The 2012 US Open…so far

The good news – We’ve only had two rain delays! One soaker only lasted an hour on Opening Day, then cleared out nicely for Opening Night Ceremonies.

From a fan’s perspective high up in Arthur Ashe Stadium:

The other rain delay hit Sunday Night during the Maria Sharapova vs. Nadia Petrova match. Nadia had come back to force a third set, and was actually up 2-0 in the 3rd, when light rain suspended play. The lastest a little longer than an hour – just enough time for Sharapova to gather herself and ratchet-up her intensity. She came out on-fire and eliminated Petrova shortly after 10:00pm; then it was time for another Isner 5-set marathon that he lost to German Philipp Kohlscshreiber at 2:26am.

Now, unfortunately we expect a healthy dose of rain over the next two days (Tuesday and Wednesday), disrupting 4th round and quarterfinal action. Everyone is looking forward to the Andy Roddick vs. Juan Martin del Potro 4th round match tomorrow night. Hey, with a little pity from Mother Nature, we just might make it! Though remember – the past four US Opens have all ended on Monday.

The biggest stories of the 2012 US Open so far…

1) Kim Clijsters’ retirement…and early exit from singles, doubles and mixed. She will be dearly missed here in New York, as much for her character as for her gutty play.

2) Andy Roddick…saving his retirement announcement for his birthday – then playing lights-out with his second and third round matches. We’ll see if that momentum continues versus del Potro.

3) Mardy Fish…retiring before his 4th round match against Roger Federer: “I regret that I have to withdraw from the US Open for precautionary measures. I was reluctant to do so, but am following medical advisement. I had a good summer and look forward to resuming my tournament schedule in the fall.”

With the walkover, Federer will face Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals…an opponent who’s been hard to handle at times for Roger, dating all the way back to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. They’ve played 15 times, Roger has won 11 of those matches including the last two, but Tomas has beaten him in a Slam before – in the Wimbledon quaterfinals back in 2010.

4) GB’s Laura Robson has arrived…taking out both Kim Clijsters, Na Li before getting beat by defending champion Samantha Stosur in the 4th round (4-6, 4-6)

We had rain threatening tonight (Night-8), so we had to move some of our night matches around with hopes we’d complete play before the Isaac’s remnants arrive in Flushing. Andy Murray is taking on Milos Raonic here in Arthur Ashe Stadium; 4-time Olympic Gold Medalists Venus and Serena Williams were just eliminated from the tournament by Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

We’ll see what develops this week here at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and I’ll recap the 2012 Open this time next week. Surely we won’t be playing a Men’s Final on Monday…for the fifth year in a row?