Tennis Prose



A Fan’s Visit To US Open This Week

A friend of mine named Alan Suess decided to drive out to the US Open this week to check out the scene. Knowing he would not be allowed into the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, as no tennis fans are permitted inside the compound, Suess just wanted to see the site, curious to see any activity or players.

A lifelong tennis fan and regular yearly observer of US Open qualifying rounds, Alan drove out from Bergen County, NJ on Wednesday late morning. “I saw a couple of players practicing on the outer practice courts by the train station entrance. I was the only one there,” said Alan.

“I got lucky. I showed up at noon and saw two players playing for an hour, after that the courts were empty. It was a little bizarre. It was windy.”

Alan sent me a photo of the courts and the player he saw honing his game was American wildcard Maxime Cressy, the former UCLA standout. Cressy lost in US Open qualies a year ago to Nicolas Mahut in three sets. (Cressy will play Jan Kovalik in the first round, for the chance to play the winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas or Albert Vinolas Ramos in the 2R.)

“I thought I might see kids roaming around to get autographs but no.”

“There was not a lot of people around, that’s for sure.”

It’s stunning that the biggest tennis tournament of the year is being staged in a virtual ghost town facility.

Nary a soul to be found during what has traditionally been the most busy and buzzing weeks of the year for the last three decades, where millions have come to watch the US Open and the popular qualifying rounds.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone times we are living in.



  • Scoop Malinowski · August 28, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Photo credit: Alan Suess

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 28, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Djokovic locked in another marathon with Agut 46 64 22. It’s a tough match for him, he’s expected to win but he has to work so hard. And risk depleting himself before the US Open. You can see Djokovic does not enjoy playing the wall, nobody does, it’s such hard work.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 28, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Best win in ages for under the radar Raonic, saving the QF MP vs Krajinovic now he’s in the final after beating Tsitsipas again. Raonic totally under the radar, could benefit largely by the no fans element to the matches. No fans means less distractions for the high risk hard hitting game of Raonic.

  • Cory Minto · August 30, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Nice little post. I, too, will miss the qualifying rounds. I loved seeing the lower ranked players dog it out for a crack of daylight in the main draw. There’s something special about watching a qualifier emerge and then maybe even advance a few rounds. It’s also a hodgepodge of “who are you’s” (even tho the discerning fan knows) and former mainstays returning from injury/haitus. In many ways a GS is incomplete without qualifying.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 31, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Cory, The US OPen qualies was the perfect set up, prelude to the US Open. I know so many people who absolutely love US Open qualies and adventured out there every year almost every day. It’s generally the same fans every year, with more and more learning about the best kept secret in tennis. The US Open qualies is as much fun and is in some ways even better than the actual main draw tournament, it’s definitely more exciting than the second week being on the grounds. But life and tennis go on and this Twilight Zone US Open fortunately is proceeding and 2020 is not a total miss like Newport, Citi Open, Indian Wells, Miami Open vanished into the corona blackhole.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 31, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Sock lost first set to Cuevas, he’s 0-2 career vs Cuevas, lost 76 46 06 in Madrid 2018 and 46 57 67 last year at US Open. For some reason Sock makes Cuevas look like Wawrinka. Curious match up problems for Sock.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 31, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Korda just won the second set vs Shap it’s 46 64 now. Korda looks like he belongs. Choked a little at the end of the first to donate the break with some errors. But back on track. Korda is serve and volleying quite a bit off his first serve. James Blake says Shap has to exploit his second serve to break down the first serve. At Eddie Herr at the end of 2019 I asked Petr Korda what would happen if Sebi did nothing else in practice but serve and volley for a month straight? My thinking was he has a big serve, why not try to get in instead of just staying back and grinding? Petr didn’t give a clear answer. He said something about it taking time to complete all the skills and aspects of it. So now it’s kind of surprising to see Sebi serve and volleying so much. I wonder if that question at Eddie Herr sparked something? Sebi looks really good, I like his game and especially the expression on his face. It’s calm, poised but I also see a feisty sneer under the mask of calm. This kid looks like he belongs, he believes and he wants and expects big results soon.

  • Cory · August 31, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Scoop, I watched the whole Cuevas/Sock match. I’m a big Cuevas guy – he’s an all-courter and deceptively good on hard. The guy is a wall defensively and is a pretty good shotmaker from the baseline. Boy, today Cuevas served well, I believe out-acing Sock… Cuevas blew it serving 5-4 30-0 in the 5th set… The problem with Sock is that he’s a poor returner so he makes everyone look incredible. He’s gotta return better.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 31, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Cory, what an incredible match and so important for Sock. He came up with some amazing shots at the end to steal that break, that one scoop forehand from the middle of the court passing shot and the short topspin roller return to the service line which fooled Cuevas into missing the forehand by a yard wide. Cuevas looked incredible today, so calm, so solid, so many great shots but Sock hung in there and fought like a warrior trying to save his career. All the hard work with Bogie paid off. This was such a huge HUGE win for Sock, it will open the doors to many more wins. This win may have saved Sock’s career. I was mesmerized by this match too. Cuevas had been a nightmare for Sock in the past but Sock solved the puzzle from the brink of death 45 love 30 in the 5th. Awesome match!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 31, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    I’m a little disturbed by espn and usta pushing the leftist agenda, as are many tennis fans on facebook. mcenroe and evert are now leftist puppets shilling the agenda about racial injustice blah blah. No respect for the white victims of black crime which far outnumber thugs like floyd and blake getting roughed up for disobeying police commands. I would not be shocked to hear mcenroe and evert forced into chanting black lives matter on the air. It’s absurd. Some friends are even saying they will not watch the us open anymore. Insane that the usta and espn are risking destroying the sport like mlb, nfl, nba and nooscar Did, in defending two lowlife thugs like Floyd and Blake.

  • Cory · September 1, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    I agree, the BLM “movement” is nothing less more than a puppeteer-funded terrorist group designed to disturb middle America and turn this place upside down deliberately, to de-stabilize and destroy. Even if we focused on the initial meaning/message alone, I’ll remind you that valid ideas don’t need constant propagation. That doesn’t mean that black lives DON’T matter, it just means that “of course they do.” But considering how it’s shoved down our throats, etc., you’d think the initial concept were completely foreign – which is exactly what they REQUIRE you to think in order to continue the charade. Forcing rhetoric (thru violence, riots, or otherwise deceptively thru constant media “placement” and coverage) will never change the hearts of the racist anyway. This coercion will only turn America away from that initial message (but we know it was only ostensibly about that message). IMO.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 2, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Murray showed he has plenty of fight left in his tank defeating the wizard Nishioka from two sets down 46 46 76 76 75, saving a MP. I watched the first 3 sets and Murray looked heavy legged and outclassed by the quick as a cat 5 foot seven marvel from Japan. Murray now as 10 wins from two sets down, tying Federer. Clijsters had Alexandrova on the hook but let her off, up a set and just a point away from a SS win but she could not finish again. Nice to see Marta Kostyuk back in the GS win column, she’s been invisible for a couple of years.



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