Top 20 Takeaways from the 2010 U.S. Open

  1. Without a doubt, two of the biggest opponents at the 2010 U.S. Open were the heat and the wind. Record temperatures during the first week approached triple digits. In stark contrast, the second week was much cooler. Remnants of Hurricane Earl produced winds gusts of at least 30mph in Ashe Stadium. Ball kids were chasing down balls as well as flying napkins.

  1. For a moment, winning and losing suddenly didn’t matter much when Victoria Azarenka collapsed on court during her second round match vs. Gisela Dulko. Azarenka was later diagnosed with a mild concussion after she fell during a pre-match warm-up.

  1. Serena who? Oh, right. The No. 1 ranked women’s player. She made a few appearances to cheer on her sister Venus, and got her feet wet (even the injured one) in the broadcast booth.

  1. We all know that Novak Djokovic is a bit of a showman. Now we know where he gets it from: His parents. They were both sporting t-shirts with pictures of their son during his matches. Hey, whatever works.

  1. Roger Federer’s father was spotted wearing an autographed RF cap from his son. I wonder if he knows how much he can get for that on eBay.

  1. In my quest to take a large quantity of behind-the-scenes photos at the U.S. Open, I stumbled upon this guy, standing in the Unisphere, sweeping up the gunk from the bottom of the fountain--clearly the worst job at the tournament. Some would argue that cleaning toilets would be a worse job, but you never know what’s in that fountain.

  1. Rafa: The guy set a goal, and accomplished it. His personal-best 135mph serve was icing on the cake compared to achieving his career Slam. And he didn’t seem to mind taking this van back and forth to the tournament. There has to be some irony there somewhere.

  1. Venus Williams: Her over-the-top outfits emblazoned with sparkly fireworks made a bold statement, but her game was no match for Kim-possible in the semifinals.

  1. Vera Zvonareva: The last Russian standing advanced to her second consecutive Grand Slam final, and didn’t drop a set until the final. She also didn’t have a prayer against Kim Clijsters in their 59-minute match. Kim told Vera afterwards that it took about 5-6 Grand Slam finals before she won her first title. Now that’s a champion—trying to console your opponent after winning the U.S. Open.
  1. Ryan Harrison: New blood. ‘Nuf said.

  1. Some were hoping that No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki would go on to win the title so that she could take over the No. 1 ranking, but it wasn’t to be. On another note, Donald Trump’s appearance in her player’s box was just that. An appearance. He called her agent to get those seats.

  1. Mardy Fish: I don’t know what you’re eating, but whatever it is, keep it up.

  1. Melanie Oudin changed the mantra etched on her sneakers from “Believe” to “Courage”, but couldn’t repeat last year’s quarterfinal breakthrough, losing in the second round. No offense to Melanie, but maybe the motivational mantra for next year should be placed closer to her head.

  1. Was it just me, or was everyone waiting for Ana Ivanovic to crash and burn in the first round? Her fourth-round run at the U.S. Open not only surpassed everyone’s expectations, it gave us all a reminder that just because you're down doesn't mean you're done.

  1. Was it Novak Djokovic’s fault that fans were denied a Federer/Rafa final at the U.S. Open, or did Roger Federer simply run out of steam? Tough call. In any case, you simply can’t deny Novak Djokovic anymore. The guy came back after saving two match points to beat the greatest player of all time.

  1. The rains came on Sunday just as Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova were facing a potential loss at 5-4 in the third set of the doubles final, and had to finish up the match on Monday. The extra time seemed to be just what they needed to turn the match in their favor, winning their second consecutive Grand Slam doubles title. They now have a 12-0 record in Grand Slam doubles matches.

  1. Esther Vergeer, champion of wheelchair tennis, was the talk of this year’s U.S. Open. I had the pleasure of watching her play, and was simply in awe. The No. 1 wheelchair player won her fifth U.S. Open title and is currently on a 396-match winning streak. She has the same number of Grand Slam singles titles as Roger Federer (16).
  1. Sam Querrey had his best U.S. Open result to date, reaching the quarterfinal in his second match (ever) on Arthur Ashe Stadium. An injured John Isner also had a respectable third round result. I think it’s safe to remove these guys from the up-and-comers category.

  1. Francesca Schiavone’s “Tweener”. Federer’s got some competition.

  1. For the third year in a row, the U.S. Open men’s final was moved to Monday due to a rain delay. Yes, building a roof over Arthur Ashe stadium would be expensive, given its size. But such an undertaking could create thousands of new jobs, and would guarantee a Sunday men’s final. Everybody wins.

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