Monday, August 27, 2012

US Open Day 1: Authom

Curtain Call

Player: Maxime Authom
Age: 25
Nation: Belgium
Current Ranking: 192
Today's Result: loss to Bjorn Phau (Germany) in four sets

Photo via La Nouvelle Gazette

Authom went through qualifying to reach the first Major main draw of his career.  He reached his career high ranking in May at 174.

My first blog post ever was entitled "Why You Should Watch the US Open."  Many of the reasons still hold true.  A few highlights:

The Climax of the Tennis Season
I love all of tennis's Grand Slam tournaments (which also include The Australian Open, The French Open, and Wimbledon) but there are many reasons to enjoy the New York edition in particular. This is the finish line for the Grand Slam season. All of the story lines which have been building since January will come to resolution here. Seasons will be salvaged, pretenders will be exposed and new heroes will be born. All this in a tidy two-week package.

The Democratic Nature of Hard Court Tennis
Clay court tennis - that played at The French - favors a certain kind of player. The ball bounces higher. Therefore, a player's power is largely negated. The clay court specialist is fleet afoot and predicates his/her game on movement and tactics. The grass lawns of Wimbledon, on the other hand, are the playground of the powerful. One can make it to the second week on the strength of a big serve alone. Hard courts are, at least in theory, the middle ground. Thus the U.S. Tennis Center is an ideal place to settle who really are the best in the sport.

Night Tennis
The U.S. and Australian Opens hold this advantage over their European cousins: lights on all courts. Not only does tennis look really cool under the lights but it's also wonderful for the schedule for the simple fact that you can fit more tennis into a single day. 

Celebrity Spotting
The stars come out for the Open and the camera crews are constantly panning to spot them for our oggling pleasure. Undoubtedly, some come to be seen but others have a more pure devotion. Robert de Niro usually makes an appearance. Can't get much cooler than that.

Golden Squid Report

Juan Carlos Ferrero (Golden Squid since 6/25/2012) - The 32-year-old Spaniard has not played at all since early July. I can find no info as to why he's not playing. His ranking is currently at #66, plenty good enough for automatic entry into the main draw. Does anyone know anything?

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