Just wanted to give a quick shout out to Taylor Dent, who beat Nicolas Lapentti in straight sets by serving and volleying and slicing. And he clocked a 149mph serve, which apparently broke a record for the fastest serve at RG. EVAH.
I found myself really rooting for Taylor. I'm sure part of it is because of his volleyball connections (he's Misty May's cousin and she was one of my idols when I was growing up, and she's partners with Kerri Walsh, who I played against/with in high school), but I really enjoyed watching his backhand slice. It was giving Nico fits.
Oh, and Halpert won in straight sets and gave a great presser about the new generation of American guys' respect for clay. I love that he and Sam are taking the surface seriously and not doing what the prior group of guys did, which was hang out at in the States futzing around until the very last minute, playing one clay warmup tourney, and half-assing it at RG, and talking shit about clay as a surface. Good job, boys.