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Tournament Summary
Notes and Observations on 2009 U.S. Open

The final junior slam of the year is now history, and with Great Britain's Heather Watson and Australia's Bernard Tomic capturing the girls and boys titles, that makes eight different players claiming the championships this year. This year's US Open provided plenty of drama and surprises; here are a dozen of my impressions:

US Open Champion Heather Watson
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Size is overrated

From Melanie Oudin, to Lauren Davis to Daria Gavrilova, girls finalist Yana Buchina, and girls champion Heather Watson, it's abundantly clear that the advantages of height have been exaggerated. Five-foot-10 inch Nadia Petrova, when asked about Oudin, put it this way: "The way she's built, it's actually an advantage. It's much easier for her to move around the court than for someone as tall as me or Maria and Elena."


Tennis success isn't just based on how hard you hit the ball

Watson and boys champion Bernard Tomic each dominated their final three opponents, not with baseline bashing, but with placement, angles and court sense. Nick Bollettieri invoked Martina Hingis when asked about Watson's game style, and although he doesn't move as well as the No. 2 ranked Scot, Tomic has the anticipation and creativity of Andy Murray


The new indoor facility is, well, who knows?

Except for the interactive, QuickStart-demonstrating Smash Zone, which was reestablished after a three hiatus, those with media credentials were not allowed access to the new $60 million, 12-court facility


Opportunity knocks, but no one is home

The two full days of rain were disastrous, especially when the top tennis journalists from around the world began taking the USTA to task for not having a roof. Instead of sitting around the media center watching televised football and griping, they could have been attending junior matches instead, had just the three upper level courts of the new indoor center been dedicated to junior play. It also would have saved a long trip to Port Chester on Saturday, and the necessity of playing the quarterfinals and semifinals on the same day. Is it too much to ask that corporate hospitality, the Smash Zone and professional practice schedules make a small contribution to the future of the game?

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