The Cyclops, Day Three: Nadal v. Gasquet

The Cyclops is our daily look at one match you should be sure to follow during the upcoming day at the U.S. Open.

Rafael Nadal ESP (3) v. Richard Gasquet FRA, third match, Arthur Ashe Stadium

Dear USTA,

By the luck of the draw (literally), you were blessed with a rare treat: a compelling first round match-up between one of two best players in the world and another who recently spent eight months in the top ten.

Yet you've chosen to celebrate this game by dumping it in the middle of a five-match slate at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Instead of getting featured in primetime, as it should be, Nadal and Gasquet will duel in the last match of the early session, likely around 3 p.m. Schedule makers should have been courting the widest possible audience to view this match. With this time slot, the match will be seen only by the die hards, unemployed and people sitting in bars in the middle of the afternoon. (Novak Djokovic and Ivan Ijubicic had that slot yesterday, which should tell you all you need to know about what the USTA thinks about it.)

I understand that Roger Federer in the second round is a big draw, which is why you gave him the first primetime match at Arthur Ashe. And I also can see if you don't want to highlight Gasquet too much given the headlines he was making earlier this year. But he was cleared of those charges (and rightly so, I might add -- unattributable club-kissing is a rampant problem in America's war on drugs) so that should be irrelevant. With the compelling storylines and great tennis that will be on display in Nadal-Gasquet, it deserved more attention than it will get.

P.S. You get a bonus for sticking the shrieking Michelle Larcher de Brito on court 13.


Busted Racquet

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