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Friday, August 23, 2013

tidbits on US Open and the feat of Daniel Nestor

Another Grand Slam tournament got underway… it is the US Open - a hardcourt tennis tournament which is the modern iteration of one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, the U.S. National Championship, for which men's singles was first contested in 1881. Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final tennis major comprising the Grand Slam each year; the other three are the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. It is held annually in late August and early September over a two-week period. The main tournament consists of five event championships: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for senior, junior, and wheelchair players. Since 1978, the tournament has been played on acrylic hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at New York City, New York, United States.

Technically, the  US Open has tie-breaks in every set, including the last set. The other three Grand Slam tournaments have tie breaks in every set other than the last set (i.e. the fifth set for men and third set for women), and therefore their last set continues indefinitely until a two-game lead is reached.  The Men and Women single are 128 draws – the winner takes home $1,900,000 and the runner gets $ 950,000; the losing semi-finalists get $ 475,000; those in the 1st round get $23000.
Photo courtesy : Davidwboswell  at en.wikipedia

In last year tournament [2012] - Djokovic and Samantha Stosur were the defending men's and women's champions respectively. Both were unsuccessful in their title defences; Stosur being narrowly defeated by World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals, and Djokovic defeated in the final by Andy Murray. Murray became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Grand Slam singles title, and the first man to win both the US Open and the Olympic men's singles gold medal in the same year. In the women's draw, Serena Williams won her fourth US Open title, and first since 2008, by defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final.

This year, it is claimed that there will be more dining choices than ever before around the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, enhancing the US Open experience and ensuring that by the time fans leave, they’ll only be hungry for more tennis. A wide variety of globally- and locally-inspired menus and several new and innovative dining spaces have been added to create a truly unique and unparalleled culinary experience for fans. In addition, this year’s menu includes more than 40 percent of all produce locally-sourced from the region.  It is stated that there would be  250-person staff to serve guests at 60 concession stands, five restaurants, 100 luxury suites and the Player’s Lounge.

The tournament for sure would be colourful but it is going to be the green that would define the tournament.  The US Open Green Initiative, aimed at making the US Open responsible for its ecological footprint and creating a sustainable future, has become a recognized leader in green efforts at sporting events. Since the inception of the initiative in 2008, the USTA has diverted more than 850 tons of waste through recycling and composting, saved more than 1,100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, offset enough electricity to power 600 homes for one year, recycled almost 1.5 million plastic bottles and entertained nearly 2 million fans who have arrived via mass transit. In 2012, the US Open’s Green Initiative diverted close to 50 percent of the waste from the landfill through recycling and composting.

It is claimed that green initiative at the 2013 US Open would include – putting the compost made from waste collected during 2012 US Open would be put use  to feed plants throughout the site at the 2013 US Open. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will supply 605 metric tons of carbon offsets to offset the carbon emissions generated from player travel to the event as well as from the fuel consumed on-site to run the tournament. The USTA collects the tennis balls used during the matches and player practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and to donate to various community and youth organizations throughout the United States. From the kitchens at the US Open, more than 12,000 gallons of food grease will be converted into biodiesel fuel. More than 180 tons of food and compostable plates, utensils and napkins will be collected to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses. The USTA will continue to welcome 60 percent of its fans via mass transit. US Open tickets are printed on paper composed of 30 percent post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper comprised of 10-15 percent post-consumer waste.

Now some news on the players-  Daniel Nestor became the first doubles player to reach the 900 match wins milestone, as he teamed up with fellow 40 year old Leander Paes for a 6-4, 6-4 win over Paul Hanley and John Peers on Wednesday night in the Winston-Salem Open quarter-finals. Nestor, who made his ATP World Tour debut as a 16 year old, has compiled a 900-358 match record and 80 titles over his illustrious career. He notched his first win in 1993 in Auckland, alongside Sebastien Lareau. Four players have reached the milestone in singles action:  Jimmy Connors (1253), Ivan Lendl (1071), Guillermo Vilas (929) and Roger Federer (910). Nestor and Paes are playing together for just the second time, after making their partnership debut in 1994 at The Queen’s Club.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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