Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open
Alexander Zverev overcomes self, reaches first Grand Slam Final at 2020 US Open
Now THAT was a journey. For the first time, World #7 Alexander Zverev is a Grand Slam Finalist. On Sunday, he becomes the first German to contest the US Open Men’s Singles title in 26-years (Michael Stich 1994). Should he capture his debut Major, Sascha will be the first German to win the US Open Men’s Singles title in 31-years (Boris Backer 1989).
Okay, enough with the historical hype. For his own sanity — Zverev’s internal assessment of tonight’s match should not dwell on the first two sets. Was he flat? Completely absent? Ill? Nervous? Only Sascha knows. After 70-minutes, he was down two sets to love.
Truth is, it doesn’t matter. Because he found a way. He turned it around. To do that – in a best of five format – in a Major Semfinal – is “grown-up” stuff. For all the flack the German receives for not “living up to his potential,” he sure as hell proved something tonight. To himself, at least.
Of course, detractors will ask: “Well, could he do that against the Big 3?” Maybe. Maybe not. Point is, he did it tonight. Against a consistent opponent who gets balls back. He overcame the odds. He dug himself out of a ditch he dug for himself. And on Sunday, he gets a crack at lifting his first Grand Slam trophy.
“Easy” wins don’t build character and long-term confidence. The “ugly” ones do. Growth as an athlete comes from wins that look just like the victory Alexander Zverev pulled out tonight.
Head to Head: Second meeting between these two players
 Alexander Zverev -07- (GER) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction
Make it back-to-back Major Semifinals for the World #7. Earlier this year, he made his Grand Slam Semifinal debut at the Australian Open. Here in New York, he’s done it again – coming back from a set-down to defeat Borna Coric in Wednesday’s Quarterfinal. From Germany, Alexander Zverev.
- SF — W |  Pablo Carreño Busta -27- (ESP) | Score:
- QF — W |  Borna Coric -32- (CRO) | Score: 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(1), 6-3 | RECAP
- R4 — W | Alejandro Davidovich Fokina -99- (ESP) | Score: 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
- R3 — W |  Adrian Mannarino -39- (FRA) | Score: 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
- R2 — W | Brandon Nakashima -223- (USA) | Score: 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1
- R1 — W | Kevin Anderson -117- (RSA) | Score: 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 | RECAP
 Pablo Carreño Busta -27- (ESP) | Semifinal Announcer Introduction
Three years ago, he reached his first Grand Slam Singles Semifinal right here at the US Open and climbed to a career-high ranking of World #10. On Wednesday, he defeated Denis Shapovalov in a 4-hour, deciding-set battle to reach the Final-4 again. From Spain, Pablo Carreño Busta.
- SF — L |  Alexander Zverev -07- (GER) | Score:
- QF — W |  Denis Shapovalov -17- (CAN) | Score: 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 0-6, 6-3 | RECAP
- R4 — W |  Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Score: 6-5 default | RECAP
- R3 — W | Ricardis Bernakis -65- (LTU) | Score: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
- R2 — W | Mitchell Krueger -198- (USA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
- R1 — W | Yasutaka Uchiyama -86- (JPN) | Score: 4-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
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.