18 September, 2011

Look Back, Look Ahead

When we left the bright blue courts and sometimes otherworldly heat of Melbourne at the end of January, there were some things we knew about this 2011 tennis season and others we had no clue about.  Now with the year's final major, the US Open, a week in the rear-view mirror, let's take a look back to look ahead.

17 September, 2011

Visions from Flushing

Although the US Open is well in the rear view mirror by now.  I've just had a chance to go through the literally more than a thousand shots I took during the tournament.  If you haven't been frequenting our Facebook page, a selection of my best/favorite shots from the Fortnight are up in our Facebook page 

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12 September, 2011

Finals at Flushing - 2011 US Open Men's Final Preview & Prediction

One more match.  Two Mondays ago this 2011 US Open was full of possibility.  Now, it's all history with the exception of the men's final.  Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will contend for the US open championship on Monday afternoon.  Here's how we see things unfolding.

11 September, 2011

Finals At Flushing - US Open 2011 Women's Finals Previews & Predictions

After two long unpredictable weeks, the de facto end of the 2011 tennis season is upon us, US Open Finals "Weekend."  It's a pity that in the greater sports universe, the US Open finals are always overshadowed by the first weekend of NFL games, because as you saw yesterday, the tennis is often electric.  Nevertheless, hardcore tennis fans like myself don't care.  My Eagles are on at 1 and Serena/Stosur starts at 4 or so.  Looks good to me.  I just know better than to think I can watch the finals at my local watering hole.

Tennis may have some major competition on SportsCenter, but our sport couldn't have done much better than these two finals matchups.  What's going to happen between Serena and Stosur, Rafa and Robo-Nole?  Read on for our women's preview.

10 September, 2011

US Open Semifinals Day - 3 Thoughts

Steal This Design - It seems that the US Open was inspired by Melbourne Park's Margaret Court Arena when they built the similarly sunken, circular Court 17 at the USTABJKNTC.  Well, when they finally decide that Arthur Ashe Stadium must go, I suggest that they again look to their Antipodean colleague.

08 September, 2011

The Halfway Mark - US Open Revisionist Predicting Men

What naturally follows a week of perfectly good weather at the US Open?  Well, of course a semmingly interminable bout of rain.  For this blogger, the best thing about the rain is that I've been able to catch up on sleep and this long delayed post will still be relevant when I wrap it up.

While Mother Nature gave this writer a well-timed breather the players, especially those in the bottom half of the men's draw, may not feel as refreshed by this unscheduled break in the tournament.  At this point, we're straddling the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, there are 12 men left in the tournament of the 128 who've entered.  With a week behind us and a week's worth of tennis in front of us (no matter how few days the remaining matches are crammed into), we re-look at the men's draw and do some revisionist predictions.

05 September, 2011

The Halfway Mark - US Open Revisionist Predicting (Women)

Monday marks the halfway point of the 2011 US Open.  It will have been seven days since the gates of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center opened to the world and it will be another seven (weather permitting) until they close.  The Open is a ruthlessly efficient affair, as I write this, 116 women and 112 men have been dismissed.  Some, like Conor Niland and Heather Watson are stories for merely having been here.  Others like Maria Sharapova and Juan Martin del Potro were serious title contenders whose quests for further grand slam glory were seemingly deferred, though perhaps ultimately denied, by the hands of fate and inspired opponents.

There will be time for reflection when the tournament's over, but now our gaze turns to those who remain, the 16 men and 12 women still competing for a US Open singles crown.  We'll pretend we've been right until now and help you fill out the remainder of your 2011 US Open Women's Bracket.

03 September, 2011

US Open Day 5 - 3 Thoughts

I took the day off actually attending the US Open today and experienced the tournament like the rest of the world, via TV.  Of course, the day I pretend that a major tennis tournament isn't happening seven miles from my couch turns out to be the day I've been waiting for all week.  Big upsets, barnburner matches and breakthroughs marked day five, here's Blacklabel Tennis' thoughts on the day.

02 September, 2011

US Open Day 4 - 3 Thoughts

Carlos Berlocq is a 28 year old veteran who's never been past the 2nd round of a major.  That said, he's a solid pro ranked No. 69 in the world.  Berlocq beat solid 70th ranked Spaniard Pere Riba in straight sets for a place in the 2nd round of this US Open and what happened after...?  Well, Novak Djokovic made him look like a rank amateur.

01 September, 2011

US Open Shots of the Day

Hey guys, in addition to tweeting and actually trying to watch a few matches, I'm going to be posting a few  pictures from the Open on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BlacklabelTennis

Some of my favorites from days 2 and 3 are up, I'll go back and make some day 1 selections soon.  Here's a favorite from yesterday, a celebratory Jack Sock, moments before his first main draw US Open victory.

US Open Day 3 - 3 Thoughts

Today, lots of thoughts about American players and how they fared today.

First off, Big John Isner should send all sorts of autographed college football paraphernalia or other gifts to Robin Soderling.  The 6th ranked Swede's withdrawal today (with the same illness that derailed his summer), gave the American 28th seed a much friendlier path to the 4th round; one that now goes through Robby Ginepri and the winner between Alex Bogomolov Jr. and a Brazilian lucky loser, Rogerio Dutra da Silva who only played 3 ATP level matches this year coming into the US Open.