Round 1. Muchova def Williams

Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open

Karolina Muchova advances to Round-2

At the 2018 US Open, Karolina Muchova scored one of the biggest confidence-boosts of her young career. Then 22-years-old, ranked outside the top-200, she won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time. After dispatching Dayana Yastremska in the 1st-Round, she snatched the spotlight from World #12 Garbine Muguruza. Down a set, Muchova came back to upset the 2-time Major Champion 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

It was a lightning rod victory. Although she fell to Ashleigh Barty in Round-3, Karolina’s confidence spiked. The following season, she reached her first WTA Final in Prague, upset World #3 Karolina Pliskova to find the Quarters at Wimbledon, and won her first career title in Seoul. By November of 2019, she leapt to a career-high ranking of World #21.

This evening, Karolina earned another momentous victory, becoming the first player to knock Venus Williams out of the US Open in the 1st-Round. Before tonight, the 2-time US Open Champion had never lost an opening match in New York, in 21 appearances.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 1 Karolina Muchova Match Recap

Head to Head: First meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 1 Karolina Muchova Head to Head

[20] Karolina Muchova -26- (CZE) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction

A Wimbledon Quarterfinalist last year – She made her breakthrough Grand Slam run at the 2018 US Open, upsetting Garbine Muguruza to reach Round-3 in her Grand Slam main draw debut. From the Czech Republic, Karolina Muchova.

  • R1 — W | Venus Williams -67- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 7-5
Venus Williams -67- (USA) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction

A 7-time Grand Slam champion – In 1997, she reached her first Major Final as an unseeded 17-year-old right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. From Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – 2-time US Open Champion Venus Williams.

  • R1 — L | [20] Karolina Muchova -26- (CZE) | Score: 3-6, 5-7

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. Additionally, 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.