Round 2. Thiem def Nagal

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

Dominic Thiem advances to Round-3

Dominic Thiem is due for a good run in New York. Some would say he is cursed in Queens.

  • 2016: Forced to retire from his 4th-Round match with Delpo due to a knee injury
  • 2017: Again in the 4th Round versus Del Potro. Dominic was up 2-0. Delpo was deathly ill, puking in a bucket on changeovers. Somehow, Juan Martin came back to win the match in a decider.
  • 2018: Thiem’s best US Open run to the Quarterfinals where he played a brilliant match, allowing Nadal only 7 points in the first set. After 4-hours and 49-minutes, he lost the match on a missed overhead. Both deserved to win.
  • 2019: Inexplicably, Dominic fell in the 1st-Round to World #87 Thomas Fabbiano.

This year, we’re all cursed thanks to the coronavirus. Before the pandemic put the skids on the 2020 season, Thiem was poised to make it a memorable one. He reached his third Grand Slam Final at the Australian Open, playing lights-out as tennis leaned toward the European clay swing, Thiem’s best surface.

During the time off, while most locked down, Dominic played. He hosted his own exhibition in Kitzbühel, played Ultimate Tennis Showdown in the Mouratoglou Academy bubble — and yes, was a part of the ill-fated Adria Tour, where Borna Coric, Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic and others contracted the virus.

Remarkably – thankfully – considering his exposure, Dominic consistently tested negative and continued to play where he could. He’s ready for the big matches. After Munar’s retirement on Tuesday and a 2-hour win today over Nagal – the first big test of this year’s Open happens on Saturday. It’s Dominic Thiem versus 2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic — who needed 5-sets to defeat Denis Kudla on Tuesday, and 4-sets to eliminate Norbert Gombos today.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 2 Dominic Thiem Match Recap

Head to Head: First meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 2 Dominic Thiem Head to Head

[2] Dominic Thiem -03- (AUT) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction

The Finalist at this year’s Australian Open, he’s now a 3-time Grand Slam Finalist, owns 16 ATP Singles titles, and comes into this year’s US Open as the World #3. From Austria, Dominic Thiem.

  • R2 — W | Sumit Nagal -124- (IND) | Score: 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
  • R1 — W | Jaume Munar -105- (ESP) | Score: 7-6(6), 6-3 RET
Sumit Nagal -124- (IND) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction

Last year, in his Arthur Ashe Stadium debut, he won his opening set against 5-time US Open Champion Roger Federer. Today, he’s through to Round-2 of a Grand Slam for the first time. From India, Sumit Nagal.

  • R1 — L | [2] Dominic Thiem -03- (AUT) | Score: 3-6, 3-6, 2-6
  • R1 — W | Bradley Klahn -129- (ZZZ) | Score: 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1

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 hesitated 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.