Night session tennis at the USO. There's nothing like it. And by that I mean, I generally never watch it. It always showcases players I don't generally care for, the crowd kind of bugs, and I don't know, I just don't dig it. But one thing is certain: There's almost always drama.
And drama there was as Venus found herself hobbled and two points from getting bounced by Vera Dushevina.
Three games into the match Venus called the trainer to address what looked like a patella tendon issue in her left knee. After a 10 minute delay play resumed. To be clear, it didn't *really* look like the knee was hindering her that much. After some top notch investigative reporting from Pimmy, we've learned that she's been hobbled by the bum knee for as much as 6 weeks. Take note of that inside information, bookies.
As for Vera D, she didn't play great but she somehow found herself a set up after a pretty phenomenal backhand flick pass to seal the tiebreak. After some back and forth in the second, she was serving at deuce, two points from her biggest win ever. But Venus stepped up and would reel off the next 5 games and eventually close it out, winning 67(5) 75 63. All credit to the NY crowd for giving Vera a nice cheer as she left the court.
It was a gutsy performance from Venus. But this should pretty much put a death knell in all this "The Williams Sisters are the favorites" talk. Serena is the favorite. Venus will be lucky to get past the quarters. Of course now that I've said that she'll probably make it to the semis by just hitting out and serving big.
As for the boys, who didn't take the court until around 11pm, there was blood, tumbles, and Phau. Andy's ear started bleeding at some point (probably from the Rob Thomas performance earlier in the night) and Andy got pissed about having to have it treated. Apparently the ball kids can't handle any towels that have blood on them. You'd think Andy would understand that but he seemed really peeved.