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Fifth-set tiebreaks take away drama at U.S. Open
Latest: Thursday September 07, 2000 07:46 AM
By Lee Geeker, CNNSI.com
Week 1 of the U.S. Open certainly provided plenty of excitement for tennis fans.
Not surprisingly, the top women's players once again dominated against lesser competition, with only one unseeded player reaching the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, the men's competition was full of surprises, with the top two seeds going out early, as well as numerous other top-quality players.
There were some terrific matches on the men's side as well, especially Sunday night's five-set marathon between Magnus Norman and Max Mirnyi.
However, it was somewhat disappointing to see such a match end with a tiebreaker.
It is much more exciting, and seems more fair, when the final set is decided by playing until one player wins by two games. Sometimes a match can go on for a very long time (like Mark Philippoussis' 20-18 fifth set win over Sjeng Schalken at Wimbledon), but that was an even better match than the Norman-Mirnyi duel.
To have a match decided on a few quick points where momentum can swing on one point, instead of battling it out and being forced to get a service break to win, just doesn't seem right in a tournament as important as the U.S. Open.
Who knows if the USTA will decide to change the rules in the future, but here's one vote for allowing some of tennis' best battles to continue as long as the players need to really earn a classic win.
Come back every Tuesday afternoon for a new Tennis Week at a Glance.
| End of the run? |
A second-round defeat at the U.S. Open marked a disappointing end to a rough summer for Andre Agassi. It also probably marked the end of his run as the world's top-ranked player. While the ATP's entry list rankings (the old system which is still used for tournament seedings) will not be released until after the U.S. Open ends, the Glance's early calculations show that Agassi will fall from the top spot, possibly as far as No. 5. As to who the new No. 1 will be, it depends on the final results of the U.S. Open, but Pete Sampras seems to have the inside track.
| The forgotten one |
Martina Hingis' run at the top of the women's rankings is not is jeopardy, but there are certainly few people who expected her to be a serious title contender at the U.S. Open. However, while the American press has focused on the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport, Hingis has been steamrolling opponents, playing her best tennis of the year. She may not come away with the title, but Hingis has certainly shown that she plans to stay at the top of the women's game.
| ACE Richard Krajicek It's been a long year for the Dutchman, but he's playing well and will probably be Pete Sampras' toughest test of the tournament.|
| ACE Jelena Dokic She showed amazing fortitude in ignoring the distractions caused by her father and reaching the fourth round.|
| DOUBLE FAULT Alex Corretja After a terrific summer season, Spain's top player, and one of the best players yet to win a Grand Slam, falls apart in third round match against countryman Carlos Moya.|| ACE Nicolas Kiefer A long year full of disappointing results turns around with an impressive run at Flushing Meadows. ||
| "The fact that we were out there for I think over four hours doesn't help you stay fresh throughout the fortnight. Even though he's fit and tough, it could take its toll on him."|
| Max Mirnyi, who lost Magnus Norman, in a fifth-set tie-break. Norman then lost his next match against Nicolas Kiefer. |
| "For this year, I'm fit for the US Open. If I'm not going to die until tomorrow, I'm going okay."|
|Marat Safin, who battled through a cold to reach the second week at the U.S. Open. |
| "I love New York. I really enjoy to be here because it's a good atmosphere, everything is a little bit crazy. The people can make it crazy."|
|Cedric Pioline, former finalist who lost in the third round to Todd Martin.|
| 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: 35-19 record, five semifinal appearances in 19 tournaments. |
| Seeded 12th, Kournikova reached the third round at the U.S. Open before being upset by Belgian teen Justine Henin in straight sets. However, she continued playing in both the doubles and mixed doubles competitions.|
| This week |
| The U.S. Open continues, with fourth round matches, quarterfinals, semifinals, and the championships. With stars like the Williams sisters and Pete Sampras still alive, there should be plenty of great tennis through Sunday.|
| Next week - ATP Tour |
There are two smaller tournaments, in Tashkent and Bucharest, but don't expect many top players. They will all be preparing for the Olympics.
| Next week - WTA Tour |
The women will not have any events next week, in preparation for the Olympics.
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