Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 9 of the 2020 US Open.
Don’t look now, but we might have seen the purpose behind the Professional Tennis Players Association this past week.
Just two days ago, we wondered what in the hell had happened to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino and why he had been kept from competing in his match against Alexander Zverev for a couple of hours only to then be allowed to like nothing had happened.
It struck everyone as fairly weird, especially considering that Mannarino was one of the players who had been in close contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. But at issue wasn’t that, it was mostly the inconsistency of why Mannarino had been allowed to compete for two matches only for it to be a problem just before the third match?
We’ve learned a few things since, notably the fact that the whole ordeal prompted Novak Djokovic and his PTPA to show their cards. (This was, of course, before Djokovic ruined his US Open.)
Djokovic on Mannarino’s situation. “I was also trying to get to the people that are in the highest positions in New York state through some of the contacts, trying to get to the governor of New York. I understood that he was the only one that could actually make the decision”.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 5, 2020
The Serb, you see, was apparently contacted by Mannarino’s coach in the hopes that he might be able to help. Djokovic, it turns out, was willing to go as far as calling the mayor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to help Mannarino. “We need to stand by the players that are not treated in a right way and we have to do it all together. That’s the whole point,” he said. “Hopefully the association can grow stronger and we can have that power to actually give the support in the future to the players.”
Will this be the point of the PTPA moving forward? Let’s take it a day at a time and not look to take out our frustration out on line umpires once you’ve been broken, what is wrong with you Novak smh?!?
On to our predictions for the four singles quarterfinals on deck today.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Yulia Putintseva  vs Jennifer Brady  (12pm start)
Kazakh Yulia Putintseva has done well to navigate what could have been a tricky draw but she might be overmatched here in the quarterfinals: American Jennifer Brady has yet to lose a set so far in Flushing Meadows and, in fact, she still hasn’t been threatened beyond a 6-4 set. Let’s give the win to Brady in two tight sets.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Alexander Zverev  vs Borna Coric  (Second day match)
You know, it might be just about now or never for German Alexander Zverev, who’s full of potential but still lacks the noteworthy result that would validate him in the eyes of many. Still, you could do worse than being ranked seventh best in the world at 23 years old. What you would be hard-pressed to do worse than is a 1-3 record against Borna Coric. Let’s give the win to the Croatian Coric in four sets.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Naomi Osaka  vs Shelby Rogers (7pm start)
If there’s one breakout star from the women’s draw, it’s likely American Shelby Rogers, who arrived in New York at No. 93 in the world before reaching (at least) the second week of the year’s second major. After her escape act in the previous round against Petra Kvitova, Rogers will have her hands full against Naomi Osaka. Let’s give the win to Osaka in three sets if only because we want to see the mask she’ll wear for her next match.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Denis Shapovalov  vs Pablo Carreno Busta  (Second night match)
Nope, Novak Djokovic is not competing in this match. Sigh. Denis Shapovalov in four sets.