Round 4. Osaka def Kontaveit

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

Naomi Osaka returns to the Quarterfinals

These two squared-off just 11 days ago in the Quarterfinals of last week’s “New York Bubble” Western & Southern Open. In that match, Kontaveit took the first set, but Osaka recovered. Naomi won 7-5 in the decider, and carried that momentum to her 8th career Final. Struggling with tightness in her hamstring, she withdrew from the championship match versus Victoria Azarenka – choosing instead to focus on the US Open.

Tonight, it was all Osaka. On her 6th match point, Naomi broke Anett for the third time to earn her spot in the 2020 US Open Quarterfinals. And here’s the truth – when Naomi gets past the Round of 16 at the Slams, she wins Major titles. The 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open Champion has never lost a Quarterfinal, Semifinal or Championship Grand Slam match.

On Tuesday, she will test that record against American Shelby Rogers, who she’s never beaten. In fact, in three meetings – the former World #1 has yet to win a single set versus the current World #93. Earlier today, Shelby upset Petra Kvitova in a deciding set tiebreak, and is through to her second Major Quarterfinal — first at the US Open.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 4 Naomi Osaka Match Recap

Head to Head: Second meeting between these two players

Anett won the first set off of Naomi Osaka last week at the Western & Southern Open, but fell 5-7 in the decider. It was one of Osaka’s toughest matches en-route to the Final.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 4 Naomi Osaka Head to Head

[4] Naomi Osaka -09- (JPN) | Round-4 Announcer Introduction

A 2-time Grand Slam Champion, she captured her first Major Singles title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium two years ago. 4-months later, she won the Australian Open and claimed the World #1 ranking – From Japan, Naomi Osaka.

  • R4 — W | [14] Anett Kontaveit -21- (EST) | Score: 6-3, 6-4
  • R3 — W | Marta Kostyuk -137- (UKR) | Score: 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2 | RECAP
  • R2 — W | Camila Giorgi -74- (ITA) | Score: 6-1, 6-2 | RECAP
  • R1 — W | Misaki Doi -81- (JPN) | Score: 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 | RECAP
[14] Anett Kontaveit -21- (EST) | Round-4 Announcer Introduction

In 2015, as a 19-year-old qualifier, she made her first appearance on this court – reaching Round-4 in her US Open debut. Five years later, she is the 14-seed looking for a spot in her second Grand Slam Quarterfinal. From Estonia, Anett Kontaveit.

  • R4 — L | [4] Naomi Osaka -09- (JPN) | Score: 3-6, 4-6
  • R3 — W | [24] Magda Linette -37- (POL) | Score: 6-3, 6-2
  • R2 — W | Kaja Juvan -113- (SLO) | Score: 6-4, 6-1
  • R1 — W | Danielle Collins -55- (USA) | Score: 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

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.