Round 2. Osaka def Giorgi

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 2 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 advances to Round-3

Before this year’s US Open, Naomi Osaka discovered her voice and embraced the reality that she has “a platform.” She’s given herself permission to empower herself. In May, she tweeted:

I’m done being shy. It’s really a waste of my time. I could’ve shared so many ideas by now, I could’ve had convos with so many different people. All the things I could’ve learned but no I’m over here actually putting my own limiter on myself.

Naomi Osaka | 4 May 2020

Since then, she has been candid, vulnerable and transparent about her horror and frustration with police brutality against people of color. Last week, when white Wisconsin officers shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, she withdrew from the Western & Southern Open as a show of protest. In Monday night’s 1st-Round match, she walked on court wearing a mask emblazoned with Breonna Taylor’s name. Tonight, she brought Elijah McCain into the conversation.

After her straight sets win over Camila Giorgi, Naomi told ESPN she used to take her platform for granted. Additionally, she doesn’t see her “new voice” as activism, but more like raising awareness. As she puts it, tennis has a global fan base. And she sees these moments as an opportunity to increase awareness of issues and struggles many viewers around the world don’t see first hand.

It’s inspiring to see the 2018 Champion allow herself to be authentic. Take her or leave her, either way Naomi’s good with it. As it should be. On to Round-3.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 2 Naomi Osaka Match Recap

Head to Head: Second meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 2 Naomi Osaka Head to Head

[4] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction

A 2-time Major Champion – two years ago, she captured her first Grand Slam Singles title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The first Asian player ever to claim the World #1 ranking – From Japan, Naomi Osaka.

  • R2 — W | Camila Giorgi -74- (ITA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2
  • R1 — W | Misaki Doi -81- (JPN) | Score: 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 | RECAP
Camila Giorgi -74- (ITA) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction

At the 2013 US Open, she made her Arthur Ashe Stadium debut as a qualifier ranked outside the top-100 – and upset World #8 Caroline Wozniacki to reach the 4th-Round of a Major for the first time. From Italy, Camila Giorgi.

  • R1 — L | [4] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | Score: 1-6, 2-6
  • R1 — W | Alison Van Uytvanck -60- (BEL) | Score: 2-6, 6-1, 7-5

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.

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.