Is there a better day in the tennis calendar?
It’s New York. It’s the fine, warm early days of September. It’s the last Grand Slam of the tennis year.
And it presents to the world the Women’s final and two Men’s semi-finals in one single day.
It’s “Super Saturday” at the U.S. Open and, on this special day, every tennis fan across the globe has put their life on hold, got the babysitters in, cracked open the beer, and taken control of the remote. Nothing will get in the way.
Flushing Meadows has a unique approach to scheduling that is unlike any other Slam. It shares out the pleasures between the daytime crowd and the night-time shift—double the tickets, double the money.
The first round overlaps with the second round and the quarterfinals spread themselves from the afternoon of one day into the deep shadows of the following night.
Worst of all—for the players at least—the headliners who have won through six matches will, with less than a day’s respite, enter the Arthur Ashe arena to fight to the very death for the title of U.S. champion.
Factor in the fast, unforgiving courts, temperatures that hit the 40s, and two back-to-back Masters or Premier tournaments in the preceding weeks, and this becomes one of the toughest tennis challenges of the year.
So “Super Saturday” is the gold standard for great tennis, but it is also the measure of physical endurance and mental fortitude. Only the strong survive.
In 2010, three of the top four seeds in both the Women’s and the Men’s draw made it, and in and usual symmetry, neither defending champion was involved.
On the Women’s side, Serena Williams has left the field wide open.