An Open to remember
As the late Los Angeles Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn once said, "This game's in the refrigerator: The door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard and the Jell-O's jigglin'!"
In other words, the 2012 U.S. Open has come to a close.
From the tennis layman to the savant, this year's Open served something for everyone. From break dancing in front of Arthur Ashe Stadium to free high-tech mobile presentations to flash mobs at center court, the U.S. Open proved once again why it's called the people's open. No one was left out of the action.
Mother Nature tried to rain on the parade a couple of days, but USTA officials were prepared. When high winds and a tornado warning canceled Saturday's women's singles final, matches were moved around which shifted the men's singles final to Monday for the fifth year in a row. Maybe the tennis gods are trying to tell us Monday might just be the day we should hold the men's finale.
The U.S. Open honored our servicemen and women on Labor Day by highlighting injured soldiers who became ball people to inspire other wounded warriors.
"It's very physically demanding," Ryan McIntosh, U.S. Army member-turned-U.S. Open ball boy told Kate Fagan in a recent espnW article. "But you wouldn't necessarily think so because of what you see on TV. You don't see the ball people, because it's all about the player."
This year introduced players like Sloane Stephens, who made a splash with her play and newfound friendship with Serena Williams.
For Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick, it was a year of farewells as they walked away from the game after defeat.
"This week I felt like I was 12 years old, playing in a park. It was extremely innocent. That was fun. I enjoyed it," Roddick said.
The award for best Open run goes to Andy Murray, the Bryan brothers and Williams. Andy Murray grabbed his first Grand Slam title, while the Bryan brothers set the Open-era Grand Slam doubles title record at 12. Williams launched herself even further into tennis superstardom by winning her fourth U.S. Open crown and 15th Grand Slam singles title.
"Serena deserves the win. She showed how true of a champion she is," said Victoria Azarenka, who fell to Williams in three sets 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 Sunday. "I definitely gave it all today. Stepping out of this court today, I will have no regrets."
All this amazing tennis competed with New York City as the backdrop. For two weeks, New York threw all it had at the U.S. Open: loud jet engines from the nearby airports, star-studded crowds, brash fans and even the distraction of Fashion Week. But the U.S. Open kept swinging. For New York City it was just another two weeks filled with activity, but for fans, it was an Open to remember.