Tuesday, November 02, 2021

US Open 2021, Day 2

[Composed 9/4/2021]

Us vs Waiting To Get Into The Stadium

As is our habit, we arrived at the South Gate Enterance an hour before the gates would open. We were joined by a few die-hard fans who also wanted to skip the lines to get in. To occupy the time we came prepared with a downloaded movie: The Courier.

The Courier is a Cold War film about a 'normal' business man who gets co-opted into the spy business. I'm often disappointed by Cold War era movies because: (1) they can rely on a subtle, yet confusing plotlines and (2) you know how they end. The world can't blow up, because, well, the world didn't blow up.

And yet, the first hour of The Courier was absolutely delightful. The story sucked us in and we truly enjoyed it. It certainly made our time waiting to get into the stadium a breeze.

Matteo Berrettini vs Ilya Ivashka

Once past the ticket agents, we made a beeline to Grandstand to catch Matteo Berrettini take on Ilya Ivashka. Judging by the crowd, comments by the usher and general chatter, Berrettini's reputation as being the most handsome man in tennis continues to prevail. He even played some quality tennis!

One highlight of the match was Shira's seat selection. When we arrived at the stadium, it was empty and we could choose any general admission seat we wished. Shira opted for an upper row in the Southern quadrant of the stadium. Throughout the match, the sun covered more and more of the stadium, but we had a sliver of shade to protect us the whole time. Well done babe!

Novak Djokovic vs Kei Nishikori

Before the Berrettini match was over, we ducked out to see Djokovic take on Nishikori. We're pulling for Djokovic to get the grand slam, and this is one of the matches he had to win to do that.

As is Djokovic's way, he dropped the first set, but came roaring back to close out the match in a dominant fashion. The dream of a grandslam continues!

Ash Barty vs Shelby Rogers

While we were in Ashe stadium, we opted to stay and cheer on American Shelby Rogers take on Ash Barty. We'd seen Barty steamroll her opponents in the Western & Southern Open, so while we were hoping for a Rogers victory we weren't surprised when she found herself in the third set at 5-2, on the verge of losing. Shelby had played a fantastic first set, but had given up the second set at 1-6, and it looked like Ash was going to cruise to an easy victory.

Then Shelby managed to win her next game, making the score 5-3, giving us fans a glimmer of hope. We did our part, cheering her on and she managed to keep the momentum going. Much to everyone's joy, Rogers pulled off the win, making this the most remarkable comeback we'd seen in years.

Watching Rogers celebrate, you'd think she'd won the whole tournament. Good for her, this was an impressive victory and it was a true pleasure to watch it unfold.

Alexander Zverev vs Jack Sock

Immediately following the elation of the Rogers match, fellow American Jack Sock had his work cut out for him. He was facing number three in the world, Alexander Zverev. While Sock has earned his reputation as a doubles star, we couldn't recall any recent success he's had as a singles player.

And yet, for the first set of the match, Sock was absolutely on fire. He played the tennis of his life, delivering a shock-and-awe form of tennis that left Zverev stunned.

Alas, he couldn't keep the momentum going. Early in the second set he appeared to get injured. He limped his way through the second set and finally retired during the third set. We were sorry to see him go, but man, had he put on a show for that first set. Zverev said it best in his post match, on court interview :

If Jack would have continued playing the way he was playing in the first set it would have been done in an hour-and-a-half and I would have planned my holidays and I would have had a good time next week somewhere in the south of France,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “Jack is an incredible player. He’s been Top 10, he’s beaten me multiple times, he’s beaten top players multiple times. He’s a Masters 1000 champion and he showed it in the first set.

“He hit three-thousand winners and zero unforced errors in that first set, so when he’s playing like that, I’ve actually never seen that before. I’ve never played against anybody who was playing at that level, so I hope he can get healthy again and he’ll be at the top of the game very soon.”

Here's to hoping Sock gets himself injury free and figures out to how to play consistently next level tennis.

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