Round 3. Cornet def Keys (RET)

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

Alize Cornet advances to the Round of 16 for the first time

Tough night for Madison Keys. Career-first for Alize Cornet. With Madison’s retirement following game-5 of the second set, the French Fed Cup Champion advanced to the US Open’s Round of 16 for the first time.

Fun facts: This is Alize Cornet’s 14th consecutive US Open. Impressively, she hasn’t missed a Major since before the 2007 Australian Open, and owns the longest active streak for consecutive Grand Slam main draw appearances (54). Ai Sugiyama still holds the longest streak in the Open Era with 62 consecutive Majors.

That said, before tonight Alize never reached Round-4 in New York. In 2014, she upset Serena Williams to reach Wimbledon’s Final-16. A year later, she made a 4th-Round run at Roland Garros. Her first Round of 16 Grand Slam appearance came at the 2009 Australian Open, when she was just 19-years-old, ranked inside the top-20.

No one wants to advance by retirement. It sucks. But that’s not the story here. Alize played a mentally tough, determined first set. Keys was still crushing forehands despite the injury. Cornet gets Tsvetana Pironkova next, who’s enjoyed improbable success this week in “The Bubble.”

The US Open is Pironkova’s first event on Tour in over 3-years. She stepped away from the game after 2017’s Wimbledon Championships. The following April, she became a Mom for the first time and has spent the past two years raising her son. Tsvetana upset Garbine Muguruza, then Donna Vecic to reach the 4th-Round here for the first time since 2012.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Alize Cornet Match Recap

Head to Head: Fourth meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 3 Alize Cornet Head to Head

Alize Cornet -56- (FRA) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

Last week, this Fed Cup Champion earned her 20th career top-10 victory, defeating Australian Open Champ and World #4 Sofia Kenin at the Western & Southern Open. Ranked as high as World #11, she owns 6 WTA Singles titles and is through to the 3rd-Round of the US Open for the 5th time. From France, Alize Cornet.

  • R3 — W | [7] Madison Keys -14- (USA) | Score: 7-6(4), 3-2 RET
  • R2 — W | Ysaline Bonaventure -121- (BEL) | Score: 7-6(4), 6-3
  • R1 — W | Lauren Davis -65- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 1-6, 6-0
[7] Madison Keys -14- (USA) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction

A Finalist here in New York 3-years-ago – she’s been ranked as high as World #7, owns 5 WTA Singles titles and reached her 10th career Final week-1 of the season in Brisbane. From Rock Island, Illinois – 2017 US Open Finalist Madison Keys.

  • R3 — L | Alize Cornet -56- (FRA) | Score: 6-7(4), 2-3 RET
  • R2 — W | Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov -103- (ESP) | Score: 6-2, 6-1
  • R1 — W | Timea Babos -101- (HUN) | Score: 6-1, 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.

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.