Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open
Zvonareva and Siegemund claim the Doubles title
They knocked out the defending champions in the Quarterfinals. It’s only fitting that Vera Zvonareva and Laura Siegemund casually win the 2020 US Open title. After all, that’s how the German does things here in New York. In 2016, she and Mate Pavic met just moments before the Mixed Doubles filing deadline. Less than two weeks later, they were US Open Champions.
Yesterday, Mate claimed another US Open title with partner Bruno Soares. Today, it was Laura’s turn. Like four years ago, Siegemund and her partner had never played together before the start of the tournament. Like four years ago, that fact was completely irrelevant. Laura and Vera didn’t lose a set until the Semifinals. And in today’s championship match, Siegemund was unbeatable.
Seriously. I’m not sure what Laura had for breakfast, but she was EVERYWHERE. The put-away volleys. Precise ground strokes. Thundering returns. She was the most imposing presence on the court. How she played each point determind the direction of the match. Which trended well in the first, until she served for the set up 5-2. Down 30-40, Siegemund double faulted — gifting Melichar and Xu their first break of the match.
But, the hiccup proved inconsequential. Still up a break, Zvonareva served out the set. Siegemund then upped the intensity even further at the start of the second – and with an opening break, the championship match was theirs to lose. Which they didn’t. By a long shot.
Five consecutive victories in New York equals $200,000 each. Not a bad week and half. That said, it was an emotional second Major for Laura. Her aunt passed away while she was locked in the Bubble at the sport’s first Pandemic Slam. As Laura put it, she knows her Aunt was watching today, with the best seats in the house.
Vera Zvonareva. 5-time Grand Slam Champion:
- 2020 US Open Women’s Doubles Champion / Partner: Laura Siegemund
- 2012 Australian Open Women’s Doubles Champion / Partner: Svetlana Kuznetsova
- 2006 US Open Women’s Doubles Champion / Partner: Nathalie Dechy
- 2006 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion / Partner: Rajeev Ram
- 2004 US Open Mixed Doubles Champion / Partner: Bob Bryan
Laura Siegemund. 2-time Grand Slam Champion:
- 2020 US Open Women’s Doubles Champion / Partner: Vera Zvonareva
- 2016 US Open Mixed Doubles Champion / Partner: Mate Pavic
Vera Zvonareva -86- (RUS) Laura Siegemund -59- (GER) | Announcer Introduction
In the Quarterfinals, they upset defending US Open Champions Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens – and have reached today’s championship match in their first event together on Tour. From Russia and Germany, 2006 US Open Doubles Champion Vera Zvonareva and 2016 US Open Mixed Doubles Champion Laura Siegemund..
- FF — W |  Nicole Melichar -16- (USA) Yifan Xu -08- (CHN) | Score: 6-4, 6-4
- SF — W | Anna Blinkova -54- (RUS) Veronika Kudermetova -26- (RUS) | Score: 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
- QF — W |  Elise Mertens -06- (BEL) Aryna Sabalenka -05- (BLR) | Score: 6-4, 7-6(1)
- R2 — W |  Sofia Kenin -31- (USA) Victoria Azarenka -20- (BLR) | Score: 7-6(4), 6-3
- R1 — W | Alexa Guarachi -42- (CHI) Desirae Krawczyk -34- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 6-0
 Nicole Melichar -16- (USA) Yifan Xu -08- (CHN) | Announcer Introduction
Finalists 13 days ago in the Western & Southern Open, they started 2020 by capturing their first title together in Adelaide. Through to their first Grand Slam Final as a team – Form the United States and China – Nicole Melichar and Yifan Xu.
- FF — L | Vera Zvonareva -86- (RUS) Laura Siegemund -59- (GER) | Score: 4-6, 4-6
- SF — W | Taylor Townsend -78- (USA) Asia Muhammad -46- (USA) | Score: 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7)
- QF — W | Luisa Stefani -39- (BRA) Hayley Carter -36- (USA) | Score: 6-2, 6-3
- R2 — W | Coco Gauff -45- (USA) Caty McNally -41- (USA) | Score: 7-6(4), 7-6(2)
- R1 — W | Alison Van Uytvanck -114- (BEL) Kirsten Flipkins -28- (BEL) | Score: 6-4, 7-6(4)
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.