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Season's final Slam promises a fitting end to summer
Latest: Wednesday August 30, 2000 06:18 PM
By Lee Geeker, CNNSI.com
With tennis headed under the bright lights of New York for two weeks, one would have expected plenty of intrigue at the start of the U.S. Open.
Surprisingly, though, things were quiet for the first day of play at Flushing Meadows.
There were no late withdrawals, protests, or general complaints about the tournament. And then, the first day went by without a single seed going down to defeat.
Certainly the trend won't continue (and didn't, as Gustavo Kuerten became the first major upset victim early on Tuesday), but it was good to know that some of tennis' big names wouldn't be leaving New York too quickly.
The U.S. Open is a huge event, especially for Americans, who wait all year for the rest of the world to put on their showcase events, and so far things have gone quite smoothly.
With plenty of Americans in the field, and many of them among the tournament favorites, this year's Open could be one of the best in memory for both the fans and the players.
If it is, it would certainly be a fitting finish to a superb summer of tennis that began in Paris in late May.
Come back every Tuesday afternoon for a new Tennis Week at a Glance.
| Unstoppable? |
Venus Williams has been on an incredible run since Wimbledon, adding last week's Pilot Pen to her collection of titles. Performing on the big stage in New York, Williams certainly seems to be the favorite, but it will certainly take her best performance. Venus has been compared to Tiger Woods recently with her dominance, but to really warrant that, she will need be at her best in the biggest events, like Tiger has. With a win at the U.S. Open, she could certainly take another step towards becoming one of the greats of the game.
| Wide open |
Gustavo Kuerten's early loss was certainly surprising, but he was certainly not a lock to advance from his quarter of the draw. The bottom quarter is certainly one of the toughest of any Grand Slam event in recent memory. Besides the French Open champion Kuerten, the other seeds are Alex Corretja, who is one of the hottest players on tour, and former finalists Mark Philippoussis and Cedric Pioline. Among the unseeded players lurking is Patrick Rafter, who has won the tournament twice, as will as former finalists Greg Rusedski, Todd Martin, and Michael Chang. That group would make for a strong field at most tournaments.
| ACE Magnus Norman Shows signs of getting back into form by winning the Hamlet Cup.|
| ACE Monica Seles The time off certainly seemed to help get her ready for the U.S. Open, but still not enough to knock off Venus Williams.|
| DOUBLE FAULT Goran Ivanisevic Once one of the world's best, loses his opener in miserable fashion and starts talking of retirement.|| ACE Wayne Arthurs The Aussie qualifier pulled off the first big upset of the tournament, using an incredible serve to oust Gustavo Kuerten. ||
| "Every day in tennis, you're waking up a winner or a loser, and that's tough."|
| Monica Seles, who lost to Venus Williams in the finals of the Pilot Pen. |
| "Stop trying to catch your breath and serve." |
|Andre Agassi, to John McEnroe during their match on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. |
| "I plan my schedule around the Open. My eyes pop out at the sheer number of celebrities. It's like a New York Knicks game times ten." |
|Alec Baldwin, in Forbes magazine, on attending the U.S. Open.|
| She's one of the biggest stars in tennis, and makes millions in endorsements, yet 19-year-old Anna Kournikova has never won a WTA Tour singles title, earning her plenty of criticism. Week at a Glance will follow Anna's performance until she finally breaks through with her first tournament win. |
| 2000 stats: 33-18 record, five semifinal appearances in 18 tournaments. |
| Kournikova is seeded 12th at the U.S. Open, and will be looking to surpass her previous best performance of the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.|
| This week |
| The U.S. Open is underway, and so far has produced some terrific tennis. With all of the world' top players in new York, there should certainly be plenty of great matches throughout the week.|
| Next week |
The U.S. Open will continue, with fourth round matches, quarterfinals, semifinals, and the championships. The year's final Grand Slam promises to be as exciting as the first three, and should produce two superb champions.
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