Quarterfinal. Zverev def Coric

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

Alexander Zverev advances to first Major Semifinal

Before 2020, most saw Alexander Zverev as a top-10 mainstay with 11-titles. Behind a yawn, they’d concede that the win over World #1 Novak Djokovic at the 2018 ATP Finals was impressive. Yet still – despite being a 19-time Tour-level Finalist – despite owning 2 career wins over Djokovic, 4 over Federer, and 1 over World #1 Nadal – most just consider Sascha a slender Insta-stud with untapped potential. That’s life in the era of tennis’ Big-3.

The real reason casual fans and tennis purists never fully signed-on to Zverev’s success? He couldn’t reach week-2 of a Major. Take the US Open for example. This is Sascha’s seventh; his fourth as a top-10 talent. In 2017, he fell to Borna Coric in Round-2. A year later, Philipp Kohlschreiber shocked him in Round-3. Last year, he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the Round of 16. Zverev’s biggest win in New York (highest ranked opponent) was his Round-1 win over World #41 Radu Albot last Summer.

Then January happened. In the 4th-Round of the Australian Open, he took-out the hottest talent on Tour at the time, Andrey Rublev. The Russian had just won a pair of titles in Doha and Adelaide. Then Zverev bested Stan Wawrinka in four to reach his first Grand Slam Semifinal. Before Melbourne, his best Grand Slam results included a pair of Quarterfinal runs at Roland Garros.

Tonight, Alexander Zverev climbed two mountains.

First, down a set and a break, he found the mental muscle to turn it around. Truth is – considering their previous matches, including the 2nd-Round loss at the 2017 US Open – Borna Coric was in Sascha’s head. The first seven games proved it. To finally win a tough battle over the relentless Croatian is affirming.

Second, Zverev backed-up his Semifinal run in Melbourne with another Final-4 appearance at the US Open. This, after a global pandemic put a 5-month pause on the season. Sure, Roger and Rafa aren’t here. Yes, Novak eliminated himself from the tournament. But Sascha’s already proved he can beat the Big-3. What he really needed to prove was that he could consistently make deep runs on the sport’s biggest stages. Two consecutive Semifinals is a hell of a start.

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Quarterfinal Alexander Zverev Match Recap

Head to Head: Fifth meeting between these two players

Announcer Andy Taylor. 2020 US Open. Quarterfinal Alexander Zverev Head to Head

[5] Alexander Zverev -07- (GER) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction

The 2018 ATP Finals Champion, he owns 11 Singles titles and earlier this year reached his first Grand Slam Semifinal at the Australian Open. From Germany, the World #7 Alexander Zverev.

  • QF — W | [27] Borna Coric -32- (CRO) | Score: 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(1), 6-3
  • R4 — W | Alejandro Davidovich Fokina -99- (ESP) | Score: 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
  • R3 — W | [32] Adrian Mannarino -39- (FRA) | Score: 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
  • R2 — W | Brandon Nakashima -223- (USA) | Score: 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1
  • R1 — W | Kevin Anderson -117- (RSA) | Score: 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 | RECAP
[27] Borna Coric -32- (CRO) | Quarterfinal Announcer Introduction

In the 3rd-Round, he upset World #6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in a deciding-set tiebreak. Today, he makes his Grand Slam Quarterfial debut. From Croatia – Davis Cup Champion, Borna Coric.

  • QF — L | [5] Alexander Zverev -07- (GER) | Score: 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-7(1), 3-6
  • R4 — W | [2] Jordan Thompson -63- (AUS) | Score: 7-5, 6-1, 6-3
  • R3 — W | [4] Stefanos Tsitsipas -06- (GRE) | Score: 6-7(2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4)
  • R2 — W | Juan Ignacio Londero -62- (ARG) | Score: 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-3
  • R1 — W | Pablo Andujar -56- (ESP) | Score: 7-5, 6-3, 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.