US Open 2021 – the essence of continuity | Print edition

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New York hosts the 141st edition of the US Open. The harmful effects of the virus have gripped North America. The US Open will remind Americans that “tennis is alive in their country and will be in the future.” The United States is very convinced of the continuity of tennis. Preparation for seven events at the US Open began immediately after Wimbledon crossed North America. Last year’s US Open was tough. All the same, it happened. Precautionary measures this year are strict for players. Some are very annoying.

The number of spectators at the US Open venue this year is expected to be much higher than last year. This year, vaccine certification is mandatory to enter the US Open venue as a spectator. TV coverage will be in full force to counter the “location” restrictions. These precautions are costly and require significant labor. This is the American spirit and commitment to the continuity of their tennis.

US Open – Qualifications

Twenty-four Europeans, women and men, entered the main draw of the qualifying rounds with five Americans, one Australian and one Turkish. Watching some matches electronically showed the great intensity of the competition.

Qualifying matches started on August 24 and ended on August 27. A total of 16 women and 16 men qualified. The qualifying rounds brought in six million dollars in prizes. Right now, the first rounds of all major events carry a substantial amount of cash to encourage newcomers and keep the top 200 in the game. This year has seen the flood of new names not only play but also dominate. Professional tennis is all about traveling and playing and it’s an expensive business. Professional bodies want the money to be big enough for the top 750 players of each gender to earn a living playing tennis.

Emma Raducanu from Great Britain was one of the qualifiers. She managed to make her way through reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon this year. His entry into Wimbledon was made by wild card. She is only 18 and that shows what it takes to be eligible for the qualifying rounds of the Grand Slam events.

Dominant countries

The characteristic I look for in a Grand Slam draw is the country that provides the most entries. By continent, it is Europe followed by the Americas. The main nations of Europe are Russia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and the United States. Players like Naomi Osaka, an Asian, is a cultured player in the United States.

Playing in the main draw means more than prestige. The money is there. Osaka collected five million in prizes and fifty million in endorsements. Basically, the top 20 players appreciate this formula which gives them good income. Professional bodies maintain the world ranking. One of the goals of the world ranking is to improve the image of the player to be marketable. After all, the effective lifespan of players is short, and their engagement in the sport takes a third of their life to prepare and perform.

The market value of players shows particular straits. In the list of the 10 best marketable sportsmen in the world, Lionel Messi, the footballer, is number one. The only tennis player in the top ten on this list is Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, seventh. Oddly enough, her name does not appear in the list of the top 10 women tennis players. Marketing is another ball game.

The Swiss women’s cluster

No one expected Switzerland’s Bencic to win the gold medal at the Olympics. They also got another doubles medal. Jill Belen Tiechman is the third Swiss woman to surface recently. As a wild card, she reached the final of the Canadian Open. Switzerland will field a strong squad for the Billie Jean Cup competition this year. The man behind this Swiss show time is Domonique Utzinger. He is the coach of Golubic from Switzerland. Dominique coached our Davis Cup team a few years ago. For a nation, the formation of clusters is the engine of player development.

Energizing game – Tsitsipas

Often the first set in tennis gives a false probability of the outcome, especially if the matches are best of five sets. In the first round match between Englishman Andy Murray recovering from the US Open and next-gen prodigy Stefanos Tsitsipas, the opening three sets gave the impression that Murray would win the game. It turned out to be otherwise.

At first, Murray established a pace and precision of placement that Tsitsipas could neither grasp nor accommodate. Before too long, Murray was leading two sets to one. Even taking into account Murray’s return after a long hiatus, which I think has changed history, Tsitsipas’s reaction has started to adjust to Murray’s pace. Additionally, Tsitsipas placed Murray in positions from where he couldn’t get his tactical targets. Tisitsipas backed him to win – easy to say, more than to do.

Mental makeup and the physical need to play to win over five sets is a factor of maturity. It happens by playing matches. Opponents come in all shapes and forms. Any fixation on playing a game is a dangerous approach. Tisitsipas is a very flexible player, currently ranked number three in the world.

Symbolic success

The US Open in New York is symbolic. A USLTA commitment to support tennis on the continent. The organization of the event directs the national energy over the coming year towards tennis and provides the essence of continuity in difficult times.

—George Paldano, former international player; accredited trainer of the German Tennis Federation; national coach Brunei and Sri Lanka, coach of the 200 best ranked players ATP, WTA and ITF, Davis Cup, coach of the Federation Cup. – [email protected]


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