Photos from Flushing Meadows: Day 1

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 /by
“Helicopter, submarine, spaceship—something come and get me out of here please.” (Photo by Anita Aguilar)
“Helicopter, submarine, spaceship—something come and get me out of here please.” (Photo by Anita Aguilar)

Each day during the U.S. Open, we'll publish a photo gallery of on-site images from Anita Aguilar. Steve Tignor will provide the captions, but he's also looking for your best work. Can you beat his caption of the above photo? Write yours in the comments below and he'll announce the winner in tomorrow's gallery.


Rain delays and upsets: You’ve heard those two words used at Flushing Meadows before. They were in evidence again on opening day this year, as a few dark horses fell during the day, while the rain fell at night and postponed some of the evening's play. Here’s a look at a few of the contests that did get decided:

A fierce-eyed Rafael Nadal looks like he’s ready to take his racquet and hit the ball out of the stadium here. Not that he was angry or anything. Rafa cruised in straights over Ryan Harrison.

Sloane Stephens had the crowd on her side in Louis Armstrong Stadium, but it almost wasn’t enough. The No. 2 American had to fight off a severe case of nerves to get past Luxembourg’s finest, Mandy Minella, in a third-set tiebreaker.

Oh, the pain. Fernando Verdasco lost his fourth five-setter in as many Grand Slams in 2013, this time to Ivan Dodig in the Grandstand.

Monica Puig has superfans? Two of them were in the stands to root her on, in red and blue “Pica Power” T-shirts that matched Puig’s Puerto Rican-themed kit. But there wasn’t enough power to pull Pica through on Monday. She lost to Alisa Kleybanova, 7-5 in the third.

Some thought that a slumping David Ferrer might be prime upset meat for Australia’s young Nick Kyrgios in the first round, but Ferru found his game and won in straights.

Serena Williams poised for destruction against Francesca Schiavone...

...And here she delivers it, with a hint of a smile. Serena beat the former French Open champion in an hour, 6-0, 6-1.

James Blake, 33, announced that he was calling it a career after the Open. Last year Blake said that it was only about “a minute ago” that he felt like the new kid on the block in American tennis. It felt the same to me. Tennis moves fast; James will be missed by fans and fellow players alike.

“Bernie” and “gritty” don’t often appear in the same tennis article together, but on Monday Bernard Tomic was just that. He came back from the brink of defeat to beat Albert Ramos in five sets.

From her hair to her dress to her nails to the shield-like ring on her left hand, Venus Williams came to play on Monday. And play she did, beating Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens handily.

Ernests Gulbis, like Sloane Stephens, also suffered an anxiety attack before his first-round match, but he couldn’t find his way out of it, and lost in five. Here he looks a little skeptical of a ball girl's court-drying technique.

U.S. teen Madison Keys, who was coming back from a shoulder injury, was no match for former finalist Jelena Jankovic in a much-anticipated match in the Grandstand.

After being blown off the court by Serena Williams, Francesca Schiavone couldn’t bear to look—at anything.

But sometimes press conferences are good therapy, and after a session with the Italian media—and a fair number of hand gestures—she left with a smile.


As for yesterday’s caption contest, there were three worthy, and very different, entrants. Thanks, guys, these were good, though my stab at a caption—Serena: “I know!” Rafa: “¿Yo no sé?”—was admittedly pretty easy to beat.

From Jewell:

Rafa: "Hey, my comeback's better than yours now."  

Serena: "No way!"

From TBone:

Serena: “Explain to me again how it is that we've both been so totally dominant this season and have only the French to show for it?!?"

Rafa:  “Relax Serena . . . we've GOAT this.”

From glamspintennis:

Serena—Nice shot, booty brother #gobigbutts

Rafa—My famous a$$, no?

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