Australian Open men's final - Stanislas Wawrinka overcomes Rafael Nadal

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New Swiss star Stanislas Wawrinka beat top-ranked Rafael Nadal in four sets to capture his first Grand Slam title.

<p>NEW YORK – The 2017 season has been a renaissance for Grigor Dimitrov. He started the year with a title in Brisbane and followed that with a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, falling in five sets to Rafael Nadal. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati last week, Dimitrov is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.</p><p>With several top players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—skipping the U.S. Open due to injury, Dimitrov is suddenly a contender at the year’s final Grand Slam event. After winning Cincinnati without dropping a set, Dimitrov is poised to make a serious run in Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.</p><p>Ahead of the U.S. Open, Dimitrov spoke to SI in New York on behalf of Wilson, which just launched a <a href="http://www.wilson.com/custom/rackets/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:new digital custom tennis racket platform" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">new digital custom tennis racket platform</a>. After showing off his own special-designed racket and demonstrating the new online platform, Dimitrov discussed his relationship to his fellow pros, his love for <em>The Notebook</em> and more.</p><p><em>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.</em></p><p><strong>Stanley Kay: </strong><em>In Cincinnati, you and Nick Kyrgios shared a long hug at the net after the final. You obviously seemed to help him out a lot during the week. What</em><em>’s the best advice you</em><em>’ve ever gotten from a fellow pro?</em></p><p><strong>Grigor Dimitrov</strong>: That’s a very good question. I’ve never had anybody voluntarily come to me and give me advice, which is OK I guess. But me asking somebody—one of the nicest things that I actually heard, and it was pretty recent, was when I practiced with Rafa [Nadal] in Mallorca. We were just on a boat together one afternoon, we were resting, and I was like, “Man, what do you think? What do you think about my game?” And he just says, “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t miss.” And I was like, “Wow, thanks!”</p><p>(Laughs) I know it’s funny, but for me when he said it, it sounded different. Of course when your coach says it it’s different, but somebody of his rank, as a person and player, to say it the way he said it to me—I was like, aha! I never thought of that, almost. You almost feel like I never thought of that.</p><p>Also Roger for sure. Throughout the years I’ve known him, I’ve gotten to know him very well—his family and everybody around, so he’s also always been the guy. He says, “Don’t put your head down, just keep doing what you are doing. It will come, it will come.” And then even yesterday I saw him actually, and he was like, “You see, sometimes things are that simple.” I was like, “Yeah, easy for you to say.”</p><p>He’s like, “No, it’s that simple sometimes.” And in a way, it’s right. Once the opportunities knock on your door, you’ve got to try and go get them. If it doesn&#39;t happen, it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, you’ve got to keep going.</p><p>I have a great relationship with all of them too, so that makes things also look a bit in perspective. It’s the same thing with Nick—I’m sure that’s not going to be our last final, I can tell you that much. But you can see sometimes, there’s more to tennis for me. Yes, when you’re out there on the court, you want to beat the guy. You hate him, you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t want to see him. You swear at him, and everything else you can possibly think of. But there’s so much more to tennis. When I see somebody that—I don’t want to say needs help, but was in a tough position, if he asks me, why wouldn’t I try to help? […] Even if he had beaten me the other day, I would still have the same feelings for that. I know tennis is just a game, but it’s something that it can actually unite us even more.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>People have called you Baby Fed throughout your career. But who is Baby Grigor?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Oh man. That is up for the people to decide. I haven’t seen any guys who are playing similar to me right now. I’m sure there’s going to be kids that are going to come up and have a similar style, but also the backhand one-hands are kind of—not that many anymore. It’s probably like five to six guys right now, one-handers. So there’s your first obstacle to find that new Grigor. But yeah, I don’t know. I was actually talking earlier about it—I need to start watching those young kids that are coming up, because I’m sure after a few years they’re going to give me hell on the court. So I just need to start looking at their game and see their patterns, so I think this is something I need to look into.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>I saw a <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2014/07/23/grigor-dimitrov-twitter-qa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter Q&#38;A" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter Q&#38;A</a> you did a few years ago. You said The Notebook is your favorite movie.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>It still is.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>What scene makes you cry the most?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>The scene when she goes to see him on the lake. They go on the water, and they start feeding the birds or ducks, whatever that was there. They come back. It starts raining, and [she] says to [him]: “Why didn’t you write me?”</p><p>He says: “I wrote you, every single day, one letter for 365 days.”</p><p>And then she says: “You wrote me?” And then I go—no not me, I wish I was in the movie! S---, I wish I was in the damn movie. (Laughs)</p><p>He says, “It wasn’t over for me.” And then he says: “It still isn’t over.”</p><p>And then—you can do the math for the rest. They jump in each other’s arms.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>I</em><em>’m getting misty-eyed.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Me too. Me too, man.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>That was amazing presentation.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>I swear to God—sometimes I have to stop and just pause it. I couldn’t take it. My heart.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>Do you usually watch it by yourself?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Mainly, yeah, because I just don’t want [others] to see me crying I guess. But I’m past that.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>It</em><em>’s ok!</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>It’s fine! I don’t care, it’s fine. It’s just me. But this scene is (gesturing to his heart)—yeah, right there.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>Walk me through your racket design. </em></p><p><strong>GD</strong>: This is one out of one. This is the first racket we actually ever designed. This is Grigor Dimitrov, man. [Regarding the quote on the racket], have you read the book, <em>The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari? </em></p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>No, but I think I just read that <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/22/garbine-muguruza-us-open-new-york-grand-slam-titles" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Garbine Muguruza likes that book too." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Garbine Muguruza likes that book too.</a></em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>And we both won the tournament in Cincinnati! It’s a great book. But this racket is inspired from cars, military—one day I was going to practice, and I opened my trunk. And as soon as I touched my car I was like wow I like this color. This is when the idea hit me up about having the same color and the same feel on the racket.</p><p>?</p><p>This is inspired obviously from the military. I like camouflage a lot. […] I just wanted something else to stick out, just to be different out there on the court, and making sure as soon as you hit the ball how it looks and how it feels from the outside. So we came up with those colors. The gray came—we took a lot of time on the gray. We had like eight different type of gray colors coming into the racket, and we just kind of had to find the best color. </p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>How close of attention do you pay to other players’ racket designs?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Never. Just my own. The same thing when you play a match, you always try to focus on your side of the net. It’s pretty simple—it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, that is to create. To get this opportunity to create a racket has always been a dream of mine. What if my racket looked like this? What if it my racket looked like that? There was this thing that was always in the back of my head. I always wanted things to stand out, to be different. We’ve found the right match I think. </p>
Getting Personal with Grigor Dimitrov

NEW YORK – The 2017 season has been a renaissance for Grigor Dimitrov. He started the year with a title in Brisbane and followed that with a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, falling in five sets to Rafael Nadal. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati last week, Dimitrov is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.

With several top players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—skipping the U.S. Open due to injury, Dimitrov is suddenly a contender at the year’s final Grand Slam event. After winning Cincinnati without dropping a set, Dimitrov is poised to make a serious run in Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.

Ahead of the U.S. Open, Dimitrov spoke to SI in New York on behalf of Wilson, which just launched a new digital custom tennis racket platform. After showing off his own special-designed racket and demonstrating the new online platform, Dimitrov discussed his relationship to his fellow pros, his love for The Notebook and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stanley Kay: In Cincinnati, you and Nick Kyrgios shared a long hug at the net after the final. You obviously seemed to help him out a lot during the week. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from a fellow pro?

Grigor Dimitrov: That’s a very good question. I’ve never had anybody voluntarily come to me and give me advice, which is OK I guess. But me asking somebody—one of the nicest things that I actually heard, and it was pretty recent, was when I practiced with Rafa [Nadal] in Mallorca. We were just on a boat together one afternoon, we were resting, and I was like, “Man, what do you think? What do you think about my game?” And he just says, “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t miss.” And I was like, “Wow, thanks!”

(Laughs) I know it’s funny, but for me when he said it, it sounded different. Of course when your coach says it it’s different, but somebody of his rank, as a person and player, to say it the way he said it to me—I was like, aha! I never thought of that, almost. You almost feel like I never thought of that.

Also Roger for sure. Throughout the years I’ve known him, I’ve gotten to know him very well—his family and everybody around, so he’s also always been the guy. He says, “Don’t put your head down, just keep doing what you are doing. It will come, it will come.” And then even yesterday I saw him actually, and he was like, “You see, sometimes things are that simple.” I was like, “Yeah, easy for you to say.”

He’s like, “No, it’s that simple sometimes.” And in a way, it’s right. Once the opportunities knock on your door, you’ve got to try and go get them. If it doesn't happen, it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, you’ve got to keep going.

I have a great relationship with all of them too, so that makes things also look a bit in perspective. It’s the same thing with Nick—I’m sure that’s not going to be our last final, I can tell you that much. But you can see sometimes, there’s more to tennis for me. Yes, when you’re out there on the court, you want to beat the guy. You hate him, you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t want to see him. You swear at him, and everything else you can possibly think of. But there’s so much more to tennis. When I see somebody that—I don’t want to say needs help, but was in a tough position, if he asks me, why wouldn’t I try to help? […] Even if he had beaten me the other day, I would still have the same feelings for that. I know tennis is just a game, but it’s something that it can actually unite us even more.

SK: People have called you Baby Fed throughout your career. But who is Baby Grigor?

GD: Oh man. That is up for the people to decide. I haven’t seen any guys who are playing similar to me right now. I’m sure there’s going to be kids that are going to come up and have a similar style, but also the backhand one-hands are kind of—not that many anymore. It’s probably like five to six guys right now, one-handers. So there’s your first obstacle to find that new Grigor. But yeah, I don’t know. I was actually talking earlier about it—I need to start watching those young kids that are coming up, because I’m sure after a few years they’re going to give me hell on the court. So I just need to start looking at their game and see their patterns, so I think this is something I need to look into.

SK: I saw a Twitter Q&A you did a few years ago. You said The Notebook is your favorite movie.

GD: It still is.

SK: What scene makes you cry the most?

GD: The scene when she goes to see him on the lake. They go on the water, and they start feeding the birds or ducks, whatever that was there. They come back. It starts raining, and [she] says to [him]: “Why didn’t you write me?”

He says: “I wrote you, every single day, one letter for 365 days.”

And then she says: “You wrote me?” And then I go—no not me, I wish I was in the movie! S---, I wish I was in the damn movie. (Laughs)

He says, “It wasn’t over for me.” And then he says: “It still isn’t over.”

And then—you can do the math for the rest. They jump in each other’s arms.

SK: I’m getting misty-eyed.

GD: Me too. Me too, man.

SK: That was amazing presentation.

GD: I swear to God—sometimes I have to stop and just pause it. I couldn’t take it. My heart.

SK: Do you usually watch it by yourself?

GD: Mainly, yeah, because I just don’t want [others] to see me crying I guess. But I’m past that.

SK: It’s ok!

GD: It’s fine! I don’t care, it’s fine. It’s just me. But this scene is (gesturing to his heart)—yeah, right there.

SK: Walk me through your racket design.

GD: This is one out of one. This is the first racket we actually ever designed. This is Grigor Dimitrov, man. [Regarding the quote on the racket], have you read the book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari?

SK: No, but I think I just read that Garbine Muguruza likes that book too.

GD: And we both won the tournament in Cincinnati! It’s a great book. But this racket is inspired from cars, military—one day I was going to practice, and I opened my trunk. And as soon as I touched my car I was like wow I like this color. This is when the idea hit me up about having the same color and the same feel on the racket.

?

This is inspired obviously from the military. I like camouflage a lot. […] I just wanted something else to stick out, just to be different out there on the court, and making sure as soon as you hit the ball how it looks and how it feels from the outside. So we came up with those colors. The gray came—we took a lot of time on the gray. We had like eight different type of gray colors coming into the racket, and we just kind of had to find the best color.

SK: How close of attention do you pay to other players’ racket designs?

GD: Never. Just my own. The same thing when you play a match, you always try to focus on your side of the net. It’s pretty simple—it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, that is to create. To get this opportunity to create a racket has always been a dream of mine. What if my racket looked like this? What if it my racket looked like that? There was this thing that was always in the back of my head. I always wanted things to stand out, to be different. We’ve found the right match I think.

<p>NEW YORK – The 2017 season has been a renaissance for Grigor Dimitrov. He started the year with a title in Brisbane and followed that with a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, falling in five sets to Rafael Nadal. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati last week, Dimitrov is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.</p><p>With several top players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—skipping the U.S. Open due to injury, Dimitrov is suddenly a contender at the year’s final Grand Slam event. After winning Cincinnati without dropping a set, Dimitrov is poised to make a serious run in Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.</p><p>Ahead of the U.S. Open, Dimitrov spoke to SI in New York on behalf of Wilson, which just launched a <a href="http://www.wilson.com/custom/rackets/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:new digital custom tennis racket platform" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">new digital custom tennis racket platform</a>. After showing off his own special-designed racket and demonstrating the new online platform, Dimitrov discussed his relationship to his fellow pros, his love for <em>The Notebook</em> and more.</p><p><em>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.</em></p><p><strong>Stanley Kay: </strong><em>In Cincinnati, you and Nick Kyrgios shared a long hug at the net after the final. You obviously seemed to help him out a lot during the week. What</em><em>’s the best advice you</em><em>’ve ever gotten from a fellow pro?</em></p><p><strong>Grigor Dimitrov</strong>: That’s a very good question. I’ve never had anybody voluntarily come to me and give me advice, which is OK I guess. But me asking somebody—one of the nicest things that I actually heard, and it was pretty recent, was when I practiced with Rafa [Nadal] in Mallorca. We were just on a boat together one afternoon, we were resting, and I was like, “Man, what do you think? What do you think about my game?” And he just says, “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t miss.” And I was like, “Wow, thanks!”</p><p>(Laughs) I know it’s funny, but for me when he said it, it sounded different. Of course when your coach says it it’s different, but somebody of his rank, as a person and player, to say it the way he said it to me—I was like, aha! I never thought of that, almost. You almost feel like I never thought of that.</p><p>Also Roger for sure. Throughout the years I’ve known him, I’ve gotten to know him very well—his family and everybody around, so he’s also always been the guy. He says, “Don’t put your head down, just keep doing what you are doing. It will come, it will come.” And then even yesterday I saw him actually, and he was like, “You see, sometimes things are that simple.” I was like, “Yeah, easy for you to say.”</p><p>He’s like, “No, it’s that simple sometimes.” And in a way, it’s right. Once the opportunities knock on your door, you’ve got to try and go get them. If it doesn&#39;t happen, it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, you’ve got to keep going.</p><p>I have a great relationship with all of them too, so that makes things also look a bit in perspective. It’s the same thing with Nick—I’m sure that’s not going to be our last final, I can tell you that much. But you can see sometimes, there’s more to tennis for me. Yes, when you’re out there on the court, you want to beat the guy. You hate him, you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t want to see him. You swear at him, and everything else you can possibly think of. But there’s so much more to tennis. When I see somebody that—I don’t want to say needs help, but was in a tough position, if he asks me, why wouldn’t I try to help? […] Even if he had beaten me the other day, I would still have the same feelings for that. I know tennis is just a game, but it’s something that it can actually unite us even more.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>People have called you Baby Fed throughout your career. But who is Baby Grigor?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Oh man. That is up for the people to decide. I haven’t seen any guys who are playing similar to me right now. I’m sure there’s going to be kids that are going to come up and have a similar style, but also the backhand one-hands are kind of—not that many anymore. It’s probably like five to six guys right now, one-handers. So there’s your first obstacle to find that new Grigor. But yeah, I don’t know. I was actually talking earlier about it—I need to start watching those young kids that are coming up, because I’m sure after a few years they’re going to give me hell on the court. So I just need to start looking at their game and see their patterns, so I think this is something I need to look into.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>I saw a <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2014/07/23/grigor-dimitrov-twitter-qa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter Q&#38;A" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter Q&#38;A</a> you did a few years ago. You said The Notebook is your favorite movie.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>It still is.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>What scene makes you cry the most?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>The scene when she goes to see him on the lake. They go on the water, and they start feeding the birds or ducks, whatever that was there. They come back. It starts raining, and [she] says to [him]: “Why didn’t you write me?”</p><p>He says: “I wrote you, every single day, one letter for 365 days.”</p><p>And then she says: “You wrote me?” And then I go—no not me, I wish I was in the movie! S---, I wish I was in the damn movie. (Laughs)</p><p>He says, “It wasn’t over for me.” And then he says: “It still isn’t over.”</p><p>And then—you can do the math for the rest. They jump in each other’s arms.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>I</em><em>’m getting misty-eyed.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Me too. Me too, man.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>That was amazing presentation.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>I swear to God—sometimes I have to stop and just pause it. I couldn’t take it. My heart.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>Do you usually watch it by yourself?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Mainly, yeah, because I just don’t want [others] to see me crying I guess. But I’m past that.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>It</em><em>’s ok!</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>It’s fine! I don’t care, it’s fine. It’s just me. But this scene is (gesturing to his heart)—yeah, right there.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>Walk me through your racket design. </em></p><p><strong>GD</strong>: This is one out of one. This is the first racket we actually ever designed. This is Grigor Dimitrov, man. [Regarding the quote on the racket], have you read the book, <em>The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari? </em></p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>No, but I think I just read that <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/22/garbine-muguruza-us-open-new-york-grand-slam-titles" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Garbine Muguruza likes that book too." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Garbine Muguruza likes that book too.</a></em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>And we both won the tournament in Cincinnati! It’s a great book. But this racket is inspired from cars, military—one day I was going to practice, and I opened my trunk. And as soon as I touched my car I was like wow I like this color. This is when the idea hit me up about having the same color and the same feel on the racket.</p><p>?</p><p>This is inspired obviously from the military. I like camouflage a lot. […] I just wanted something else to stick out, just to be different out there on the court, and making sure as soon as you hit the ball how it looks and how it feels from the outside. So we came up with those colors. The gray came—we took a lot of time on the gray. We had like eight different type of gray colors coming into the racket, and we just kind of had to find the best color. </p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>How close of attention do you pay to other players’ racket designs?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Never. Just my own. The same thing when you play a match, you always try to focus on your side of the net. It’s pretty simple—it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, that is to create. To get this opportunity to create a racket has always been a dream of mine. What if my racket looked like this? What if it my racket looked like that? There was this thing that was always in the back of my head. I always wanted things to stand out, to be different. We’ve found the right match I think. </p>
Getting Personal with Grigor Dimitrov

NEW YORK – The 2017 season has been a renaissance for Grigor Dimitrov. He started the year with a title in Brisbane and followed that with a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, falling in five sets to Rafael Nadal. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati last week, Dimitrov is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.

With several top players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—skipping the U.S. Open due to injury, Dimitrov is suddenly a contender at the year’s final Grand Slam event. After winning Cincinnati without dropping a set, Dimitrov is poised to make a serious run in Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.

Ahead of the U.S. Open, Dimitrov spoke to SI in New York on behalf of Wilson, which just launched a new digital custom tennis racket platform. After showing off his own special-designed racket and demonstrating the new online platform, Dimitrov discussed his relationship to his fellow pros, his love for The Notebook and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stanley Kay: In Cincinnati, you and Nick Kyrgios shared a long hug at the net after the final. You obviously seemed to help him out a lot during the week. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from a fellow pro?

Grigor Dimitrov: That’s a very good question. I’ve never had anybody voluntarily come to me and give me advice, which is OK I guess. But me asking somebody—one of the nicest things that I actually heard, and it was pretty recent, was when I practiced with Rafa [Nadal] in Mallorca. We were just on a boat together one afternoon, we were resting, and I was like, “Man, what do you think? What do you think about my game?” And he just says, “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t miss.” And I was like, “Wow, thanks!”

(Laughs) I know it’s funny, but for me when he said it, it sounded different. Of course when your coach says it it’s different, but somebody of his rank, as a person and player, to say it the way he said it to me—I was like, aha! I never thought of that, almost. You almost feel like I never thought of that.

Also Roger for sure. Throughout the years I’ve known him, I’ve gotten to know him very well—his family and everybody around, so he’s also always been the guy. He says, “Don’t put your head down, just keep doing what you are doing. It will come, it will come.” And then even yesterday I saw him actually, and he was like, “You see, sometimes things are that simple.” I was like, “Yeah, easy for you to say.”

He’s like, “No, it’s that simple sometimes.” And in a way, it’s right. Once the opportunities knock on your door, you’ve got to try and go get them. If it doesn't happen, it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, you’ve got to keep going.

I have a great relationship with all of them too, so that makes things also look a bit in perspective. It’s the same thing with Nick—I’m sure that’s not going to be our last final, I can tell you that much. But you can see sometimes, there’s more to tennis for me. Yes, when you’re out there on the court, you want to beat the guy. You hate him, you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t want to see him. You swear at him, and everything else you can possibly think of. But there’s so much more to tennis. When I see somebody that—I don’t want to say needs help, but was in a tough position, if he asks me, why wouldn’t I try to help? […] Even if he had beaten me the other day, I would still have the same feelings for that. I know tennis is just a game, but it’s something that it can actually unite us even more.

SK: People have called you Baby Fed throughout your career. But who is Baby Grigor?

GD: Oh man. That is up for the people to decide. I haven’t seen any guys who are playing similar to me right now. I’m sure there’s going to be kids that are going to come up and have a similar style, but also the backhand one-hands are kind of—not that many anymore. It’s probably like five to six guys right now, one-handers. So there’s your first obstacle to find that new Grigor. But yeah, I don’t know. I was actually talking earlier about it—I need to start watching those young kids that are coming up, because I’m sure after a few years they’re going to give me hell on the court. So I just need to start looking at their game and see their patterns, so I think this is something I need to look into.

SK: I saw a Twitter Q&A you did a few years ago. You said The Notebook is your favorite movie.

GD: It still is.

SK: What scene makes you cry the most?

GD: The scene when she goes to see him on the lake. They go on the water, and they start feeding the birds or ducks, whatever that was there. They come back. It starts raining, and [she] says to [him]: “Why didn’t you write me?”

He says: “I wrote you, every single day, one letter for 365 days.”

And then she says: “You wrote me?” And then I go—no not me, I wish I was in the movie! S---, I wish I was in the damn movie. (Laughs)

He says, “It wasn’t over for me.” And then he says: “It still isn’t over.”

And then—you can do the math for the rest. They jump in each other’s arms.

SK: I’m getting misty-eyed.

GD: Me too. Me too, man.

SK: That was amazing presentation.

GD: I swear to God—sometimes I have to stop and just pause it. I couldn’t take it. My heart.

SK: Do you usually watch it by yourself?

GD: Mainly, yeah, because I just don’t want [others] to see me crying I guess. But I’m past that.

SK: It’s ok!

GD: It’s fine! I don’t care, it’s fine. It’s just me. But this scene is (gesturing to his heart)—yeah, right there.

SK: Walk me through your racket design.

GD: This is one out of one. This is the first racket we actually ever designed. This is Grigor Dimitrov, man. [Regarding the quote on the racket], have you read the book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari?

SK: No, but I think I just read that Garbine Muguruza likes that book too.

GD: And we both won the tournament in Cincinnati! It’s a great book. But this racket is inspired from cars, military—one day I was going to practice, and I opened my trunk. And as soon as I touched my car I was like wow I like this color. This is when the idea hit me up about having the same color and the same feel on the racket.

?

This is inspired obviously from the military. I like camouflage a lot. […] I just wanted something else to stick out, just to be different out there on the court, and making sure as soon as you hit the ball how it looks and how it feels from the outside. So we came up with those colors. The gray came—we took a lot of time on the gray. We had like eight different type of gray colors coming into the racket, and we just kind of had to find the best color.

SK: How close of attention do you pay to other players’ racket designs?

GD: Never. Just my own. The same thing when you play a match, you always try to focus on your side of the net. It’s pretty simple—it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, that is to create. To get this opportunity to create a racket has always been a dream of mine. What if my racket looked like this? What if it my racket looked like that? There was this thing that was always in the back of my head. I always wanted things to stand out, to be different. We’ve found the right match I think.

<p>NEW YORK – The 2017 season has been a renaissance for Grigor Dimitrov. He started the year with a title in Brisbane and followed that with a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, falling in five sets to Rafael Nadal. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati last week, Dimitrov is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.</p><p>With several top players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—skipping the U.S. Open due to injury, Dimitrov is suddenly a contender at the year’s final Grand Slam event. After winning Cincinnati without dropping a set, Dimitrov is poised to make a serious run in Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.</p><p>Ahead of the U.S. Open, Dimitrov spoke to SI in New York on behalf of Wilson, which just launched a <a href="http://www.wilson.com/custom/rackets/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:new digital custom tennis racket platform" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">new digital custom tennis racket platform</a>. After showing off his own special-designed racket and demonstrating the new online platform, Dimitrov discussed his relationship to his fellow pros, his love for <em>The Notebook</em> and more.</p><p><em>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.</em></p><p><strong>Stanley Kay: </strong><em>In Cincinnati, you and Nick Kyrgios shared a long hug at the net after the final. You obviously seemed to help him out a lot during the week. What</em><em>’s the best advice you</em><em>’ve ever gotten from a fellow pro?</em></p><p><strong>Grigor Dimitrov</strong>: That’s a very good question. I’ve never had anybody voluntarily come to me and give me advice, which is OK I guess. But me asking somebody—one of the nicest things that I actually heard, and it was pretty recent, was when I practiced with Rafa [Nadal] in Mallorca. We were just on a boat together one afternoon, we were resting, and I was like, “Man, what do you think? What do you think about my game?” And he just says, “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t miss.” And I was like, “Wow, thanks!”</p><p>(Laughs) I know it’s funny, but for me when he said it, it sounded different. Of course when your coach says it it’s different, but somebody of his rank, as a person and player, to say it the way he said it to me—I was like, aha! I never thought of that, almost. You almost feel like I never thought of that.</p><p>Also Roger for sure. Throughout the years I’ve known him, I’ve gotten to know him very well—his family and everybody around, so he’s also always been the guy. He says, “Don’t put your head down, just keep doing what you are doing. It will come, it will come.” And then even yesterday I saw him actually, and he was like, “You see, sometimes things are that simple.” I was like, “Yeah, easy for you to say.”</p><p>He’s like, “No, it’s that simple sometimes.” And in a way, it’s right. Once the opportunities knock on your door, you’ve got to try and go get them. If it doesn&#39;t happen, it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, you’ve got to keep going.</p><p>I have a great relationship with all of them too, so that makes things also look a bit in perspective. It’s the same thing with Nick—I’m sure that’s not going to be our last final, I can tell you that much. But you can see sometimes, there’s more to tennis for me. Yes, when you’re out there on the court, you want to beat the guy. You hate him, you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t want to see him. You swear at him, and everything else you can possibly think of. But there’s so much more to tennis. When I see somebody that—I don’t want to say needs help, but was in a tough position, if he asks me, why wouldn’t I try to help? […] Even if he had beaten me the other day, I would still have the same feelings for that. I know tennis is just a game, but it’s something that it can actually unite us even more.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>People have called you Baby Fed throughout your career. But who is Baby Grigor?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Oh man. That is up for the people to decide. I haven’t seen any guys who are playing similar to me right now. I’m sure there’s going to be kids that are going to come up and have a similar style, but also the backhand one-hands are kind of—not that many anymore. It’s probably like five to six guys right now, one-handers. So there’s your first obstacle to find that new Grigor. But yeah, I don’t know. I was actually talking earlier about it—I need to start watching those young kids that are coming up, because I’m sure after a few years they’re going to give me hell on the court. So I just need to start looking at their game and see their patterns, so I think this is something I need to look into.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>I saw a <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2014/07/23/grigor-dimitrov-twitter-qa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter Q&#38;A" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter Q&#38;A</a> you did a few years ago. You said The Notebook is your favorite movie.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>It still is.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>What scene makes you cry the most?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>The scene when she goes to see him on the lake. They go on the water, and they start feeding the birds or ducks, whatever that was there. They come back. It starts raining, and [she] says to [him]: “Why didn’t you write me?”</p><p>He says: “I wrote you, every single day, one letter for 365 days.”</p><p>And then she says: “You wrote me?” And then I go—no not me, I wish I was in the movie! S---, I wish I was in the damn movie. (Laughs)</p><p>He says, “It wasn’t over for me.” And then he says: “It still isn’t over.”</p><p>And then—you can do the math for the rest. They jump in each other’s arms.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>I</em><em>’m getting misty-eyed.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Me too. Me too, man.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>That was amazing presentation.</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>I swear to God—sometimes I have to stop and just pause it. I couldn’t take it. My heart.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>Do you usually watch it by yourself?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Mainly, yeah, because I just don’t want [others] to see me crying I guess. But I’m past that.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>It</em><em>’s ok!</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>It’s fine! I don’t care, it’s fine. It’s just me. But this scene is (gesturing to his heart)—yeah, right there.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>Walk me through your racket design. </em></p><p><strong>GD</strong>: This is one out of one. This is the first racket we actually ever designed. This is Grigor Dimitrov, man. [Regarding the quote on the racket], have you read the book, <em>The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari? </em></p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>No, but I think I just read that <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/22/garbine-muguruza-us-open-new-york-grand-slam-titles" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Garbine Muguruza likes that book too." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Garbine Muguruza likes that book too.</a></em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>And we both won the tournament in Cincinnati! It’s a great book. But this racket is inspired from cars, military—one day I was going to practice, and I opened my trunk. And as soon as I touched my car I was like wow I like this color. This is when the idea hit me up about having the same color and the same feel on the racket.</p><p>?</p><p>This is inspired obviously from the military. I like camouflage a lot. […] I just wanted something else to stick out, just to be different out there on the court, and making sure as soon as you hit the ball how it looks and how it feels from the outside. So we came up with those colors. The gray came—we took a lot of time on the gray. We had like eight different type of gray colors coming into the racket, and we just kind of had to find the best color. </p><p><strong>SK: </strong><em>How close of attention do you pay to other players’ racket designs?</em></p><p><strong>GD: </strong>Never. Just my own. The same thing when you play a match, you always try to focus on your side of the net. It’s pretty simple—it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, that is to create. To get this opportunity to create a racket has always been a dream of mine. What if my racket looked like this? What if it my racket looked like that? There was this thing that was always in the back of my head. I always wanted things to stand out, to be different. We’ve found the right match I think. </p>
Getting Personal with Grigor Dimitrov

NEW YORK – The 2017 season has been a renaissance for Grigor Dimitrov. He started the year with a title in Brisbane and followed that with a semifinals appearance at the Australian Open, falling in five sets to Rafael Nadal. After winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati last week, Dimitrov is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014.

With several top players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—skipping the U.S. Open due to injury, Dimitrov is suddenly a contender at the year’s final Grand Slam event. After winning Cincinnati without dropping a set, Dimitrov is poised to make a serious run in Flushing Meadows for the first time in his career.

Ahead of the U.S. Open, Dimitrov spoke to SI in New York on behalf of Wilson, which just launched a new digital custom tennis racket platform. After showing off his own special-designed racket and demonstrating the new online platform, Dimitrov discussed his relationship to his fellow pros, his love for The Notebook and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stanley Kay: In Cincinnati, you and Nick Kyrgios shared a long hug at the net after the final. You obviously seemed to help him out a lot during the week. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from a fellow pro?

Grigor Dimitrov: That’s a very good question. I’ve never had anybody voluntarily come to me and give me advice, which is OK I guess. But me asking somebody—one of the nicest things that I actually heard, and it was pretty recent, was when I practiced with Rafa [Nadal] in Mallorca. We were just on a boat together one afternoon, we were resting, and I was like, “Man, what do you think? What do you think about my game?” And he just says, “Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t miss.” And I was like, “Wow, thanks!”

(Laughs) I know it’s funny, but for me when he said it, it sounded different. Of course when your coach says it it’s different, but somebody of his rank, as a person and player, to say it the way he said it to me—I was like, aha! I never thought of that, almost. You almost feel like I never thought of that.

Also Roger for sure. Throughout the years I’ve known him, I’ve gotten to know him very well—his family and everybody around, so he’s also always been the guy. He says, “Don’t put your head down, just keep doing what you are doing. It will come, it will come.” And then even yesterday I saw him actually, and he was like, “You see, sometimes things are that simple.” I was like, “Yeah, easy for you to say.”

He’s like, “No, it’s that simple sometimes.” And in a way, it’s right. Once the opportunities knock on your door, you’ve got to try and go get them. If it doesn't happen, it doesn’t happen. But at the same time, you’ve got to keep going.

I have a great relationship with all of them too, so that makes things also look a bit in perspective. It’s the same thing with Nick—I’m sure that’s not going to be our last final, I can tell you that much. But you can see sometimes, there’s more to tennis for me. Yes, when you’re out there on the court, you want to beat the guy. You hate him, you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t want to see him. You swear at him, and everything else you can possibly think of. But there’s so much more to tennis. When I see somebody that—I don’t want to say needs help, but was in a tough position, if he asks me, why wouldn’t I try to help? […] Even if he had beaten me the other day, I would still have the same feelings for that. I know tennis is just a game, but it’s something that it can actually unite us even more.

SK: People have called you Baby Fed throughout your career. But who is Baby Grigor?

GD: Oh man. That is up for the people to decide. I haven’t seen any guys who are playing similar to me right now. I’m sure there’s going to be kids that are going to come up and have a similar style, but also the backhand one-hands are kind of—not that many anymore. It’s probably like five to six guys right now, one-handers. So there’s your first obstacle to find that new Grigor. But yeah, I don’t know. I was actually talking earlier about it—I need to start watching those young kids that are coming up, because I’m sure after a few years they’re going to give me hell on the court. So I just need to start looking at their game and see their patterns, so I think this is something I need to look into.

SK: I saw a Twitter Q&A you did a few years ago. You said The Notebook is your favorite movie.

GD: It still is.

SK: What scene makes you cry the most?

GD: The scene when she goes to see him on the lake. They go on the water, and they start feeding the birds or ducks, whatever that was there. They come back. It starts raining, and [she] says to [him]: “Why didn’t you write me?”

He says: “I wrote you, every single day, one letter for 365 days.”

And then she says: “You wrote me?” And then I go—no not me, I wish I was in the movie! S---, I wish I was in the damn movie. (Laughs)

He says, “It wasn’t over for me.” And then he says: “It still isn’t over.”

And then—you can do the math for the rest. They jump in each other’s arms.

SK: I’m getting misty-eyed.

GD: Me too. Me too, man.

SK: That was amazing presentation.

GD: I swear to God—sometimes I have to stop and just pause it. I couldn’t take it. My heart.

SK: Do you usually watch it by yourself?

GD: Mainly, yeah, because I just don’t want [others] to see me crying I guess. But I’m past that.

SK: It’s ok!

GD: It’s fine! I don’t care, it’s fine. It’s just me. But this scene is (gesturing to his heart)—yeah, right there.

SK: Walk me through your racket design.

GD: This is one out of one. This is the first racket we actually ever designed. This is Grigor Dimitrov, man. [Regarding the quote on the racket], have you read the book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari?

SK: No, but I think I just read that Garbine Muguruza likes that book too.

GD: And we both won the tournament in Cincinnati! It’s a great book. But this racket is inspired from cars, military—one day I was going to practice, and I opened my trunk. And as soon as I touched my car I was like wow I like this color. This is when the idea hit me up about having the same color and the same feel on the racket.

?

This is inspired obviously from the military. I like camouflage a lot. […] I just wanted something else to stick out, just to be different out there on the court, and making sure as soon as you hit the ball how it looks and how it feels from the outside. So we came up with those colors. The gray came—we took a lot of time on the gray. We had like eight different type of gray colors coming into the racket, and we just kind of had to find the best color.

SK: How close of attention do you pay to other players’ racket designs?

GD: Never. Just my own. The same thing when you play a match, you always try to focus on your side of the net. It’s pretty simple—it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, that is to create. To get this opportunity to create a racket has always been a dream of mine. What if my racket looked like this? What if it my racket looked like that? There was this thing that was always in the back of my head. I always wanted things to stand out, to be different. We’ve found the right match I think.

<p>The latest news, results and today&#39;s schedule for the 2017 U.S. Open.</p><h3>Men&#39;s and women&#39;s draws</h3><p><strong><a href="http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/draws/2017_MS_draw.pdf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Complete men&#39;s draw" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Complete men&#39;s draw</a> | <a href="http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/draws/2017_WS_draw.pdf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Complete women&#39;s draw" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Complete women&#39;s draw</a></strong></p><h3>Top results from Day 3</h3><p>• After beating No. 2-seed Simona Halep in her opening match on Monday night, Maria Sharapova returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday afternoon for a second round contest against Hungary&#39;s Timea Babos. After losing the first set in a tiebreak, Sharapova—who is competing in her first Grand Slam since serving a 15-month doping ban—rallied back to win the next two sets and the match, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the third round at the U.S. Open. </p><p>Sharapova kept her perfect record in first round matches at the U.S. Open by beating Halep on Monday, and she extended her second-round record to 9-1 in second round matches on Wednesday. She moves into the third round to face the winner of an all-American matchup between Sofia Kenin and Sachia Vickery.</p><p>• American CiCi Bellis had a chance to serve for the match against Japan&#39;s Nao Hibino but she lost 12 of the last 15 points and lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round. Another young American, 2017 NCAA champion Brienne Minor, lost her first U.S. Open match, falling to Tunisia&#39;s Ons Jabeur 6-1, 7-5. </p><p>Jabeur moves into the second round, where she&#39;ll face No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who won the all-American first-round matchup against Alison Riske, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.</p><p>• No. 14-seed Nick Kyrgios crashed out early at yet another Slam in 2017, losing to fellow countryman John Millman 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. Unable to find the form that took him to the final in Cincinnati earlier this month, Kyrgios looked to be suffering from a shoulder injury during the match. The loss marks the end of a dismal Slam season for the Australian, who exited in the first round at Wimbledon and in the second round at both the Australian Open and the French Open. There was also this:</p><p>• No. 18-seed Gael Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round, while No. 15-seed Tomas Berdych defeated American Ryan Harrison in straight sets. 24-year-old American Bjorn Fratangelo knocked out big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 to a book a spot in the second round.</p><p>• In the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Evgeniya Rodina defeated Canada&#39;s Eugenie Bouchard 7-6, 6-1. </p><h3>Wednesday&#39;s Matches to Watch</h3><p>Because of the rain, only nine matches were completed during the day session on Tuesday. That leaves <strong>87</strong> first and second matches to be played on Wednesday. You can view the full order of play <a href="http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/p_schedule9.pdf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p><p>• Headlining the Arthur Ashe day session is No. 24-seed Juan Martin del Potro, who faces Switzerland&#39;s Henri Laaksonen in a first round match, and and Maria Sharapova, who plays Timea Babos in a second-round contest. The night session will start with Venus Williams against Oceane Dodin, followed by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against a streaking 18-year-old, Denis Shapovalov. </p><p>• Elsewhere around the grounds, some matches to watch include:</p><p><strong>All-American match-up: </strong>Alison Riske takes on No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe (third match, Louis Armstrong)</p><p><strong>Cinderella returns: </strong>2014&#39;s U.S. Open darling CiCi Bellis faces Nao Hibino (Court 17)</p><p><strong>Comeback story continues: </strong>Petra Kvitova faces France&#39;s Alize Cornet in a second-round match. (Court 13, not before 4 p.m.)</p><p><strong>2014 champ on Court 17: </strong>No. 5-seed Marin Cilic faces Florian Mayer for a spot in the third round. </p><h3>Tuesday&#39;s Highlights</h3><p>• Roger Federer needed five sets in his opening match to advance on Tuesday night, defeating 19-year-old Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. Though he&#39;s the favorite for the title, Federer came into the U.S. Open with a back injury and momentum of the match swung back and forth. Ultimately third-seeded Federer prevailed and advanced to the second round.</p><p>• After a slow start, No. 1 Rafael Nadal took care of business against Serbia&#39;s Dusan Lajovic, winning 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the second round. Following Nadal&#39;s win, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko took the court to resume her match against Lara Arruabarrena. Ostapenko won three straight games to close out a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win and advance to the second round, where she will play Sorana Cirstea.</p><p>• As of about 3:30 p.m. ET, all matches on all courts, other than Arthur Ashe, have been cancelled for the day on Tuesday, due to rain. Still to come on Tuesday evening: No. 15-seed Madison Keys takes on Elise Mertens in the first match, starting at 7 p.m. ET. Roger Federer will face 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe in the second match of the night session. </p><p>• The women&#39;s defending U.S. Open champion is out of the tournament. Japan&#39;s Naomi Osaka out-played No. 6-seed Angelique Kerber under the roof on Arthur Ashe on Tuesday, beating the two-time Grand Slam finalist 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour to advance to the second round. The victory marked Osaka&#39;s first top 10 win of her career.</p><p>A year ago at the U.S. Open, Osaka led Madison Keys in a third round match on Arthur Ashe but was unable to close. ?On Tuesday, Osaka simply out-hit Kerber, blasting winners all over the court and putting any memories of last year&#39;s disappointing U.S. Open exit behind her. Osaka finished with 22 winners and 17 unforced errors to Kerber&#39;s nine winners and 23 unforced errors.</p><p>Kerber is only the second U.S. Open women&#39;s champion in the Open Era to lose in the first round the following year (Kuznetsova, 2005). After reaching No. 1 a year ago when she won her second Grand Slam of the year in New York, Kerber has not won a tournament since her victory at the 2016 U.S. Open. With Tuesday&#39;s loss, Kerber, who was seeded sixth at the U.S. Open, will drop out of the top 10 in the WTA rankings. Read more about the match <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/29/naomi-osaka-defeats-defending-us-open-champion-angelique-kerber" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p><p>• Before the rain started at Flushing Meadows, World No. 1 and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova advanced to the second round, beating Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1. A handful of matches were already underway when play was suspended on all courts due to rain. </p><h3>How to watch the U.S. Open</h3><p>The 2017 U.S. Open will be broadcast daily on ESPN. Tennis Channel will have a pre-match show starting at 8 a.m. ET each day. </p><p>View the <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/us-open-tv-schedule-watch-online-live-stream-channel-dates" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:complete U.S. Open TV schedule here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">complete U.S. Open TV schedule here</a>.</p><p>You can live stream matches on <a href="http://www.espn.com/watch/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch ESPN</a>. </p><h3>Monday&#39;s Highlights</h3><p>• No. 9-seed Venus Williams needed three sets to beat 19-year-old Slovakian qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to advance to the second round. The oldest woman in the tournament, 37-year-old Williams is back at the U.S. Open 20 years after her debut. Read more about what it means for tennis, and Williams, <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/28/venus-williams-us-open-tennis-1997-anniversary?utm_campaign=si-tennis&#38;utm_source=twitter.com&#38;utm_medium=social&#38;xid=socialflow_twitter_si" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p><p>• American Sloane Stephens continued her comeback with a 7-5, 6-1 win over 2015 U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci.</p><p>• In the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Serbia&#39;s Aleksandra Krunic upset No. 7-seed Johanna Konta in the first round, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. In 2015, Konta had a breakout tournament at the U.S. Open, playing through three rounds of qualifying matches and beating Muguruza and Andrea Petkovic en route to a Round of 16 appearance. Last year, she also made the Round of 16, before losing to Anastasija Sevastova.</p><p>• 2014 champion Marin Cilic beat American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the second round. </p><p>• 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov continued his winning ways on Monday, beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1, 6-2. After reaching the semifinals at Rogers Cup in Montreal earlier this month, Shapovalov had to qualify to get into the U.S. Open main draw. He&#39;ll next face No. 8-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Marius Copil 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day.</p><p>• Wimbledon champion and No. 3-seed Garbine Muguruza kicked off her U.S. Open campaign with a 6-0, 6-3 win over American Varvara Lepchenko on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Read more about Muguruza&#39;s win <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/28/us-open-tennis-2017-garbine-muguruza-sharapova-halep-murray" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p><p>• No. 13-seed Petra Kvitova started her U.S. Open campaign with a win, beating Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 7-5 to reach the second round, where she will face France’s Alize Cornet, who defeated Brit Heather Watson in straight sets on Monday.</p><p>• 18-year-old American Sofia Kenin beat No. 32-seed and fellow American Lauren Davis 7-5, 7-5 to advance to the second round. Playing in the U.S. Open main draw for a third time, Kenin entered the tournament as a wildcard after winning the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge. She&#39;ll next face American Sachia Vickery on Wednesday.</p><h3>Pre-tournament top stories</h3><p>Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova are the top two seeds in the men&#39;s and women&#39;s singles draws, respectively. Nadal is a two-time winner of the U.S. Open, while Pliskova reached the final last year. The 2017 U.S. Open will be without Serena Williams, who remains sidelined due to her pregnancy, and several top men&#39;s players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—are skipping the event due to injury. </p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/21/us-open-tennis-insider-tips-transportation-advice-tickets" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:51 Insider Tips for Attending the U.S. Open" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">51 Insider Tips for Attending the U.S. Open</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/25/us-open-tennis-seeds-draw-schedule-matches-to-watch" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Breaking Down the U.S. Open Men&#39;s and Women&#39;s Draws" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Breaking Down the U.S. Open Men&#39;s and Women&#39;s Draws</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/24/us-open-2017-preview-predictions-picks-storylines-federer-muguruza" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI Staff U.S. Open Preview Roundtable" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI Staff U.S. Open Preview Roundtable</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/eats/2017/08/24/us-open-tennis-2017-food-guide-flushing-meadows" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How to Eat Your Way Through the 2017 U.S. Open" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How to Eat Your Way Through the 2017 U.S. Open</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/25/roger-federer-us-open-2017-lessons" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How Federer Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How Federer Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion</a></p>
U.S. Open 2017 Tennis Live Updates: Maria Sharapova Rallies to Reach Second Round

The latest news, results and today's schedule for the 2017 U.S. Open.

Men's and women's draws

Complete men's draw | Complete women's draw

Top results from Day 3

• After beating No. 2-seed Simona Halep in her opening match on Monday night, Maria Sharapova returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday afternoon for a second round contest against Hungary's Timea Babos. After losing the first set in a tiebreak, Sharapova—who is competing in her first Grand Slam since serving a 15-month doping ban—rallied back to win the next two sets and the match, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the third round at the U.S. Open.

Sharapova kept her perfect record in first round matches at the U.S. Open by beating Halep on Monday, and she extended her second-round record to 9-1 in second round matches on Wednesday. She moves into the third round to face the winner of an all-American matchup between Sofia Kenin and Sachia Vickery.

• American CiCi Bellis had a chance to serve for the match against Japan's Nao Hibino but she lost 12 of the last 15 points and lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round. Another young American, 2017 NCAA champion Brienne Minor, lost her first U.S. Open match, falling to Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 6-1, 7-5.

Jabeur moves into the second round, where she'll face No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who won the all-American first-round matchup against Alison Riske, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

• No. 14-seed Nick Kyrgios crashed out early at yet another Slam in 2017, losing to fellow countryman John Millman 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. Unable to find the form that took him to the final in Cincinnati earlier this month, Kyrgios looked to be suffering from a shoulder injury during the match. The loss marks the end of a dismal Slam season for the Australian, who exited in the first round at Wimbledon and in the second round at both the Australian Open and the French Open. There was also this:

• No. 18-seed Gael Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round, while No. 15-seed Tomas Berdych defeated American Ryan Harrison in straight sets. 24-year-old American Bjorn Fratangelo knocked out big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 to a book a spot in the second round.

• In the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Evgeniya Rodina defeated Canada's Eugenie Bouchard 7-6, 6-1.

Wednesday's Matches to Watch

Because of the rain, only nine matches were completed during the day session on Tuesday. That leaves 87 first and second matches to be played on Wednesday. You can view the full order of play here.

• Headlining the Arthur Ashe day session is No. 24-seed Juan Martin del Potro, who faces Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen in a first round match, and and Maria Sharapova, who plays Timea Babos in a second-round contest. The night session will start with Venus Williams against Oceane Dodin, followed by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against a streaking 18-year-old, Denis Shapovalov.

• Elsewhere around the grounds, some matches to watch include:

All-American match-up: Alison Riske takes on No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe (third match, Louis Armstrong)

Cinderella returns: 2014's U.S. Open darling CiCi Bellis faces Nao Hibino (Court 17)

Comeback story continues: Petra Kvitova faces France's Alize Cornet in a second-round match. (Court 13, not before 4 p.m.)

2014 champ on Court 17: No. 5-seed Marin Cilic faces Florian Mayer for a spot in the third round.

Tuesday's Highlights

• Roger Federer needed five sets in his opening match to advance on Tuesday night, defeating 19-year-old Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. Though he's the favorite for the title, Federer came into the U.S. Open with a back injury and momentum of the match swung back and forth. Ultimately third-seeded Federer prevailed and advanced to the second round.

• After a slow start, No. 1 Rafael Nadal took care of business against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic, winning 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the second round. Following Nadal's win, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko took the court to resume her match against Lara Arruabarrena. Ostapenko won three straight games to close out a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win and advance to the second round, where she will play Sorana Cirstea.

• As of about 3:30 p.m. ET, all matches on all courts, other than Arthur Ashe, have been cancelled for the day on Tuesday, due to rain. Still to come on Tuesday evening: No. 15-seed Madison Keys takes on Elise Mertens in the first match, starting at 7 p.m. ET. Roger Federer will face 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe in the second match of the night session.

• The women's defending U.S. Open champion is out of the tournament. Japan's Naomi Osaka out-played No. 6-seed Angelique Kerber under the roof on Arthur Ashe on Tuesday, beating the two-time Grand Slam finalist 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour to advance to the second round. The victory marked Osaka's first top 10 win of her career.

A year ago at the U.S. Open, Osaka led Madison Keys in a third round match on Arthur Ashe but was unable to close. ?On Tuesday, Osaka simply out-hit Kerber, blasting winners all over the court and putting any memories of last year's disappointing U.S. Open exit behind her. Osaka finished with 22 winners and 17 unforced errors to Kerber's nine winners and 23 unforced errors.

Kerber is only the second U.S. Open women's champion in the Open Era to lose in the first round the following year (Kuznetsova, 2005). After reaching No. 1 a year ago when she won her second Grand Slam of the year in New York, Kerber has not won a tournament since her victory at the 2016 U.S. Open. With Tuesday's loss, Kerber, who was seeded sixth at the U.S. Open, will drop out of the top 10 in the WTA rankings. Read more about the match here.

• Before the rain started at Flushing Meadows, World No. 1 and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova advanced to the second round, beating Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1. A handful of matches were already underway when play was suspended on all courts due to rain.

How to watch the U.S. Open

The 2017 U.S. Open will be broadcast daily on ESPN. Tennis Channel will have a pre-match show starting at 8 a.m. ET each day.

View the complete U.S. Open TV schedule here.

You can live stream matches on Watch ESPN.

Monday's Highlights

• No. 9-seed Venus Williams needed three sets to beat 19-year-old Slovakian qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to advance to the second round. The oldest woman in the tournament, 37-year-old Williams is back at the U.S. Open 20 years after her debut. Read more about what it means for tennis, and Williams, here.

• American Sloane Stephens continued her comeback with a 7-5, 6-1 win over 2015 U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci.

• In the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic upset No. 7-seed Johanna Konta in the first round, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. In 2015, Konta had a breakout tournament at the U.S. Open, playing through three rounds of qualifying matches and beating Muguruza and Andrea Petkovic en route to a Round of 16 appearance. Last year, she also made the Round of 16, before losing to Anastasija Sevastova.

• 2014 champion Marin Cilic beat American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the second round.

• 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov continued his winning ways on Monday, beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1, 6-2. After reaching the semifinals at Rogers Cup in Montreal earlier this month, Shapovalov had to qualify to get into the U.S. Open main draw. He'll next face No. 8-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Marius Copil 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the day.

• Wimbledon champion and No. 3-seed Garbine Muguruza kicked off her U.S. Open campaign with a 6-0, 6-3 win over American Varvara Lepchenko on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Read more about Muguruza's win here.

• No. 13-seed Petra Kvitova started her U.S. Open campaign with a win, beating Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 7-5 to reach the second round, where she will face France’s Alize Cornet, who defeated Brit Heather Watson in straight sets on Monday.

• 18-year-old American Sofia Kenin beat No. 32-seed and fellow American Lauren Davis 7-5, 7-5 to advance to the second round. Playing in the U.S. Open main draw for a third time, Kenin entered the tournament as a wildcard after winning the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge. She'll next face American Sachia Vickery on Wednesday.

Pre-tournament top stories

Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova are the top two seeds in the men's and women's singles draws, respectively. Nadal is a two-time winner of the U.S. Open, while Pliskova reached the final last year. The 2017 U.S. Open will be without Serena Williams, who remains sidelined due to her pregnancy, and several top men's players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—are skipping the event due to injury.

51 Insider Tips for Attending the U.S. Open

Breaking Down the U.S. Open Men's and Women's Draws

SI Staff U.S. Open Preview Roundtable

How to Eat Your Way Through the 2017 U.S. Open

How Federer Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion

<p>The latest news, results and today&#39;s schedule for the 2017 U.S. Open.</p><h3>Men&#39;s and women&#39;s draws</h3><p><strong><a href="http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/draws/2017_MS_draw.pdf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Complete men&#39;s draw" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Complete men&#39;s draw</a> | <a href="http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/draws/2017_WS_draw.pdf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Complete women&#39;s draw" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Complete women&#39;s draw</a></strong></p><h3>Top results on Friday</h3><p>• No. 13-seed Petra Kvitova started off the day on Arthur Ashe with a strong performance, beating No. 18-seed Caroline Garcia 6-0, 6-4. Then, 19-year-old Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov continued his fairytale run. In his U.S. Open debut, Shapovalov advanced to the fourth round after Kyle Edmund retired with injury down 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 0-1. Shapovalov&#39;s win means that he is the youngest man to reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open since Michael Chang in 1989, and the youngest man to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam since Safin in 1998 at Roland Garros. </p><h3>Matches to watch on Friday</h3><p>• The day session on the main court will conclude with No. 9-seed Venus Williams taking on Greece&#39;s Maria Sakkari. </p><p>• Third round matches begin on Friday, with John Isner facing Mischa Zverev and Maria Sharapova against young American Sofia Kenin highlighting the night session. </p><p>• Sloane Stephens will carry on her summer comeback on Friday on Louis Armstrong Stadium, facing Ash Barty for a spot in the fourth round. Fellow American and No. 17-seed Sam Querrey is also in action, taking on Radu Albot. </p><p>• No. 3-seed Garbine Muguruza quietly moved into the third round late on Wednesday evening, downing Duan Ying Ying in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. SHe&#39;ll return to action on Louis Armstrong on Friday against No. 31-seed Magdalena Rybarikova, who she easily beat in the semifinals en route to her Wimbledon title in July.</p><h3>Thursday&#39;s Highlights</h3><p>• No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe made her debut in an Arthur Ashe night session on Thursday, defeating Tunisia&#39;s Ons Jabeur 7-6, 6-2 to reach the third round. In a late match on Louis Armstrong, another top American also advanced: No. 15-seed Madison Keys defeated Tatjana Maria 6-3, 6-4. </p><p>• Roger Federer escaped an upset bid by No. 101 Mikhail Youzhny on Arthur Ashe, winning 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in just over three hours. Considering Federer’s 16-0 record over Youzhny—and 16-0 record in second round matches—it was a surprisingly tough win for the No. 3-seed, who entered the tournament with a back injury he sustained in early August. After playing another five-setter in the first round against 19-year-old Frances Tiafoe, Federer said he may feel more tired going into the third round, but that is okay.</p><p>“My preparation hasn&#39;t been good at all here. I knew I was going to maybe struggle early on. Maybe I struggled more than I would have liked to. But I&#39;m still in the draw, which gives me a chance,” Federer said after the match. “I still believe I&#39;m going to pick up my game and become just more consistent because I&#39;m not playing all that bad. It&#39;s just that I&#39;m going a bit up and down in waves throughout the match.”</p><p>• History was made at the U.S. Open on Thursday, as American Shelby Rogers outlasted Australia&#39;s Daria Gavrilova 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(5) in three hours and 31 minutes to set the record for the longest women&#39;s U.S. Open match.</p><p>&quot;It was a very special moment for me today being down in the third, coming back, having a few match points. Just so many ups and downs for both of us today,&quot; Rogers said after the match. &quot;To get through that on the winning side was just really incredible. The crowd helped me so much. They gave me some energy in the third, for sure. I was just so grateful to them for staying there three and a half hours.&quot;</p><p>• The men’s seeds came crashing down on Thursday, starting with Alexandr Dolgopolov 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over No. 15-seed Tomas Berdych. Then, 19-year-old Andrey Rublev knocked out No. 7-seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the third round. This was a surprising result considering Dimitrov’s recent form: he came into the U.S. Open fresh off his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati, and with a top 10 ranking for the first time since 2014.</p><p>Dimitrov&#39;s loss adds to the lack of ATP top 10 players at the U.S. Open, with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, and Kei Nishikori all skipping the tournament, and No. 6-seed Alexander Zverev losing to Borna Coric, and No. 8-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bowing out to 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round on Wednesday night.</p><p>• World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova overcame an upset bid from American Nicole Gibbs on Thursday, fighting back after dropping the first set to secure a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory—and a spot in the third round.</p><p>“I quite didn&#39;t expect that she&#39;s going to play this way,” Pliskova said of Gibbs’ play. “I thought…since we played two times, we practiced, saw few of her matches, she&#39;s going to be more like defending. She really was going for her shots. All credit to her.”</p><p>Pliskova moves into the next round to play No. 27-seed Shuai Zhang. She must reach the final in New York in order to keep her No. 1 ranking.</p><h3>Wednesday&#39;s Highlights</h3><p>• It was an up-and-down match for No. 9-seed Venus Williams in the first night session match, but she powered through to defeat Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the third round. She&#39;ll next face Maria Sakkari of Greece, who defeated Arina Rodionova 7-5, 6-3, earlier in the day. </p><p>• After beating No. 2-seed Simona Halep in her opening match on Monday night, Maria Sharapova returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday afternoon for a second round contest against Hungary&#39;s Timea Babos. After losing the first set in a tiebreak, Sharapova—who is competing in her first Grand Slam since serving a 15-month doping ban—rallied back to win the next two sets and the match, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the third round at the U.S. Open. </p><p>&quot;I definitely wanted to enjoy the quality of tennis that I played with the other night, but I also wanted to put my mind onto this one,&quot; Sharapova said after the match. &quot;I knew it wasn&#39;t going to be easy, no matter who I was going to play today. It&#39;s always difficult to come after a match like that. My goal was just to get it done.&quot;</p><p>Sharapova kept her perfect record in first round matches at the U.S. Open by beating Halep on Monday, and she extended her second-round record to 9-1 in second round matches on Wednesday. She moves into the third round to face American Sofia Kenin, who defeated a fellow young American Sachia Vickery, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.</p><p>• No. 5-seed Marin Cilic easily advanced to the third round late on Wednesday, beating Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour in 40 minutes. Earlier in the day, No. 7-seed Grigor Dimitrov, who is coming off a title in Cincinnati earlier this month and is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014, cruised into the second round with a straight-sets win over Vaclav Safranek. He will play again in the third round on Thursday against Andrey Rublev. You can read a candid Q&#38;A with the Bulgarian <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/29/grigor-dimitrov-rafael-nadal-us-open-racket-the-notebook" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p><p>• American CiCi Bellis had a chance to serve for the match against Japan&#39;s Nao Hibino but she lost 12 of the last 15 points and lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round. Another young American, 2017 NCAA champion Brienne Minor, lost her first U.S. Open match, falling to Tunisia&#39;s Ons Jabeur 6-1, 7-5. Jabeur moves into the second round, where she&#39;ll face No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who won the all-American first-round matchup against Alison Riske, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.</p><p>For the Americans on the men&#39;s side, No. 10-seed John Isner defeated Hyeon Chung? 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, and No. 17-seed Sam Querrey beat Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the second round. 20-year-old Jared Donaldson forced a fifth set against No. 16-seed Lucas Pouille, but the Frenchman was able to win and advance in the deciding set.</p><p>• No. 14-seed Nick Kyrgios crashed out early at yet another Slam in 2017, losing to fellow countryman John Millman 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. Unable to find the form that took him to the final in Cincinnati earlier this month, Kyrgios looked to be suffering from a shoulder injury during the match. The loss marks the end of a dismal Slam season for the Australian, who exited in the first round at Wimbledon and in the second round at both the Australian Open and the French Open. There was also this:</p><p>• No. 18-seed Gael Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round, while No. 15-seed Tomas Berdych defeated American Ryan Harrison in straight sets. 24-year-old American Bjorn Fratangelo knocked out big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 to a book a spot in the second round.</p><p>• In the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Evgeniya Rodina defeated Canada&#39;s Eugenie Bouchard 7-6, 6-1. 23-year-old Bouchard is still a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the USTA, after she fell on a slippery floor in a facility at the tournament in 2015.</p><p>“I’m able to concentrate on the tennis when I’m here, but, I mean, I definitely have bad memories from here two years ago,” Bouchard said after the match on Arthur Ashe—a court assignment that even she was surprised with. “I was surprised, but it’s always an amazing opportunity to play on the biggest tennis court in the world,” she said.</p><h3>How to watch the U.S. Open</h3><p>The 2017 U.S. Open will be broadcast daily on ESPN. Tennis Channel will have a pre-match show starting at 8 a.m. ET each day. </p><p>View the <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/us-open-tv-schedule-watch-online-live-stream-channel-dates" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:complete U.S. Open TV schedule here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">complete U.S. Open TV schedule here</a>.</p><p>You can live stream matches on <a href="http://www.espn.com/watch/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch ESPN</a>. </p><h3>Pre-tournament top stories</h3><p>Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova are the top two seeds in the men&#39;s and women&#39;s singles draws, respectively. Nadal is a two-time winner of the U.S. Open, while Pliskova reached the final last year. The 2017 U.S. Open will be without Serena Williams, who remains sidelined due to her pregnancy, and several top men&#39;s players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—are skipping the event due to injury. </p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/21/us-open-tennis-insider-tips-transportation-advice-tickets" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:51 Insider Tips for Attending the U.S. Open" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">51 Insider Tips for Attending the U.S. Open</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/25/us-open-tennis-seeds-draw-schedule-matches-to-watch" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Breaking Down the U.S. Open Men&#39;s and Women&#39;s Draws" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Breaking Down the U.S. Open Men&#39;s and Women&#39;s Draws</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/24/us-open-2017-preview-predictions-picks-storylines-federer-muguruza" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI Staff U.S. Open Preview Roundtable" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI Staff U.S. Open Preview Roundtable</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/eats/2017/08/24/us-open-tennis-2017-food-guide-flushing-meadows" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How to Eat Your Way Through the 2017 U.S. Open" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How to Eat Your Way Through the 2017 U.S. Open</a></p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/08/25/roger-federer-us-open-2017-lessons" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How Federer Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How Federer Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion</a></p>
U.S. Open 2017 Tennis Live Updates: Cilic Loses, Shapovalov Continues Run

The latest news, results and today's schedule for the 2017 U.S. Open.

Men's and women's draws

Complete men's draw | Complete women's draw

Top results on Friday

• No. 13-seed Petra Kvitova started off the day on Arthur Ashe with a strong performance, beating No. 18-seed Caroline Garcia 6-0, 6-4. Then, 19-year-old Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov continued his fairytale run. In his U.S. Open debut, Shapovalov advanced to the fourth round after Kyle Edmund retired with injury down 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 0-1. Shapovalov's win means that he is the youngest man to reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open since Michael Chang in 1989, and the youngest man to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam since Safin in 1998 at Roland Garros.

Matches to watch on Friday

• The day session on the main court will conclude with No. 9-seed Venus Williams taking on Greece's Maria Sakkari.

• Third round matches begin on Friday, with John Isner facing Mischa Zverev and Maria Sharapova against young American Sofia Kenin highlighting the night session.

• Sloane Stephens will carry on her summer comeback on Friday on Louis Armstrong Stadium, facing Ash Barty for a spot in the fourth round. Fellow American and No. 17-seed Sam Querrey is also in action, taking on Radu Albot.

• No. 3-seed Garbine Muguruza quietly moved into the third round late on Wednesday evening, downing Duan Ying Ying in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. SHe'll return to action on Louis Armstrong on Friday against No. 31-seed Magdalena Rybarikova, who she easily beat in the semifinals en route to her Wimbledon title in July.

Thursday's Highlights

• No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe made her debut in an Arthur Ashe night session on Thursday, defeating Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 7-6, 6-2 to reach the third round. In a late match on Louis Armstrong, another top American also advanced: No. 15-seed Madison Keys defeated Tatjana Maria 6-3, 6-4.

• Roger Federer escaped an upset bid by No. 101 Mikhail Youzhny on Arthur Ashe, winning 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in just over three hours. Considering Federer’s 16-0 record over Youzhny—and 16-0 record in second round matches—it was a surprisingly tough win for the No. 3-seed, who entered the tournament with a back injury he sustained in early August. After playing another five-setter in the first round against 19-year-old Frances Tiafoe, Federer said he may feel more tired going into the third round, but that is okay.

“My preparation hasn't been good at all here. I knew I was going to maybe struggle early on. Maybe I struggled more than I would have liked to. But I'm still in the draw, which gives me a chance,” Federer said after the match. “I still believe I'm going to pick up my game and become just more consistent because I'm not playing all that bad. It's just that I'm going a bit up and down in waves throughout the match.”

• History was made at the U.S. Open on Thursday, as American Shelby Rogers outlasted Australia's Daria Gavrilova 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(5) in three hours and 31 minutes to set the record for the longest women's U.S. Open match.

"It was a very special moment for me today being down in the third, coming back, having a few match points. Just so many ups and downs for both of us today," Rogers said after the match. "To get through that on the winning side was just really incredible. The crowd helped me so much. They gave me some energy in the third, for sure. I was just so grateful to them for staying there three and a half hours."

• The men’s seeds came crashing down on Thursday, starting with Alexandr Dolgopolov 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over No. 15-seed Tomas Berdych. Then, 19-year-old Andrey Rublev knocked out No. 7-seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the third round. This was a surprising result considering Dimitrov’s recent form: he came into the U.S. Open fresh off his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati, and with a top 10 ranking for the first time since 2014.

Dimitrov's loss adds to the lack of ATP top 10 players at the U.S. Open, with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, and Kei Nishikori all skipping the tournament, and No. 6-seed Alexander Zverev losing to Borna Coric, and No. 8-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bowing out to 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round on Wednesday night.

• World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova overcame an upset bid from American Nicole Gibbs on Thursday, fighting back after dropping the first set to secure a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory—and a spot in the third round.

“I quite didn't expect that she's going to play this way,” Pliskova said of Gibbs’ play. “I thought…since we played two times, we practiced, saw few of her matches, she's going to be more like defending. She really was going for her shots. All credit to her.”

Pliskova moves into the next round to play No. 27-seed Shuai Zhang. She must reach the final in New York in order to keep her No. 1 ranking.

Wednesday's Highlights

• It was an up-and-down match for No. 9-seed Venus Williams in the first night session match, but she powered through to defeat Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the third round. She'll next face Maria Sakkari of Greece, who defeated Arina Rodionova 7-5, 6-3, earlier in the day.

• After beating No. 2-seed Simona Halep in her opening match on Monday night, Maria Sharapova returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday afternoon for a second round contest against Hungary's Timea Babos. After losing the first set in a tiebreak, Sharapova—who is competing in her first Grand Slam since serving a 15-month doping ban—rallied back to win the next two sets and the match, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the third round at the U.S. Open.

"I definitely wanted to enjoy the quality of tennis that I played with the other night, but I also wanted to put my mind onto this one," Sharapova said after the match. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy, no matter who I was going to play today. It's always difficult to come after a match like that. My goal was just to get it done."

Sharapova kept her perfect record in first round matches at the U.S. Open by beating Halep on Monday, and she extended her second-round record to 9-1 in second round matches on Wednesday. She moves into the third round to face American Sofia Kenin, who defeated a fellow young American Sachia Vickery, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.

• No. 5-seed Marin Cilic easily advanced to the third round late on Wednesday, beating Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour in 40 minutes. Earlier in the day, No. 7-seed Grigor Dimitrov, who is coming off a title in Cincinnati earlier this month and is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2014, cruised into the second round with a straight-sets win over Vaclav Safranek. He will play again in the third round on Thursday against Andrey Rublev. You can read a candid Q&A with the Bulgarian here.

• American CiCi Bellis had a chance to serve for the match against Japan's Nao Hibino but she lost 12 of the last 15 points and lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the first round. Another young American, 2017 NCAA champion Brienne Minor, lost her first U.S. Open match, falling to Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 6-1, 7-5. Jabeur moves into the second round, where she'll face No. 20-seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who won the all-American first-round matchup against Alison Riske, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

For the Americans on the men's side, No. 10-seed John Isner defeated Hyeon Chung? 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, and No. 17-seed Sam Querrey beat Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the second round. 20-year-old Jared Donaldson forced a fifth set against No. 16-seed Lucas Pouille, but the Frenchman was able to win and advance in the deciding set.

• No. 14-seed Nick Kyrgios crashed out early at yet another Slam in 2017, losing to fellow countryman John Millman 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. Unable to find the form that took him to the final in Cincinnati earlier this month, Kyrgios looked to be suffering from a shoulder injury during the match. The loss marks the end of a dismal Slam season for the Australian, who exited in the first round at Wimbledon and in the second round at both the Australian Open and the French Open. There was also this:

• No. 18-seed Gael Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round, while No. 15-seed Tomas Berdych defeated American Ryan Harrison in straight sets. 24-year-old American Bjorn Fratangelo knocked out big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 to a book a spot in the second round.

• In the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Evgeniya Rodina defeated Canada's Eugenie Bouchard 7-6, 6-1. 23-year-old Bouchard is still a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the USTA, after she fell on a slippery floor in a facility at the tournament in 2015.

“I’m able to concentrate on the tennis when I’m here, but, I mean, I definitely have bad memories from here two years ago,” Bouchard said after the match on Arthur Ashe—a court assignment that even she was surprised with. “I was surprised, but it’s always an amazing opportunity to play on the biggest tennis court in the world,” she said.

How to watch the U.S. Open

The 2017 U.S. Open will be broadcast daily on ESPN. Tennis Channel will have a pre-match show starting at 8 a.m. ET each day.

View the complete U.S. Open TV schedule here.

You can live stream matches on Watch ESPN.

Pre-tournament top stories

Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova are the top two seeds in the men's and women's singles draws, respectively. Nadal is a two-time winner of the U.S. Open, while Pliskova reached the final last year. The 2017 U.S. Open will be without Serena Williams, who remains sidelined due to her pregnancy, and several top men's players—Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—are skipping the event due to injury.

51 Insider Tips for Attending the U.S. Open

Breaking Down the U.S. Open Men's and Women's Draws

SI Staff U.S. Open Preview Roundtable

How to Eat Your Way Through the 2017 U.S. Open

How Federer Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion

<p>The final Grand Slam event of the year kicks off in New York City on Monday when play begins in the U.S. Open, and there are storylines aplenty on both the men&#39;s and women&#39;s side of the draw.</p><p>Injuries are the main headline for the men, as four of the top 12 players in the world—two-time champion Novak Djokovic, last year&#39;s winner Stanislas Wawrinka, 2015 finalist Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—will not play. Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, will play but has been struggling with a hip injury since Wimbledon, while Marin Cilic, who won in 2015, is also questionable. </p><p>Rafael Nadal is the top seed, but Roger Federer is the favorite. The 36-year-old has had a remarkable 2017, having won both majors he&#39;s played in (Australian Open and Wimbledon) and sporting a 19-2 record. </p><p>On the women&#39;s side, Serena Williams will not play due to her pregnancy. Gabrine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Johanna Konta, Simona Halep and Venus Williams all have legitimate shots at the title. Muguruza is playing better tennis than anyone right now, and she enters the tournament with momentum after winning titles at Wimbledon and Cincinnati. </p><p>Here&#39;s a look at the television schedule for the 2017 U.S. Open. </p><p>DATE TIME EVENT NETWORK Aug. 28 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. First Round <a href="http://www.espn.com/watch/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ESPN3" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ESPN3</a> Aug. 28 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. First Round ESPN Aug. 28 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. First Round ESPN2 Aug. 29 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. First Round ESPN3 Aug. 29 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. First Round ESPN Aug. 29 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. First Round ESPN Aug. 30 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Second Round ESPN3 Aug. 30 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Second Round ESPN2 Aug. 30 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Second Round ESPN Aug. 31 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Second Round ESPN3 Aug. 31 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Second Round ESPN2 Aug. 31 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Second Round ESPN Sept. 1 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Third Round ESPN3 Sept. 1 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Third Round ESPN Sept. 1 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. Third Round ESPN2 Sept. 2 11 a.m - 7 p.m. Third Round ESPN Sept. 2 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Third Round ESPN2 Sept. 3 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 Sept. 3 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN Sept. 4 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 Sept. 5 Noon - 6 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 5 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 6 Noon - 6 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 6 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 7 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Women&#39;s Semis ESPN Sept. 8 Noon - 2 p.m. Men&#39;s Doubles Final ESPN2 Sept. 8 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. Men&#39;s Semis ESPN Sept. 9 Noon - 2 p.m. Mixed Doubles Final ESPN3 Sept. 9 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Women&#39;s Final ESPN Sept. 10 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Women&#39;s Doubles Final ESPN2 Sept. 10 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Men&#39;s Final ESPN </p><p>You can live stream matches on <a href="http://www.espn.com/watch/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch ESPN</a>. Be sure to follow along throughout the tournament <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:with SI.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">with SI.com</a>. </p>
Complete 2017 U.S. Open TV Schedule, Live Stream Information

The final Grand Slam event of the year kicks off in New York City on Monday when play begins in the U.S. Open, and there are storylines aplenty on both the men's and women's side of the draw.

Injuries are the main headline for the men, as four of the top 12 players in the world—two-time champion Novak Djokovic, last year's winner Stanislas Wawrinka, 2015 finalist Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic—will not play. Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, will play but has been struggling with a hip injury since Wimbledon, while Marin Cilic, who won in 2015, is also questionable.

Rafael Nadal is the top seed, but Roger Federer is the favorite. The 36-year-old has had a remarkable 2017, having won both majors he's played in (Australian Open and Wimbledon) and sporting a 19-2 record.

On the women's side, Serena Williams will not play due to her pregnancy. Gabrine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Johanna Konta, Simona Halep and Venus Williams all have legitimate shots at the title. Muguruza is playing better tennis than anyone right now, and she enters the tournament with momentum after winning titles at Wimbledon and Cincinnati.

Here's a look at the television schedule for the 2017 U.S. Open.

DATE TIME EVENT NETWORK Aug. 28 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. First Round ESPN3 Aug. 28 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. First Round ESPN Aug. 28 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. First Round ESPN2 Aug. 29 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. First Round ESPN3 Aug. 29 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. First Round ESPN Aug. 29 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. First Round ESPN Aug. 30 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Second Round ESPN3 Aug. 30 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Second Round ESPN2 Aug. 30 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Second Round ESPN Aug. 31 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Second Round ESPN3 Aug. 31 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Second Round ESPN2 Aug. 31 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Second Round ESPN Sept. 1 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Third Round ESPN3 Sept. 1 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Third Round ESPN Sept. 1 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. Third Round ESPN2 Sept. 2 11 a.m - 7 p.m. Third Round ESPN Sept. 2 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Third Round ESPN2 Sept. 3 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 Sept. 3 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN Sept. 4 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 Sept. 5 Noon - 6 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 5 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 6 Noon - 6 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 6 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN Sept. 7 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Women's Semis ESPN Sept. 8 Noon - 2 p.m. Men's Doubles Final ESPN2 Sept. 8 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. Men's Semis ESPN Sept. 9 Noon - 2 p.m. Mixed Doubles Final ESPN3 Sept. 9 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Women's Final ESPN Sept. 10 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Women's Doubles Final ESPN2 Sept. 10 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Men's Final ESPN

You can live stream matches on Watch ESPN. Be sure to follow along throughout the tournament with SI.com.

<p><em>This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of </em>Sports Illustrated<em>. Subscribe to the magazine <a href="http://subscription-assets.si.com/prod/assets/themes/magazines/SUBS/templates/velocity/site/si-digitaledition/login.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</em></p><p>There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world&#39;s largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.</p><p>Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you&#39;ll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.</p><p>The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis&#39;s answer to the NBA&#39;s Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.</p><p>Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event&#39;s unapologetically profiteering ethos: &quot;Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium.&quot;</p><p>Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis&#39;s de facto CEO.</p><p>Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.</p><p>Federer began tennis&#39;s fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. &quot;Honestly, I&#39;m incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I&#39;m feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I&#39;m managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis,&quot; he says. &quot;I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level.&quot;</p><p>Federer, of course, doesn&#39;t play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand&#39;s appeal. But if there&#39;s something otherworldly about Federer, there&#39;s also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.</p><h3>LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE</h3><p>In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I&#39;m willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.</p><h3>LESSON 2: DON&#39;T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER</h3><p>The rankings are tennis&#39;s equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.</p><h3>LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY</h3><p>If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There&#39;s ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared &quot;Holy War with Google.&quot; For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he&#39;s the Mustang to Nadal&#39;s Camaro, it&#39;s ultimately to his benefit. &quot;At last,&quot; says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport&#39;s most astute observers, &quot;Federer is comfortable playing Nadal.&quot; While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.</p><h3>LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE</h3><p>Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to &quot;an assassin&quot; or a &quot;cold killer&quot; or, for that matter, &quot;a tiger.&quot; Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He&#39;s played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he&#39;s generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?</p><h3>LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY</h3><p>Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn&#39;t cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, &quot;Roger has a way of bending time.&quot; Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.</p><p>When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He&#39;s the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.</p><p>Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He&#39;s spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.</p>
Roger Federer LLC: How the G.O.A.T. Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion

This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here.

There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world's largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.

Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you'll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.

The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis's answer to the NBA's Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.

Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event's unapologetically profiteering ethos: "Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium."

Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis's de facto CEO.

Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.

Federer began tennis's fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. "Honestly, I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I'm feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I'm managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis," he says. "I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level."

Federer, of course, doesn't play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand's appeal. But if there's something otherworldly about Federer, there's also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.

LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE

In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I'm willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.

LESSON 2: DON'T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER

The rankings are tennis's equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.

LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY

If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There's ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared "Holy War with Google." For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he's the Mustang to Nadal's Camaro, it's ultimately to his benefit. "At last," says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport's most astute observers, "Federer is comfortable playing Nadal." While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.

LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE

Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to "an assassin" or a "cold killer" or, for that matter, "a tiger." Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He's played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he's generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?

LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY

Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn't cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, "Roger has a way of bending time." Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.

When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He's the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.

Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He's spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.

<p><em>This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of </em>Sports Illustrated<em>. Subscribe to the magazine <a href="http://subscription-assets.si.com/prod/assets/themes/magazines/SUBS/templates/velocity/site/si-digitaledition/login.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</em></p><p>There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world&#39;s largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.</p><p>Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you&#39;ll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.</p><p>The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis&#39;s answer to the NBA&#39;s Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.</p><p>Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event&#39;s unapologetically profiteering ethos: &quot;Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium.&quot;</p><p>Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis&#39;s de facto CEO.</p><p>Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.</p><p>Federer began tennis&#39;s fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. &quot;Honestly, I&#39;m incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I&#39;m feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I&#39;m managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis,&quot; he says. &quot;I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level.&quot;</p><p>Federer, of course, doesn&#39;t play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand&#39;s appeal. But if there&#39;s something otherworldly about Federer, there&#39;s also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.</p><h3>LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE</h3><p>In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I&#39;m willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.</p><h3>LESSON 2: DON&#39;T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER</h3><p>The rankings are tennis&#39;s equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.</p><h3>LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY</h3><p>If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There&#39;s ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared &quot;Holy War with Google.&quot; For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he&#39;s the Mustang to Nadal&#39;s Camaro, it&#39;s ultimately to his benefit. &quot;At last,&quot; says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport&#39;s most astute observers, &quot;Federer is comfortable playing Nadal.&quot; While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.</p><h3>LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE</h3><p>Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to &quot;an assassin&quot; or a &quot;cold killer&quot; or, for that matter, &quot;a tiger.&quot; Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He&#39;s played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he&#39;s generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?</p><h3>LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY</h3><p>Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn&#39;t cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, &quot;Roger has a way of bending time.&quot; Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.</p><p>When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He&#39;s the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.</p><p>Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He&#39;s spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.</p>
Roger Federer LLC: How the G.O.A.T. Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion

This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here.

There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world's largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.

Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you'll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.

The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis's answer to the NBA's Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.

Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event's unapologetically profiteering ethos: "Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium."

Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis's de facto CEO.

Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.

Federer began tennis's fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. "Honestly, I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I'm feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I'm managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis," he says. "I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level."

Federer, of course, doesn't play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand's appeal. But if there's something otherworldly about Federer, there's also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.

LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE

In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I'm willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.

LESSON 2: DON'T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER

The rankings are tennis's equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.

LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY

If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There's ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared "Holy War with Google." For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he's the Mustang to Nadal's Camaro, it's ultimately to his benefit. "At last," says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport's most astute observers, "Federer is comfortable playing Nadal." While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.

LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE

Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to "an assassin" or a "cold killer" or, for that matter, "a tiger." Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He's played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he's generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?

LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY

Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn't cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, "Roger has a way of bending time." Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.

When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He's the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.

Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He's spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.

<p><em>This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of </em>Sports Illustrated<em>. Subscribe to the magazine <a href="http://subscription-assets.si.com/prod/assets/themes/magazines/SUBS/templates/velocity/site/si-digitaledition/login.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</em></p><p>There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world&#39;s largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.</p><p>Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you&#39;ll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.</p><p>The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis&#39;s answer to the NBA&#39;s Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.</p><p>Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event&#39;s unapologetically profiteering ethos: &quot;Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium.&quot;</p><p>Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis&#39;s de facto CEO.</p><p>Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.</p><p>Federer began tennis&#39;s fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. &quot;Honestly, I&#39;m incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I&#39;m feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I&#39;m managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis,&quot; he says. &quot;I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level.&quot;</p><p>Federer, of course, doesn&#39;t play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand&#39;s appeal. But if there&#39;s something otherworldly about Federer, there&#39;s also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.</p><h3>LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE</h3><p>In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I&#39;m willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.</p><h3>LESSON 2: DON&#39;T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER</h3><p>The rankings are tennis&#39;s equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.</p><h3>LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY</h3><p>If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There&#39;s ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared &quot;Holy War with Google.&quot; For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he&#39;s the Mustang to Nadal&#39;s Camaro, it&#39;s ultimately to his benefit. &quot;At last,&quot; says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport&#39;s most astute observers, &quot;Federer is comfortable playing Nadal.&quot; While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.</p><h3>LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE</h3><p>Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to &quot;an assassin&quot; or a &quot;cold killer&quot; or, for that matter, &quot;a tiger.&quot; Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He&#39;s played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he&#39;s generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?</p><h3>LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY</h3><p>Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn&#39;t cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, &quot;Roger has a way of bending time.&quot; Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.</p><p>When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He&#39;s the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.</p><p>Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He&#39;s spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.</p>
Roger Federer LLC: How the G.O.A.T. Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion

This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here.

There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world's largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.

Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you'll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.

The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis's answer to the NBA's Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.

Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event's unapologetically profiteering ethos: "Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium."

Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis's de facto CEO.

Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.

Federer began tennis's fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. "Honestly, I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I'm feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I'm managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis," he says. "I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level."

Federer, of course, doesn't play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand's appeal. But if there's something otherworldly about Federer, there's also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.

LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE

In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I'm willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.

LESSON 2: DON'T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER

The rankings are tennis's equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.

LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY

If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There's ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared "Holy War with Google." For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he's the Mustang to Nadal's Camaro, it's ultimately to his benefit. "At last," says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport's most astute observers, "Federer is comfortable playing Nadal." While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.

LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE

Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to "an assassin" or a "cold killer" or, for that matter, "a tiger." Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He's played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he's generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?

LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY

Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn't cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, "Roger has a way of bending time." Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.

When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He's the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.

Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He's spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.

<p><em>This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of </em>Sports Illustrated<em>. Subscribe to the magazine <a href="http://subscription-assets.si.com/prod/assets/themes/magazines/SUBS/templates/velocity/site/si-digitaledition/login.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</em></p><p>There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world&#39;s largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.</p><p>Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you&#39;ll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.</p><p>The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis&#39;s answer to the NBA&#39;s Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.</p><p>Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event&#39;s unapologetically profiteering ethos: &quot;Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium.&quot;</p><p>Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis&#39;s de facto CEO.</p><p>Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.</p><p>Federer began tennis&#39;s fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. &quot;Honestly, I&#39;m incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I&#39;m feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I&#39;m managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis,&quot; he says. &quot;I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level.&quot;</p><p>Federer, of course, doesn&#39;t play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand&#39;s appeal. But if there&#39;s something otherworldly about Federer, there&#39;s also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.</p><h3>LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE</h3><p>In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I&#39;m willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.</p><h3>LESSON 2: DON&#39;T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER</h3><p>The rankings are tennis&#39;s equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.</p><h3>LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY</h3><p>If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There&#39;s ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared &quot;Holy War with Google.&quot; For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he&#39;s the Mustang to Nadal&#39;s Camaro, it&#39;s ultimately to his benefit. &quot;At last,&quot; says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport&#39;s most astute observers, &quot;Federer is comfortable playing Nadal.&quot; While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.</p><h3>LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE</h3><p>Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to &quot;an assassin&quot; or a &quot;cold killer&quot; or, for that matter, &quot;a tiger.&quot; Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He&#39;s played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he&#39;s generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?</p><h3>LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY</h3><p>Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn&#39;t cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, &quot;Roger has a way of bending time.&quot; Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.</p><p>When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He&#39;s the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.</p><p>Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He&#39;s spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.</p>
Roger Federer LLC: How the G.O.A.T. Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion

This story appears in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here.

There are, in fairness, some populist touches to the U.S. Open, the world's largest tennis event. The $60 grounds pass remains one of the great values in sports, entrée to watch dozens of matches for as long as 12 hours. But make no mistake: Overall, the U.S. Open is a province of the superelite, a redoubt of privilege.

Just stroll through the parking lots in Flushing Meadow and you'll catch the first unmistakable whiff of wealth. The roster of cars is a testament to the forces of globalization. Ferraris and Jaguars and Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs, parked alongside one another, like names on the draw sheet.

The aroma gets stronger inside the grounds. Bill Ackman—a hedge fund billionaire whose passion for tennis is so great that he recently installed a court on the roof of his midtown Manhattan offices—sits courtside at most sessions, tennis's answer to the NBA's Jimmy Goldstein. The luxury suites are filled with would-be masters of the universe, drinking cocktails and eating canapés in air-conditioned sanctuaries. (One prominent New York City real estate developer with a striking hairstyle and skin the color of Roland Garros clay has been an Open regular for decades.) During the fortnight, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity behemoth, has hosted dinners for star players, most notably Novak Djokovic.

Earlier this summer, a longtime ticket holder was surprised to learn that the price for his fourth-row tickets was being jacked up, from $17,560 to $23,960, a 36% increase from the previous year. He made the purchase anyway, but complained to his USTA sales rep. The one-sentence response he received was the perfect embodiment of the event's unapologetically profiteering ethos: "Pricing [was adjusted] to reflect the true market demand for every row and seat in the stadium."

Yet, all these Captains of Industry and denizens of Hedge Fund Nation could all learn some management tips from tennis's de facto CEO.

Roger Federer might come to New York City this week as a 36-year-old devoted husband and father of four, with a temperamental back. But make no mistake: This is no legacy brand playing for nostalgia. Federer LLC remains the bluest of blue chips, a robust enterprise that spits out profits, beats expectations and pleases its investors.

Federer began tennis's fiscal year by winning the Australian Open, outperforming his rival, Rafael Nadal, in the final. He then won big-ticket events in Indian Wells and Miami, taking down Nadal again en route to both titles. In July, Federer won Wimbledon—for a record eighth time—without dropping a set. He now seeks another quarter of growth in New York City. A sixth U.S. Open title would give him an even 20 majors over his unrivaled career and seal this as a golden season, even by his standards. "Honestly, I'm incredibly surprised how well this year is going, how well I'm feeling, how things are turning out to be on the courts, how I'm managing tougher situations, where my level of play is on a daily basis," he says. "I knew I could do great again maybe one day, but not at this level."

Federer, of course, doesn't play tennis as much as perform it. His lavish skills and artistic impulses and fetching shotmaking are all part of the brand's appeal. But if there's something otherworldly about Federer, there's also something pragmatic and rational. (He is, after all, Swiss.) At his core, Federer is a utilitarian who makes decisions to maximize output and efficiency. He treats his career like the business venture that it is. As the suits in the suites sit open-mouthed watching Federer, they can also find plenty of lessons to apply to their day jobs.

LESSON 1: CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT OBSOLESCENCE IS WORSE

In tennis, as with investment funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Before this season, Federer had gone 17 majors without a title. But he continued innovating and making personnel changes. He switched to a larger racket. He released and hired coaches. He tinkered with his playing patterns. Most notably, he forced himself to fight risk aversion and blast through his one-handed backhand. Even before he reaped the fruits of his expansive mind, the message he sent to the rest of the field—my vaulting ambition is such that I'm willing to change the way I do business to remain competitive—was powerful.

LESSON 2: DON'T LIVE QUARTER-TO-QUARTER

The rankings are tennis's equivalent of a stock price. While some players are concerned with every fluctuation—and the effect of upticks and slides—Federer plays the long game, willing to endure setbacks to peak at the right times. After winning the Miami Open in early April, he promptly sat out the clay season, wary of the price it was likely to exact on his body. The decision cost him the No. 1 ranking, but it was validated at Wimbledon, where he was conspicuously fresh and rested. Likewise, earlier this month, Federer chose not to play through back pain and defend his Cincinnati title. Withdrawing meant giving up ranking points and prize money and adjusting his schedule. No matter. Armed with a clear mission—winning the U.S. Open—he sacrificed short-term for long-term.

LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY

If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that bear out its benefits. Runners have faster times when racing against a rival, to give just one example. There's ample anecdotal evidence as well. When the history of Apple is written, there will inevitably be a reference to the hinge point moment when Steve Jobs declared "Holy War with Google." For years, Federer seemed to retreat from a rivalry with Nadal, intimidated by the fierce intensity on the other side of the net. Recently, Federer has realized that if he's the Mustang to Nadal's Camaro, it's ultimately to his benefit. "At last," says Mats Wilander, winner of seven majors, including the 1988 U.S. Open, and one of the sport's most astute observers, "Federer is comfortable playing Nadal." While Nadal still leads their head-to-head meetings, 23–14, Federer has taken the last four, no small factor in his resurgence.

LESSON 4: LEADERS SET THE CULTURE

Federer gives lie to the notion that top athletes must have a nasty streak. For all the metaphors bestowed on the guy, you will not hear him likened to "an assassin" or a "cold killer" or, for that matter, "a tiger." Federer generally performs with a smile on his face and an unruffled demeanor. He treats his colleagues as opponents, not enemies. He's played his entire career absent controversy, much less scandal. This affects the entire tennis culture. Note how many players today sign autographs as they leave the court, even after defeat. Note how few act cantankerously. The message is clear: If the guy at the top discharges his duties with not just professionalism but with joy, and he's generous with time and refreshingly candid, what excuse is there for a lesser player not to do the same?

LESSON 5: BALANCE IS KEY

Federer is praised for perfect weight distribution on his strokes, and he goes about his business with remarkable equilibrium too. He doesn't cut corners, but neither is he a workaholic. He never appears rushed, and he is devoted to his family. His offseason is sacrosanct, as are birthdays. (Scheduling is helped by having two sets of twins.) As 2003 U.S. Open champ Andy Roddick once put it, "Roger has a way of bending time." Much as savvy companies enforce employee vacation time, Federer knows that sometimes working less enhances productivity and helps stave off burnout.

When the U.S. Open kicks off on Monday, there will be others fighting Federer for market share. Nadal comes to Flushing Meadow as the top seed, having played splendidly all year, especially at the French Open in June. Alexander Zverev is a brash start-up, a 20-year-old German who beat Federer in the finals of the Canadian Open on Aug. 13 and is quickly gaining control over his considerable skills. Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the finals of Wimbledon last month and won the U.S. Open in 2014. He's the most recent champion in the field, as defending champ Stan Wawrinka is recovering from knee surgery, and 2015 winner Djokovic is out with a right elbow injury.

Still, we predict another strong quarter for Federer. He's spent the whole year forcing forecasters to revise their projections upward. Says here he wins again. No need to hedge.

<p>LONDON – Wrapping up two weeks of tennis at the All England Club at Wimbledon 2017, where Roger Federer and Garbine Muguruza walked away with the championship trophies. </p><p><strong>• </strong>Roger Federer, almost 36, wins his eighth Wimbledon and 19th major beating a compromised Marin Cilic in the final. He won all his matches here without dropping a set and played at a level comparable to the one he displayed in his mid-twenties when he won as a matter of ritual. We&#39;ll be writing about this more for SI this week, but this performance was &quot;the will and grace&quot; brand extension. As talented and stylistic as Federer is, don&#39;t overlook his effort and work ethic. Potential is one thing. Maximizing it is another.</p><p>• Garbine Muguruza is your 2017 women&#39;s champion, beating Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0 in the final. Muguruza has won two tournaments over the past 13 months: the 2016 French Open (beating Serena in the final) and 2017 Wimbledon (beating Venus Williams in the final.) The athleticism and ballstriking have never been in doubt. Can Muguruza now consolidate this? If so, the WTA has a new star with a lot of years left.</p><p><strong>• </strong>Pity Marin Cilic who played six generally immaculate matches here and then fell apart in the final. His loss to Federer may leave scar tissue—for the second year in a row. But he ought to recall this: he is younger than any of the Big Five.?</p><p><strong>• </strong>Let&#39;s get this out of the way: Venus Williams had a rough go of it in the final, failing to hold serve in each of her last four attempts. Now the good stuff: at age 37, she is a still a threat to win majors—she&#39;s already reached two finals this year alone. And her ability to win six (increasingly tough) matches here while dealing with an unpleasant off-court situation is still more testament to her professionalism and powers of compartmentalization. </p><p><strong>• </strong>It was a contrasting championships for the doubles finals this year. In the men’s final, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 13-11 in a match that lasted 4 hours, 40 minutes—only 21 minutes shorter than the longest men&#39;s doubles final in history.</p><p>Then, at 9:30 p.m. local time under a closed Centre Court roof, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina cruised to a 55-minute, 6-0, 6-0 win over Chan Hao-ching and Monica Niculescu for the women’s title. </p><p>In the mixed doubles final on Sunday, Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis teamed up to beat Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen 6-4, 6-4 to win the title. For Hingis, her second Wimbledon mixed doubles title comes 20 years after she won her first Wimbledon singles title. For Murray, Sunday&#39;s win marked his second Wimbledon mixed doubles title, 10 years after winning his first in 2007.</p><p><strong>• </strong>Tomas Berdych can remind you of a master candle dipper at the dawn of electricity. He’s an expert craftsman who was simply born at the wrong time. After another run to the Wimbledon latter rounds, he ran into Federer and lost in three sets.</p><p>• Sam Querrey becomes the only active American male to reach the semis of a major. Last year Sam Querrey was a quarterfinalist taking out the defending champ (Novak Djokovic) in the process. This year he was a semifinalist, taking out the defending champ (Andy Murray) in the quarterfinals. Let’s see where he goes from here.</p><p>• Lots of positives for Jo Konta, who reached the semis—outlasting Andy Murray as the last Brit standing—and won an outright war against Simona Halep in the quarters, preventing the latter from inheriting the No. 1 ranking. But she simply had no answers against Venus.</p><p>• More than ever, I was struck by how much I enjoyed the women’s matches. The supremacy of the Big Four is something to behold. But so is the spectacle of two athletes locked in a <em>Who-wants-it-more?</em> combat. Equal prize money and mixed events continue to polarize—and disrupt tour boards—but tennis is a stronger product when both men and women are together. It’s a great hedge. If you come to see excellence, you’re well served. If you come for competition and battle, you’re well served, too.</p><p><strong>•</strong> ?Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain beat Axel Geller 7-6(2), 6-3 to win the boys’ singles title, and in the battle of the Americans in the girls&#39; final, California&#39;s Claire Liu defeated Pennsylvania&#39;s Ann Li 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to win the second-ever all-American girls final at Wimbledon, dating back to 1947. With the win, Liu became the first American girls&#39; singles champion at Wimbledon since Chanda Rubin in 1992. But why even talk about junior tennis, when you can simply link to <a href="http://tenniskalamazoo.blogspot.fr/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Colette Lewis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Colette Lewis</a>?</p><p>?</p><p><strong>• </strong>Imagine you’re the crew that’s been following around Novak Djokovic for roughly a year now. You sign on thinking you’re memorializing a potential Grand Slam season. While hardly lacking in narrative tension, your project has morphed into something altogether different. After five full years of unbroken excellence, Djokovic has now gone five majors without a title—failing to reach the semis in four of them—after retiring here with an elbow injury. Writing Djokovic off is the equivalent of responding to a Nigerian email scam. Don&#39;t be fooled. He’s only 30. He’s intelligent and pragmatic. He’s surrounded himself with good people. History tells us that champions appear, disappear and re-appear. But this slump now encapsulates the physical as well as the spiritual.</p><p>• Gilles Muller won—and we emphasize “won”—the match of the tournament, <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/07/10/rafael-nadal-wimbledon-loss-gilles-muller-fourth-round" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:beating Rafael Nadal on Manic Monday" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">beating Rafael Nadal on Manic Monday</a> 15-13 in the fifth set. It was a career win for Muller who, at age 34, is the latest of late bloomers. And he played so well that Nadal could do little but shrug, say “too good,” and move on.</p><p>• Four cheers—one for each round she won—for Jelena Ostapenko. How often have we seen players win their first major and then retreat, overburdened by the heightened expectation? On the heels of her unexpected win in Paris, Ostapenko reached the second week before losing to Venus Williams. During the first week, Ostapenko wasn’t shy about voicing displeasure with her court assignments. <em>Too small a venue. A court lacking Hawk-eye</em>. “I am Grand Slam champion!” she huffed, not wrongly, to more than one official. Go ahead and call her a diva but we love it. We’ll take that confidence and self-regard over girl-next-door niceness.</p><p>• Nadal was no doubt disappointed by his campaign. After coming within a few games of winning in Australia and then clay-GOATing through the Roland Garros draw, you expected more than a fourth round showing at the next major. But his loss to Muller was, more than anything else, about an opponent playing lights-out tennis.</p><p>• After every major, we play “the frame game,” pondering how certain players perceive this event. The contestants for Wimbledon 2017, please. If you’re CoCo Vandeweghe, wich emotion prevails: pride at reaching Week Two (under new coach Pat Cash) of your second Slam of 2017? Or disappointment with your strangely-vacant effort against No. 87 Magdalena Rybarikova in the quarters? If you’re Simona Halep, are you pleased you confronted your French Open disappointment with professionalism and reached the second week of the subsequent Slam? Or are you dispirited that, with the top ranking on the line, you couldn’t out-battle Jo Konta? As the comedian might put it: tough room, tough room.</p><p>• Speaking of games, Blame The Media, has, regrettably—and I would contend, dangerously—become a popular parlor game at least in the U.S. But I come to praise, not bury. The notion that a star athlete might have been involved in an auto fatality makes for a sensational story. Yet, when the Venus Williams news broke, the tennis media showed real restraint and an admirable wait-for-the-facts-to-come-in approach. This caution was rewarded when <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/07/11/venus-williams-cleared-car-accident-video-evidence-legal-analysis" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Venus Williams was essentially cleared of any wrongdoing" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Venus Williams was essentially cleared of any wrongdoing</a> in this unfortunate accident.</p><p><strong>• </strong> A lot of you asked about Bethanie Mattek-Sands who, of course, suffered a hideous injury in Week One. Full disclosure: she and her camp were kind of enough to send a video update, but we are dealing with technical difficulties. She is in rehab everyday and is hooked up to electric modalities and ice compression throughout the day to assist in the recovery process. She&#39;s optimistic that she will ultimately make a return but there is still no timeframe to talk about as it is far too early. After undergoing surgery, she has a long rehab road ahead but is trying to stay in strong spirits and is deeply appreciative of the response from the tennis world. </p><p>• Sascha Zverev may be pushing the edge of the eggshell but he has yet to claw his way out. Another major, another premature exit. This time, a five-set capitulation to Milos Raonic. Know how we always talk about tennis “never being more physical”? Here’s a prime (or not-yet-in-his prime, as it were) example. Zverev, 20, simply doesn&#39;t have the leg strength and physical base of players a decade older. His loss here recalled his Australian Open loss to Nadal in which he struggled to stand up by the fifth set. The good news: Zverev will get there. And then he’ll beat the next flavor-of-the-month in part because of his superior durability. </p><p>• This might have been our favorite press room exchange:</p><p><strong>Q.</strong> I asked Venus what advice she would give to you about your game. She said nothing, you&#39;re good already. What do you think you need to improve on, to work on?</p><p><strong>NAOMI OSAKA: </strong>Did she really say that?</p><p><strong>Q. </strong>Yes. That&#39;s exactly what she said.</p><p><strong>NAOMI OSAKA: </strong>Oh, cool.</p><p>• Speaking of Osaka, four players who didn’t survive week one but impressed nonetheless: the young Canadian Francois Abanda, Donna Vekic (who should have beaten Konta), Jared Donaldson, and, once again, CiCi Bellis, who lost to Azarenka in round one (no shame, that) but stuck around for Week Two in the doubles.</p><p>• With Angelique Kerber falling short at another tournament this year, Karolina Pliskova took over the WTA’s top ranking when Halep lost in the quarterfinals. Yes, the ranking is based on 52 weeks worth of results. But this has to be one of the most anticlimactic coronations. Pliskova, seeded third here—and first with the oddsmakers—bowed meekly in the second round. (How a player with her serve can reached the semis in Paris but lose early each Wimbledon will continue to mystify.) A week after one of her worst Slam results, she summits the rankings.</p><p>• We fear the job security of Sam Sumyk, the coach of Garbine Muguruza. Their relationship seems to trace the same uneven path of her results. (Who can forget<a href="https://en.as.com/en/2017/03/25/other_sports/1490442333_434519.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> this</a>, still more evidence that on-court coaching makes for great YouTube clips, but undermines the credibility of the WTA product.) With Sumyk away in California as his wife, former WTA player Meilen Tu, gives birth, Muguruza had her best tournament in more than a year.</p><p>• Last year, the feel-good story came in the form of Marcus Willis, a British player whose raking was so subterranean that he had to go through <em>pre-qualifying</em> and then qualifying. He survived both, though, won a main draw round and then fell to Roger Federer on Centre Court. The feel-good story of 2017 may have been… Marcus Willis. He has since married and become a father and moved to Tennessee (long story, <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/04/26/tennis-podcast-marcus-willis-wimbledon-vero-beach" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:you can hear more from him here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">you can hear more from him here</a>), but did little in the past year in terms of results. So it was that he found himself in the qualifying draw yet again where he lost in the final round to Illya Marchenko. In doubles, however, he teamed with Jay Clarke to upset second seed and defending champs, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and reach the third round.</p><p>• It&#39;s not quite Marcus Willis, but our Feel-Good Story Award, women’s division, goes to Magdalena Rybarikova. Injured and ranked close to No. 500 a few months ago, she is now inside the top 40, having beaten Pliskova, Vandeweghe and three other opponents to reach the semifinals. Whether it was the occasion of simply the superior opponent, she didn&#39;t mount much of a fight in the semis against Muguruza. But what a career highlight.</p><p>• Next time you see a player hold a novelty check—and hear those gauche Americans whistle when the U.S. Open emcee tells winners how many millions they’ve won—balance this by taking a gander at the parched badlands of the qualifying draw a/k/a The Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It’s remarkable how many familiar names don&#39;t make the 128-player main draw. And it’s remarkable, too, how many well-known players lose in week one of a major, and are then off chasing points elsewhere during Week Two.</p><p>• A lot of you asked and vented about those two Aussies inevitably yoked together, Bernie Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. I realize that I am in the minority but I have a hard time finding outrage. (On this point you might say I’m unmotivated and bored and disengaged and unable to commit fully.) Yes, the two players are both—albeit in different ways—squanderers of talent, a universal sport crime. But there is abundant evidence that both are damaged and emotionally fragile. Tomic is burdened by a childhood and a father who has always been (euphemism alert) overbearing. In Kyrgios’ case, his talent is undeniable; so is his uneasy relationship with it and with tennis more generally. In any field, it’s hard to be the absolute at an endeavor you don’t necessarily love to do.</p><p>• There’s naked journalistic self-interest here, but I also give Tomic and Kyrgios full points for candor. They are many things, but they are not fraudulent. Both speak openly and honestly, even when their handlers would no doubt prefer they default to cliché or at least self-edit.</p><p>Let&#39;s be clear: this is meant as contrast and not as critique; we’re illustrating difference and not making a value judgment. But the Aussies’ forthrightness and absence of filter was sure thrown into sharp relief by Novak Djokovic. Early in the tournament, John McEnroe likened Djokovic and his decline to Tiger Woods. (There was a time when all athletes would have relished a comparison to Tiger. That time is no longer.) Here’s McEnroe: <em>“</em><em>He had the issues with his wife, he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to the same player.”</em> Whoa. That’s a highly flammable statement that, predictably, fed directly into the tabloids’ maw. Djokovic was clearly not pleased. So much so that Andre Agassi confronted McEnroe during the tournament.</p><p>Yet the following day, when asked about McEnroe’s remarks and given a chance to defend his honor, here’s what Djokovic had to say:<em> “</em><em>I have heard about it today. Look, you know, John has a complete right to say—anybody, really, in the world has a right to say what they want, and I respect that right. Especially coming from John, because he&#39;s someone that has earned that right because of who he is and what he has meant to the sport and what he still, you know, is representing as a former player and still being very active on the tour. And he&#39;s very well known for his, you know, kind of bold comments and not really caring too much about being politically correct but saying whatever is on his mind. That&#39;s all I can say. I really don&#39;t take anything personal.”</em></p><p>Djokovic cannot possibly believe any of this. And the logic here—such as any logic exists—collapses on so many levels. No one questioned McEnroe’s right to free speech; it’s the searing and potentially defamatory content that’s at issue. Shouldn’t McEnroe’s role as “a former player still being active” make him more inclined, not less, toward discretion and courtesy? And you “really don’t take anything personal” when someone references “issues with his wife” and likens you to Tiger Woods? Isn’t that the very essence of a personal remark? The mind reels trying to imagine a remark that could possibly be <em>more personal</em>.</p><p>You suspect that Djokovic’s answer in no way reflected his actual feelings. You also suspect that Djokovic had the good sense to know that—especially when trying to win his first major in a year—no good was going to come from further enflaming this fire. For the folks who thrive on candor, it was a disappointing response. It’s far preferable when the Tomics and the Kyrgios of the world treat press conferences as their personal confessionals. Yet for Djokovic—a guy trying to win the tournament—it was the perfect response. A pragmatic, professional move aimed at dousing controversy. Which it did.</p><p>• Long as we’re here and talking about balancing candor with caution…. I was surprised about how many of you wrote in about John McEnroe, his regrettable Tiger Woods/Djokovic comparison, and the continued fallout over his (correct in fact; deaf in tone) remarks about Serena Williams. Upon further review, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all. Precise and tactical as McEnroe’s game may have been, he employs the opposite tack away from tennis, spraying haphazardly, shooting first and taking questions later. (I just listened to this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuIklBfJeBs" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:podcast" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">podcast</a> on which he casually discusses Nadal in flattering terms, but then, unaccountably, adds that Nadal is “so OCD, touching every part of his body every point would drive anyone crazy.”)</p><p>McEnroe is also a man who—and this is not a knock—desperately wants to remain relevant, to be “constantly talking and constantly talked about” <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/09/biggest-threat-to-the-west-australian-journalist-demolishes-trump-after-g20" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:to borrow a phrase" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">to borrow a phrase</a>. And he largely succeeds. Even as he closes in on age 60, McEnroe remains complex and polarizing and captivating and, yes, flawed. He also remains a seeker, someone who nourishes his curiosities. And I think there’s a certain integrity to that. McEnroe could lead an anesthetized life. He could retire to the Hamptons. He could mute his public profile. Instead he’s chosen to remain vital and outspoken. If that means stepping in it every now and then, so be it.</p><p>• Back to Tomic, lost in the chatter of lack of effort…what do we make of his admission that he called a mid-match injury timeout for no reason in particular? We’ve talked a lot about the cheating epidemic that infects junior tennis. (I was speaking to Martin Blackman, head of USTA Player development, the other day about this and suffice it to say that cheating—and parents who encourage it—is an issue that echoes with the highest levels of the USTA pyramid.) Anyway, a friend of mine raised this point and I think it’s a good one: When you see a top pro like Tomic flout the rules—at Wimbledon, on a court ringed by spectators and cameras, with a full complement of officials nearby—what hope is there for sportsmanship and honesty to prevail on the back court of a junior event?</p><p>• After his quarterfinal defeat, top-seeded (in the men’s draw, that is) Andy Murray got plenty of plaudits for <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/07/12/andy-murray-reporter-response-women-tennis-video" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:correcting a reporter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">correcting a reporter</a> who claimed that Querrey became the first American semifinalist since 2009. Good for Murray for his sensibilities (and attentiveness to a journalist’s question). But—hard as it is to argue against precision and sensitivity of casual sexism—I would push back ever so gently here. When McEnroe claimed that Serena Williams wouldn’t beat the 700th-ranked man, the objection went like this: “It’s irrelevant. Men and women don&#39;t compete against each other and never will, so why even bring that up? We need to consider men and women’s tennis as separate and distinct endeavors.” Does the logic of that erode when suddenly every tennis statement must be specified for gender?</p><p>• As part of a sponsor promotion with (obligatory product mention goes here) Tempur-pedic mattresses, Serena Williams to spoke to SI for a few moments during the tournament. One snippet:</p><p><strong>Q: What have you learned about yourself during pregnancy?</strong></p><p><strong>Serena Williams:</strong> “Honestly I think tennis has prepared me for this. I know that sounds really weird but it’s been all mental for me—a supermental experience—and my tennis game is mental. I feel like I’ve been pretty strong throughout this whole process.”</p><p>• Continuing with a maternity theme: Nice to see Kim Clijsters—a week from her Hall of Fame enshrinement—working the commentary booth for the BBC. And nice to see her take her duties seriously, at one point accusing Victoria Azarenka of benefiting from <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tennis-wimbledon-showcase-azarenka-co-idUSKBN19S2V4" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:illegal coaching" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">illegal coaching</a>. One irony: Clijsters did her best work after becoming mother. Azarenka was playing—and playing encouragingly well—her first event back after maternity leave.</p><p>• If his daughter’s tennis career doesn&#39;t work out, Caroline Garcia’s father has a second career as a <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/10/caroline-garcia-denies-father-broke-rules-signalling-match-johanna/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:third base coach" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">third base coach</a>. Here’s the deal with illegal coaching from the stands a) inevitably, cameras will pick it up and you will be exposed. b) consider the message the opponent receives knowing your player must rely on others to solve problems c) on the other hand, do it long enough and rather than confront you, cravenly administrators will capitulate and <a href="http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2017/07/us-open-to-try-serve-clothing-warmup-clocks-in-qualifying/67427/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:adjust the rules" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">adjust the rules</a>.</p><p>• Tennis generations are not unlike consumer products. You have the classics that are durable and keep their value and consumers’ brand loyalty. You have new and exciting models to roll off the assembly line. And you have some less successful innovations. You’re forgiven if you think the ATP regards its middle generation much as Samsung does the Galaxy S7. Inside the ATP’s sponsor tent, the walls were plastered with images of the Big Four and the Next Gen… with virtually no reference to players ages 22-29.</p><p>• A few of you noted the A-to-Z mixed doubles team of Victoria Azarenka and Nenad Zimonjic. Their origin story: they met at the Wimbledon daycare where both had dropped off their spawn.</p><p>• Upset of the tournament: results from the ATP and WTA board votes on the players’ side. Without getting too inside baseball, it will be interesting to see where Roger Rasheed and Gary Brody—the two new elected officers—line up on tennis’ equivalent of the health care bill.</p><p>?</p><p>• Honk if you are a player and you are NOT being trailed by a camera crew for a documentary project. Victoria Azarenka is the latest.</p><p>• As is always the case this time of year, for many players the U.S. Open represents the last chance to salvage what’s been a disappointing season up until now. Consider Madison Keys a member of this tribe. After cracking the top ten last year and making the Singapore year-end championships field, Keys was beset by a wrist injury. She returned in Indian Wells, but lost early in Paris and then underwent another round of surgery in June. Here, she won a match and then lost to streaky Camila Giorgi. Keys is only 22. She hits titanic balls. She is surrounded by a first-rate team. But suffice it to say that at the start of the year, she didn’t envision that she’d enter late July with a match record of 5-6.</p><p>• Rough event for Leander Paes. Less than a week before the event, he was dumped by Martina Hingis who decided to go to prom with Jamie Murray instead. Then, teamed with Adil Shamasdin of Canada, Paes lost in the first round 10-8 in the fifth set. He entered the mixed event with a shotgun partner, Yifan Xu. They lost in the first round, but not before Paes was conked in the back of the head with a serve.</p><p>• Reason No. 6,392 why tennis data is often problematic. (Note the attempt at meta: the 6,392 itself is bad data.) Through the first week we kept hearing that Gilles Muller was the tournament ace leader. Good for him. Except that it told us very little, neglecting to mention that this was a raw number not normed for games played. In his second round match, Muller beat Lukas Rosol 9-7 in the fifth set, a match that entailed 60 games. No one is denying Muller comes armed with a lethal serve. But when you play twice as many games as others, it distorts the numbers. Aces-per-service-points-won would, of course, be a better barometer.</p><p>Speaking of stats, you guys know that “aces” are included a player’s “winners” tally? Clearly not everyone knows this because you often hear broadcasters say something to the effect, “He had 10 aces to go along with 25 winners.” What they really mean is, “He had 25 winners, which <em>included</em> ten aces.” Think about someone like John Isner. In his second round, match he posted 100 winners; but that included 45 aces. Dudi Sela, the opponent, had 64 winners but only five of them were aces. Translation: Sela actually had more winners from the net and baseline. And, not surprisingly when framed that way, Sela won the match.</p><p>• The International Tennis Hall of Fame has been delicate in the presentation and the p.r. But the message has been received that the admission standards ought to be elevated. Players will automatically be eligible if they have won three majors and held the No. 1 ranking for 15 weeks. This doesn&#39;t preclude other players from being nominated. But this sends a message about the level of credentials we ought to be considering from now on. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, as a decade, the 2020s could be an interesting one in terms of enshrinement. The Big Four are laughably obvious candidates. Wawrinka gets in easily, I’d predict. The Bryans as well. But that could still leave several years without real candidates, at least on the men’s side.</p><p>• Genie Bouchard has lost in the first round of eight of the ten events she’s played since Australia. You have to wonder whether the pressure of her lawsuit against the USTA is a factor here. You’re trying to build a case—literally—that you are a better player than your rankings suggests. That’s an awfully big burden to bear each time you take the court.</p><p>• We all know how tennis—<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Game-Tennis-Classic-Performance/dp/0679778314/ref=la_B000APB9KK_1_1?s=books&#38;ie=UTF8&#38;qid=1500137701&#38;sr=1-1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:specifically Timothy Gallwey’s book" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">specifically Timothy Gallwey’s book</a>—influenced the Golden State Warriors dynasty. Who knew about the role tennis played in the <a href="http://www.patriots.com/video/2016/12/21/nfl-films-presents-robert-kraft-and-boston-lobsters" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:hegemony of the New England Patriots" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">hegemony of the New England Patriots</a>?</p><p>• We’ve written before about <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2014/01/10/camila-giorgi" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Camila Giorgi’s" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Camila Giorgi’s</a> um (to the euphemism-mobile!) idiosyncratic team. We got a glimpse here. In Giorgi’s matches against both Keys and Ostapenko, her father was observed coughing when the opponent served. Said Ostapenko: “[I was] a little bit [shocked], yes, because I think it was from her dad actually, or her box. I mean, the people who are in her team, they&#39;re probably very close to tennis. They probably have to understand how to behave during the points or before the serve.…It was just before my serve, after first serve and before second serve. That was pretty disappointing, yeah.”</p><p>• Credit the great Martina Navratilova for calling this to our attention. But of the 128 players in the women’s draw, nearly half—60 of 128—are from originally Slavic countries. (That counts the transplants such as Wozniacki and Kerber. But still…)</p><p>• Reason No. 6,393 why Wimbledon is such a super-fantastic event. At so many events, the fans are gouged on concessions, paying $15 for water-beer and $7.50 for a pretzel. At Wimbledon the club subsidizes the food. The signature dish, <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/07/12/wimbledon-food-strawberries-and-cream-snack" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the strawberries and cream" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the strawberries and cream</a>, are priced at £2.50—and has been for the last eight years.</p><p>• One of the ironies of working TV at these events: you actually catch very little of the television coverage. Crowd sourcing you guys: Mardy Fish was a welcome addition to the ESPN team. (And it was heartening to see him back in the public view.) Mary Pierce does excellent work for Eurosport. Boris Becker rates high on the unintentional comedy scale. (“Muguruza is from Venezuela slash Spain. And now she doesn’t want to become a slash potato.”) Per my friend, Jeff: ESPN’s Howard Bryant—teller of truth, enemy of fluff—needs some sort of on-air role. Without specifying the offending broadcaster, we submit that no good had ever come from a male asking, “Am I right, ladies?”</p><p>• Pet peeve: why in the world would Wimbledon allow its own feed to show fans asleep in the stands? Message: “The entertainment value is so low and the product is so stultifying boring, even people who pay for tickets can&#39;t stay awake!”</p><p>• Good soldiering: who wants to go to <a href="http://www.fourseasons.com/hualalai/services_and_amenities/sports/tennis/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:tennis camp" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">tennis camp</a> in Hawaii next month?</p><p>• The Tennis Channel clip art: your comments, compliments and criticisms are read and considered. Yes, Lindsay Davenport is the best. Yes, we have a lot of fun and really do like each other in spite of on-air digs and Paul Annacone’s questionable prognostication skills. Yes, the network will be back throughout the summer and have a well-publicized presence at the U.S. Open. </p><p>And if you have enjoyed the SI.com Wimbledon coverage you owe a robust thanks to our extraordinary producer, Jamie Lisanti.</p><p>ALWAYS FUN GEEKING OUT ON TENNIS WITH YOU GUYS. ENJOYED YOUR TEXTS, TWEETS AND EMAIL. WE’LL DO IT AGAIN IN NEW YORK….</p>
50 parting thoughts from Wimbledon 2017

LONDON – Wrapping up two weeks of tennis at the All England Club at Wimbledon 2017, where Roger Federer and Garbine Muguruza walked away with the championship trophies.

Roger Federer, almost 36, wins his eighth Wimbledon and 19th major beating a compromised Marin Cilic in the final. He won all his matches here without dropping a set and played at a level comparable to the one he displayed in his mid-twenties when he won as a matter of ritual. We'll be writing about this more for SI this week, but this performance was "the will and grace" brand extension. As talented and stylistic as Federer is, don't overlook his effort and work ethic. Potential is one thing. Maximizing it is another.

• Garbine Muguruza is your 2017 women's champion, beating Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0 in the final. Muguruza has won two tournaments over the past 13 months: the 2016 French Open (beating Serena in the final) and 2017 Wimbledon (beating Venus Williams in the final.) The athleticism and ballstriking have never been in doubt. Can Muguruza now consolidate this? If so, the WTA has a new star with a lot of years left.

Pity Marin Cilic who played six generally immaculate matches here and then fell apart in the final. His loss to Federer may leave scar tissue—for the second year in a row. But he ought to recall this: he is younger than any of the Big Five.?

Let's get this out of the way: Venus Williams had a rough go of it in the final, failing to hold serve in each of her last four attempts. Now the good stuff: at age 37, she is a still a threat to win majors—she's already reached two finals this year alone. And her ability to win six (increasingly tough) matches here while dealing with an unpleasant off-court situation is still more testament to her professionalism and powers of compartmentalization.

It was a contrasting championships for the doubles finals this year. In the men’s final, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 13-11 in a match that lasted 4 hours, 40 minutes—only 21 minutes shorter than the longest men's doubles final in history.

Then, at 9:30 p.m. local time under a closed Centre Court roof, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina cruised to a 55-minute, 6-0, 6-0 win over Chan Hao-ching and Monica Niculescu for the women’s title.

In the mixed doubles final on Sunday, Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis teamed up to beat Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen 6-4, 6-4 to win the title. For Hingis, her second Wimbledon mixed doubles title comes 20 years after she won her first Wimbledon singles title. For Murray, Sunday's win marked his second Wimbledon mixed doubles title, 10 years after winning his first in 2007.

Tomas Berdych can remind you of a master candle dipper at the dawn of electricity. He’s an expert craftsman who was simply born at the wrong time. After another run to the Wimbledon latter rounds, he ran into Federer and lost in three sets.

• Sam Querrey becomes the only active American male to reach the semis of a major. Last year Sam Querrey was a quarterfinalist taking out the defending champ (Novak Djokovic) in the process. This year he was a semifinalist, taking out the defending champ (Andy Murray) in the quarterfinals. Let’s see where he goes from here.

• Lots of positives for Jo Konta, who reached the semis—outlasting Andy Murray as the last Brit standing—and won an outright war against Simona Halep in the quarters, preventing the latter from inheriting the No. 1 ranking. But she simply had no answers against Venus.

• More than ever, I was struck by how much I enjoyed the women’s matches. The supremacy of the Big Four is something to behold. But so is the spectacle of two athletes locked in a Who-wants-it-more? combat. Equal prize money and mixed events continue to polarize—and disrupt tour boards—but tennis is a stronger product when both men and women are together. It’s a great hedge. If you come to see excellence, you’re well served. If you come for competition and battle, you’re well served, too.

?Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain beat Axel Geller 7-6(2), 6-3 to win the boys’ singles title, and in the battle of the Americans in the girls' final, California's Claire Liu defeated Pennsylvania's Ann Li 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to win the second-ever all-American girls final at Wimbledon, dating back to 1947. With the win, Liu became the first American girls' singles champion at Wimbledon since Chanda Rubin in 1992. But why even talk about junior tennis, when you can simply link to Colette Lewis?

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Imagine you’re the crew that’s been following around Novak Djokovic for roughly a year now. You sign on thinking you’re memorializing a potential Grand Slam season. While hardly lacking in narrative tension, your project has morphed into something altogether different. After five full years of unbroken excellence, Djokovic has now gone five majors without a title—failing to reach the semis in four of them—after retiring here with an elbow injury. Writing Djokovic off is the equivalent of responding to a Nigerian email scam. Don't be fooled. He’s only 30. He’s intelligent and pragmatic. He’s surrounded himself with good people. History tells us that champions appear, disappear and re-appear. But this slump now encapsulates the physical as well as the spiritual.

• Gilles Muller won—and we emphasize “won”—the match of the tournament, beating Rafael Nadal on Manic Monday 15-13 in the fifth set. It was a career win for Muller who, at age 34, is the latest of late bloomers. And he played so well that Nadal could do little but shrug, say “too good,” and move on.

• Four cheers—one for each round she won—for Jelena Ostapenko. How often have we seen players win their first major and then retreat, overburdened by the heightened expectation? On the heels of her unexpected win in Paris, Ostapenko reached the second week before losing to Venus Williams. During the first week, Ostapenko wasn’t shy about voicing displeasure with her court assignments. Too small a venue. A court lacking Hawk-eye. “I am Grand Slam champion!” she huffed, not wrongly, to more than one official. Go ahead and call her a diva but we love it. We’ll take that confidence and self-regard over girl-next-door niceness.

• Nadal was no doubt disappointed by his campaign. After coming within a few games of winning in Australia and then clay-GOATing through the Roland Garros draw, you expected more than a fourth round showing at the next major. But his loss to Muller was, more than anything else, about an opponent playing lights-out tennis.

• After every major, we play “the frame game,” pondering how certain players perceive this event. The contestants for Wimbledon 2017, please. If you’re CoCo Vandeweghe, wich emotion prevails: pride at reaching Week Two (under new coach Pat Cash) of your second Slam of 2017? Or disappointment with your strangely-vacant effort against No. 87 Magdalena Rybarikova in the quarters? If you’re Simona Halep, are you pleased you confronted your French Open disappointment with professionalism and reached the second week of the subsequent Slam? Or are you dispirited that, with the top ranking on the line, you couldn’t out-battle Jo Konta? As the comedian might put it: tough room, tough room.

• Speaking of games, Blame The Media, has, regrettably—and I would contend, dangerously—become a popular parlor game at least in the U.S. But I come to praise, not bury. The notion that a star athlete might have been involved in an auto fatality makes for a sensational story. Yet, when the Venus Williams news broke, the tennis media showed real restraint and an admirable wait-for-the-facts-to-come-in approach. This caution was rewarded when Venus Williams was essentially cleared of any wrongdoing in this unfortunate accident.

A lot of you asked about Bethanie Mattek-Sands who, of course, suffered a hideous injury in Week One. Full disclosure: she and her camp were kind of enough to send a video update, but we are dealing with technical difficulties. She is in rehab everyday and is hooked up to electric modalities and ice compression throughout the day to assist in the recovery process. She's optimistic that she will ultimately make a return but there is still no timeframe to talk about as it is far too early. After undergoing surgery, she has a long rehab road ahead but is trying to stay in strong spirits and is deeply appreciative of the response from the tennis world.

• Sascha Zverev may be pushing the edge of the eggshell but he has yet to claw his way out. Another major, another premature exit. This time, a five-set capitulation to Milos Raonic. Know how we always talk about tennis “never being more physical”? Here’s a prime (or not-yet-in-his prime, as it were) example. Zverev, 20, simply doesn't have the leg strength and physical base of players a decade older. His loss here recalled his Australian Open loss to Nadal in which he struggled to stand up by the fifth set. The good news: Zverev will get there. And then he’ll beat the next flavor-of-the-month in part because of his superior durability.

• This might have been our favorite press room exchange:

Q. I asked Venus what advice she would give to you about your game. She said nothing, you're good already. What do you think you need to improve on, to work on?

NAOMI OSAKA: Did she really say that?

Q. Yes. That's exactly what she said.

NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, cool.

• Speaking of Osaka, four players who didn’t survive week one but impressed nonetheless: the young Canadian Francois Abanda, Donna Vekic (who should have beaten Konta), Jared Donaldson, and, once again, CiCi Bellis, who lost to Azarenka in round one (no shame, that) but stuck around for Week Two in the doubles.

• With Angelique Kerber falling short at another tournament this year, Karolina Pliskova took over the WTA’s top ranking when Halep lost in the quarterfinals. Yes, the ranking is based on 52 weeks worth of results. But this has to be one of the most anticlimactic coronations. Pliskova, seeded third here—and first with the oddsmakers—bowed meekly in the second round. (How a player with her serve can reached the semis in Paris but lose early each Wimbledon will continue to mystify.) A week after one of her worst Slam results, she summits the rankings.

• We fear the job security of Sam Sumyk, the coach of Garbine Muguruza. Their relationship seems to trace the same uneven path of her results. (Who can forget this, still more evidence that on-court coaching makes for great YouTube clips, but undermines the credibility of the WTA product.) With Sumyk away in California as his wife, former WTA player Meilen Tu, gives birth, Muguruza had her best tournament in more than a year.

• Last year, the feel-good story came in the form of Marcus Willis, a British player whose raking was so subterranean that he had to go through pre-qualifying and then qualifying. He survived both, though, won a main draw round and then fell to Roger Federer on Centre Court. The feel-good story of 2017 may have been… Marcus Willis. He has since married and become a father and moved to Tennessee (long story, you can hear more from him here), but did little in the past year in terms of results. So it was that he found himself in the qualifying draw yet again where he lost in the final round to Illya Marchenko. In doubles, however, he teamed with Jay Clarke to upset second seed and defending champs, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and reach the third round.

• It's not quite Marcus Willis, but our Feel-Good Story Award, women’s division, goes to Magdalena Rybarikova. Injured and ranked close to No. 500 a few months ago, she is now inside the top 40, having beaten Pliskova, Vandeweghe and three other opponents to reach the semifinals. Whether it was the occasion of simply the superior opponent, she didn't mount much of a fight in the semis against Muguruza. But what a career highlight.

• Next time you see a player hold a novelty check—and hear those gauche Americans whistle when the U.S. Open emcee tells winners how many millions they’ve won—balance this by taking a gander at the parched badlands of the qualifying draw a/k/a The Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It’s remarkable how many familiar names don't make the 128-player main draw. And it’s remarkable, too, how many well-known players lose in week one of a major, and are then off chasing points elsewhere during Week Two.

• A lot of you asked and vented about those two Aussies inevitably yoked together, Bernie Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. I realize that I am in the minority but I have a hard time finding outrage. (On this point you might say I’m unmotivated and bored and disengaged and unable to commit fully.) Yes, the two players are both—albeit in different ways—squanderers of talent, a universal sport crime. But there is abundant evidence that both are damaged and emotionally fragile. Tomic is burdened by a childhood and a father who has always been (euphemism alert) overbearing. In Kyrgios’ case, his talent is undeniable; so is his uneasy relationship with it and with tennis more generally. In any field, it’s hard to be the absolute at an endeavor you don’t necessarily love to do.

• There’s naked journalistic self-interest here, but I also give Tomic and Kyrgios full points for candor. They are many things, but they are not fraudulent. Both speak openly and honestly, even when their handlers would no doubt prefer they default to cliché or at least self-edit.

Let's be clear: this is meant as contrast and not as critique; we’re illustrating difference and not making a value judgment. But the Aussies’ forthrightness and absence of filter was sure thrown into sharp relief by Novak Djokovic. Early in the tournament, John McEnroe likened Djokovic and his decline to Tiger Woods. (There was a time when all athletes would have relished a comparison to Tiger. That time is no longer.) Here’s McEnroe: He had the issues with his wife, he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to the same player.” Whoa. That’s a highly flammable statement that, predictably, fed directly into the tabloids’ maw. Djokovic was clearly not pleased. So much so that Andre Agassi confronted McEnroe during the tournament.

Yet the following day, when asked about McEnroe’s remarks and given a chance to defend his honor, here’s what Djokovic had to say:I have heard about it today. Look, you know, John has a complete right to say—anybody, really, in the world has a right to say what they want, and I respect that right. Especially coming from John, because he's someone that has earned that right because of who he is and what he has meant to the sport and what he still, you know, is representing as a former player and still being very active on the tour. And he's very well known for his, you know, kind of bold comments and not really caring too much about being politically correct but saying whatever is on his mind. That's all I can say. I really don't take anything personal.”

Djokovic cannot possibly believe any of this. And the logic here—such as any logic exists—collapses on so many levels. No one questioned McEnroe’s right to free speech; it’s the searing and potentially defamatory content that’s at issue. Shouldn’t McEnroe’s role as “a former player still being active” make him more inclined, not less, toward discretion and courtesy? And you “really don’t take anything personal” when someone references “issues with his wife” and likens you to Tiger Woods? Isn’t that the very essence of a personal remark? The mind reels trying to imagine a remark that could possibly be more personal.

You suspect that Djokovic’s answer in no way reflected his actual feelings. You also suspect that Djokovic had the good sense to know that—especially when trying to win his first major in a year—no good was going to come from further enflaming this fire. For the folks who thrive on candor, it was a disappointing response. It’s far preferable when the Tomics and the Kyrgios of the world treat press conferences as their personal confessionals. Yet for Djokovic—a guy trying to win the tournament—it was the perfect response. A pragmatic, professional move aimed at dousing controversy. Which it did.

• Long as we’re here and talking about balancing candor with caution…. I was surprised about how many of you wrote in about John McEnroe, his regrettable Tiger Woods/Djokovic comparison, and the continued fallout over his (correct in fact; deaf in tone) remarks about Serena Williams. Upon further review, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all. Precise and tactical as McEnroe’s game may have been, he employs the opposite tack away from tennis, spraying haphazardly, shooting first and taking questions later. (I just listened to this podcast on which he casually discusses Nadal in flattering terms, but then, unaccountably, adds that Nadal is “so OCD, touching every part of his body every point would drive anyone crazy.”)

McEnroe is also a man who—and this is not a knock—desperately wants to remain relevant, to be “constantly talking and constantly talked about” to borrow a phrase. And he largely succeeds. Even as he closes in on age 60, McEnroe remains complex and polarizing and captivating and, yes, flawed. He also remains a seeker, someone who nourishes his curiosities. And I think there’s a certain integrity to that. McEnroe could lead an anesthetized life. He could retire to the Hamptons. He could mute his public profile. Instead he’s chosen to remain vital and outspoken. If that means stepping in it every now and then, so be it.

• Back to Tomic, lost in the chatter of lack of effort…what do we make of his admission that he called a mid-match injury timeout for no reason in particular? We’ve talked a lot about the cheating epidemic that infects junior tennis. (I was speaking to Martin Blackman, head of USTA Player development, the other day about this and suffice it to say that cheating—and parents who encourage it—is an issue that echoes with the highest levels of the USTA pyramid.) Anyway, a friend of mine raised this point and I think it’s a good one: When you see a top pro like Tomic flout the rules—at Wimbledon, on a court ringed by spectators and cameras, with a full complement of officials nearby—what hope is there for sportsmanship and honesty to prevail on the back court of a junior event?

• After his quarterfinal defeat, top-seeded (in the men’s draw, that is) Andy Murray got plenty of plaudits for correcting a reporter who claimed that Querrey became the first American semifinalist since 2009. Good for Murray for his sensibilities (and attentiveness to a journalist’s question). But—hard as it is to argue against precision and sensitivity of casual sexism—I would push back ever so gently here. When McEnroe claimed that Serena Williams wouldn’t beat the 700th-ranked man, the objection went like this: “It’s irrelevant. Men and women don't compete against each other and never will, so why even bring that up? We need to consider men and women’s tennis as separate and distinct endeavors.” Does the logic of that erode when suddenly every tennis statement must be specified for gender?

• As part of a sponsor promotion with (obligatory product mention goes here) Tempur-pedic mattresses, Serena Williams to spoke to SI for a few moments during the tournament. One snippet:

Q: What have you learned about yourself during pregnancy?

Serena Williams: “Honestly I think tennis has prepared me for this. I know that sounds really weird but it’s been all mental for me—a supermental experience—and my tennis game is mental. I feel like I’ve been pretty strong throughout this whole process.”

• Continuing with a maternity theme: Nice to see Kim Clijsters—a week from her Hall of Fame enshrinement—working the commentary booth for the BBC. And nice to see her take her duties seriously, at one point accusing Victoria Azarenka of benefiting from illegal coaching. One irony: Clijsters did her best work after becoming mother. Azarenka was playing—and playing encouragingly well—her first event back after maternity leave.

• If his daughter’s tennis career doesn't work out, Caroline Garcia’s father has a second career as a third base coach. Here’s the deal with illegal coaching from the stands a) inevitably, cameras will pick it up and you will be exposed. b) consider the message the opponent receives knowing your player must rely on others to solve problems c) on the other hand, do it long enough and rather than confront you, cravenly administrators will capitulate and adjust the rules.

• Tennis generations are not unlike consumer products. You have the classics that are durable and keep their value and consumers’ brand loyalty. You have new and exciting models to roll off the assembly line. And you have some less successful innovations. You’re forgiven if you think the ATP regards its middle generation much as Samsung does the Galaxy S7. Inside the ATP’s sponsor tent, the walls were plastered with images of the Big Four and the Next Gen… with virtually no reference to players ages 22-29.

• A few of you noted the A-to-Z mixed doubles team of Victoria Azarenka and Nenad Zimonjic. Their origin story: they met at the Wimbledon daycare where both had dropped off their spawn.

• Upset of the tournament: results from the ATP and WTA board votes on the players’ side. Without getting too inside baseball, it will be interesting to see where Roger Rasheed and Gary Brody—the two new elected officers—line up on tennis’ equivalent of the health care bill.

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• Honk if you are a player and you are NOT being trailed by a camera crew for a documentary project. Victoria Azarenka is the latest.

• As is always the case this time of year, for many players the U.S. Open represents the last chance to salvage what’s been a disappointing season up until now. Consider Madison Keys a member of this tribe. After cracking the top ten last year and making the Singapore year-end championships field, Keys was beset by a wrist injury. She returned in Indian Wells, but lost early in Paris and then underwent another round of surgery in June. Here, she won a match and then lost to streaky Camila Giorgi. Keys is only 22. She hits titanic balls. She is surrounded by a first-rate team. But suffice it to say that at the start of the year, she didn’t envision that she’d enter late July with a match record of 5-6.

• Rough event for Leander Paes. Less than a week before the event, he was dumped by Martina Hingis who decided to go to prom with Jamie Murray instead. Then, teamed with Adil Shamasdin of Canada, Paes lost in the first round 10-8 in the fifth set. He entered the mixed event with a shotgun partner, Yifan Xu. They lost in the first round, but not before Paes was conked in the back of the head with a serve.

• Reason No. 6,392 why tennis data is often problematic. (Note the attempt at meta: the 6,392 itself is bad data.) Through the first week we kept hearing that Gilles Muller was the tournament ace leader. Good for him. Except that it told us very little, neglecting to mention that this was a raw number not normed for games played. In his second round match, Muller beat Lukas Rosol 9-7 in the fifth set, a match that entailed 60 games. No one is denying Muller comes armed with a lethal serve. But when you play twice as many games as others, it distorts the numbers. Aces-per-service-points-won would, of course, be a better barometer.

Speaking of stats, you guys know that “aces” are included a player’s “winners” tally? Clearly not everyone knows this because you often hear broadcasters say something to the effect, “He had 10 aces to go along with 25 winners.” What they really mean is, “He had 25 winners, which included ten aces.” Think about someone like John Isner. In his second round, match he posted 100 winners; but that included 45 aces. Dudi Sela, the opponent, had 64 winners but only five of them were aces. Translation: Sela actually had more winners from the net and baseline. And, not surprisingly when framed that way, Sela won the match.

• The International Tennis Hall of Fame has been delicate in the presentation and the p.r. But the message has been received that the admission standards ought to be elevated. Players will automatically be eligible if they have won three majors and held the No. 1 ranking for 15 weeks. This doesn't preclude other players from being nominated. But this sends a message about the level of credentials we ought to be considering from now on. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, as a decade, the 2020s could be an interesting one in terms of enshrinement. The Big Four are laughably obvious candidates. Wawrinka gets in easily, I’d predict. The Bryans as well. But that could still leave several years without real candidates, at least on the men’s side.

• Genie Bouchard has lost in the first round of eight of the ten events she’s played since Australia. You have to wonder whether the pressure of her lawsuit against the USTA is a factor here. You’re trying to build a case—literally—that you are a better player than your rankings suggests. That’s an awfully big burden to bear each time you take the court.

• We all know how tennis—specifically Timothy Gallwey’s book—influenced the Golden State Warriors dynasty. Who knew about the role tennis played in the hegemony of the New England Patriots?

• We’ve written before about Camila Giorgi’s um (to the euphemism-mobile!) idiosyncratic team. We got a glimpse here. In Giorgi’s matches against both Keys and Ostapenko, her father was observed coughing when the opponent served. Said Ostapenko: “[I was] a little bit [shocked], yes, because I think it was from her dad actually, or her box. I mean, the people who are in her team, they're probably very close to tennis. They probably have to understand how to behave during the points or before the serve.…It was just before my serve, after first serve and before second serve. That was pretty disappointing, yeah.”

• Credit the great Martina Navratilova for calling this to our attention. But of the 128 players in the women’s draw, nearly half—60 of 128—are from originally Slavic countries. (That counts the transplants such as Wozniacki and Kerber. But still…)

• Reason No. 6,393 why Wimbledon is such a super-fantastic event. At so many events, the fans are gouged on concessions, paying $15 for water-beer and $7.50 for a pretzel. At Wimbledon the club subsidizes the food. The signature dish, the strawberries and cream, are priced at £2.50—and has been for the last eight years.

• One of the ironies of working TV at these events: you actually catch very little of the television coverage. Crowd sourcing you guys: Mardy Fish was a welcome addition to the ESPN team. (And it was heartening to see him back in the public view.) Mary Pierce does excellent work for Eurosport. Boris Becker rates high on the unintentional comedy scale. (“Muguruza is from Venezuela slash Spain. And now she doesn’t want to become a slash potato.”) Per my friend, Jeff: ESPN’s Howard Bryant—teller of truth, enemy of fluff—needs some sort of on-air role. Without specifying the offending broadcaster, we submit that no good had ever come from a male asking, “Am I right, ladies?”

• Pet peeve: why in the world would Wimbledon allow its own feed to show fans asleep in the stands? Message: “The entertainment value is so low and the product is so stultifying boring, even people who pay for tickets can't stay awake!”

• Good soldiering: who wants to go to tennis camp in Hawaii next month?

• The Tennis Channel clip art: your comments, compliments and criticisms are read and considered. Yes, Lindsay Davenport is the best. Yes, we have a lot of fun and really do like each other in spite of on-air digs and Paul Annacone’s questionable prognostication skills. Yes, the network will be back throughout the summer and have a well-publicized presence at the U.S. Open.

And if you have enjoyed the SI.com Wimbledon coverage you owe a robust thanks to our extraordinary producer, Jamie Lisanti.

ALWAYS FUN GEEKING OUT ON TENNIS WITH YOU GUYS. ENJOYED YOUR TEXTS, TWEETS AND EMAIL. WE’LL DO IT AGAIN IN NEW YORK….

<p><em>With Wimbledon 2017 set to kick off on Monday in London, SI&#39;s tennis experts and writers Jon Wertheim, Richard Deitsch, Stanley Kay and Jamie Lisanti discuss this year’s top storylines and predict the winners. </em></p><p>What qualifier or other player do you see being a dark horse this year?</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/jon_wertheim" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jon Wertheim" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jon Wertheim</a>: Jelena Ostapenko. Only half-kidding. She’s a former Wimbledon junior champion and is, of course, undefeated in her last seven Grand Slam matches. One way or the other, it will be interesting to see how she handles what’s next. Other names: CiCi Bellis has become a deeply intriguing player. Alison Riske is an American who won’t be seeded but thrives on grass. Ash Barty was playing cricket a year ago; now she gets better bounces and is on the verge of cracking the top 50.</p><p>As for the men-folk….Gilles Muller is my dark horse; Gilles Muller is everyone’s dark horse. Kevin Anderson will not be seeded, but if he’s not among the 32 best grass court players, my name is Derek Carr. Dustin Brown is No. 94 but will make life hell for opponents and make life entertaining for fans.</p><p><a href="https://www.si.com/author/richard-deitsch" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Richard Deitsch" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Richard Deitsch</a>: She’s not a qualifier and maybe not even a true dark horse but I’m fascinated to see how Jelena Ostapenko does here following her stunning French Open win. She won the 2014 Wimbledon girls’ title but exited quickly last year in an opening round loss to Kiki Bertens. The attention is going to be different now that she’s won a major and I&#39;m curious to see how she handles the trappings (good and bad) of being a major winner. She faced Johanna Konta in Eastbourne on Thursday—she lost in three sets, but it was a solid test for the 20-year-old.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/jdlisanti" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jamie Lisanti" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jamie Lisanti</a>: Marcus Willis? Last year&#39;s Cinderella story of the tournament is playing in qualifying this week and has won his first two matches, as he tries to replicate his dream run to the second round at Wimbledon last year. </p><p>World No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov has a chance to make a run this year—he put up a strong showing at Queen&#39;s Club, losing to eventual champ Feliciano Lopez, and has been improving all season. Is he eyeing that top 10 ranking spot?</p><p>Young American CiCi Bellis is playing with nothing to lose—she didn&#39;t play at Wimbledon last year and has no points to defend—and she&#39;s coming off a confidence-boosting run to the third round at the French Open, and to the semifinals in a grass lead-up tournament in Calvia. </p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/citizen_kay" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Stanley Kay" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Stanley Kay</a>: Watch out for Karen Khachanov. He’s only 21, but his ranking is up to No. 34. He reached the semis in Halle before managing a fairly tight two-set defeat to eventual champion Roger Federer. Khachanov is only playing his fourth Slam of his career, but he put in a quality performance at Roland Garros, beating Nicolas Jarry, Tomas Berdych and John Isner before losing to Andy Murray in the fourth round. With the right draw, Khachanov could make a nice run in his first appearance at Wimbledon. </p><p>I’m also looking forward to watching CoCo Vandeweghe. After splitting with coach Craig Kardon following the French Open—when she lost in the first round—she teamed up with Pat Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987. I’m intrigued by the new pairing, and I think she could fare well this year after making the quarters in 2016. One concern to note: Vandeweghe rolled her right ankle in Birmingham. </p><p>Make one bold prediction for the tournament.</p><p><strong>RD: </strong>Milos Raonic will crash out in the first week. This is obviously a great surface for the Canadian but his trend isn’t good. His last win over a top-10 came in January and injuries have really disrupted him over the past 12 months. Plus, Raonic recently parted ways with his coach, Richard Krajicek. It all spells early exit.</p><p><strong>JW: </strong>Barely six months after suffering a stab wound to her playing hand in a home invasion, Petra Kvitova wins Wimbledon for the third time.</p><p><strong>JL: </strong>Jelena Ostapenko will not fizzle out in the first round, but rather, make a run deep into the second week, silencing the doubters and the haters and the naysayers.</p><p><strong>SK: </strong>The highlight of diehard Celtics fan Nick Kyrgios’s tournament—no matter how far he goes—will be Boston acquiring some combination of Paul George, Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. ?</p><p>Name one offbeat and/or off-court story you will be following during Wimbledon this year.</p><p><strong>JW: </strong>Boris Becker’s bankruptcy is not merely an alliterative tongue twister; it’s precisely the kind of story that the London tabloids—even in their neutered state—might be inclined to pursue. As last year’s female champion nears her pregnancy due date, she’s also due for a run in the news cycle. And if Conor McGregor shows up in the Royal Box—as has been rumored—it’s a news event.</p><p><strong>RD: </strong>I will be following to see how many media people re-litigate the age-old stupid debate of seeing where a women’s tennis player would rank on the ATP Tour.?</p><p><strong>JL: </strong>I wrote about IBM&#39;s <a href="https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/06/27/wimbledon-2017-ibm-artificial-intelligence-ai-highlights" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AI-powered highlights here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">AI-powered highlights here</a>, but I&#39;m actually interested to see what the system chooses and how it will work, especially in the hectic first days of the tournament. Dress code violations? Those are always fun. And the security at the All England Club is also of interest—authorities are <a href="http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/wimbledon-2017-antiterror-operation-turns-all-england-club-into-a-fortress-a3575656.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:supposed turn it into a fortress" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">supposed turn it into a fortress</a> for the two-weeks of the tournament, as part of a massive anti-terror security operation, and I suppose some players will be asked about the increased safety measures. </p><p><strong>SK: </strong>How long will we be discussing John McEnroe’s comments about Serena Williams? I’m guessing the controversy will run its course by the middle of the tournament’s first week, but then again it’s 2017. ?</p><p>Who will win the men&#39;s title?</p><p><strong>JW: </strong>Federer is the trendy pick, but I also think it’s the wise one. First, let’s tout his virtues: he won the previous major he entered (Australia) and the previous tournament he entered (Halle). He comes in with very little mileage on his 2017 odometer. By aggressively driving his backhand, he’s beaten his career-long nemesis three times this year, both a pragmatic and confidence boost. And, oh yes, he’s won Wimbledon once or twice (or seven times) before.</p><p>Also, there’s the context. The incumbent, Andy Murray, hasn’t been at his best over the last six months. Novak Djokovic hasn&#39;t been near his best over the last 12 months. Rafael Nadal hasn’t been beyond the fourth round since 2011. Stan Wawrinka hasn’t been beyond the quarters. Who’s going to beat Federer, especially over five sets? The names are slow in coming.</p><p><strong>RD:</strong> I can’t see anyone breaking through other than the big four of Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. I’d love to see Roger win because it would solidly his candidacy for SI’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2017, but I think Murray finds his best form on the grass and hits the finish line first. ?</p><p><strong>JL: </strong>Can you bet against Roger Federer? Of course you can, but I&#39;m not taking my chances. Federer on July 16th: A record eighth Wimbledon title, Grand Slam No. 19 and another line added to his GOAT resume. </p><p><strong>SK: </strong>Roger Federer’s gamble to skip the clay court season pays off and he wins his eighth Wimbledon title. </p><p>Who will win the women&#39;s title?</p><p><strong>JW: </strong>Seriously, Kvitova. Yes, because karma loves tennis as much as tennis loves karma. But also because Kvitova—fresh off her Birmingham title—is back in business, back on her choice surface, and back with the rust off.??</p><p><strong>RD: </strong>Brad Gilbert said on ESPN conference call that 40 women could win the title. I don’t see that as hyperbole. I’ll take a flyer on Garbiñe Muguruza simply because I’m tired of picking Simona Halep to break through at a major, though I do think that’s coming in 2017. </p><p><strong>JL: </strong>Karolina Pliskova will win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon 2017. </p><p><strong>SK: </strong>Venus Williams has been knocking on the door of winning her first Grand Slam event since 2008—she made the semis here last year and the final of the Australian Open in January. The field is wide open, and it feels like almost anyone could take home the title. If she serves well and stays healthy, why not Venus? ?</p>
Wimbledon 2017 preview roundtable: Predictions, dark horses, more

With Wimbledon 2017 set to kick off on Monday in London, SI's tennis experts and writers Jon Wertheim, Richard Deitsch, Stanley Kay and Jamie Lisanti discuss this year’s top storylines and predict the winners.

What qualifier or other player do you see being a dark horse this year?

Jon Wertheim: Jelena Ostapenko. Only half-kidding. She’s a former Wimbledon junior champion and is, of course, undefeated in her last seven Grand Slam matches. One way or the other, it will be interesting to see how she handles what’s next. Other names: CiCi Bellis has become a deeply intriguing player. Alison Riske is an American who won’t be seeded but thrives on grass. Ash Barty was playing cricket a year ago; now she gets better bounces and is on the verge of cracking the top 50.

As for the men-folk….Gilles Muller is my dark horse; Gilles Muller is everyone’s dark horse. Kevin Anderson will not be seeded, but if he’s not among the 32 best grass court players, my name is Derek Carr. Dustin Brown is No. 94 but will make life hell for opponents and make life entertaining for fans.

Richard Deitsch: She’s not a qualifier and maybe not even a true dark horse but I’m fascinated to see how Jelena Ostapenko does here following her stunning French Open win. She won the 2014 Wimbledon girls’ title but exited quickly last year in an opening round loss to Kiki Bertens. The attention is going to be different now that she’s won a major and I'm curious to see how she handles the trappings (good and bad) of being a major winner. She faced Johanna Konta in Eastbourne on Thursday—she lost in three sets, but it was a solid test for the 20-year-old.

Jamie Lisanti: Marcus Willis? Last year's Cinderella story of the tournament is playing in qualifying this week and has won his first two matches, as he tries to replicate his dream run to the second round at Wimbledon last year.

World No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov has a chance to make a run this year—he put up a strong showing at Queen's Club, losing to eventual champ Feliciano Lopez, and has been improving all season. Is he eyeing that top 10 ranking spot?

Young American CiCi Bellis is playing with nothing to lose—she didn't play at Wimbledon last year and has no points to defend—and she's coming off a confidence-boosting run to the third round at the French Open, and to the semifinals in a grass lead-up tournament in Calvia.

Stanley Kay: Watch out for Karen Khachanov. He’s only 21, but his ranking is up to No. 34. He reached the semis in Halle before managing a fairly tight two-set defeat to eventual champion Roger Federer. Khachanov is only playing his fourth Slam of his career, but he put in a quality performance at Roland Garros, beating Nicolas Jarry, Tomas Berdych and John Isner before losing to Andy Murray in the fourth round. With the right draw, Khachanov could make a nice run in his first appearance at Wimbledon.

I’m also looking forward to watching CoCo Vandeweghe. After splitting with coach Craig Kardon following the French Open—when she lost in the first round—she teamed up with Pat Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987. I’m intrigued by the new pairing, and I think she could fare well this year after making the quarters in 2016. One concern to note: Vandeweghe rolled her right ankle in Birmingham.

Make one bold prediction for the tournament.

RD: Milos Raonic will crash out in the first week. This is obviously a great surface for the Canadian but his trend isn’t good. His last win over a top-10 came in January and injuries have really disrupted him over the past 12 months. Plus, Raonic recently parted ways with his coach, Richard Krajicek. It all spells early exit.

JW: Barely six months after suffering a stab wound to her playing hand in a home invasion, Petra Kvitova wins Wimbledon for the third time.

JL: Jelena Ostapenko will not fizzle out in the first round, but rather, make a run deep into the second week, silencing the doubters and the haters and the naysayers.

SK: The highlight of diehard Celtics fan Nick Kyrgios’s tournament—no matter how far he goes—will be Boston acquiring some combination of Paul George, Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. ?

Name one offbeat and/or off-court story you will be following during Wimbledon this year.

JW: Boris Becker’s bankruptcy is not merely an alliterative tongue twister; it’s precisely the kind of story that the London tabloids—even in their neutered state—might be inclined to pursue. As last year’s female champion nears her pregnancy due date, she’s also due for a run in the news cycle. And if Conor McGregor shows up in the Royal Box—as has been rumored—it’s a news event.

RD: I will be following to see how many media people re-litigate the age-old stupid debate of seeing where a women’s tennis player would rank on the ATP Tour.?

JL: I wrote about IBM's AI-powered highlights here, but I'm actually interested to see what the system chooses and how it will work, especially in the hectic first days of the tournament. Dress code violations? Those are always fun. And the security at the All England Club is also of interest—authorities are supposed turn it into a fortress for the two-weeks of the tournament, as part of a massive anti-terror security operation, and I suppose some players will be asked about the increased safety measures.

SK: How long will we be discussing John McEnroe’s comments about Serena Williams? I’m guessing the controversy will run its course by the middle of the tournament’s first week, but then again it’s 2017. ?

Who will win the men's title?

JW: Federer is the trendy pick, but I also think it’s the wise one. First, let’s tout his virtues: he won the previous major he entered (Australia) and the previous tournament he entered (Halle). He comes in with very little mileage on his 2017 odometer. By aggressively driving his backhand, he’s beaten his career-long nemesis three times this year, both a pragmatic and confidence boost. And, oh yes, he’s won Wimbledon once or twice (or seven times) before.

Also, there’s the context. The incumbent, Andy Murray, hasn’t been at his best over the last six months. Novak Djokovic hasn't been near his best over the last 12 months. Rafael Nadal hasn’t been beyond the fourth round since 2011. Stan Wawrinka hasn’t been beyond the quarters. Who’s going to beat Federer, especially over five sets? The names are slow in coming.

RD: I can’t see anyone breaking through other than the big four of Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. I’d love to see Roger win because it would solidly his candidacy for SI’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2017, but I think Murray finds his best form on the grass and hits the finish line first. ?

JL: Can you bet against Roger Federer? Of course you can, but I'm not taking my chances. Federer on July 16th: A record eighth Wimbledon title, Grand Slam No. 19 and another line added to his GOAT resume.

SK: Roger Federer’s gamble to skip the clay court season pays off and he wins his eighth Wimbledon title.

Who will win the women's title?

JW: Seriously, Kvitova. Yes, because karma loves tennis as much as tennis loves karma. But also because Kvitova—fresh off her Birmingham title—is back in business, back on her choice surface, and back with the rust off.??

RD: Brad Gilbert said on ESPN conference call that 40 women could win the title. I don’t see that as hyperbole. I’ll take a flyer on Garbiñe Muguruza simply because I’m tired of picking Simona Halep to break through at a major, though I do think that’s coming in 2017.

JL: Karolina Pliskova will win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon 2017.

SK: Venus Williams has been knocking on the door of winning her first Grand Slam event since 2008—she made the semis here last year and the final of the Australian Open in January. The field is wide open, and it feels like almost anyone could take home the title. If she serves well and stays healthy, why not Venus? ?

Rafael Nadal faces a potential 2016 Australian Open rematch of his losing final against Swiss fourth seed Stan Wawrinka two years ago, in a quarter-final in the bottom half of the draw (AFP Photo/William West)
Rafael Nadal faces a potential 2016 Australian Open rematch of his losing final against Swiss fourth seed Stan Wawrinka two years ago, in a quarter-final in the bottom half of the draw
Rafael Nadal faces a potential 2016 Australian Open rematch of his losing final against Swiss fourth seed Stan Wawrinka two years ago, in a quarter-final in the bottom half of the draw (AFP Photo/William West)
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2014, file photo, Rafael Nadal of Spain grimaces as he receives a medical treatment to his back in the men&#39;s singles final against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia. Nadal had stem cell treatment in 2014 to help his ailing back but hasn&#39;t endorsed the procedure.(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill, File)
Stem cells still uncharted territory in sports
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2014, file photo, Rafael Nadal of Spain grimaces as he receives a medical treatment to his back in the men's singles final against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia. Nadal had stem cell treatment in 2014 to help his ailing back but hasn't endorsed the procedure.(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill, File)
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland returns the ball to Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal during third day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Wawrinka gears up for Australian Open at Chennai
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland returns the ball to Spain's Rafael Nadal during third day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds the trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men&#39;s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
All 100 top-ranked men set for Australian Open
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds the trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds the trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men&#39;s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds the trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds the trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Beads of the sweat drop off the forehand of Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal as he serves to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the men&#39;s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Australian Open tweaks Extreme Heat policy
Beads of the sweat drop off the forehand of Spain's Rafael Nadal as he serves to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Beads of the sweat drop off the forehand of Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal as he serves to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the men&#39;s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Beads of the sweat drop off the forehand of Spain's Rafael Nadal as he serves to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014
Beads of the sweat drop off the forehand of Spain's Rafael Nadal as he serves to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
2014 Australian Open tennis tournament winner Stanislas Wawrinka (top L) poses with the trophy next to the runner-up Rafael Nadal, in Melbourne, on January 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/William West)
2014 Australian Open tennis tournament winner Stanislas Wawrinka (top L) poses with the trophy next to the runner-up Rafael Nadal, in Melbourne, on January 26, 2014
2014 Australian Open tennis tournament winner Stanislas Wawrinka (top L) poses with the trophy next to the runner-up Rafael Nadal, in Melbourne, on January 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/William West)
Rafael Nadal of Spain cries after being defeated in the men&#39;s singles final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Rafael Nadal of Spain cries after being defeated in the men's singles final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne
Rafael Nadal of Spain cries after being defeated in the men's singles final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during their men&#39;s singles final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Malone
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during their men's singles final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during their men's singles final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Malone
Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal trains as fans take pictures ahead of the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week&#39;s Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Spain's Rafael Nadal trains as fans take pictures ahead of the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week's Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour
Spain's Rafael Nadal trains as fans take pictures ahead of the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week's Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal leans against the wall during his training session for the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week&#39;s Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Spain's Rafael Nadal leans against the wall during his training session for the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week's Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour
Spain's Rafael Nadal leans against the wall during his training session for the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week's Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal leans against the wall as rests during his training for the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week&#39;s Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Spain's Rafael Nadal leans against the wall as rests during his training for the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week's Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour
Spain's Rafael Nadal leans against the wall as rests during his training for the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Top-ranked Nadal injured his back warming up for the final of the Australian Open almost three weeks ago, eventually losing against Stanislas Wawrinka, a match he was an overwhelming favorite to win. Nadal has practiced little since then, getting treatment at home in Mallorca. His first test comes in next week's Rio Open, a new stop on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

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