Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 11 of the 2020 US Open.
We would ask the reader to please respect our privacy and our pain at this time.
A few days ago, here we were praising the lord that the new generation of Canadian had arrived and that they seemed intent and ready to tell the world they were there to stay. A few days ago, here we were happy that three of our male players had reached the second week of this year’s second Grand Slam.
Fast forward a few days and Canada as a whole is in mourning after the country’s last (and probably best) remaining hope for the men’s singles draw extinguished when Denis Shapovalov suffered a heartbreaking five-set loss by the score of 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-7(4), 6-0 and 3-6 against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
After Novak Djokovic’s foot-to-the-mouth moment of nonsense, the upper half of the draw had been turned upside down and where there was once an immovable object, there was now the 29-year-old Carreno Busta. And in the end, it’s not the Canadian wunderkind who would stand tall but the same Carreno Busta in question.
This result came a day after the destruction of Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime at the hands of respectively Alex de Minaur and Dominic Thiem. Just like that, Canadian Tennis was once again part of the have-nots, the same it has always been. It sucks and we’re all in pain here in Canada 🙁 🙁
That said, here are the predictions for today’s two singles semifinals matches.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Naomi Osaka  vs Jennifer Brady  (7pm start)
Look man, at some point we have to acknowledge how wonderful and great a person Naomi Osaka is. She’s decided to take it upon herself to wear a face mask inscribed with the name of seven different African Americans who died at the hands of law enforcement.
Some of you reading this might wonder why we’re making such a fuss about it, that this isn’t much. We would counter with the fact that if this were nothing at all, then surely Osaka wouldn’t be the only one doing so. Yet here she is.
After her quarterfinal win, ESPN showed the Japanese videos that the close family of those whose name Osaka has written on her masks made to explain what it means to them. Are you ready for the tears?
After her @USOpen match tonight, @ESPN showed @NaomiOsaka video messages from @SybrinaFulton, mother of #TrayvonMartin, and Marcus Arbery, father of #AhmaudArbery — two of the five names she’s worn on masks before and after her matches. #SayTheirNames pic.twitter.com/1BOyzQbzg9
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 9, 2020
Anyway, who cares about tennis but I guess we need to make a prediction. Osaka in two sets.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Serena Williams  vs Victoria Azarenka (Second night match)
Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka get the shorthand of the stick here, needing to suit up and compete for the second day in a row after winning their quarterfinals just yesterday. This may be more of a problem for the former than the latter, as the 31-year-old Azarenka absolutely trounced Elise Mertens 6-1 and 6-0.
This semifinal will follow a different script because Williams isn’t Mertens. Her and Azarenka have always been two big rivals, but their rivalry has undeniably cooled off in the past five or so years. Azarenka is playing as well as she has in a long time, but she’s only notched four wins in 22 head-to-head matches with Williams. But let’s shock the world here. Azarenka in three sets.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG