US Open Series Begins with a Wimper
by Sean Randall | July 23rd, 2009
  • 57 Comments

The six-week US Open series is underway, and you have to say it’s off the slowest start in its six year history.

The lone event on the Series this week is Indianapolis which suffered a serious exodus of top players including Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivo Karlovic. Even James Blake, who they hoped would replace Roddick, turned the event down, though apparently over money issues (now we see where the priorities really lie).

Indianapolis was once one of the premier events of summer. I remember watching Patrick Rafter, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker and John McEnroe and NBC.

The 2009 version of the event doesn’t quite have that feel and star power. Dmitry Tursunov, Robby Ginepri and Sam Querrey are fine players, but hardly the kind of ticket draws a tournament of such tradition is after.

Another tournament well off its heydays is Hamburg, which is also this week (the week of the has been events?). Hamburg of course use to be a Masters level until last year when the ATP decided more cash could be had by handing that Masters sanction to Madrid and demoting Hamburg to a 500 level event.

To its credit, the tournament managed to attract many of the B-level dirtballers including Gilles Simon, Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer, Robin Soderling, Nico Almagro, Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev. So a good field under the circumstances.

The quarterfinals for tomorrow look like Paul-Henri Mathieu v. Victor Troicki, Almagro v. Pablo Cuevas, Ferrer v Simon Gruel and Victor Hanescu v. Davydenko. The top-seeded Simon continues to struggle, losing second round the Zverev who partnered with Michael Stich in the doubles (they lost first round). Simon has just one quarterfinal showing since March!

So again, a slow, if uneventful beginning to the summer but in light of all the action and history we went through at the French Open and Wimbledon, maybe a welcome breather for some.

And with the schedule, the summer blues continue next week in Los Angeles, where again very few of the top players are scheduled. The names they have listed include Fernando Gonzalez, Marat Safin, Tommy Haas, Marcos Baghdatis and Sam Querrey.

Regardless, hopefully we’ll get some good tennis to liven things up in the tennis world.

Oh wait, looks like we have a Tamira Paszek sighting. Remember Tamira? Great backhand, great future, but she’s been on a milk carton the last 18 months until now. Paszek is under doping investigation for a substance she was using to treat her bad back. Oh the drama…

Anyone for Roger Federer baby watch? Nah, not yet.


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57 Comments for US Open Series Begins with a Wimper

tenisbebe Says:

Hi y’all. Well I was at Indy on Monday & saw a nice variety of talent: Isner, Gulbis, Dancevic, Baggy, (Gulbis and Baggy both played atrociously not able to get a first serve in to save their souls) but despite the possibilities, tourney officials was BITCHING about what could have been – Roddick, Ivo. JC, etc. Roddick apparently received a guarantee & although he pulled out, kept $200K (from what I heard) due to contractual loopholes which the TO’s were not happy about. I get that but these people need a serious degree in marketing. I have never seen so many opportunities passed up as in this excuse for a tourney. They are a 250 tourney – get over it & mkt what you have not what you don’t (A-Rod, etc). Bad mkting & a bad attitude add up to to bad tourney. Too bad because they will lose their sponsor (Lilly had a half-baked “survey” whereby you replied to 4 confined questions & weren’t allowed to comment & then were given a “prize”) & the city’s long tennis heritage will be lost forever. Have many ideas of how to improve the situation but the USTA doesn’t have an avenue to hear it – too bad.


Von Says:

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/news/20090724/Federer_becomes_a_father_of_twin_girls

Congrats to the Federers on the birth of their twin girls, and Leos no less!! I was hoping it would happen on my birthday, but they are Leos nonetheless, so all’s good. I’m happy to see some more Leo women in the world.

And, the tennis world breathes a sigh of relief that Federer will be able to compete at Canada, Cincy and the USO without any distractions. Way to go Fed and Mirka!!


Von Says:

tenisbebe:

“Have many ideas of how to improve the situation but the USTA doesn’t have an avenue to hear it – too bad.”

I would like to see the USTA become more proactive in tennis being promoted here in the US via TV coverage. Wish I could have been at Indy also since there’s nothing in the way of TV and/or live streaming to watch. It’s sad really that our own tournaments aren’t given some priority to be shown here in the US.


veno Says:

I’m so happy for Fed and Mirka, that all is well with Mirka and the girls…I love the names!!! Charlene Riva and Myla Rose.

Lol@ Von for the leo comment, but…I am a little disappointed that you passed up the chance to write: “I’m happy to see some more lioness in the world” !!!!!

Later all


scineram Says:

With the new ranking system the ATP totally screwed the smaller tournaments. The great legacy of DevilLiar.


Von Says:

Veno:

“Lol@ Von for the leo comment, but…I am a little disappointed that you passed up the chance to write: “I’m happy to see some more lioness in the world” !!!!!”

You’re right, I should have mentioned ‘Lionesses’ of which I’m one, but I was miffed at Mirka for not waiting for my birthday. LOL. Also, in case you didn’t notice my comment was written @ 1:32 am US time, which translates to my being brain dead, and ‘Leos’ was all I could think of at the moment. I did notice a correlation with the babies names to Fed’s though, i.e., CRF, and MRF — the parents ensured that the ‘RF’ insignia remained in tact. ha ha.

Veno: Enjoy your trip back home tomorrow and I hope you’ll be abstaining this evening from the Sangria so that you’ll catch your flight. LOL. When you return to Holland, I hope you’ll continue to grace us with your insightful posts.

BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask you, how big are the Kraijceks and Robin Haase in your country? I haven’t seen Haase play for quite a while, but was impressed with what little I saw of him in the early part of ’08.


SG Says:

I think Sean indirectly touched on an issue that has made Indianapolis less attractive to the elite players. Fact is, the majority of the elite players aren’t American anymore. From the early 70′s right through to the early 00′s, there has pretty much always been a heavy American tennis presence in upper end of the tennis rankings. Without this dominant American presence, things have really changed a lot. With the exception of a resurgent Andy Roddick, the American tennis landscape looks something like the Sahara Desert. Europeans would have an interest in playing Indianapolis if there was a top draw there. The only realistic way for this to happen is if there is some heavy American presence within the upper echelons of the sport. If this doesn’t happen, Indy will remain a second tier tournament.


tenisbebe Says:

Von says: “I would like to see the USTA become more proactive in tennis….It’s sad really that our own tournaments aren’t given some priority to be shown here in the US.” The cameras were there for today’s & the weekend TV coverage. Truly Von, to me it is much more than the lack of TV coverage for the early rounds: the lack of promotion in outlying areas, particularly in cities a couple hours away; no signage whatsoever; no free parking (Cincy, IW, Miami all have free pkg to main a few); unsatisfying program (ex: under “Player Bio’s their were 7 out of a field of 32). I could go on and one but this will suffice.

scineram Says: “With the new ranking system the ATP totally screwed the smaller tournaments. The great legacy of DevilLiar.” Well at least it’s clearer to the fans. The new system discourages appearance fees & many have expressed their dislike of these fees in the past. The TD’s need to get with the 21st century & begin by using cost-effective tools now available to get their message out.


jane Says:

Von – did you know that Safin will play an exhibition match with Sampra in L.A.?! I hope it’s televised or on streaming, as I’d really like to see these two play again, perhaps one last time.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – saw Frank practice & play on Monday & talked briefly with his wife. I’d forgotten what a fluid game he has – very nice to watch. He had a great outfit on as well, schnazzy.


jane Says:

tenisbebe – YAY Dancevic just beat Tursonov! Oh how cool that you got to see the practice/talk to his wife. He does have a nice game when all is clicking, doesn’t he?


Fed is GOAT Says:

Its no surprise to see a weak field in these events in the US. the players fields in 250 events anywhere are always rather thin. Even 500 events. The top 50 or so players are already quite busy playing the slams and the 1000 events. Not much time or energy left for these.

They should have fewer 1000 manadatory events. Perhaps they could streamline it to keep one 1000 event a week before each slam as a tune up, so just 4 1000 events (including one on grass). That way there are 4 slams, and 4 1000 events, year end masters – more time also for Davis cup. Then the 500 and 250 events will attract more players. Having 8 mandatory events a year should be plenty.

Just doesn’t make sense to have no 1000 event before the AO or Wimbledon, and 2 each before French and USO. Plus the 2 after AO – they are really in the middle of nowhere. It would be better to have the AO in March, with the US masters tournaments before that – weather wise also it will be better all around.

But I guess the TV schedules dominate everything…


Von Says:

jane: Yes, I know about the Safin/Sampras match in LA. Don’t hold your breath on the live streaming though, since they’ve never broadcasted those exhos previously, and I’m thinking they’ll run true to form this time also.

I was just going to write a post to you on Dancevic. I was rooting for him to beat Tursunov, but I’ll be rooting for the Americans if he should meet them in the SF or finals.

BTW, at 4:00 and 7:00 pm today, ESPN2 will be broadcasting two (2) QFs matches, tomorrow @ 1:30 pm and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Check your local listings everyone.


jane Says:

FiG – you make some good points about scheduling and the tour; I agree with this suggestion, especially the bit about adding a 1000 event before the AO and Wimbledon:

“they could streamline it to keep one 1000 event a week before each slam as a tune up, so just 4 1000 events (including one on grass). That way there are 4 slams, and 4 1000 events, year end masters – more time also for Davis cup. Then the 500 and 250 events will attract more players. Having 8 mandatory events a year should be plenty”

I have to say, though, that I usually enjoy both IW and Miami, as well as the clay Masters. So it’d be tough to get rid of these or streamline. But on the other hand, it would/could cut down on player injuries etc if they weren’t “mandated” to play so much.


jane Says:

Von,

I’ll be a bit torn if Dancevic plays Querrey: on the one hand, it’s nice to see a compatriot do well, but on the other, Querrey could use a break-through and a title this season.

BTW, I noticed Isner is playing but I thought you mentioned he’d been diagnosed with mono. Maybe I missed something there…


Von Says:

jane: I’m not going to lie, I want Sam to win the whole, thing, and I mean the whole thing. C’mon Sambo! LOL.

Yes, Isner seems to have gotten back on track after his bout with mono, but he was off the tour for quite a while in the early part of this year, and am happy to see he’s playing again.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Ya, the playing schedule is too much. Especially if a player goes deep in every tournaments, it is killing. in 2006, federer played only 17 tournaments, but made the finals of 16 – had to play 97 matches that year (92-5), from just 17 tournaments! 97 matches is too many. The rankings could 5 tournaments outside of the 9 masters (now its 8), 4 slams and year end masters. So even its difficult to even play the 5 tournaments outside of masters and slams if you go deep in each.

With 4 slams, 4 masters, 1 year end masters, pick the next 5 or 6 results for all players – that way players are mandated to play only 9 tournaments, and only 14 or 15 will count for ranking. That way players going deep into every tournament can play 14 or 15 tournaments (will still play 70 or 80 matches in a year), the others can play more tournaments, rankings will still be largely determined by the slams and masters. And slams are best of 5 matches – some one like Federer playing in all 4 finals ends up playing 28 best of 5 matches almost every year. That’s pretty taxing.

And what’s the rationale for not having a masters tournament on grass?? And why not a masters before the AO? Its just so arbitrary.


Fed is GOAT Says:

The post got messed up, but you get the point!


tenisbebe Says:

jane – Dancevic beat Tursonov-vundava! Didn’t get to see it as don’t have TC. Good going for him! He has a lovely game, I’d forgotten as haven’t seen him on the telly very often nor in a long time. Hope they show his match tomorrow & he wears his creme & mandarin orange gear. His wife is attractive & a nice gal.

Got a “Samarai Sam” headband from the Sam gang. They are a very boisterous group.

Don’t know who I’ll root for in the SF’s tomorrow – have to see.


tenisbebe Says:

FiG says: “Its no surprise to see a weak field in these events in the US. the players fields in 250 events anywhere are always rather thin. Even 500 events. The top 50 or so players are already quite busy playing the slams and the 1000 events. Not much time or energy left for these.”

Absolutely, and there’s no shame in not having a top 10 player in the 250 events – it just has to be marketed properly. I for one enjoy seeing the lower ranked players in these events, going deep and having a chance at a title. Many players never get to be top-10 or 20, that’s an elite group, but I still enjoy seeing them play if it’s a competitive match. Other sports (golf) have a number of lower level pro tournaments/events where they also can’t expect the elite players to participate.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘tenisbebe Says:

Got a “Samarai Sam” headband from the Sam gang. They are a very boisterous group.’

First J-Block and now this??? James and Sam need to control these freaks. somehow Williams sisters and Roddick seem to have escaped this silliness and they are the ones posting much better results than these two.


tenisbebe Says:

Well also the Aussie “fan-addicts” & others. I enjoy the fans getting into the matches. At Cincy, I encourage my section to make some noise for their favorite. It’s not a funeral after all :-)

Congrats to Sam on his win!


Skorocel Says:

“To its credit, the tournament managed to attract many of the B-level dirtballers including Gilles Simon, Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer, Robin Soderling, Nico Almagro, Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev. So a good field under the circumstances.”

B-level? I wouldn’t quite say so…


Kimmi Says:

Great for Dancevic. A win over Tursunov number 1 seed must have given him some confidence. He is playing well again this year, can he make another step to the final

..apparently he did the same this he did in 2007..LOL..driving from Niagara fall, picking up his girl friend on the way..he must have followed the kucky star again. Can he do what he did in 2007 ? it seem to be working so far…good luck Dancevic!!!


Kimmi Says:

Wow..a lot of typos. should read..

..apparently he did the same thing he did in 2007..LOL..driving from Niagara fall, picking up his girl friend on the way..he must have followed the lucky star again. Can he do what he did in 2007 ? it seem to be working so far…good luck Dancevic!!!


Kimmi Says:

Who is this Qualifier – Pueblo Cuevas, never heard of him before but he is making a great run in Humburg so far. He beat # 9 seed Melzer, # 8 seed Kohls, # 14 seed Almagro who beat Soderling and he gets to play # 13 seed PH Mathieu in the semi..I love these stories, an underdog making his way to the top.

Well.. I will definetly be rooting for him tomorrow. Great stuff.


jane Says:

tenisbebe says, “and there’s no shame in not having a top 10 player in the 250 events…I for one enjoy seeing the lower ranked players in these events, going deep and having a chance at a title.”

Well said – I’ll second the motion! It’s good to see more that the top 1-30 players. For instance, Frankie!

So it’s Frankie vs. Sam in the semi. Whichever one of these two wins their match, I’d like to see him go on and get the title.


jane Says:

typo: more “than”.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – yes, for a change, it’s great to see the lower ranked guys in “televised” events where they have a chance to show their game (and not get bounced in the first couple rounds).

Are you watching the Isner/Odesnik match? John looks spent but he is hanging in there. Have been impressed with how Wayne has returned the big guys serve but not so with John’s returns.


Kimmi Says:

Disappointing finish from the qualifier Cuevas, especially on the final set were he came back from 1-5 to level the set to 5-5..he then played a very poor game to get broken again and gave Mathieu the confidence he needed to close out the match.

Oh well..he should be positive though for the way he played the whole week and hopeful it will help him to improve his ranking. He definitely played better than his ranking projects.


margot Says:

von: Agree, gr8 to see more lionesses in the world! Am a crab myself which means I crawl along the sea bed biting people’s ankles….which indeed I do…..


Von Says:

Margot:

Glad to see you’re back and welcome! I missed you and your dry humour. also, i’m thrilled to know you appreciate the lionesses. I appreciate the ankle-biters too — they keep us in line.

Well, I guess our boy Andy M. is either working hard or hardly working, as I haven’t seen anything in the way of news recently, so I’m thinking that’s a good thing and all’s well at his end. My other little guy has been recuperating from his Wimby injury and I’m hoping he’ll be fine again in time for Canada, Cincy and the USO.

BTW, I saw your post on the other thread with respect to those wonderful stats of some players; I tuned out after a few days. Catch ya later.


margot Says:

von: Hi and thankyou! Good to be back. Agree and can’t wait for new hardcourt season. Andy M turned up playing for the North of Scotland in the county Championships at Eastbourne! They were due for relegation. Their opponents must’ve been a bit shocked. In spite of Andy winning his matches they still lost, which was OK I think, but gr8 he showed up for them. Very quiet about Andy R but I think I’ve read he’s making a good recovery and will certainly be fit for the USOpen. Please let’s have a different champ there! BFN.


tenisbebe Says:

ANYONE – can you post a link to where I can stream the Indy matches? Thanks


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Sorry, I’m in the same boat as you are with respect to Indy. ESPN2 was supposed to air one SF but they have car racing on due to that being delayed by rain. Anyway, keep checking maybe ESPN2 will show the Indy tennis after the car race.


Kimmi Says:

Has anyone been watching Hamburg today?

The two semi final matches were great. I certainly enjoyed them. Ferrer failed to serve for the set on both sets, Davydenko was just too good in the end. I think this is the tourney for Davydenko to lose now. It’s good to see him back…he needs to get back to the top 10 where he belongs.


tenisbebe Says:

Von – re: Indy. I saw the ticker at the bottom of ESPN2 at 1:30pm that said nothing about rain but that it was being moved to ESPN Classic (which I don’t receive). They are currently showing the Brickyard qualifying…arrrrrgh. So it’s not raining. We’ve had storms here on and off all day so wasn’t sure. Perhaps Dan Martin will enlighten us soon.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – didn’t see Hamburg this a.m. but am going to watch the replays – can’t watch both so which would you recommend? Thanks in advance.

I will be rooting for Mathieu tomorrow as he hasn’t been the same since the DC loss. Either way, enjoy!


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Yes, I saw that after I wrote my post, but they were showing Rodeo on ESPN Classic when I tuned in. I also heard the commentator on ESPN2 state that the matches can be seen at midnight tonight on ESPN2. The Tennis Channel will be airing at least one SF at 4:00 pm, so I’ll be watching. What a pity you don’t receive the Tennis Channel. today I saw the Hamburg SF. I would like to see either PHMathieu or Davydenko win a title, but more so PHM for his confidence.


Kimmi Says:

Tenisbebe:”can’t watch both so which would you recommend?”

Both matches had a little suspense if you watch them live, Davydenko can hit the ball so early with great angles. But since you know the results and you will be rooting for Mathieu tomorrow, maybe you will enjoy his match. He showed some grit even after been a set and a break down…

I was disappointed because Cueva was playing so well in a set and a half… he even tried to pull a great comeback but was not to be in the end, the guy has a great kick serve and great backhand.


Kimmi Says:

I just saw the results, Dancevic lost to Querry. Aaarg ! easy straight set…Frankie did a great tornament though, semifinal showing is good… beating no 1 seed on the way. I think Querry will win this one.


tenisbebe Says:

Von says: “I also heard the commentator on ESPN2 state that the matches can be seen at midnight tonight on ESPN2.” Thanks Von! They were not on live streaming & not on ESPN360 replay so I will try to watch tonight at midnight. Muchas gracias!

“I would like to see either PHMathieu or Davydenko win a title, but more so PHM for his confidence.” Yes. PHM is my man for this tourney.

Kimmi – Thanks for the info – bummer about Frankie. Hopefully we will be able to see the final live tomorrow (no rain delays). Thanks again.


jane Says:

Congrats to Sam – I hope he can win the title now!


jane Says:

But then again, it’d be a nice win for Ginepri too!


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Hopefully, ESPN 2 will show the matches in your area; don’t shoot the messenger if it doesn’t happen. LOL. Today, they didn’t air the matches on ESPN Classic in my area, despite the bottomline, I saw rodeo. I’ve come to realize that their programming is not universal, but area subjective, hence we can only home that each of our viewing areas are synchronized to ‘tennis’. I’m hoping for an itty-bitty miracle to happen. I know, wishful thinking, but it’s all I’ve got right now. LOL.

I would like to see Paul Henri win. Poor guy he was the sacrificial lamb so many times in DC and it absolutely shook his confidence, therefore, I’d like to see him regain a smidgen of that back, while simultaneously improving his ranking.
_____________
jane: Originally, I wanted to see Sam win the whole thing because I didn’t think Robbie had a chance, (he’s been off the tour due to appendicitis) but considering that they’ve both made it to the finals and Sam’s got many more years to win tourneys, I’d like to see Robbie win. Send him good vibes will ya.

And, tenisbebe, I know you like Sambo, but please help Robbie also, by sending him some positive thoughts. Thanks ladies!


Von Says:

tenisbebe: You didn’t give me any feedback on the ‘Baby did a bad, bad thing’ concert. How was it?


tenisbebe Says:

Von – it just came on! That’s mucho.


tenisbebe Says:

I meant “Thanks Mucho”


Kimmi Says:

Yeaaah! Davydenko. Congrants.


tenisbebe Says:

Congats to Niko! Too bad fr PHM, Niko never let up and didn’t allow him to dictate. Is Niko back? Looked like it today.


tenisbebe Says:

Von – they showed the Danc/Querrey match last nite per your earlier post so thanks very much for letting me know about it as was not listed in any of the guides I checked.

I’m not married to either Robbie or Sambo in this final so absolutely will send both positive vibes :-) I was in attendance when Robbie won it in 2005 beating Andy along the way. Many thought that would be Robbie’s breakthrough yr but since he’s fallen off the map. They also feared ANdy would skip the tourney after that loss but I believe he was under contract til thru 2007.

The concert was great fun – thanks for asking.


Kimmi Says:

Tenisbebe, I think “Niko” is back…well, until he meets the top players that is, they are his “Achilles heel”. ATP 500 tourney is a big win for him, I think he will soon be back in the top 10…the commentators think even top 5 but I don’t think so coz Roddick and JMDP are playing very well right now.


Dan Martin Says:

My Indy entry should be up soon. It was a lot of fun being there and so long as the event is there I would recommend people attend who live in that region of the country. All of the 4 semifinalists seemed to be nice people in the post match interviews. The doubles semi was a bit of a joke, but Gulbis has what I would call a live arm. His shots just snap. I will post a recap from today’s action tonight and then end the trilogy with an overview sometime early in the week.


jane Says:

Yes, I’ll send good vibes to both. Anyone know of a streaming site for Indy?

Congrats to Davy for his first title in a long while.


Von Says:

Indy final is being shown on ESPN2 @ 3:00 pm today.

Congrats to Davy! Hopefully this win will re-ignite that self-belief he had in himself before the betting scandal and the injuries that have side-lined him over the past year.


tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – He certainly looked solid & the commentators thought he could get back into the top 10 given this performance. But I agree that the current top 4 are his “Achilles heel” & therefore this is a big win for him. Look forward to seeing him in Cincy.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – you should be able to stream from:

http://www.channelsurfing.net

OR

http://www.atdhe.net

Also it’s live on ESPN2 if you receive that channel. Good luck!

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