US OPEN WRAP-UP 2018 PART II—EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT THIS TOURNEY, THAT SERENA’S TANTRUM OVERSHADOWED
If you missed yesterday’s column, which broke down the entire Serena Williams meltdown this past week-end, you can read it here: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/tennis-us-open-2018-wrap-up-part-i-the-Serena-williams-controversy. More about her to follow, but there was so much more to this last Major tennis tournament of the year, so let’s get to all of that already!
Once The Stranger I Love Most, Roger Federer, suffered a devastating loss in the Round of 16, my heart went out of this year’s US Open. I still have several thoughts on the proceedings, but not nearly as many as usual. Most of them are in my tweets, (which, in case you don’t already follow me on Twitter, you can still read there, @MajorCelebrity,) but here are some longer musings on the subject, in general, followed by some in order of play.
~ I’m sick about Roger not only not winning the Championship, but going out soooo much earlier than expected. I still can’t even discuss it, so…moving on.
~ The heat there was disgusting. I can’t even step outside in conditions like that! Not only is it beyond awful for the players, but also for the spectators. Even though ESPN (don’t get me started on them) kept announcing record crowds, the stands were pretty empty more often than not! And what about how inhumane the brutal conditions were to the lines-people? Those poor men and women were down there on the over-one-hundred degree courts, standing the whole time, in long pants and often long sleeves or jackets!!! I can’t even imagine. (Yes, I know it’s not the fault of the tourney, but they need to provide air-conditioning, or at the very least, fans. Or else the players will also be devoid of their human fans next time!)
And, according to the commentators, the humidity was even worse than the actual heat! They kept saying that it was especially stifling in Ashe, the main stadium there. Those are very dangerous conditions. I’m prone to heatstroke, and I had serious consequences two times in my adult life, so I know a bit of what those people are going through. Heat like that is actually life-threatening.
~ I’ve never seen this situation at any tennis tournament anywhere before—they kept letting people come in and walk around…during matches!!! That was so crazy that the ushers didn’t do their jobs..at a Major! So many players were annoyed by that.
~ This happens at tennis matches everywhere—the commentators always rag on the lines-people for calling foot faults. But that’s their job!!! They’re supposed to call them, even if it’s only once in a player’s lifetime! The ESPN peeps need to stop abusing those people for doing the right thing.
~ I’m always scratching my head over how so many female athletes there have pot bellies, when they need their cores so much in this game. How is that even possible?! And so many of both sexes are uber-hunched-over, which is strange since they’re world-class athletes!!! No one is worse in that category than controversial Aussie Nick Kyrgios. I think in his case, it may be because he’s always so trouble-laden.
~ I think my favorite match was the one where poor little Alfred E. Newman doppleganger, sweet Carla Suarez-Navarro, beat obnoxious supermodel Maria Sharapova. The crowd seemed to be thrilled, too. It was Carla’s thirtieth birthday, and she hit some of the most incredible shots I’ve ever seen! So, Happy Birthday, Carla!
Now let’s get to some action on specific days:
One of the best, and most pleasant, (if also a tad weird,) chair umpires, Mohamed Lahyani, did one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen done in a tennis match. Nutty but excellent player, Aussie Nick Kyrgios, was losing badly in the second set to a much, much, much lower-ranked opponent (Nick was #30, while the other guy was #75) in a second-round match. So, on a crossover, the ump got out of his chair and gave Nick what amounts to a pep talk!!! That is so not the job of an official!
Mohamed claims that he was just asking if Nick was okay, because he was so lethargic and not trying very hard, and that he came down from his chair to talk to him because he thought Nick couldn’t hear him from so far above the court, (where the umps sit.)
All that well may be, but that’s still not his job. And it was very odd. Worse yet for Lahyani, Nick went on to win that match, so everybody, (except for the Aussies!,) were upset with him! Many felt he should have been suspended, but he got a worse punishment than that—he was banished to the side-most courts to referee…a doubles match!
~ I was super-impressed with the play of young Russian, Karen Khachanov, (especially because we “Karen”s have to stick together.) He gave Rafa Nadal a run for his money, for sure. And then he made sure the correct fan got his Sharpie back, after he signed autographs when leaving the court, so that endeared him to me even more.
~ The ESPN idiots made such a fuss over the Williams sisters’ third-round match, and then Venus won just three games! Even with Serena rolling her ankle early on! Boy, did that fizzle out. (And the commentators just sort-of swept Venus’ big embarrassing loss under the rug.)
~ Let’s talk about Serena Williams’ beyond dreadful outfits. They reminded me of a little girl who just loves wearing what she loves, and doesn’t care what she looks like. Those “tutu” dresses of hers make her look so much worse than she already does. To paraphrase what one of my good friends said to me when we were shopping one day, and looking in a mirror, I was shocked to see how heavy I had become: doesn’t Serena have any mirrors in her house???
And those are not compression tights she’s wearing for health purposes, as she claims—they’re fishnets, totally for making one’s legs look better. That woman has told so many lies over the years* that I can’t believe a word she says anymore. Maybe she did have a blood clot scare when she was having her baby, but she’s cried wolf so many times that I’m not listening now. *[Note: Remember that one about missing the 2010 US Open because she supposedly cut her foot on broken glass when leaving a restaurant in Germany? But she couldn’t even remember the name of the place, and didn’t sue them even though she missed millions of dollars over the injury, if it was true, which I’m sure it was not. The truth is more likely that she didn’t want to go back to the tournament that year because she knew everyone would be talking about her threatening a lines-woman the year before with shoving a ball down her throat for a foot fault call!!! This way, she changed the narrative from “evil Serena” to “poor Serena.”]
~ I loved that Roger Federer not only beat the pants off erratic up-and-comer, Nick Kyrgios, but played some stunning points for the ages doing so!
I know exactly how to help Nick right his ship, but it seems that he listens to no one, so oh well.
~ All I can say about the late night third-round five-set match between #7 seed, and former Champion here, Marin Cilic and nineteen-year-old #45 in the world, Aussie Alex de Minaur is “Wow!!!” It literally took my breath away at times! (But I’m glad that the older guy persevered, especially since most of the time, it looked like he would not.)
But ESPN commentators Jason Goodall and Darren Cahill were disgusting in their rooting for Alex! On-air personnel are supposed to be totally impartial. I often see their true colors come out when Americans are playing, but this was ridiculous cheering for an Aussie over a Croat. Stay out of it, guys!!!
The heat got to Roger, in a big way. He could not even get a first serve in! He said later that he could not get a breath on the court. And post-match, he couldn’t even make it to the locker room! He had to go right into a little holding room right off the court, and have medical personnel come tend to him. I told you that heat was dangerous!!!
I like new-ish commentator, (and still current player,) Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and you know how critical I am of not-bright teeth, but her choppers are just waaaay too fakely white! It’s hard to listen to what she’s saying, when all I can concentrate on is that mouthful of light!
~ Marin Cilic is always the nicest guy being interviewed before the competitors walk out onto the court. He listens to the questions and gives actual detailed, thoughtful answers. He’s the anti-Williams in that regard.
~ This was a tad bizarre. As Carla Suarez-Navarro and Madison Keys were playing, commentator Cliff Drysdale said, “Neither player has gotten her teeth into this match yet.” Poor choice of words about the two girls with the strangest teeth on the tour! One has Alfred E. Newman’s and the other one Bucky Beaver’s. Ouch, Cliff.
~ At this point, I started to dislike every ESPN commentator! They are soooo partial, it’s disgusting. That’s not part of their job description to be so. Here’s a news flash for them—not everyone in the United States is blindly rooting for Americans! The TV peeps need to just comment on the action and keep their rooting to themselves! They’re getting really hard to listen to, even my favorite one, Mary Jo Fernandez, I’m sad to say.
~ I have never before seen Rafael Nadal get bagelled in a set! But that’s just what Austria’s Dominic Thiem did to him in the Quarter Final. This was an absolutely fascinating match, one of the best I’ve ever seen, but sadly, Rafa pulled it out in five sets. Darn.
Major congrats to Ladies Champion, Naomi Osaka!!! It’s such a shame the entire experience was ruined for her by the petulance and super-poor sportsmanship of creepy Serena Williams. (Remember, you can read all about that incident here: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/tennis-us-open-2018-wrap-up-part-i-the-Serena-williams-controversy.)
I love this comment that someone wrote on-line about the situation (because she accused the ump of being a “thief” because he fined her a point for two code violations): “Who’s the thief? You Serena–you stole and robbed that girl of her moment. You should be ashamed of yourself!” (But we all know that she’s not the least bit.)
And lastly, I am so so so sad for Juan Martin del Potro to have lost that Final match. I was really rooting for him, as was apparently about ninety percent of the crowd! I hope he has another chance soon to win another Major. (He won this one in 2009.) Just never against Roger!
I’m also a tad sad for Champion again, Novak Djokovic, to have barely anyone there cheering for him, despite this being his fourteenth Major win!
And that’s a wrap for this year’s US Open! I’m glad that I hold myself back from watching January’s Aussie open and May’s French Open because tennis is more often than not just way too painful for my Empath self.
Now it’s on to cheering for my Yankees in these final two months of baseball season. Let’s go, Bombers!