Wednesday, January 17, 2024

US Open 2023 - Day 3

[Composed 9/2/2023]

Kicking off our second day at the Open was a match between Daniel Evans and the young phenom, Carlos Alcaraz. We wouldn't have given this match much thought, except we recently watched Evans play at the DC Citi Open. Evans went on to surprise everyone, up to and including himself, by winning the tournament. While it was unlikely that the 33-year-old, with two titles to his name, was going to beat Alcaraz, we were hoping he'd put up a good fight.

For the first two sets, it looked like Carlos was going to steamroll Evans. But in the third set, Evans found his game and managed to take a set off Alcaraz. Evans lost the match, but surely he had to count this as a victory in its own right.

Up next, we watched Jessica Pegula take on Elina Svitolina. In a counter-intuitive move, we left this match early to watch the closing games of the Andrey Rublev / Arthur Rinderknech match over on Grandstand. Why would one leave the main event to see the final few games on a less prestigious side court?

Because, strategy, that's why.

This maneuver let us secure excellent seats for the match that would follow Rublev / Rinderknech. Mainly a doubles match featuring Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff taking on Cristina Bucsa and Alexandra Panova. That's right, we left the Pegula match early so we could watch Pegula.

Sure, we had to wait for Pegula to finish her singles match, as well as have her "suitable rest" between her two matches. As expected, Grandstand filled to capacity, and Shira's chess-like scheme paid off. We had brilliant seats to take in the doubles match. Pegula and Gauff were in fine form, taking the first set easily. In the second set, they faced more resistance, but ultimately won the match. The atmosphere in the small stadium was electric, and whatever hoops we had to jump through to be there were worth it.

We closed out our second and last day at the US Open with night matches between Ons Jabeur and Marie Bouzkova as well as Daniil Medvedev and Sebastian Baez.

We were excited to see Jabeur take the win. She does so representing not just her country, but effectively the entire continent of Africa. At times, tennis can show a stunning lack of diversity, so seeing players like Ons thrive is a win.

Medvedev got off to a good start, and Shira and I didn't have the wherewithal to stick out his entire match. Sorry, Daniil, don't take it personally. Or, maybe do: we never doubted you'd pull off the win, so we didn't fear missing an epic upset.

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