An Epic Day of Tennis in Flushing…

Okay…let’s all try and catch our breath after the day we’ve had here in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2011 U.S. Open. And how did the day begin? Like EVERY day at this year’s Open, so it seems – with RAIN. Just as we were getting started, a shower unloaded on us right before we brought Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the court. Thankfully, the rain only delayed us about an hour…

…an hour we could have used! As I write this post, it is midnight – and we just now stared the US Open Men’s Doubles Final with Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner vs. Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.

[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×300.jpg” width=”225″ align=”right” title=”Novak Djokovic outlasts Roger Federer” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=”Djokovic outlasts Federer”]So…the first Men’s Semifinal today was epic. Novak Djokovic came back from two sets down, was actually down double match point on Roger Federer – but clawed his way back into the match, broke Roger’s serve, and won the final set (7-5). This, potentially, was THE match of Nole’s career. When the packed stadium was obviously pro-Federer and he was facing a pair of match points, he hammered a return-of-serve winner past the 5-time US Open champion; then urged the crowd to finally cheer in his favor. After eliminating the match points and winning the game – chants of “Novak, Novak” began to take over the stadium – and this place went nuts for winning points on either side.

Djokovic definitely showed how he’s matured into a champion over the past three years – rather than letting his frustration take over, the weight of the stadium behind Federer…he used his charisma and raw talent to mentally and physically turn the tide of the match. It was very cool to see and experience in person. He even took time after the match to have fun with the crowd – when Mary Jo Fernandez asked him if he felt like dancing, which has become his calling card this year – thanks to Cameron Hughes. He obliged, but only if the fans would dance with him.

Next on Ashe – Andy Murray had few answers for Rafael Nadal’s game, and was only able to take one set off of the defending U.S. Open Champion. Rafa, too – was thankful for the Ashe crowd taking his side during most of the match – and even took time to express his empathy for the families of those who lost their lives 10 years ago during the September 11th attacks.

It was then – we had to flip this stadium as fast as we possibly could…say goodbye to the day session ticket holders and hello to the night session audience. And it was an insane flip that went down in just 45-minutes!

Did you happen to see Cyndi Lauper’s performance of the National Anthem prior to the Women’s Semifinal on CBS? No? – Good…let’s just move on…

…actually no – let me show this to you. I apologize for the quality of the video, but this is still fresh – it just happened. But you’ll probably be hearing about it Sunday or next week. Take a look and LISTEN…

Yeah, Yeah – I know…I was standing right there! I heard it.

And you know, normally I wouldn’t pile-on by posting a terribly embarrassing public moment like this, but unfortunately Cyndi’s decided to join the ranks of “Reality Television Stars” and had camera crews following her all over during rehearsals (yes there were rehearsals) and prior to the performance. So…tens of people are going to see this moment anyway should the reality pilot actually be picked up by a network.

The definition of “tragically desperate” – signing on to do your own reality tv-show. Best of luck Cyndi…you’re going to need it.

Finally – after that jolting performance on center court – Serena Williams came out and absolutely DOMINATED the #1 women’s player in the world, Caroline Wozniacki. I think it is safe to say, Serena’s comeback is soon to be complete. Should she defeat Samantha Stosur tomorrow in the Final (Sam defeated Angelique Kerber in the other Semifinal earlier tonight on the Grandstand Court) – it will be Serena’s 4th US Open Title.

What a night here in Arthur Ashe Stadium! After starting with Hurricane Irene, some have said the 2011 tournament’s been cursed. I think I’ll just say this year has been…unique! Like Cyndi Lauper’s hair.