Highlights from the live US Open Draw Show broadcast on ESPNews:
Misspelled “Novak” in a brief graphic on Novak Djokovic.
U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe and U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez guarantee some bland level-headed U.S.-friendly analysis of the draws.
Five-time consecutive defending champ Roger Federer will begin against NCAA champion Devin Britton, ouch. And a much-needed cushy early draw for struggling James Blake.
Tough men’s openers (26) Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. Mikhail Youzhny, (4) Djokovic vs. Ivan Ljubicic, (26) Victor Hanescu vs. John Isner, all Chilean with (11) Fernando Gonzalez vs. Nicolas Massu, all-French with (13) gael Monfils vs. Jeremy Chardy, (3) Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet, (6) Juan Martin del Potro vs. Juan Monaco in an all-Argentine, (24) Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Fabrice Santoro, and (2) Andy Murray vs. Ernests Gulbis.
How does Mary Joe keep getting better looking as she gets older?
Live interview with Federer is a good effort, talking about the twins, being “only 28 years old,” traveling with the kids, etc. Good hair day for Rog. Says Andy Roddick was “never really gone” out of the top-level players, has improved and is moving better.
Everyone falling over themselves about how great Federer is and playing. Failure to mention Nadal’s absence. That’s a fail.
Now on to the women. Slamming on slam-less Dinara Safina. Talking up Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Pat Mac subtly brings up how all the top women are chokers.
Cushy draw for Safina in first few rounds.
Tough women’s openers are (19) Patty Schynder vs. Lucie Safarova, (11) Ivanovic vs. K. Bondarenko, (13) Nadia Petrova vs. Katarina Srebotnik, (32) Agnes Szavay vs. Shahar Peer, (2) Serena Williams vs. Alexa Glatch in an all-American meeting.
Sharapova vs. Dementieva potential meeting in third round; Williams sisters in same half of draw; Clijsters vs. (14) Marion Bartoli potential in second round; lots of weak sections in women’s draw.
Serena Williams comes in live having a really good hair day (wig? hair extensions?), props to her stylist(s). Serena says she’ll “do the best that she can do.” Video of Serena and Venus doing a funny dance-off against each other at the net while practicing for the Open this week. Serena keeps glancing sideways at the monitor while on air.
ESPN ends by touting what will be their first year of coverage of the US Open. This live draw show should be the first of many good new things to come from ESPN.
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