Friday, August 31, 2007
Updated: September 4, 5:45 PM ET
U.S. Open live blog
By Keith Hawkins
That's all for today from the U.S. Open. Check back Saturday since Isner and Young will probably be all the talk around the grounds.
This last note of the day, courtesy of Bonnie D. Ford:
Bethanie Mattek on Roger Federer's all-black ensemble for night matches: "Love it. I think it's cool. He always wears white, and it always looks like he's playing Wimbledon.'' She hadn't seen Federer's black, patent leather-trimmed duffel bag accessory but endorsed it after a description. "As long as it's not a little man-purse,'' said Mattek, who is known for her own wacky fashion sense. She's still alive in the doubles draw.
The University of Georgia opens the 2007 college football season on Saturday against Oklahoma State at 6:45 p.m. ET. As much as Georgia is college football country, tennis will also share the spotlight in Athens with John Isner playing his third-round match against world No. 1 Roger Federer.
"We're all fired up about him," said Frank Polito, the UGA women's assistant tennis coach, who is up here recruiting. "There should be a lot of barking in the stands for his match."
From someone who knows Isner personally, Polito outlined out a pair of factors to watch for Isner -- aside from his huge serve:
"He likes to dictate play with his forehand, and when he gets the opportunity, he has to come in and knock down a volley," said Polito, who is still trying to get a ticket for Saturday's match.
Djokovic has had to call for the trainer yet again -- the third time today.
Djokovic now down a break to start the fourth set and he had the trainer out twice during the second set. Don't count Djokovic out just yet, but if he does lose -- and with Nadal's health -- the bottom of the men's draw would be wide open; however, that's a lot of ifs at this point.
Novak Djokovic, the "It" pick at this year's Open, is now one set from going home. Stepanek couldn't close Djokovic out at 5-4, but he broke again and served out the set to win 7-5.
It's more than a SRO crowd for Carlos Moya on Court 13, who won the first set against Igor Kunitsyn.
The crowds continue to grow a little bit bigger around Donald Young, even while he's practicing on Court 4.
Etienne de Villiers, Executive Chairman of ATP, held a press conference this morning to discuss several items, including questions that dealt with the current gambling investigation. Meanwhile Nikolay Davydenko, the player under the gambling spotlight, continues to live on the practice courts when he isn't playing. Davydenko made quick work of Nicolas Kiefer on Thursday and could meet Andy Murray in the fourth round for the second straight year, assuming both win their third-round matches.
Some early notes from the day session:
Justine Henin appears well on her way to the quarterfinals. Apparently she had noontime lunch plans; her 11 a.m. match against Ekaterina Makarova lasted all of 50 minutes. Henin will play Dinara Safina in the fourth round, who ended Ahsha Rolle's run on Friday. The top-seeded Belgian hasn't lost a set to in three head-to-head meetings with Safina. Another Henin note: She has won one set at love in each of the first three rounds. (She's lost a total of nine games thus far.)
One of the better lineups in terms of talent today is out on Court 13 where Jurgen Melzer-Juan Martin del Potro (in progress), Carlos Moya and Mikhail Youzhny are all in action.
The last match of the night might be the most anticipated between Rafael Nadal and Janko Tipsarevic. How much longer can Nadal continue to expend so much energy on the court, and will his ailing knee hold up? Plus, Tipsarevic, the other Serbian in the draw, isn't exactly a pushover.
Speaking of Serbs, Novak Djokovic is in an absolute battle with Radek Stepank on Arthur Ashe. Stepanek continues to have a solid U.S. hard-court season.
And while Djokovic and Stepanek exchange blows for the next couple of hours, Juan Martin del Potro awaits the winner. The 18-year-old Argentine has beaten No. 31 Jurgen Melzer in straight sets to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his young career.