U.S. Open Tennis review, projection



AS the curtain fell on the first week of the US Open, the fourth round matches commenced with the last 16 players in both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments.

The defending men’s champion, Marin Cilic returned to Arthur Ashe main bowl to face France’s Jeremy Chardy for a place in the quarterfinals. Their match would be followed by successive sisters’ acts. Venus Williams would face Anete Kontaveit of Estonia, after which Serena would tackle fellow American Madison Keys (seeded 19).

In the past, the middle Sunday of the two-week grand slam tournaments was free of competition. The US Open was the first of the grand slam tournaments to break away from that tradition.

The first week of the 2015 US Open, contained its thrills of victories and the agony of losses. In the Men’s draw, Kei Nishikori (4), David Ferrer (6) and Rafael Nadal did not make it to the second week. The players who dropped in the Women’s tournament were Caroline Wozniacki (4), Lucie Safarova (6), Ana Ivanovic (7) and Carolina Pilskova (8).

The great teacher of the game, Harry Hopman, composed a verse describing the essence of the sport. “Tennis is a game of control and restraint; hitting the ball where the other fellow aint.”

A player who can defend his baseline successfully will win the match. However, with the emergence the service as a weapon, there came an era of serve and volley game, in which the receiver is on the defensive. Those with the big serve, effective volley and overhead smash, dominate the sport.

Tennis teachers went to work and developed the baseline game. When Bjorn Borg won his first Wimbledon title, it was totally unexpected and he did it five successive years. Other baseliners followed in quick succession and won Grand Slam tournaments on all surfaces: Guillermo Vilas, Mats Willander, Jimmie Connors, Andre Agassi and Ivan Lendl. They slugged to victories from the baseline. The serve-and-volley game was gone.

Tennis games are lost, not won! Matches are won on easy balls put away for winners and not on the hard ones the player gets back. Thus, the player must be conscious of situation in which he is on the defense and merely needs to keep the ball in play.

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