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Meltdown of the Week


Players know Serena Williams will kick their ass if they try to get in the way between her and a Grand Slam trophy.  Little did Eva Asderaki know this includes umpires.  Asderaki got her butt verbally kicked after she penalized Williams a point against Samantha Stosur in the 2010 US Open championship.  Williams, down a set, had screamed, "C'mon!" while blasting a forehand to break Stosur in the first game of the second set.  Asderaki ruled it a hinderance.

Nothing hindered Serena during the changeover.

Watching this, I know why Serena became a certified nail technician.  It makes your hands so much prettier when you're making those "talk to the hand" moves.


On the Sideline

US Open: The Party's Over

After the love is gone at the US Open, all that's left is a promise to rendezvous next year.

I returned to the media center underneath Ashe Stadium to find a corporate ghost town of empty offices, dark hallways and furniture wrapped in plastic.

I was there to get my microphone, headphones and other gear i left stashed in the red locker they assigned me for the event. I could have left it there until next August The security officer who escorted me through the quiet site told me some media outlets do just that.

The scene, two weeks after the men's final, reminds me of what a whirlwind a tennis tournament, let alone a Slam, is.

Last year, the USTA coordinated matches for 256 players in the men's and women's singles draw (I'm not even counting the men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles draws), 334 officials and 270 ballpersons.  It juggled the demands of 1,587 journalists, photographers and cameramen.  It took care of the food, drink and comfort needs of more than 650,000 fans.  It sold 72,000 US Open T-shirts, sold 60,000 US Open caps and 4,100 US Open rubber ducks and frogs.  

All this activity, all these interactions, crammed into 21 days of qualifying and main draw play.  Or, in the case of the last five rain-soaked US Opens, 22 days.  There's a buzz and a feeling of anticipation each morning during the tournament, and satisfaction and sunburnt weariness each evening.  It's sad to see the place so empty and flat on a blustery early fall.  

Goodbye, summer.  Goodbye, spectacle.  Goodbye, US Open.  Until we meet again.

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