rafa puts an ice bag on his head in the heat during his match against viktor troicki of serbia at the us open tennis tournament on august 30, 2008, nyc. photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images via tennis.com
day 8 of the us open will be day 1 of live tennis for me. and i am not messing around.
i spent the day waiting for them to post the order of play (cheers! nadal plays querrey at around 1pm!), catching up on some of the better us open reports in the ny times (favorite line: Tipsarevic, who appears as if he could be the love child of Salma Hayek and Sam Waterston, is a voracious reader who regularly quotes the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky...) and napping (because tomorrow is going to be good, long day).
i also had a little 3-way going here at the apt: i had the tv broadcast (on cbs and usa), usopen radio, AND live scoring on usopen.com going simultaneously for a good part of the afternoon.
this may seem like overkill, but tv tennis commentary for this grand slam being what it is, desperate times call for serious plan-bs and -cs. i couldn't bear tracy austin as a player (the pinafores, the bounce-bounce-bouncing on her tippy-toes, the nervous hand-blowing) and i'm even less enamored of her as a commentator. her voice is as tense as she used to appear on court, and she is far more defensive in the booth. between her, and mary carillo (channeling ann curry--why does everything have to be oh-so dramatic? ) and the joyless jim courier, i had no choice but to hit the mute button on the tv, and tune into the radio broadcast on the site. (way back in june, when i was trying to protect myself from martina navratilova's endless, ruinous monotone wimbledon commentary, i figured out that i could, thanks to dvr, properly sync radio wimbledon with the live tv broadcast. and that allowed me to enjoy andrew cotter, and virginia wade's poetic style (“ivanovic is this beautiful statuesque figure of a player, but she is being beaten below the knees…that net is taunting her today…it spared her against dechy") and the refreshing, uninhibited enthusiasm of andrew castle, and john lloyd, and others. there was one line, so insightful and apt, i'll never forget it: "nadal is very much like the tide, isn't he, he just keeps coming at you." i will have to find my notes to see who came up with that one...)
and yet, even as i was happy to have the us open radio broadcast available, it still didn't solve the matter of all the compelling matches that weren't being covered, on tv OR on the radio. explain how we were made to suffer through yet another listless lindsay davenport match on friday night, when robredo was playing safin, and moya was playing tsonga? and today, no robredo v. tsonga? and those are just the matches i took special interest in. there were many other hard fought, top-flight tennis battles for avid tennis fans. thankfully, those of us who wanted a little more could indulge in more ways than one.