US Open: Garbage, Grime, Heat, Humidity and a Pair of Curses

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OUR FAVE NYC BILLBOARD: “New York City, the only place where having a washer and dryer means you’ve made it.”

GARBAGE, GRIME, MONSTER TRAFFIC, RELENTLESS NOISE POLLUTION, SOUL-WITHERING HEAT AND HUMIDITY: Welcome to NYC. [Editor’s note: The Big Apple is the most dynamic city in America, if not the world, and it has plenty of appeal, that is if you can get beyond its downsides.]

THE CURSE OF MELO: Coco Vandeweghe has a huge family heritage in basketball. Still, it was a bit stunning when she pivoted during an interview and told IT that “Melo” (the New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony) was “handcuffing” the Knicks with his big salary. She claimed he was a “bit soft” and was “dragging the Knicks down.” A couple of months later when Coco came to New York she herself got handcuffed 6-2, 6-1 by Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is ranked No. 101, or 56 slots below Coco.

THE CURSE OF KOHLSCHREIBER: John Isner won his sixth set in a row at the US Open for the third time. If he gets past Czech Jiri Vesely, he could run into a curious pick-your-poison dilemma in the fourth round: Facing his nemesis, German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has beaten him at the US Open for three straight years, or playing a Swiss guy who’s all right – Roger Federer.

SAY IT ISN’T SO: A record twelve men, plus two women, have withdrawn from the Open. Today, Jack Sock, arguably America’s best young prospect, fainted and had to be assisted from the court…Yesterday, Serena suffered ten double faults. (And she has the best women’s serve in the universe.)…Serena could face three Americans in a row.

JUST WONDERING: There’s no way that Serena’s quest for history will be halted by her sister – right?…Who in the men’s game has a better lob, Murray or Djokovic?

TRUE DOMINANCE: Only nine players in the final 32 of the women’s draw – Belinda Bencic, Venus, Ekaterina Makarova, Petra Kvitova, Samantha Stosur, Victoria Azarenka, Sabine Lisicki, Simona Halep, and Caroline Wozniacki – have won a match against Serena, and among them, only Venus (11-15), Stosur (3-8) and Azarenka (3-17) have won more than one.

ARE WE DONE WITH FISH HEADLINES? Now that Mardy Fish has retired, are we done with fishy headlines, like today’s slightly contradictory offerings? Newsday proclaimed “Fish Tale Has Inspiring End,” while The Daily News said “It’s game, set and career for Fish, who can’t make a big splash.” Our fave non-fish Fish headline was the New York Post’s banner, which read “Mardy Party Ends.”

DARE WE NOTE? Beyonce’s former bandmate Kelly Rowland said, “Serena has the best booty…More power to her for flaunting it. I mean, I don’t know what I would do with all that ass.”

SERENA SYNDROME: For the first time in history, the women’s final sold out before the men’s final.

BRYANS BOW EARLY: Mike and Bob Bryan beat Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey at Wimbledon. But the Bryans failed to defend their 2014 US Open title when they lost to their fellow Americans in the first round. The Bryans, who were seeded No. 1, have won just one Slam in their last nine majors. This is the first year in over a decade that the appealing California natives have not won a Slam.

ALARMING COMMENTARY: After Andy Murray lost the first two sets to Adrian Mannarino, Mike Tirico noted that the Brit’s “urgency has become alarm. Now will alarm become panic?” But Murray soon did his best imitation of Jimmy Connors. Translation: Jimbo famously retrieved four overheads in a row to help turn around his 1991 match against Paul Haarhuis. Murray swiftly ran down three drop shots to turn around his match against France’s Mannarino.

ALL DRONED UP WITH NO PLACE TO GO: A drone flying from the east crashed into the southwest corner of Louis Armstrong Stadium during the Flavia Pennetta vs. Monica Niculescu match on Thursday night. No spectators were in the immediate area, and there were no injuries. The NYPD responded and is conducting an ongoing investigation.

NO DJOK: The most exciting thing about Novak Djokovic’s victory over Andreas Haider-Maurer was the 15-second victory dance he did afterwards.

NOT SO SURE: Reflecting on Mardy Fish, who has an anxiety disorder, ESPN said that the Californian was “not the first one to suffer from stress…He’s just the first to be forced from the game because of it.” Maybe, but we are not so sure about that. Of course, many players, going back to the days of Bjorn Borg and Andrea Jaeger, have left the game due to pressure.

ONE TRACK MIND: Donald Young said, “All I do is think about tennis.” The blasting American, who had been on a six-match losing streak earlier this summer, has now twice consecutively come from behind by winning the last three sets of his matches.

FORGET MR. ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, FLUSHING MEADOWS IS MS. ROGERS’ ‘HOOD: South Carolina’s Shelby Rogers beat Japan’s Kurumi Nara to reach the third round of a Slam for the first time.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The humidity is tearing away at the players’ souls…This is one of these days I’m glad just to be a commentator.” – John McEnroe

HEADLINE OF THE DAY: “Hot Coco” (after Coco Vandeweghe smashed her racket four times.)