Tuesday, August 26, 2008

US 2.5- The Lady in Black

Night Two of action on Arthur Ashe was one of those nights where you could sit at home watching tennis... and catch up on some "Big Brother" antics on CBS and prepare for Hillary Clinton's convention speech in Denver, too.

Needless to say, thanks to Venus Williams and Roger Federer, the drama of Night One wasn't in evidence twenty-four hours later.

The Open doesn't hold quite the same claim on Venus' heart as Wimbledon, but twice in her career (2000-01) she's followed up an All-England Club title with one in Queens, New York. Once, she even picked up an Olympic Gold in between, and she came into this tournament looking to do it for a second time after her Doubles Gold run in Beijing with sister Serena. So far, so good, as Sam Stosur was but a minor obstacle in a 6-2/6-3 victory for The Lady in Black.

Venus is now 21-2 in night matches at the Open... which still isn't quite as good as the other victor on the night, Roger Federer, who maybe not coincidentally showed up not long ago similarly dressed in all-black for an Open night match. Federer's 6-3/6-0/6-3 win over Maximo "Don't-Call-Me-Fernando" Gonzalez was the former world #1's eleventh win in eleven career matches under the lights.

Actually, this convergence of Wimbledon legends/recent Olympics Doubles Gold winners/all-black attire-sporters in New York was a fitting combination, whether or not the schedule-makers had everything lined up in their minds when they picked these matches to feature. Too bad it turned out to be little more than a "ceremonial exhibition."

Perhaps the drama will return tomorrow night.

As it turned out, the highlight of the night was probably Venus' very sleek-looking outfit. It's just a black version of the white EleVen number she wore at Wimbledon, but it looks quite different.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Thus ends tonight's fashion report.

Three intriguing three-set matches were completed in the late going of Day Two:

#27-seed Alona Bondarenko cut short Jamea Jackson's comeback bid, but the 21-year old Georgia Peach has surely given notice over the last three weeks that she's on her way back from the hip surgery she underwent more than a year and a half ago.

Bethanie Mattek kept alive the hope of seeing her in a night match on Ashe with her come-from-behind three-set win over Marta Domachowska, 6-7/7-5/6-4. Of course, she may have to last until a potential 4th Round meeting with Dinara Safina to get said match, though.

And Amelie Mauresmo won the rematch of the Cincinnati SF she lost to Nathalie Dechy two weeks ago, 4-6/6-3/6-2. Ana Ivanovic is now just one round away.

...with wild card Severine Bremond's late win on Tuesday, two women's wild cards, one lucky loser and seven qualifiers won 1st Round matches. The race for Last Qualifier Standing is on.

...tomorrow night, Lindsay Davenport (vs. Alisa Kleybanova) and Andy Roddick (vs. Fabrice Santoro) make their '08 night session debuts. After seeing Blake wiggle off the upset hook on Night One, it'd be nice to at least see Roddick struggle against the crafty French veteran on Wednesday.

16...Martina Navratilova
14...Serena Williams
14...Chris Evert

10...Russia #
7...France ##
6...Italy ###
4...USA (Davenport-Mattek-Williams-Williams)
3...Austria (Bammer-Meusburger-Paszek)
3...China (Li-Peng-Zheng)
2...Belarus (Azarenka-Govortsova)
2...Czech Republic (Benesova-Vaidisova)
2...Germany (Groenefeld-Lisicki)
2...Romania (Cirstea-Olaru)
2...Serbia (Ivanovic-Jankovic)
2...Slovakia (Cibulkova-Rybarikova)
2...Spain (Medina Garrigues-Ruano Pascual)
2...Switzerland (Bacsinszky-Schnyder)
2...Taiwan (Chan-Hsieh)
2...Ukraine (A.Bondarenko-Perebiynis)
1...Australia (Moore)
1...Colombia (Duque Marino)
1...Denmark (Wozniacki)
1...Estonia (Kanepi)
1...Great Britain (Keothavong)
1...Hungary (Szavay)
1...Japan (Sugiyama)
1...Paraguay (de los Rios)
1...Poland (A.Radwanska)
1...Slovenia (Srebotnik)
1...Sweden (Arvidsson)
#- Bychkova, Dementieva, Kleybanova, Kuznetsova, Makarova, Pavlyuchenkova, Petrova, Safina, Vesnina, Zvonareva

##- Bartoli, Bremond, Coin, Cornet, Mauresmo, Parmentier, Rezai

###- Camerin, Errani, Garbin, Pennetta, Schiavone, Vinci

20-0...Pete Sampras
8-0...Jim Courier
2-0...Novak Djokovic

All for Day 2.5. More tomorrow.


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