U.S. Open Sunday, third-round recap

Sunday was probably the best day of the week and certainly the longest. Started with Hewitt-Ferrer from our favorite seats in Louis Armstrong. The first set was incredible, with crazy rallies and a 20-point tiebreaker. The stats were not great (even in the first set) because most of the points ended with errors, but they were usually errors at the end of 20-ball exchanges. Hewitt had FIVE set points, including a 6-3 lead in the tiebreaker, but could not convert. The point of the whole day came at 9-9 when a furious rally ended with Ferrer tracking down a Hewitt drop-volley and flicking it back cross-court for a winner. Ferrer won the next point to win it; invoked memories of Djokovic vs. Dolgopolov from last year. Hewitt put in a huge effort to win the 2nd set, but ultimately he had no chance to win 3 sets after losing the first like that, plus he had played for 4.5 hours on Friday. Ferrer wore him down and cruised through the third and fourth.Ferrer wins

During the third set of Ferrer-Hewitt I watched Delpo vs. Leonardo Mayer on Grandstand from the overhang connecting GS and Armstrong. Looked like an entertaining match, especially the third set that was another 11-9 tiebreaker. From what I saw Mayer made a valiant effort despite being overmatched by his fellow Argentine.

I made a brief stop at the outer courts after Ferrer-Hewitt. Watched the second set of the Harrison Brothers on 17 (I consider 17 an outer court even though I think it’s technically considered a “show” court). This was awesome. They won again, beat Brits Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins (14th seeds, I think) to reach the quarterfinals. Harrison Brothers could be the real deal. Great crowd for this on 17 and great excitement.

Watched the No. 3 junior, Gianluigi Quinzi, for a few games against a kid from Chicago. Quinzi won the French Open juniors earlier this year.

Stumbled upon a seat on the front row of the middle level in Ashe – so basically the best seat other than a box down low – so I watched the third set of Roddick vs. Fognini. Obviously a great atmosphere given that this is Roddick’s last tournament. It was a typical Fognini match (although probably a better Fognini than usual), with some incredible shot-making intermixed with some mental meltdowns. Fognini easily could have won this but played a few terrible service games out of nowhere in the fourth set. This was likely the last win of Roddick’s career, as he plays Del Potro next.

Roddick match point – http://www.twitpic.com/ar42td

The only thing going on (it must have been otherwise there is no possible way I would have been there) was Bartoli vs. Kvitova on Grandstand. Honestly, they took turns playing incredible tennis. Kvitova was awesome in the 1st set and dominated it. Everyone else who was there left for the night (this was probably around 8:00, meaning i still had 6 and and half hours to go!). I stuck it out on the front row for three consecutive sets of WTA tennis, and amazingly I don’t regret it. Bartoli (who I generally despise) was even better in the second and third than Kvitova in the first. She basically hit every single shot as hard and as flat as she could and never missed.

Two friends walked in after the match and saw me sitting in the front row while Bartoli was getting interviewed. Finding me at a WTA match is surprising under any circumstances; finding me at one involving Bartoli and Kvitova, minutes after the match ended, and with very few other people in the Grandstand, is something else altogether. I can only imagine their surprise.

The night session schedule in Ashe worked out perfectly for those of us without tickets: men on second (absolutely essential), preceded by a women’s matchup (Sharapova vs. Petrova) that screams “three-hour three-setter.” Adding to the good fortune, we even got a 30-minute rain delay during the third set of the women’s match! The result was people (albeit way fewer than we expected) leaving after the women’s match and before Isner-Kohlschreiber. Before the women’s match took forever, I considered best-case scenario was getting high up after the first set of Isner and then getting down low after the second or third set. Instead, got ticket stubs for high up immediately after match point. Walked in the main entrance, walked up the first flight of stairs to where the “good people” exit their boxes, asked the first people we saw leave (happened to be 3 people, a mom and her kids) for their tickets, and they gave them to us. $318 tickets, 5th row behind the baseline, at the very start of Isner-Kohlschreiber. In 13 years of working the Arthur Ashe night session (always with success), this was the smoothest ever.

The match did not disappoint. It was by no means an epic, but we got a five-setter and, as a result, tied for the latest finish in the history of the US Open (2:26 AM). Despite being infinitely less inebriated than most of the Arthur Ashe crowd, the three of us were in night-session mode. It made an otherwise-unwatchable match watchable for my friends and it made Isner’s performance much easier to stomach for me. Kohlschreiber was great in the first and fifth, played one bad service game in the second and third, and the fourth was just a weird set. Throughout the whole fourth it was so obvious Isner would win that I was barely paying attention. Then he played an awful game out of nowhere at 3-4 and DFed on break point.

Isner was actually pretty good in the fifth, but he was madder than I’ve ever seen him and it cost him in his first service game. Foot fault called on him when he hit an ace at 0-1, deuce. So instead of it being ad-in, Isner lost the deuce point then lost the next point to get broken. Blasted ball into upper deck to incur warning. Still furious, Isner held for 1-2 and even after winning that game he destroyed his racket to smithereens at the changeover and incurred a point penalty. That may have ended up costing him the match. He led 30-40 on Kohli’s serve at serve when it should have been 15-40. Isner missed the lone break point, missed one again at 4-3, and never could get back on serve.

In Kohli’s post-match interview, he told the crowd, “everyone here is really a crazy tennis fan.” So true.

Kohlschreiber wins

in the same Rolex Cellini Replica style as the team replica watches. I find the engraving far more satisfying, but would have liked to see a bit more depth to it. There is a little more branding on the PRC200. Firstly, Burberry handbags the 6 oclock sub-dial sports a basketball image in grey. Additionally, the pushers are edged with red (top) and blue (bottom), Breitling Replica Watches UK which is, to me, the coolest thing.