Round 4. Mertens def Kenin

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

Elise Mertens returns to the Quarterfinals

Huge win. Tonight, Elise Mertens finally put another top-10 win on the board. She earned her last three top-10 victories 20-months-ago, during her improbable run to the 2019 Qatar Total Open title. There she defeated World #8 Kiki Bertens, World #6 Angelique Kerber and World #3 Simona Halep to capture her 5th WTA Singles title. Doha remains the last Singles title she’s won.

Belgium’s brightest is on a tear with the season’s resumption. Last month in Prague, she won her first four matches to reach the Final – where Simona Halep avenged the Doha defeat. At the “New York Bubble” Western & Southern Open, Mertens won four straight again before Naomi Osaka ended her run in the Semifinals. Here at the sport’s first Pandemic Slam, she’s four deep again – only this time, she notched her 7th career top-10 win to reach her third Major Singles Quarterfinal.

Last year, Elise and Aryna Sabalenka won the US Open Doubles title. On Sunday, Vera Zvonareva and Laura Siegemund knocked them out in a second-set tiebreak. Therefore, every ounce of focus is on individual achievement for the rest of the week.

She’ll need that concentration and raw determination to get past Victoria Azarenka, who’s been playing lights-out in the Bubble. Vika’s a 2-time Finalist here (2012 | 2013). She won the Western & Southern Open. In Round-2, she dismantled the 5-seed Sabalenka – and tonight, took-out Karolina Muchova on Armstrong to earn her spot in the 2020 US open Quarters.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 4 Elise Mertens Match Recap

Head to Head: Third meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Round 4 Elise Mertens Head to Head

[16] Elise Mertens -18- (BEL) | Round-4 Announcer Introduction

Last year on this court, she captured her debut Grand Slam title, teaming with Aryna Sabalenka to lift the doubles trophy. Tonight, she’s through to Round-4 of the US Open Singles draw for the 3rd consecutive year. From Belgium, Elise Mertens.

  • R4 — W | [2] Sofia Kenin -04- (USA) | Score: 6-3, 6-3
  • R3 — W | Caty McNally -41- (USA) | Score: 7-5, 6-1
  • R2 — W | Sara Sorribes Tormo -82- (ESP) | Score: 6-3, 7-5
  • R1 — W | Laura Siegemund -64- (GER) | Score: 6-2, 6-2
[2] Sofia Kenin -04- (USA) | Round-4 Announcer Introduction

The reigning Australian Open Champion – In January, she defeated World #1 Ashliegh Barty then Garbine Muguruza to capture her first Grand Slam singles title. From Pembroke Pines, Florida – World #4 Sofia Kenin.

  • R4 — L | [16] Elise Mertens -18- (BEL) | Score: 3-6, 3-6
  • R3 — W | [27] Ons Jabeur -31- (TUN) | Score: 7-6(4), 6-3
  • R2 — W | Leylah Annie Fernandez -104- (CAN) | Score: 6-4, 6-3 | RECAP
  • R1 — W | Yanina Wickmayer -91- (BEL) | Score: 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.