ACE - Pre-serving quirks displayed by most of the players. Andy Murray’s is to tap a third service ball back to the ball person between his legs. LET. Rafael Nadal may be home nursing knee tendinitis, but his image and Nadal-branded gear are available as usual at the Open.
FAULT - International events such as the Open reveal ongoing culture confusion. China’s Li Na — Chinese put the surname first — often is referred to as Na Li.
FAULT - Scheduled tennis starting times remain something of a suggestion. Players in the Open’s 11 a.m. matches, for instance, rarely appear on court before 11:10, and don’t actually begin play time until around 11:20.
By the numbers…
42nd Birthday celebrated yesterday by veteran Japanese pro Kimiko Date Krumm, who first played at the Open in 1989 and thus has appeared at Flushing Meadow in four separate decades, despite a since-abandoned retirement. Alas, she lost in straight sets to 28-year-old Swede Sofia Arvidsson.
1935 The first year the men’s and women’s U.S. championships were combined into one event, at Forest Hills.
Amid to ongoing hardwringing over the lack of a U.S. men’s tennis champion in recent years — the last to win a major title was Andy Roddick at the 2003 Open — consider the Australians: Of the 20 U.S. Open championships in the 1950s and 1960s, Aussie men won 13. Their last Flushing Meadows victory was by Lleyton Hewitt in 2001. And the last Australian man to win his own country’s Grand Slam event was Mark Edmondson in 1976.