US Open Series Tries to Reload with Sharapova, Venus this Week
by Sean Randall | July 30th, 2007, 10:51 am
  • 10 Comments

It was another banner week for the US Open Series, aka, the Greatest Road Trip in Sports. Once again, though, few top players decided to make the roadie last week and we were left with “stars” Frank Dancevic and Dmitry Tursunov playing for the Indianapolis title, and Anna Chakvetadze and Sania Mirza battled in the Stanford final.

I watched some of Indianapolis, but what I didn’t see was American teen Sam Queerey smacking 10 straight aces. That’s right, he hit 10 straight aces in a row. Forget Pete’s six straight years at No. 1 or Fed’s 23 straight wins in finals, Nadal’s 81 on clay, 10 straight aces might be the ultimate untouchable record. That’s ridiculous. Hitting four straight is next to impossible, but 10?

Of course it’s not that ridiculous when you consider who Sam did it against: Returner extraordinaire James Blake, who I’m guessing was standing near or inside the baseline trying to crush winners off those serves instead of moving further back and playing the percentages. Regardless of Blake’s strategy, I tip my hat to Sam, who should be well within the Top 20 in by the end of the 2008 US Open. Unbelievable.

Also unbelievable was watching Andy Roddick get dumped by the Canadian Dancevic in the Semifinals on Saturday. For Roddick’s sake, I hope the cause of his physical distress during the match was a bad tuna sandwich and not the heat, which really didn’t seem that bad (I didn’t see a lot of people in the crowd “fanning” themselves, a good barometer that it really is hot!). The last thing you want to do as a player is melt on a court against a guy from Canada. Either way, Andy should not be losing that match, and he knows it. Credit to Dancevic for handling the situation and closing out A-Rod.

While I didn’t watch any of the matches from Stanford, I did manage to catch the pregame intro on ESPN2 Saturday night, during which Mary Joe Fernandez praised the US Open Series for bringing the stars out to play. If by stars she means Chakkie and Daniela Hantuchova, well…

And so now after two gripping weeks of the US Open Series, if anyone cares you have Radek Stepanek/Dmitry Tursunov tied for the men’s lead, while Anna Chaktvetadze heads the women’s list.

Things look brighter on the women’s side this week for the Series with Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams scheduled to play in San Diego, so it looks like some of the stars are finally going to support the series, and not just by appearing in the commercials.

That’s not the case for the men, however. If you take away Roddick from the Washington draw it’s basically a bad event for American fans. What’s incredible is that the clay event in Sopot, Poland, arguably has a better field than its US Open Series rival in D.C. How the hell does that happen? Isn’t this the summer hard court circuit??

Washington’s top four seeds are Roddick (#5), Tommy Haas (#12), Marat Safin (#22) and Arnaud Clement (#30) giving the event four players in the Top 30 and just two in the Top 20.

Sopot has Nikolay Davydenko (#4), Tommy Robredo (#7), Juan Chela (#20) and Filippo Volandri (#28) as its top four players. According to my math that’s also four players in the Top 30, but three in the Top 20 and two inside the Top 10 for Sopot. So on paper, by the numbers, Sopot wins! And that shouldn’t be happening during the hard court season with a month to go before the US Open. But that’s the sked…

And if anyone reading this is on the Sports Illustrated editorial staff, lovely that you plugged Lleyton Hewitt and Anastasia Rodionova in your latest, July 30 issue, “Who’s Hot/Who’s Not” list – Hewitt “hot” for hiring Tony Roche, ‘Nova “not” for smacking a ball at some heckling fans in the crowd – but you misspelled Rodionova in the text. While you have it right in the headline (weird), in the copy below you have it twice spelled “Radionova” with a first “a” and not an “o”. Hope you guys add the “o” version to your spell checker as I’d hate to see you again screw up one of the best names ever in tennis.


Also Check Out:
Venus Williams Admits She’s a “Cheagan” When It Comes To Her Diet
Big Names, Big Matches Friday in US Open Tennis Series Play
Venus Williams And Maria Sharapova Are Both Finished For The Season
Venus Beats Serena, Joins Jankovc, Zvonareva in Doha Championships Semifinals
Sharapova Overwhelms Wozniacki For Second Indian Wells Win And First Title Since The French Open

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10 Comments for US Open Series Tries to Reload with Sharapova, Venus this Week

beerme Says:

nice smackdown-where r the stars?


funches Says:

I guess they were too tired from making the commercials to actually show up for the U.S. events.


penise Says:

who’s next to win that guy with the bra shirt?


Tom Says:

When you say “that guy with the bra shirt,” you must mean Dominik Hrbaty. That would be a step up for the Legg Mason as he is ranked #33. That would have given him the #4 seed in Washington. Hrbaty has a higher ranking than 43 (out of 48) of the players in the draw.

The way things are going, we are looking at a Ryan Sweeting vs. John Isner final.

At this rate, the winner of the US Open Series will have to go through qualies to actually get into the US Open.

Wake me when they get to Montreal.


Tom Says:

One more thing on the state of US tennis:

This website has a front-page story entitled “MaliVai Washington to Debut on Outback Senior Tour.” Next to it, they have a picture of Mashona Washington.

Can’t get no respect.


kamret Says:

I think it’s worth pointing out that two players made a great comeback this month: Arnaud Clement and Sania Mirza. Clement is back in the top 30 since 2002 I believe, and Mirza is back in the top 32 since 2005.


the kiwi Says:

i reckon its great to see venus williams and maria sharapova back.But some one who i have seen make a great improvement in the wta tour is ania mirza of india showing that she can get her tennis game as high as what maria sharapova could play then talking about maria sharapova at san diego being top seed must give her more confidence to play they were excpectin serena williams,ana ivanovic and justine henin but really excited about san diego this week cause my favourtie player is venus williams and is also is a three time champion after winning the wimbledon championships being like her sister serena what can go wrong.


Andy Says:

As long as we’re picking on SI for getting names wrong, didn’t anyone else notice the typo in the second paragraph above: “…American teen Sam Queerey….”


jackblack Says:

“Also unbelievable was watching Andy Roddick get dumped by the Canadian Dancevic in the Semifinals on Saturday. For Roddick’s sake, I hope the cause of his physical distress during the match was a bad tuna sandwich and not the heat, which really didn’t seem that bad”

Roddick was indeed sickened by food poisoning:
http://tinyurl.com/29tdwh


Andrew Says:

“The last thing you want to do as a player is melt on a court against a guy from Canada.”

Uh, way to diss Canada there.

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