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"I'm sure next year there'll be huge changes," Murray said of the Open. "We want to make the tour fairer, and the players ultimately should have more of a say."
Murray is 24, so he has time to learn. "We take the players' input very seriously," said USTA executive director Gordon Smith, but he added, "I don't know that there will be a change in the Saturday-Sunday schedule in the short term." Compressing the first two rounds of the Open would help, but even after four years of Monday finishes, CBS, whose deal with the USTA doesn't expire until 2014, remains devoted to Super Saturday. "The current U.S. Open schedule is the schedule that is most valuable," said Rob Correa, CBS Sports' vice president of programming.
Besides, if we know anything about tennis, it's that change comes slowly—if at all. Take Williams. Two years ago she was defaulted out of the Open semis and fined $10,000 for threatening to jam a ball down a lineswoman's throat. Still on Grand Slam probation for that, the 29-year-old Williams played this year's Open on blood thinners because of a pulmonary embolism for which she was hospitalized last March. She won six matches without losing a set, said she'd gained perspective and chided journalists for asking about the meltdown. "I'm so over it," she said. "I've died and basically come back, and nobody's really writing or thinking about that."
On Saturday, Williams took apart top seed Caroline Wozniacki and looked like a prohibitive favorite to win the final. Instead, Stosur easily claimed the first set and jumped to break point in the first game of the second. Then Williams, serving at 30--40, hammered a forehand and screamed "Come on!" before her apparent winner hit the ground. Asderaki could have ordered a replay for this "vocal hindrance" but gave the point (and thus the game) to Stosur. Williams approached the chair, squinted and said, "Aren't you the one that screwed me over last time here? [Asderaki was not.] You have it out for me, and I promise you that's not cool."
Boos rained down as Williams crossed the net. She turned and, booing too, gave a thumbs-down to Asderaki. After smacking a forehand to win the first point on Stosur's serve, she waved her racket and yelled at the umpire, "I hate you!" Asderaki hit her with a code violation. On the ensuing changeover Williams told Asderaki she was "totally out of control," a "hater" and "unattractive inside." She said, "Don't look at me. Because I'm not the one. Don't look my way." (On Monday the USTA decided this verbal abuse didn't rise to the level of a "major offense," fined Williams $2,000 and declared the matter closed.)
After the match, Williams plopped down in a chair next to Stosur and congratulated her. "She was very gracious," Stosur said. "It definitely surprised me."
Williams arrived at her press conference smiling. She smiled when she said Stosur had outplayed her; she smiled when she said, "Every time I lose, I get better. So watch out." It was all very odd, unless you consider the context. Williams and the Open are made for each other. Both are stormy and oblivious and give every indication of not having learned a thing.