US Open 2011: The view from the bleachers – picture special
With the final Major of the year at the half way stage, we bring you some different snapshots from New York
It’s only at the half way stage, but this year’s US Open has already been marked by drama and breaking records.
Not content with an earthquake in New York during qualifying week, Flushing Meadows had to batten down the hatches on launch weekend as Hurricane Irene blew her way across Queens. First casualty: the huge opening jamboree, Arthur Ashe Kids Day.
Come the first round and the No6 men’s seed withdrew, swiftly followed by Venus Williams in the women’s competition. The tournament would go on lose a further 14 men and women through retirement by the end of the week””a Grand Slam Open era record.
The home crowd experienced another mini earthquake when the Bryan brothers lost their opening doubles match, but Serena Williams made serene progress: 49 minutes to beat her second-round opponent and then a straight-sets win over No4 seed Victoria Azarenka.
The Italian women have shone, a British quartet of women reached the main draw, and two of them””Elena Baltacha and Laura Robson””reached the second round, which is more than two reigning Grand Slam champions””Na Li and Petra Kvitova””managed to do.
Yet, as week two gets under way and the first rain of the main tournament threatens to arrive, the top four men are still in place and still looking good.
So too, by the way, is the women’s top seed, Caroline Wozniacki, despite naysayers who refuse to consider her as a contender for the title.
That’s the news in a nutshell. Here, though, are some views from the bleachers””with not a headline in sight.