Kevin Anderson is Champion of New York (for at least 6 more months)
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
With 106 aces between them in the tournament already, you knew Sunday’s New York Open final between top seed Kevin Anderson and 2 seed Sam Querrey was going to be a big serving affair. It delivered, but not in the way that Querrey hit 21 aces on Saturday afternoon. In the end, it was Anderson with the edge on aces 16-9 and Anderson is the Champion of New York—well, at least until that tournament in Flushing in a little more than six months. The memories of a loss to Rafael Nadal vanished in an instant. The final score of the first final in New York Open history was 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(1).
Anderson was the cardiac kid to get to the final—outlasting qualifier Ernesto Escobedo in a third set tiebreak, beating Frances Tiafoe in three sets and surviving Kei Nishikori in a another third set tiebreak on Saturday.
Querrey arrived at the New York final by beating Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets, followed by a straight tiebreaks win against Ivo Karlovic and a comeback win in three sets against Adrian Mannarino in the semifinals.
With the win, Anderson grabs a check for $119,250.00 and 250 ATP rankings points. Querrey will receive $62,805.00 and 150 ATP points.
The tournament’s venue, NYCB Live, was a surprisingly good choice as an indoor tournament host. The two courts, separated by a VIP section, provided for enough separation of them to make it feel like there were two separate tennis stadia under the same roof. For players, coaches and many others, the Marriott hotel across the parking lot gave the New York Open a campus feel. Like its predecessor, the Memphis Open, there were plenty of empty seats during the early rounds before attendance picked up in the semifinals (and every time Kei Nishikori stepped on court). The ATP’s Greg Sharko was on the scene. He’s a treasure trove of all things ATP and is one of the most helpful people you’ll ever meet on the tour. It was such a good experience that I’ve re-thought my general aversion to indoor tennis. There’s nothing better for fans and bloggers to be able to know that a match will start at a specified time with no chance for a weather delay or cancellation. It’s hard enough to buy tickets to a match before the day’s schedule of play has been printed, so it’s a comfort to know that a match will go off at 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, even if your favorite player isn’t in it. Other than making for bad photos, indoor tennis is a blessing.
I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of doubles except when I’m at the end of a tournament. Max Mirnyi made his 100th appearance at an ATP final on Sunday when he and Philipp Oswald won the New York doubles crown. Mirnyi had some great things to say about the New York Open:
“Being an inaugural event, I know it takes a lot to get New Yorker’s attention and the fact that today we have a reigning U.S. Open singles finalist in the singles final, I’m sure it’s going to get a lot of attention. I’m sure those of us who have been here, among singles and doubles players, we’re going to spread the word as much as we can. I have no doubt that this is going to be a popular destination on the ATP World Tour and yeah, this tournament will continue to excel.” —Max Mirnyi
And one more thing: No-ad scoring is a great help as it moves the matches along for everyone’s sake. At one time, I would have threatened to boycott tennis had they toyed with no-ad scoring in singles, but now I think it would be a welcome change. As the Open era prepares for its 50th anniversary, the sport must evolve. We certainly have and tennis is no different than us.