Semifinal. Osaka def Brady

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Semifinal Naomi Osaka
Announcer Andy Taylor | Voice of the US Open | 2020 US Open Tennis Championships

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[vector_icon icon=”fas fa-microphone”] Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open

Naomi Osaka returns to the US Open Final

Hard to believe this Semifinal wasn’t tonight’s main event. Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady put on a hell of show. Breathtaking winners. Blinding serves. Swift play. All business. Basically a two-hour clinic on clean hitting. Both are exceptional ball strikers.

In her first Major Semifinal, Brady was completely unaffected by the moment. She hung with the 2018 Champion serve-by-serve through the first set. Embracing risk. Ripping winners. Unforced errors be damned. Go for your shots. It’s how she played the entire tournament. It’s why, for the first time, she earned five consecutive match victories at a Major without losing a set. And it was effective — until the tiebreak. Osaka remained steady. Brady’s unforced errors limited her to a single point.

In set-2, Osaka’s wall began to crack. She fell behind love-30 in game-4, but recovered. At 3-all, still on serve, Naomi was throwing fist-pumps and thigh-slaps even when she lost points. She knew the weight of the moment. Brady’s legit. The wall cracked further in game-8. Jenn finally got a second break chance, and hammered it. Up 5-3, Brady served out the set to force a decider.

Early in the third, Osaka remained calm. Precise. Jenn missed a few balls she’d love to get back and fell behind an early break. Ultimately, that break decided the match. Osaka overcame nerves and her first double-fault to win it in just over 2-hours.

On Saturday, Naomi Osaka contests her third Grand Slam Final. Second at the US Open. She’s never lost a championship match at the Majors.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Semifinal Naomi Osaka Match Recap

Head to Head: Second Tour-level meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Semifinal Naomi Osaka Head to Head

[4] Naomi Osaka -09- (JPN) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction

Two years ago, she captured her first Grand Slam title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Four months later, she won the Australian Open and claimed the World #1 ranking. From Japan, 2018 US Open Champion Naomi Osaka.

  • SF — W | [28] Jennifer Brady -41- (USA) | Score: 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3
  • QF — W | Shelby Rogers -93- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 6-4 | RECAP
  • R4 — W | [14] Anett Kontaveit -21- (EST) | Score: 6-3, 6-4 | RECAP
  • R3 — W | Marta Kostyuk -137- (UKR) | Score: 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 | RECAP
  • R2 — W | Camila Giorgi -74- (ITA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R1 — W | Misaki Doi -81- (JPN) | Score: 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 | RECAP
[28] Jennifer Brady -41- (USA) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction

For the first time, she’s won five consecutive Grand Slam matches. And she’s done it, without losing a set. Making her Grand Slam Semifinal debut – the first former college player to reach the US Open Final-4 since 1987. From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Jennifer Brady.

  • SF — L | [4] Naomi Osaka -09- (JPN) | Score: 6-7(1), 6-3, 3-6
  • QF — W | [23] Yulia Putintseva -35- (KAZ) | Score: 6-3, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R4 — W | [17] Angelique Kerber -23- (GER) | Score: 6-1, 6-4
  • R3 — W | [32] Caroline Garcia -50- (FRA) | Score: 6-3, 6-3
  • R2 — W | CiCi Bellis -188- (USA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2
  • R1 — W | Anna Blinkova -62- (RUS) | Score: 6-3, 6-2

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 stayed home and “socially distanced,” 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 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. Additionally, it created a protective “Bubble” for all tournament participants at nearby hotels and on-site.

Announcer 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.