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Photos from Flushing: Laboring Days

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 /by

When they saw Tim Smyczek’s name on SportsCenter, the Patti Smyth fan club knew they had a job to do Sunday night. (Photos 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, or email Steve at, and he'll announce the winner in tomorrow's gallery.

NEW YORK—The Labor Day weekend was, as always, an eventful one at Flushing Meadows. There were upsets, showdowns, duds, rain delays, mad scrambles, and marathons—in the end, some wheat was separated from chaff, and one very big name was sent home early. Here’s a look back at the action in photos:

Serena Williams brought her pink nails, and still-amazing speed, to the court for her showdown with Sloane Stephens. The match was close, for eight games.

Serena about to hit THAT serve. This is the start of what they mean by a trophy position, and it’s not as easy as she makes it look. It’s brought her a lot of trophies.

Sloane Stephens flirting with someone mid-match?

Sloane was good for a set; she’s one of the few players who can make Serena run. But Serena eventually ran circles around her.

We saw the exciting side of young Italian Camila Giorgi in her win over Caroline Wozniacki. Yesterday we saw the other side, as the 21-year-old was sliced and diced by countrywoman Roberta Vinci. Did Giorgi attend the Petra Kvitova School of Inconsistency?

Vinci, who seems to have attended the Ernests Gulbis School of Forehands, moves on to a quarterfinal against another Italian, Flavia Pennetta.

It was that kind of day for Sergio Giorgi. I hope his daughter wasn’t watching him too closely.

Rain, the true star of so many Opens...

...reappeared with a vengeance on Monday.

After the rain came the lines. A mad stampede ensued to get to Roger Federer’s match; the queue at Armstrong Stadium stretched all the way out of the grounds.

Not many fans stuck around to see it, but Daniela Hantuchova beat American Alison Riske to reach the quarters in Ashe. I pity whatever is coming toward her; Dani looks mad at it.

The crowd fights to see the end of Simona Halep vs. Flavia Pennetta. Who knew they had such big followings in New York?

Waiting, semi-patiently, for Roger...

Fans stood on top of the stadium to see Federer play his first match in Armstrong in seven years.

The sun tried to bathe Roger in its glow...

....but as good as it all looked, even that didn’t work for him yesterday.

Federer was upfront about his poor performance: “I self-destructed,” he said.

Instead, it was 31-year-old Tommy Robredo who was energized by the scene. He recorded his first win over Federer in 11 tries.

Tommy was as surprised as anyone else by what had just transpired.

By the fourth hour of his marathon with Milos Raonic, it looked like Richard Gasquet had taken up residence on Court 17. I don't want to see what his house looks like.

The extended stay was worth it in the end, as Gasquet won 7-5 in the fifth, in four hours and 40 minutes. The fans seemed to enjoy it, too.

Milos Raonic hit 39 aces, 102 winners, won 12 more points than Gasquet (207 to 195), reached match point—and lost. But he still had a smile for his opponent when it was over. They had spent a lot of time together.

When he lost the first set to Philipp Kohlschreiber it appeared for a minute that Rafael Nadal might follow Federer out the door. 

But Rafa righted the ship and finished the night with a “Vamos!"

Caption Contest:

“Yes, my pets, toss the balls to him slowly, slowly, muhahahahahah!”

—Sylvia, via email.


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