Santiago Giraldo of Colombia was involved in a very unusual circumstance in his first-round US Open match Tuesday against Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Playing on Court No. 7 at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, Giraldo was disgusted in his play, trailing two sets to love and a service break in the third set. After he committed an unforced error, Giraldo smashed his Babolat racquet to the hard court surface, where it bounced over the 10-foot fence landing in the shrubbery that lined the back of the court. The racquet was out of reach for the Colombian Davis Cupper and he had to go to his bag sitting courtside and pick up another stick to play with.
After receiving a code of conduct warning for the abuse of his racquet, Giraldo finished the game and then grabbed a lines person’s chair and stood on it to reach and grab the bounced racquet.
In the corresponding photos, note Giraldo’s racquet sitting in the shrubbery in the middle of the back of the court and him retrieving it with the linesperson’s chair. Lopez went on to win the match 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Federal officials from the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York conducted two raids in two separate apartments – just blocks from the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York – early Monday, the same day of the conclusion of the 2009 US Open.
Officials raided apartments on 144-67 41st Avenue and on 146th Avenue in Flushing after they had been visited by a suspected associate of Al Qaeda over the weekend. The normal high security at the U.S. Open was noticeably increased on the final day of the tournament Monday, with increased police presence on subway lines going to and from the tournament and on the streets surrounding Arthur Ashe Stadium
No arrests were made in the raids and no weapons or explosives were found. Senator Charles Schumer of New York said the raids were preventative. According to the New York Times, the raids occurred after a man of Afghan descent under surveillance because of suspected Al Qaeda ties visited New York City over the weekend and then left.
The 2009 U.S. Open was scheduled to conclude on Sunday, Sept. 13, but rains on Friday and Saturday pushed play to Monday, where Juan Martin del Potro defeated Roger Federer in five sets to win the men’s singles title. Earlier in the day, Venus and Serena Williams won the women’s doubles championship over Liezel Huber and Cara Black.
August 29 is a significant day in tennis history as it was on this day that the U.S. Open became “open” and “for the people.” As documented in the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.TennisHistoryBook.com), August 29 was the date when, back in 1968, when the first U.S. Open became open to amateurs and professionals, ushering in the “open era” and the new era of big-time tennis. Ten years later in 1978, the U.S. Open was moved to a private tennis club to a public tennis facility when the tournament opened the gates at the new, public USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. The entire August 29 book chapter is excerpted below.
1978 – The gates open at the new USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. for the grand opening of the newly-constructed public facility that is the new home of the U.S. Open. “Tonight the US Open belongs to us, the people, the tennis fans,” says actor and comedian Alan King, the master of ceremonies for the opening session of the tournament. “Ten months ago when we broke ground I thought they were crazy. But here we are. This is where the legends begin.” Bjorn Borg and Bob Hewitt play the first match at the new facility with Borg winning the best-of-three set first round match 6-0, 6-2. “Probably when I get to be 75 years old and look back, I’ll say I was the first one to play in the new stadium,” says Borg after defeating Hewitt in front of only 6,186 fans during the opening night session of the tournament.
1952 – Two years after Althea Gibson breaks the color barrier as the first black player to compete in the U.S. Championships, Dr. Reginald Weir becomes the first black man to accomplish the feat when he takes the court in the first round of men’s singles. Weir, however, is defeated in the first round by William Stucki 11-9, 5-7, 8-6, 6-1. One day later, another black man, George Stewart, also loses in the first round of the U.S. Championships to Bernard “Tut” Bartzen 6-3, 9-7, 6-0.
1968 – The first professional U.S. “Open” with a tournament field consisting of professional and amateurs begins at the U.S. Championships and Billie Jean King plays the first stadium match at the U.S. Open, defeating Long Island dentist and alternate player Dr. Vija Vuskains 6-1, 6-0. Amateurs Ray Moore and Jim Osborne register upset wins over professionals; Moore defeating No. 10 seed Andres Gimeno 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 and Osborne defeating Barry MacKay 8-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
1951 – Described by Allison Danzig of the New York Times as “scenes almost unparalleled at Forest Hills,” Gardnar Mulloy defeats fellow American Earl Cochell 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round in which Cochell hits a ball out of the stadium, tanks a game by returning Mulloy’s serve with his racquet switched to his left-hand, and serves underhand to the gross displeasure of the crowd, who shower Cochell with boos and barbs.
1927 – Sixteen-year-old Betty Nuthall of Britain advances into the women’s singles final of the U.S. Championships at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills, defeating Charlotte Chapin of the United States 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the semifinals. Nuthall, at age 16 years, three months and six days, is the youngest woman to reach the singles final at the U.S. Championships. Helen Wills, a three-time U.S. champion, relents only two games to her rival Helen Jacobs in the other semifinal, winning 6-2, 6-0. The next day, Wills wins the title, defeating Nuthall 6-1, 6-4. Nuthall becomes the first British woman to win the U.S. title in 1930.
1970 – Arthur Ashe and Cliff Richey give the United States a 2-0 lead over West Germany in the Davis Cup Challenge Round played at the Harold T. Clark Courts in Cleveland, Ohio. Ashe defeats 1967 Wimbledon finalist Wilhelm Bungert 6-2, 10-8, 6-2, while Richey defeats Christian Kuhnke 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The United States goes on to clinch the series and its third straight Davis Cup title the following day when Stan Smith and Bob Lutz clinch the match by beating Bungert and Kuhnke 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the doubles rubber. The U.S. ultimately wins the series by a 5-0 margin, with Ashe providing the final exclamation point, winning the most dramatic dead-rubber matches in Davis Cup history, overcoming a two-sets-to-love deficit and a match point in the fourth set to defeat Kuhnke 6-8, 10-12, 9-7, 13-11, 6-4.
Posted by E.C. Sullivan
The US Open will be held in just about four months time at the Billie Jean King/USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The facility is open to the public to enjoy and play tennis for the other 49 weeks of the year when the US Open is not being held. Late last year, the USTA unveiled its spectacular new indoor tennis building, but now, as spring is in full bloom in New York City, the outdoor courts are now starting to be filled with enthusiastic players. We hope you enjoy this photo essay of the home of the US Open taken on a late April afternoon.
NTC – 21 – The Arthur Ashe Commemorative Garden in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium on an April day in New York.
NTC – 22 – The 2008 US Open Champions are already documented in the “US Open Court of Champions.”
NTC – 20 – The South Plaza – five months before it is abuzz with US Open excitement
NTC – 19 – Some casualties from the winter
NTC – 18 – The field courts are getting some early use from New York City residents
NTC – 17 – New corporate hospitality space, just above the food court
NTC – 16 – Two new Platform Tennis courts at the Billie Jean King / USTA National Tennis Center
NTC – 15 – Remnants of the 2008 US Open
NTC – 14 – Some clean-up still to be had
NTC – 13 – Food Court looking over to Ashe Stadium
NTC – 12 – Food Court looking over to Louis Armstrong Stadium
NTC 11 – Tennis clinics taking place
NTC 10 – A beautiful lounge area to take in all the indoor tennis action
NTC – 9 – Jimmy Connors champions’ photo
NTC – 8 – Rod Laver champions’ photo
NTC – 7 – The lobby features photos of all of the men’s and women’s singles champions of the Open Era (since 1968)
NTC – 6 – Roger Federer’s photo in the lobby
NTC – 5 – The spectacular news indoor tennis building with 12 courts
NTC – 4 – The new lobby of the new indoor building
NTC – 3 – The new indoor building at the Billie Jean King / USTA National Tennis Center
NTC – 2 – Front entrance
NTC – 1 – Re-branded and welcoming tennis players of all levels
ATLANTA – Hamilton Jordan, the former CEO of the ATP Tour and the architect of the ATP’s transformation from a player union to administrator of the men’s tour in 1990, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Jordan, 63, who also served as Chief of Staff to President Jimmy Carter, died at his home in Atlanta about 7:30 p.m., said Gerald Rafshoon, who was Carter’s chief of communications.
“He was a great strategist. He just couldn’t strategize his way out of this,” Rafshoon said from his home in Washington.
Jordan served as the top man at the ATP from 1987 to 1990 and was best known for instrumenting the famed “parking lot press conference” at the 1988 US Open where the ATP players declared in a press conference held in the parking lot of the USTA National Tennis Center that they were breaking off from the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council to start their own tour in 1990 – the modern-day ATP Tour.
Jordan’s battle with cancer began 22 years ago, when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, followed by bouts with melanoma and prostate cancer.
Rafshoon said a memorial service was planned Friday at The Carter Center in Atlanta and Carter would attend.
Carter said in a statement that he and his wife, Rosalynn, “are deeply saddened.”
“Hamilton was my closest political adviser, a trusted confidant and my friend. His judgment, insight and wisdom were excelled only by his compassion and love of our country.”
Jordan was born in Charlotte, N.C., in 1944 and raised in Albany, Ga. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a political science degree in 1967 and became a key adviser to Carter during the 1976 presidential campaign.