Round 3. Osaka def Kostyuk

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

Naomi Osaka advances to the Round of 16

Naomi will kick herself for mistakes and missed opportunity in set-2, but the 2018 Champion should be proud of the way she closed this one out. Her opponent, 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk — who took-out Kasatkina and Sevastova to get here — played brilliant, aggressive tennis during the second set tiebreak. After falling behind early, the Ukrainian attacked every ball, taking every opportunity to come to the net, and extended the match.

Because it worked, Kostyuk carried that anxious intensity into the decider — and simply ran herself ragged. As the aggressor – while Marta got to every ball, she didn’t force Naomi to cover as much ground. Osaka simply used Kostyuk’s power against her, sending her flailing all over the court. Calmly dictating each point, Osaka ended Kostyuk’s US Open run, winning five consecutive games.

After the match, wearing a face mask emblazoned with the name Ahmaud Arbery, Naomi said she hoped her 2.5-hour match qualified as an emergency. She needed an ice bath.

She’s played a lot of tennis over the past two weeks, most of it with hamstring issues. At the Western & Southern Open, she withdrew from Saturday’s Final only to go three-sets with Misaki Doi on Monday. Today’s marathon won’t help. And with only 16 players left in tennis’ first “Pandemic Slam,” the opponents won’t get any easier.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Naomi Osaka Match Recap

Head to Head: First meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Naomi Osaka Head to Head

[4] Naomi Osaka -09- (JPN) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

A 2-time Grand Slam Champion, she captured her first Major Singles title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium two years ago. 4-months later, she won the Australian Open and claimed the World #1 ranking – From Japan, Naomi Osaka.

  • R3 — W | Marta Kostyuk -137- (UKR) | Score: 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2
  • R2 — W | Camila Giorgi -74- (ITA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R1 — W | Misaki Doi -81- (JPN) | Score: 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 | RECAP
Marta Kostyuk -137- (UKR) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

2-years-ago, as a 15-year-old qualifying Wild Card, she reached the 3rd Round of the Australian Open in her Grand Slam and WTA debut. This week, she’s done it again here in New York. From Ukraine, Marta Kostyuk.

  • R3 — L | [4] Naomi Osaka -09- (JPN) | Score: 3-6 7-6(4), 2-6
  • R2 — W | [31] Anastasija Sevastova -45- (LAT) | Score: 6-3, 7-6(5)
  • R1 — W | Daria Kasatkina -70- (RUS) | Score: 6-1, 6-2

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.