every serve. Dent serving in the 140s for much of the match. (His average was 121 mph. The stats are pretty gaudy. And the fifth set tie-breaker, 11-9, was great drama.

* Clijsters-Venus was the first time I can remember seeing two high-level players trade 6-0 sets. Really weird.

* Zvonareva's meltdown against Pannetta was the strangest choke-job I've seen in a while. Zvonareva lost 6 match point, but played each of them very well. (She might have been the tiniest bit tentative, but not by much. She just got outplayed on them. But the strain of having blown 6 of them caused her to have a total freak out. She took a bathroom break and was crying. She came back out and started talking to herself. She smashed her racquet. She tore bandages off of her knees. At one point she sat on the ground hitting herself. I was a little worried she'd take her shoes off, Bomber-style.

* That Melanie Oudin is something, isn't she? Her game reminds me a lot of Hewitt's. Short, fast, good counter-puncher. Very mentally tough. If she adds a stinging serve, that'll help her a lot down the road. Hard not to love her. Although--and I may be wrong--something about her vaguely puts one in mind of Tracy Flick.

* Am I now ready to reverse myself about Federer? Pretty close. He looks like he did two years ago--totally dominant, firing on all cylinders. Nadal still isn't himself, but if Federer keeps rolling like this, I'll take it all back.

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