Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open
Novak Djokovic advances to Round-2
Novak remains undefeated in 2020. On Saturday, he captured his 80th career ATP Singles title next door in Louis Armstrong Stadium, as New York hosted this year’s Western & Southern Open. He and Rafael Nadal are now tied, with 35 Masters-1000 titles apiece. Djokovic, however, remains the only man in the modern era who’s won all nine Masters titles.
Tonight, he earned his 24th match victory of 2020’s interrupted season. In January, Novak led Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup title, then earned his 17th Major at the Australian Open. Just before COVID-19’s spread brought all professional sports to a grinding halt, he captured his 5th title in Dubai.
Here in New York, Djokovic continues to cement his legacy. During his run the “Cincinnati” title, he resigned as president of the player’s council – aligning himself with players like Vasek Pospisil advocating for a player’s union, soon to be known as the Professional Tennis Players Association. Additionally, by the end of the fortnight, he will tie Pete Sampras, accumulating 286-weeks as the sport’s top-ranked player. There’s only one legend left to surpass: Roger Federer, who’s held the World #1 ranking for 310-weeks combined.
Furthermore, should Novak lift his 4th US Open trophy on the 13th, he’ll become an 18-time Grand Slam Champion. Just one Major shy of Rafael Nadal, and two shy of Roger Federer. History awaits.
Head to Head: Third meeting between these two players
Like most, Damir Dzumhur hasn’t had much luck versus the World #1. He played his best tennis against Novak in tonight’s second set, disrupting Novak’s rhythm with a consistent backhand slice. Before tonight, they last met on New Year’s Day in 2019. Novak won that 1st-Round Doha clash in straight-sets, then advanced to the Semifinals where he fell to an inspired Roberto Bautista Agut.
 Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
Undefeated in 2020, he is a 17-time Grand Slam Champion, owns the career Grand Slam, and over the weekend captured his 80th career title at the Western & Southern Open. From Serbia, World #1 and 3-time US Open Champion, Novak Djokovic.
- R1 — W | Damir Dzumhur -109- (BIH) | Score: 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
Damir Dzumhur -109- (BIH) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
With 3 career ATP Singles titles, he’s been ranked as high as World #23 – and is the first man from his country to compete in both the main draw of a Grand Slam and the Olympic Games. From Bosnia & Herzegovina, Damir Dzumhur.
- R1 — L |  Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Score: 1-6, 4-6, 1-6
A New Reality | 2020 US Open Tennis Championships
In late February and early March, announcer Andy Taylor compèred two of the final professional tennis events before the global coronavirus pandemic put the skids on the 2020 season. In Doha, he hosted Aryna Sabalenka’s relentless run to the Qatar Total Open title. Then in Honolulu, he emceed Team USA’s Davis Cup Qualifier victory over Uzbekistan. Including Bob and Mike Bryan’s final professional match.
As U.S. coronavirus cases continued to mount, the day following Team USA’s 4-0 victory, all professional sports came to a grinding halt. Over the next five months, as Americans were asked to stay home and “socially distance,” nearly 6-million contracted the illness. Tragically, over 180-thousand perished. Worldwide, COVID-19 killed over 840-thousand and sickened 25-million (at the time of this writing).
New York hosts the resumption of the 2020 tennis season
Early on, New York City was the epicenter of COVID’s outbreak. The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center became prime real estate for New York’s coordinated pandemic response. Additionally, the state used Louis Armstrong Stadium as a warehouse to pack meals for patients, front-line workers and students dependent on the city’s school lunch program.
In late July, after New York “flattened the curve,” Governor Cuomo green-lighted the USTA’s plans to resume the 2020 tennis season in Flushing. Without fans. Without qualifying. Rather, the Western & Southern Open was moved from Cincinnati to the grounds of the US Open. Furthermore, the USTA implemented strict COVID-19 testing policies. It limited the number in each player’s entourage. And it created a protective “Bubble” for all tournament participants at nearby hotels and on-site.
Andy Taylor | 19th US Open Tennis Championships
After a five month pause, with the coronavirus “politicized” and still spreading unchecked through portions of the population, Andy was hesitant when asked to be a part of the sport’s return. However, after carefully considering the USTA’s extensive health and safety protocols, he soon realized the US Open could in fact be one of the safest environments to avoid COVID’s spread.
Masks are mandatory. For crew, testing occurs every fourth day. To ensure best broadcast quality, the USTA understood that Arthur Ashe Stadium’s announcer would need to work without a mask. Therefore, they isolated Andy in his own booth. Thus, keeping production team members free from aerosols emitted during player introductions.
Rather than fly, Andy drove to Flushing. He uses his own vehicle to shuttle back and forth from the hotel to the venue, which limits his exposure to others. Additionally, this allowed Andy to bring his own hot plate and coffee machine, completely eliminating the need for others to bring him meals and supplies. Essentially, the Voice of the US Open is working from a bubble within “The Bubble.” Responsibly limiting contact with colleagues and players as much as humanly possible.
A new Grand Slam Global Pandemic Presentation
With the global emphasis on social distancing to avoid further outbreaks of COVID-19, the world of sport production is reinventing “the show” by harnessing new technologies that have emerged over the past decade. As always, the core goal is to meet fans where they are.
In other words, with fans exclusively watching on television – or on-the-go through mobile devices – the 2020 US Open “stadium show” is now geared toward the camera, rather than the ticket holder. This year, Andy and the stadium production team are working closely with ESPN to integrate the broadcast and stadium presentations. Instead of narrating player introductions exclusively for fans on site, intros and all aspects of the stadium show are now part of the broadcast product streamed to fans worldwide.
The true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.
Jowett | English translation of Plato’s “Republic”
Live sport presentation is a brave new world. Through perseverance and bold experimentation, the US Open continues to innovate; determined to feed each tennis fan’s hunger after five months of the world’s new and humbling collective-reality.