The 2019 U.S. Open is officially underway and despite only a few days of action being completed there have already been many headline stories from this years tournament.
The biggest ‘hyped’ first round match fell on the women’s side of the draw as American Serena Williams played Maria Sharapova in what was billed as “a rivalry match.” In the highly anticipated clash it was No.8 seed Serena who emerged victorious over longtime rival Maria Sharapova. The 23-time Grand Slam champion dominated from the start, and quickly added the 6-1, 6-1 rout to her head-to-head haul, extending her dominance over Sharapova to 20-2.For Serena, who has not lost to Sharapova since 2004, it was nevertheless a tough opening round test after struggling with a back injury earlier in the summer. She was forced to retire due to painful back spasms in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, trailing Andreescu 3-1, and then chose to skip Cincinnati in favor of more rest and training. She also shrugged off comments about the merits of the term ‘rivalry’, and acknowledged that the blockbuster opener might be exactly what she needed to get her US Open campaign off on the right foot. “It's really important because it's good to have tough matches,” Serena said. “Well, it's good to get through tough matches, especially for me. I really sometimes tend to start slow. It actually almost helps me.” Up next, Serena Williams continues her US Open campaign in the second round against American wildcard Catherine McNally. In other news Serena’s sister Venus lost in the first round to No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina and No. 11 seed Sloane Stephens suffered a surprise upset to Russian Anna Kalinskaya 6-3, 6-4. No.4 seed Simona Halep needed three sets to get past the lucky loser Nicole Gibbs 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in her first round match and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka survived a difficult opening contest to win 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.
On the men’s side the biggest story to come out of the opening rounds has been the challenging path that Roger Federer has been taking towards his quest for a 21st grand slam title. The swiss player has dropped the first set in each of his opening matches and nobody has bounced back from dropping their opening sets in their first two matches to take any Grand Slam in six years, since Rafael Nadal managed it at Roland Garros in 2013. “When it happens like this back-to-back matches, it’s just a bit frustrating more than anything, especially when the level is that low and there is that many errors and the energy is not kind of there,” Federer said. “But can only do better, which is a great thing moving forward.” Meanwhile Rafael Nadal completed a comfortable first round win over Australian John Millman 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and looks to continue the impressive form he has shown throughout the summer playing in the North American hard court series circuit. Both Nadal and Federer will be carefully watching No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic who was able to win his second round match early tonight but there were signs for concern over the Serbians physical health. Novak needed extensive treatment on a shoulder injury during his second-round win over Juan Ignacio Londero at the US Open. The defending champion and world number one came through a tough encounter in straight sets, 6-4 7-6 (3) 6-1, despite falling a double break behind in the second. Ordinarily Djokovic is not a player who discloses any injury problems, but this one was difficult to hide and could hinder his title defense. All three will be looking to add to their already impressive grand slam tally and we will all be watching closely for the developments over the next few rounds to see who has the best shot at winning the tournament. Will it be one of the big three? Will it be an outsider or perhaps a first timer? Be sure to watch the tournament and check in here to see the latest news.
With all this and more happening in Flushing Meadows Sports Interiors is proud to once again be attending the illustrious competition as guests of both the USTA and ITA. Dan Van Dixhorn captured the above photos while attending some of the main court action over the last few days but is also visiting to meet with club representatives and key tennis decision makers to share the latest news and developments going on with our systems and installations. Dan will be in New York for a couple more days and we are excited to share some of the results from talks taking place in the weeks to come.
For all the latest at the US Open and all of our projects that are currently going on be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow our social media channels.
To catch the highlights from Roger Federer’s latest match, and to catch Sports Interiors in attendance, check out the link below.