Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open
Dominic Thiem returns to the Round of 16
Last year, he stumbled in the 1st-Round. In the 2018 Quarterfinals, he and Nadal played nearly 5-hours of master class tennis. And who can forget 2017’s deciding-set 4th-Round loss to a very sick Juan Martin Del Potro? Dominic Thiem and New York have an on-and-off-again relationship. This year, as we slide into the second week of the sport’s first Pandemic Slam, the two appear to be downright cozy.
Tonight, Thiem completely dictated play against 2014 Champion Marin Cilic, who can punish any opponent when given time to establish rhythm. Instead, Dominic attacked the Croatian’s serve early, breaking four out of Marin’s first six service games.
When Thiem lost the third set, it was full-on red alert. Cilic is talented at seizing opportunity when momentum shifts. I’m reminded of Marin’s 5-set loss to Jack Sock in the 2016 Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal. Team USA was up 2-0 after Day-1, essentially guaranteed a spot in the Semifinals. But Cilic teamed with Ivan Dodig to earn an improbable win over Bob and Mike Bryan — then dominated John Isner, before Borna Coric clinched the Tie.
Respecting Marin’s reputation, Thiem played “all or nothing” (his words) to start the fourth set. He broke Cilic following the second changeover and recovered from 15-40 while serving for the match.
A fine 2.5-hours of work in an empty Arther Ashe Stadium. On Sunday, January’s Australian Open Finalist will enter week-2 of a Major for the 13th time and face 20-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime – who took out 2012 Champ Andy Murray in the 2nd-Round..
Head to Head: Third meeting between these two players
 Dominic Thiem -03- (AUT) | Round-3 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.
- R3 — W |  Marin Cilic -38- (CRO) | Score: 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
- R2 — W | Sumit Nagal -124- (IND) | Score: 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 | RECAP
- R1 — W | Jaume Munar -105- (ESP) | Score: 7-6(6), 6-3 RET
 Marin Cilic -38- (CRO) | Round-3 Announcer Introduction
Ranked as high as World #3 – 6-years-ago, he captured his first Grand Slam Singles title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Since then, he’s reached 2-more Grand Slam Finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and led his country to the 2018 Davis Cup title. From Croatia – 2014 US Open Champion, Marin Cilic.
- R3 — L |  Dominic Thiem -03- (AUT) | Score: 2-6, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6
- R2 — W | Norbert Gombos -104- (SVK) | Score: 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-5
- R1 — W | Denis Kudla -111- (USA) | Score: 6-7(3), 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, 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.