US Open Day 1 Recap: The Young and the Olderer.
Can you believe it’s the last slam of the year already? Day 1 of the US Open was uncharacteristically free of drama, as the top seeds progressed through the most boring OOP known to grand slams with little trouble. Even the rainy weather was predictably uncooperative, delaying matches for just over 2 hours.
But on court, Sam Stosur kicked off proceedings with 10 aces and 22 winners en route to a 61 61win over Petra Martic. For a while, Stosur looked close to a Golden Set, making it to 4-0 40-0 without dropping a point. It was a positive start to Slammy’s seemingly impossible title defence. But Stosur insists she’s not feeling the pressure.
Q. The last year you have had to deal with increased expectations from the public. I guess just talk about the pressure of defending a Grand Slam. I mean, do you feel like this is more or less pressure than let’s say the Australian Open this year, or is it the same amount and you’ve just learned how to deal with it better over the last seven months?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: I don’t know if there is necessarily more pressure to go out and have to defend. It’s a new year, a new tournament. Of course you want to, but at the end of the day you can’t think that, you know, that’s the goal. But of course you want to win, but again, playing here compared to Australia, it’s just different. I love playing at home, but there is that increased, I guess, expectation. You know, you’re in the spotlight a bit more back home and you see yourself on TV and the newspapers even if you’re not looking for it. It’s unavoidable; whereas here there are other players that are in that spot instead. It’s just a different thing, and I think, yeah, the more you go through that, hopefully the better you handle it and the more you get used to and then it doesn’t affect you as much.
Maria Foodbabypova soon joined Stosur with an equally routine 6-2 6-2 win over Melinda Czink. It was a high quality performance from Sharapova after a 3 week break post-Olympics, with her movement and serve looking positively “pre-surgery”. And with a string of routine, drama-free progresses from the top seeds, the media was more focused on Sharapova’s food bébé scare.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: … I went to Montréal and I was supposed to practice there, supposed to play the next day, but I woke up and I had a stomach bug for a few days and wasn’t feeling really good.
Yeah, I had some tests done, some blood work, some ultrasound stuff. They said I should just probably rest. I just went home and took Cincinnati off as well. I think it was just a sign that I needed a few weeks off.
Q. Why all those tests for just a stomach bug? Did you think it was bigger?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.
… Just because of the pain I was having. It was really weird. They told me I was fine, not pregnant. I’m like, Can I get my money back (laughter)?
Q. So the night before the Olympic final, how bad was the pain?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was okay (smiling).
Q. That didn’t pass the smell test. What was it like? Was it a serious pain? Did it impact your play?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was worse when I got to Montréal. At the end of the day, I think it was some stomach bug. But I thought it was getting better. Then I started eating like the normal Maria and it wasn’t better.
On the men’s front, Murray took one step closer to a potential Murderer semifinal showdown, taking out Bogo Jr in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win that was a little more patchy than the scoreline would suggest. Murray got off to a slow start in the first two sets, going down a break each set, and at one stage clutching his hamstring in on-court martyrdom, which he later attributed to a cramp.
Olderer followed suit with less pain, defeating Young 63 62 64 so comfortably he was spotted sashaying his way out of the stadium in a catwalk that would’ve made Anna Wintour froth at the mouth.
Federer noted post match that he just tried to focus on his own game. That he certainly did, staying dominant on serve, and shifting up a gear to break whenever he took a fancy to the idea.
Donald Duck on the other hand was coming off a 17 match losing streak and offered little resistance as he half heartedly targeted Federer’s backhand with his lefty forehand, only to projectile vomit errors from his racquet under pressure.
Day 2’s schedule sees Roddick, Venus and Serena in action against their fellow American minions, while Berdbrain takes on the former 90s pop band sensation known as David Goffin.