Round 3. Djokovic def Struff

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

Novak Djokovic advances to the Round of 16

3-0 in the sport’s first Pandemic Slam. 26-0 in 2020. Last week, Novak allowed Jan-Lennard Struff only 4-games in the Quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open. He went on to capture his 35th Masters-1000 title, earning 3-set victories over Roberto Bautista Agut and Milos Roanic.

Interesting to note as we progress to week-2: Novak dropped the first set in both the Semifinal and Championship match last week. In fact, he won a perfect (7-0) deciding-set tiebreak against RBA, who’s proven to be a Novak-slayer over the years. At the start of the 2019 season, Bautista Agut upset Djokovic in the Doha Semifinals en route to capturing his 9th ATP Singles title.

Up next, the 8-time Finalist and 3-time US Open Champion gets Pablo Carreño Busta, who’s enjoying his best New York run since reaching the Semifinals here in 2014. They’ve squared off three times since 2014 – all Masters-1000 Round of 16 wins for the World #1.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Novak Djokovic Match Recap

Head to Head: Fifth meeting between these two players

Novak and Jan-Lennard also played last week in the New York Bubble edition of the Western & Southern Open. It was Struff’s first career Masters-1000 Quarterfinal, earning him a career-high ranking of World #29.

The two first met 3-years-ago during week-1 of the season in Doha | Match Recap from the Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Struff jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set – but Novak recovered, won in straight-sets, and went on to defend his title, defeating Andy Murray in a thrilling Final.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Novak Djokovic Head to Head

[1] Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

Still undefeated in 2020, he is a 17-time Major Champion, owns the career Grand Slam, and has held the sport’s top-ranking for 284-weeks combined. From Serbia, 8-time Finalist and 3-time US Open Champion Novak Djokvic.

  • R3 — W | [28] Jan-Lennard Struff -29- (GER) | Score: 6-3, 6-3, 6-1
  • R2 — W | Kyle Edmund -44- (GBR) | Score: 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R1 — W | Damir Dzumhur -109- (BIH) | Score: 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 | RECAP
[28] Jan-Lennard Struff -29- (GER) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

Last week, he reached his first ATP Masters-1000 Quarterfinal at the Western & Southern Open, and jumped to a career high ranking of World #29. From Germany, Jan-Lennard Struff.

  • R3 — L | [1] Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Score: 3-6, 3-6, 1-6
  • R2 — W | Michael Mmoh -000- (USA) | Score: 6-2, 6-2, 7-5
  • R1 — W | Pedro Martinez Portero -106- (ESP) | Score: 6-0, 7-5, 6-4

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.