Monday, August 25, 2008

Day One US Open 2008: San Diego In Primetime!

Ah heaven, the sun is out on this warm early evening, and the first night session of the 2008 US Open is in full swing! There was a big celebration tonight of the US Open's 40th anniversary in the open era, with all the bigwigs and previous winners in attendance, and seeing those famous faces all in one place was quite a sight.
Following that spectacle, our hometown tennis hero, San Diego's own Coco Vandeweghe walked onto center court for her US Open debut. Only 17, she had to do battle with second seeded Jelena Jankovic, and though she lost, this was a blast to watch. Coco played rock-solid tennis and demonstrated a wealth of potential while keeping a positive attitude and huge smile on her face. Anytime she did anything good, the cameras cut to her mom in the stands, who was absolutely beaming with joy. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this San Diegan again in the future.
Now, as we gear up for James Blake and Donald Young, some thoughts on the first day's play...
For every John Isner disappearing act, there is a Wayne Odesnik (remember him?) 5 set slugfest. Isner, America's tallest player and biggest server, came into the Open with the usual fanfare and modest expectations, but today was a disaster for him from a tennis perspective. He went down in three sets to the 122nd ranked player in the world, Andreas Beck of Germany. We all have reasonable expectations around Isner, but this is inexcusable. If he's going to have any sort of serviceable career, losses like this in Grand Slams just have to go away.
On the other side is my favorite tennis journeyman Wayne Odesnik, who went the distance against Fabio Fognini, winning 6-4 in the 5th set. This is the kind of win that makes people your fan, and I am definitely an Odesnik fan. He's not going to win a Grand Slam, but heart and courage like his are a real treat in the tennis world.

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