Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the US Open
Novak Djokovic defaulted from the US Open
With one frustrated flick of the wrist, 3-time Champion Novak Djokovic eliminated himself from the 2020 US Open. Broken late in the first set – as he walked back to his bench, Novak pulled an unspent service ball from his pocket and smacked it to the back of the court. Something he and hundreds of other professional tennis players have likely done a million times. However on this occasion, that ball – hit in frustration – caught an unsuspecting linesperson square in the throat. She crumpled. Game, Set, Match.
Rules, Decorum, Sportsmanship.
After the injured linesperson left the court, Novak spent what felt like an eternity discussing the situation with tournament referee Sören Friemel. Fact is, the decision to default had already been made – by the act itself. I’ve worked closely with Mr. Friemel for several years. He is measured, precise, knows the rules inside and out, and follows that knowledge to a T. It’s part of his German character: Do everything correctly, efficiently and professionally. Rules don’t exist to be bent. That’s not “Ordnung.”
Despite what some fans may think – the suspenseful, drawn-out conversation with Novak was not a debate. It was a tournament referee respectfully allowing an athlete to state his case – then carefully and repeatedly explaining the specific rule behind the decision to default. No fireworks. No drama. The athlete eventually realizes there is no parachute and accepts his self-inflicted fate. Steady leadership.
Announcer View | Full Context of what happened from start to finish
The match itself was routine. After the 9th game, both still on-serve, Carreno Busta fell behind 0-40. Novak missed all three break chances and Pablo held to reach 5-all. Pissed at himself – in frustration, Novak whacked a ball into the courtside barricade. And we moved on. No big deal (so we thought).
In the next game, Novak tumbled as he fell behind 0-30. Somehow, he injured his left shoulder during the spill. The trainer came to the court mid-game and Djokovic received some light, initial treatment before resuming play. When Carreno Busta earned the break, Novak inadvertently injured the linesperson as he was walking back to his bench.
To Novak’s credit, he immediately tried to assist as chair umpire Aurelie Torte came rushing over. However, after finally accepting the default — within 30-minutes, he was gone. No press. No checking-up on the linesperson. Gone. He released the statement below on Instagram.
This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy. As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry.
Novak Djokovic | Statement released on Instagram
Pablo Carreno Busta back in the US Open Quarterfinals
The World #27 reached his first Grand Slam Semifinal here in New York 3-years-ago. With Novak out, the US Open “Pandemic Slam” is guaranteed a first time champion this Sunday.
Head to Head: Fourth meeting between these two players
 Pablo Carreno Busta -27- (ESP) | Round-4 Announcer Introduction
In 2016, he reached the US Open Doubles Final. A year later, he reached his first Grand Slam Singles Semifinal and climbed to a career-high ranking of World #10. From Spain, Pablo Carreno Busta.
- R4 — W |  Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Score: 6-5 default
- R3 — W | Ricardis Bernakis -65- (LTU) | Score: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
- R2 — W | Mitchell Krueger -198- (USA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
- R1 — W | Yasutaka Uchiyama -86- (JPN) | Score: 4-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
 Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Round-4 Announcer Introduction
He remains undefeated in 2020. An 8-time Finalist here in Arthur Ashe Stadium, he owns 17 Grand Slam Singles titles, including 3 US Open Championships. From Serbia – the #1 Player in the World, Novak Djokovic.
- R4 — L |  Pablo Carreno Busta -27- (ESP) | Score: 5-6 default
- R3 — W |  Jan-Lennard Struff -29- (GER) | Score: 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 | RECAP
- 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
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.