It officially gets underway this week in Atlanta but it all goes off next week with tournaments in both Washington and Stanford. In a similar way to how the French merges into Wimbledon in one quick swoop, it doesn’t take too much longer for us to hit the hustle and bustle atmosphere, bright lights and late nights in NYC! I still think there should be a slightly bigger gap between these to keep the players fresher but it’s not an easy assignment! On the plus side, we are spoilt for top tennis again during this period!
I personally love the U.S swing, I have always been a night owl so this is an easier time of year to watch live tennis than when the tour hits Asia, for example. I find myself in all kinds of trouble if I stay up or get up early to watch the action from the Far East! The Americans know how to put on a show too and at times it can create an awesome atmosphere which I find unique! Admittedly it’s like chalk and cheese compared to Wimbledon, but like the fans who adore both Roger and Rafa alike, I love both Wimbledon and the U.S!
So, the Ladies hit Stanford next week (it’s always a good field), Muguruza, Kerber, Petra, Keys, Azarenka and Sharapova are on this years entry list. Combine that with Washington having a men’s and a women’s draw and we hit the ground running! It is the calm before the storm in reality though with alternate tournaments in Montreal and Toronto the following week (the gents are in Montreal and the ladies visit Toronto this year). These are master series/premier mandatory events. The following week is the same level of event which sees everyone lineup in Cincinnati for much of the same. Big prizes up for grabs and big money with these back to back weeks! By this time, I will feel I have some pointers for the big one!
Then guess what? It is the week before the U.S, which sees the huge event that is qualifying, places in the main draw are at stake and a very undervalued event whichever slam we are talking about due to this. These boys and gals are very hungry! If you are lucky enough to be a direct acceptant into NY or indeed a wild card then you have the option of New Haven(WTA) or Winston-Salem (ATP). So plenty of action to get some last minute preparation in!
Bang, we are then there, ready and raring to go, Flushing Meadows is upon us! I have only made the trip here on one occasion to date, 2008 finals weekend (Serena and Federer)! I’m sincerely hoping that changes this year as I am planning a few days there! Live blogging for a few days possibly?? It really is a fantastic show in New York. The late night matches and atmosphere are buzzing and it’s not just on the Arthur Ashe Stadium that this is applicable to. The Manhattan skyline is also sensational! The crowd really get stuck into some of these matches and like at the French the players too if they feel they need a bit of a shake up! It is not everyone’s cup of tea admittedly! It is generally an event for your characters of the game who thrive in these sort of conditions and Razmataz! It is unique for so many reasons and a tournament that ticks all the boxes for me so let’s see how it pans out this year!
Party time is upon us!
Andy Del Potro