Round 3. Williams def Stephens

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

Serena Williams advances to the Round of 16

After a physical, come-from-behind victory over 2017 Champion Sloane Stephens — on Monday, Serena Williams will contest her 62nd career 4th-Round match at a Major.

<< Checks notes. Checks again. Face palm >>

It’s crazy. When writing about Serena — every sentence starts innocently enough, but always climaxes with some statistically mind-blowing accomplishment. That’s what happens when your subject has an impassioned commitment to simply be better. Every day.

The woman is inspiring — in thousands of different lanes. Here on the tennis freeway, she is the greatest of all time. Man or woman. But its unfair to only speak of her in terms of tennis. She completely transcends the sport, and rightfully belongs in conversations about the best athletes of all time.

Yet, I digress. After all, this is simply the 3rd-Round of her 75th Grand Slam Tournament. Today’s win over a 2-time Major Finalist and Grand Slam Champion was just her 104th US Open match vict… — Sorry. Inescapable.

Serena gets Maria Sakkari next. For those who watched the “New York Bubble” Western & Southern Open last week — you know just how much Serena wants this do-over. It’s surprising she gets the mulligan less than two weeks after the loss.

I literally should have won that match. There was no excuse. It was hard, but I had so many opportunities to win, and I have to figure that one out, like how to start winning those matches again. There is really no excuses, to be honest.

26 August 2020 | Serena Williams

Up a set and break in their Round of 16 match, Serena failed to serve it out. Maria won set-2 in a tiebreak then rolled in the decider. Final: 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-1.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Serena Williams Match Recap

Head to Head: Seventh meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Serena Williams Head to Head

[3] Serena Williams -08- (USA) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

She captured her first Grand Slam title here in Arthur Ashe Stadium at 17-years-old. Today, she owns 23 Majors and 4 Olympic Gold Medals. From Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – 10-time Finalist and 6-time US Open Champion Serena Williams.

  • R3 — W | [26] Sloane Stephens -39- (USA) | Score: 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
  • R2 — W | Margarita Gasparyan -117- (RUS) | Score: 6-2, 6-4 | RECAP
  • R1 — W | Kristie Ahn -96- (USA) | Score: 7-5, 6-3 | RECAP
[26] Sloane Stephens -39- (USA) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

Ranked as high as World #3, she is a 2-time Grand Slam Finalist – and 3-years-ago, captured her first Major title here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. From Plantation, Florida – 2017 US Open Champion, Sloane Stephens.

  • R3 — L | [3] Serena Williams -08- (USA) | Score: 6-2, 2-6, 2-6
  • R2 — W | Olgo Govortsova -130- (BLR) | Score: 6-2, 6-2
  • R1 — W | Mihaela Buzarnescu -122- (ROU) | Score: 6-3, 6-3

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.

Announcer 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.