As Morrissey once said, "You have Killed Me"
This has been a stressful US Open. Between the weather, the warped courts, the men’s mutiny, recriminations that men are treated better than women, empty Arthur Ashe, the recurring roof ramblings and all of the court changes, Tennis Maryland sincerely believes that players, fans and officials will need months of group therapy to overcome the demons of Flushing Meadows.
While we’re all in this together, it feels as if the real battles of US Open 2011 have been fought off the courts. Now that we’re in semifinal mode, let’s hope that the stellar play of the next three days erases the memories of the last week.
We’re going to pick Angeliquie Kerber to upset Samantha Stosur tonight. We said it. That will be the last upset we pick in this tournament. Three sets, two tie-breaks. Kerber is already 1-0 on Grandstand and 3-0 on Court 17 this fortnight. If the match were to be held on Ashe, we wouldn’t give her a great chance. Stosur’s already won two matches on Armstrong, so she would have been ready to play in Ashe in a comfortable setting. Venue is always important in tennis. That’s why we’re going long and predicting Angelique.
In other news, Djokovic will beat Federer and Nadal will destroy Murray this afternoon. In the least shocking prediction, Serena will do a defensive linesman’s war dance on Wozniacki’s lifeless game tonight.
Tennis Maryland was honored to cover the WTA CitiOpen in College Park and the titan Legg Mason Tennis Classic as credentialed media, but we do keep an eye on our hits. After further review, we realize that we get higher-volume traffic from local news and events like the upcoming US Open Wild Card Playoffs in beautiful downtown College Park, Maryland. Much more so than a Gael Monfils exclusive or some other international incident. So, we’re going to do what Old Man Google says and keep with the mantra “All Tennis is Local.” Seriously, no soul searches our site for the US Open or Cincinnati results. We get traffic when the rising stars come out to play in or near the Great State of Maryland. Lesson Learned.
The Gulf Breeze was a Breeze for Taylor
So, here’s the scoop. The Senior Editor’s cousin, Taylor Fogleman, who played a plurality of the men’s contingent of the US Open Wild Card draw, will break them all down for us in yet another Tennis Maryland exclusive interview. He just doesn’t know about it yet.
This man was pretty excited on Sunday, for good reason
- We just like Monfils
Though still amateurs, L’il Tennis Maryland is proud of our work. Unlike L’il Debbie and L’il Lisa Simpson, we’re not exactly a household name. Yet, somehow, we finished the equivalent of a tennis reporting marathon for more than two weeks of CitiOpen and Legg Mason coverage. Everyone: volunteers, officials and grounds staff showed their tourney’s forty years of wisdom in making this tournament better than ever. We especially want to thank Kerry Bohen and the ATP media relations staff for treating us like the Washington Post rather than our hometown newspaper, the Crofton Crier.
It is time to get back to Maryland Tennis at Tennis Maryland. US Open Wildcard Playoffs in College Park, a feature on the Junior Tennis Champions Center, an update on Troy Park in Elkridge and a look at the Baltimore Tennis Patrons lessons are all scheduled for the days ahead.
But, until that time, here is some video of the Legg Mason trophy presentation and the match highlights. It was inspiring to witness Radek Stepanek’s reactions, who was so obviously shocked and over-joyed compared to past winners. The Trophy presentation video features a front-loaded cameo appearance on Stadium Court by Baltimore’s own Torbin Green, who was on assignment from ThisWeekinTennis.com. He’s also a contributor here at TennisMaryland.com.
Monfils demonstrates the collective feeling of the media tent campers
This is the first day in 17 that there has not been a professional tennis match played in the entire region. It’s freaking us out. Truth be told, it’s completely liberating. In the above photo, Gael Monfils speaks for all of us who camped out in media tents at CitiOpen and Legg Mason since July 23rd. Tennis Maryland even started the fun a day early by covering the CitiOpen draw in DC on the 22nd.
Sam Gore and Craig Kardon narrate the feed through rough weather from the bell-tower
Radek Stepanek’s full press conference is below, followed by Monfils. We’ll dump more files later, including match highlights and the big pay-czech ceremony.
We believe that Gael Monfils is a refreshingly forthright fan-friendly ATP player. However, at his press conference immediately following his loss to Radek Stepanek in the Legg Mason Singles Final today, Monfils lamented that he did not get a good rest after his semi-final win in the wee hours of the same day. He hinted that it may have contributed to his defeat. Then, just 30 minutes later, TennisMaryland.com found Monfils really tearing into the competition on Stadium Court. This is the exhausted Monfils. We’d hate to see this guy on 10 hours sleep. He’d probably kill a bear with his bare hands after the match. Enjoy the shocking exclusive video below.
After two rain delays in the first set, the sun is shining again. We got a chance to finally get to the press box. It’s a great place to sit during the rain, but not a great place for pics with an amateur camera.
View from the Press Box
By the way, we heard fans griping about a score-keeping delay all week. We watched the scorer and he is fast. However, he’s using what looks like a ColecoVision, and there is a slight delay from the time the buttons are pressed until it hits the board.
The Doubles Final was won by Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic by a score of 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), and 10-7 in the super tie-breaker.
The media tent is emptying. Tennis must be about to resume.
Un billet a Montreal, s'il vous plait
Je suis un Big Shot
Even Radek Stepanek was stunned to learn he'd be a Finalist
After last night’s weather-affected marathon win over John Isner, Gaels Monfils had better be a Big Shot today. All week, Stepanek has played quick matches while his opponents have grinded it out. Stepanek probably caught a lot more winks than Monfils did, so we are going to pick him to upset Monfils today. We got to know a lot about Stepanek this week, and Tennis Maryland will forever be in his debt for letting us ask him the first question of the first press conference of Legg Mason 2011. We also like Llodra and Zimonjic to take the dubs final over Lindstedt and Tecau starting at 12:15 p.m. Coverage will begin on ESPN2 at 3:00 p.m.
- Cahill’s got a few fans, too
Llodra is loving every minute of it
84 miles round-trip, 1 point. Priceless!
Idle time is the Devil's Workshop
- Ben Rothenberg made a great Drew Carey
Well, we couldn’t get to the Young/Stepanek semifinal in Washington this afternoon so we decided to hit the last semifinal hard. Then the rain hit. Hard. After an hour or so at the venue, we ran over and caught one point. One point. Then it rained and rained some more. Ben Rothenberg brilliantly hatched a plan for a spelling bee in the media tent. Loving competition, we signed up. We know we’ve been out of our league for the last two weeks as we studied the professional, money-making media from across the way. We had no idea how out-classed we really were.
Tennis Maryland was knocked out in the first round by the likes of Sergiy Stakhovsky. Twitter’s @MariyaKTennis took the Cup and DC’s @TennisRomi had to settle for the plate. With FIRST names like Thomaz, Sergiy, Alexandr and Jarkko, we never stood a chance. This made the Maryland Bar Exam look like a Scan-Tron walkover. It was the greatest professional-level competition of the night. Much better than that point on Stadium Court that we saw.
Vik Troicki was knocked out of the Legg Mason tournament last night by the Tree. Isner scared us a bit in the second set before ending Troicki’s very respectable ride through Rock Creek Park.
Isner takes Georgia's 15 Electoral Votes
It felt like an election night party, as the media swarmed to the monitor to catch the big match.
Vik Troicki prepares for concession speech
We’ve never seen Troicki’s adroit moves before in person and we anticpate a quality showing at the US Open for him, depending on the draw. We also can’t help but notice his striking resemblance to Emmy award-winning actor Aaron Paul.
- Vik Troicki
Trophy. See what we mean??
Look, we’ll never mention it again. Video of Isner’s win may be seen at the top of the post. Please note that the header video is All About Isner. If you’ve come to see Troicki, you’ve got the wrong video (Advisory).