Jack Sock – Drained and Exhausted
1. EASY IS HARD – WILLIAMS WONDERS
Easy is hard for Serena. She survived a second-round scare against No. 110 Kiki Bertens, and then thrilled the night crowd as she battled back to finally beat feisty veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands. She then downed Madison Keys and will now play (for the 27th time) an impressive 35-year-old tour veteran named Venus.
2. WITHERING WITHDRAWALS
The phrase “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” came to mind as 15 players – 13 men and 2 women – withdrew mid-match at the Open. Yes, it was hot and humid, but critics like Federer questioned players’ conditioning. The most scary withdrawal was Jack Sock, who fainted on court and had to be helped to the locker room.
3. UPSET CITY
It wouldn’t be a Grand Slam without some top 10 players falling in the first round. Men’s No. 4 and last year’s finalist Kei Nishikori lost (to Benoit Paire, Federer’s practice partner when he began developing a new return of serve tactic in Cincinnati), and women’s No. 6 Lucie Safarova and No. 7 Ana Ivanovic also failed to win a match.
4. MISSING MARIA
Maria Sharapova, who has won just one of the last nine majors she’s played in, was slated to be the No. 2 seed, but withdrew due to a leg injury. A huge advertising campaign with American Express had to be reshaped.
5. RAFA CLASSIC
In a scintillating Ashe Stadium match that we will long remember, Rafa continued his mid-career crisis and fell to the zoning Italian Fabio Fognini, who blasted 70 winners.
6. A GRAND STAND BY THE GRANDSTAND
Say it isn’t so! The Open’s most fan-friendly court, the cozy and endearing Grandstand, made its last stand.
7. FAREWELL, LLEYTON
Once a naughty kid who rubbed many the wrong way, the Aussie morphed into a celebrated sage and survivor. Lleyton Hewitt lost in five memorable sets on the grandstand court to his fellow Aussie and student Bernard Tomic.
8. FISH’S COURAGE
Mardy Fish led Feliciano Lopez in a second-round match but faltered in the heat. This week he courageously wrote and spoke openly about dealing with an anxiety disorder.
9. DOWN AND DRONE
Of course, the Open had many bizarre incidents this week, including Genie Bouchard falling and injuring herself in the locker room, and a drone flown by a 26-year-old science teacher which crashed into Louis Armstrong Stadium. No one was hurt, but the curious incident did make it to the Top 1,000 Most Bizarre Incidents at the US Open list which people with too much time on their hands keep.
10. THE DONALD
Pete Sampras once called the under-achieving Donald Young a “princess.” This week he was a considerable prince at Flushing Meadows. Twice coming back from two sets down, Young put in the showing of his career. Up next is a match against Stan Wawrinka, which will be tough work on Labor Day, but the American prince of this week’s tourney does have a win over the man – Stan the man.