Michael Emmett: “US Open Should Be a Classic”

Written by: Michael Emmett

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***Michael Emmett is the Director of Tennis Operations at all Mayfair clubs.  He is a certified Tennis Canada Coach 3 with a Journalism degree from the University of Texas. Michael spent several years working in sports television at TSN and Sportsnet.  Michael is a former National champion who finished his last year of junior tennis ranked #1 in Canada.  Michael has coached several National champions when he worked for the All-Canadian Academy at the National Tennis Centre at York University in the early 90s.  Michael spent 2 years traveling the world playing the ATP tour satellite circuit as a member of the Molson National Team in 1985 and ’86.***

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The biggest, richest sporting event in the United States kicks off in New York City on Monday, and it should be an instant classic.  The Men’s event has the entire buzz and should live up to its unbelievable hype. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are rocks stars – playing in a city that never sleeps. These guys are so good – I’m not sure the average fan gets it!  The quality of the game is off the charts – this triad of superstars is hitting with unprecedented accuracy and pace.  Some of the shots they are pulling off make me wonder if they are indeed human! Most tennis fans are full of anticipation as this ‘ultra cool’ event is just hours from getting started.  Let me say it again – this event is bigger and better than the Superbowl and the stats back me up.

The summer months used to be about golf and tennis.  Partly by default – the only major sport being played is baseball and by this point in August – with only a month to go – the races are over and the games are meaningless.

The dog days of summer have always been hot, humid and hazy and if you were a sports fan there was nothing better than watching a major championship – and it didn’t matter if it was golf or tennis.

Oh my, how that has changed.  Now there is no comparison.

The tennis landscape has far more intrigue today than ever before in history.  And the golfing vista is far more bland or vanilla.  Has anybody watched a golf event since Tiger blew up on the back nine on Sunday at Augusta National?

The television ratings are way down in golf and the sport is in big trouble – when a caddie (Steve Williams) is taking away most of the headlines you know you sport is in dire need of a kick in the pants.  The FedEx cup – come on – get serious!  Golf is down in every aspect, viewer ship, participation and one big category that often gets over-looked -betting.  Nobody is betting on golf because nobody cares.

Speaking of betting – who is going to win the Men’s championship in Flushing Meadow in a couple of Sundays?  I bet if I took Djokovic, Nadal and Federer and gave you the field (the other 125 players) in a friendly bet I would win roughly 97 percent of the time!

Anybody want to take me on??

If you do, you’re nuts!!  It is almost a guarantee that one of these three legends will come away with the hardware on September 11th.

Think I’m wrong?

Well, I have the numbers to back this up.  These 3 tennis giants have won 25 of the last 26 majors. That’s a staggering domination by the best 3 players in the game today – and two of them (Nadal and Federer) may be regarded as the best of all time when all is said and done!  The only stumble was Del Potro at the 2009 US Open beating an exhausted Roger Federer in five sets.

Compare these numbers to golf.  This fearsome threesome has won every major in the last 6+ years except for one!!  Never before in tennis history have we seen such supremacy from 3 players.  Tennis is at an all-time high and it’s because of these 3 luminaries.

Golf – it has been a disaster.  The last 15 majors have been won by 15 different players. Never before in history have we seen such incompetence in the golfing world.  No-one is capable of stepping up to the plate and taking charge.  No-name winners winning golf’s major championships are ruining the sport. I’m sorry Louis Oosthuizen or Charl Schwartzel.  Talk about boring.

Tiger – I’m sure you’ve heard this before – golf needs you to return to prominence in the worst way.  There are no rivalries in golf. Where are the days of Nicklaus, Watson, Palmer, Trevino and Miller?  To be blunt – golf sucks right now and I’m not sure it will get any better any time soon.

And on the flip side – tennis is at the top of the mountain – tennis has the rivalries, it has the exposure, it has the drama, it has the personalities, it has everything and as a result CBS will show their weekend coverage (first weekend and second weekend) across the airways in 3-D coverage.  Can it get any better for tennis fans from coast to coast?  A Federer ace will now whistle by and will seem so realistic that you’ll have to duck

These three have produced an awesome 3-way rivalry or a trivalry.  You just know, when they play each other, it will be unbelievable drama with jaw-dropping shot making that will have the audience captivated like never before.  New York crowds, in the evening session, bring out the best in the players and the drama is second to none – that includes, in my opinion, all of the other majors combined.

New York City deserves the last major of the season – and unless things change in a hurry – they will always have it.  The golfing Grand Slam season ended at the PGA championship two weeks ago.  The eyes of the sporting world will now be focused on New York City for 14 days starting on Monday– what a perfect way to bring the curtain down.

Who will it be? – It’s almost like a game of rock-paper-scissors!  Federer beat Djokovic in a classic French clay court battle in May; Nadal beat Federer on clay 2 days later – just like he always does and Djokovic beat Nadal in a near perfect match on the lawns at Wimbledon in July.

And when you’re watching this spectacular event – remember one thing.  The OPEN has become the highest-grossing annual attended sporting event in theWORLD.  Gross revenue for the two weeks will approach $250 Million dollars.

Major event, Major players, Major Cash, Major profits – all in a Major City – really it just can’t get any better than this.

Simply put – it’s the best spectacle in the world today.  And it’s not even close.

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