Midterm gradesJon Wertheim, SI.com
Spell checker doesn't recognize the word formful but, through seven days of play, it's a pretty good adjective to describe the 2004 U.S. Open. Genuine upsets have been few and far between, and the brightest stars are still shining. With a full dose of Princeton Grade Inflation, here are my midterm marks:
Star power: Organizers, networks, sponsors and -- oh, yeah -- the fans, have to be pretty happy with the slate of names that remain in the draw.
USTA hospitality: By placing Roger Federer
front and center on the marketing drive, toasting Olympic gold medalists from Belgium and Chile and putting Amelie Mauresmo
and Lleyton Hewitt
back-to-back for a night session, it's a vast improvement from the all-Americans, all-the-time m.o. of the past.
:LRECopenWindow(1)";var lrec_flashfile = 'http://us.a1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/a/tm/tmobile/300x250_im2win15sec.swf?clickTAG='+link+'';var lrec_altURL = "http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=129g670g3/M=307700.5388360.6481250.1414694/D=sports/S=95862566:LREC/EXP=1094583359/A=2329581/R=1/id=altimgurl/SIG=110eihn1p/*http://www.T-Mobile.com/IM2Win";var lrec_altimg = "http://us.a1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/a/tm/tmobile/300x250_im2win.gif";var lrec_width = 300;var lrec_height = 250; on error resume next plugin = ( IsObject(CreateObject("ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFla sh.6"))) Andy Roddick
: He's been untouchable (if atrociously attired) through three rounds.
Oli Rochus: The little big man upset No. 3 seed Carlos Moya
in a terrific five-setter in third round on Saturday. In between flicking winners and running down every ball, Rochus conceded a point in the fourth set. Put simply: It's Rochus time, baby.
: If only everyone would lose with such grace.
Male qualifiers: Ten of the 16 won their first match.
: The Armenian vet has played 13 sets in three rounds already, but he's still around.
: The ATP's dignity quotient went down with his retirement announcement.
: After playing in his 56th straight Slam, the South African veteran called it a career
USA Network: Now that's how you broadcast a tennis tournament. A week of judicious coverage choices and entertaining commentating may have peaked when Michael Barkann brandished Nicolas Massu
's smashed racket during his sideline coverage.
Jarrell Benavidez: The Federer of ballkids.
: She lost a third-round heartbreaker to Patty Schnyder
, but, thankfully, the elevator appears headed in the right direction.
: The 16-year-old came up short against Serena Williams
, but is there any doubt she's destined for the top 10?
Mike Youzhny and Paul-Henri Mathieu
: Twinned forever after their 2002 Davis Cup match, both were eliminated over the weekend, but not before turning in encouraging results that were long overdue.
Nicolas Massu: The Olympic gold medalist lost a classic five-setter to Sargsian, but after his marathon in Athens, it's amazing he was even in the match.
German tennis: Tommy Haas
and Nicolas Kiefer
both have a real shot at the semifinals. Now about Boris Becker's stint in USA's broadcast booth ...
: Her post-Wimbledon swoon continues but she handled herself with real dignity and maturity after losing to Mary Pierce
: We're impressed that he went yard while taking batting practice with the Mets, but te could have used more big cuts the following day, losing to 149th-ranked qualifer Michal Tabara
in the second round.
Olympic medalists: Justine Henin-Hardenne
(women's gold) and Mauresmo (silver) are still alive, but Alicia Molik
(bronze), Massu (men's gold), Fish (silver), and Fernando Gonzalez
(bronze) failed to survive the second round.
Wild cards: Only one of 16 (Amer Delic
) won their first-round match.
: "Head case" doesn't begin to describe it.
Concessions: Whatever incremental revenue you get charging $7.50 for a substandard hamburger is vastly outstripped by the bad publicity and bad feelings it engenders. The grade would be lower were it not the Indian joint abutting Court 7.