U.S. Open Report: Day One

By Richard Kent
Updated: August 27, 2007

US Open NEW YORK — A quick perusal of the activities at the National Tennis Center in Flushing on Monday indicates that they are very much dedicated to the African American community.

Everything started in the afternoon when top seeded Roger Federer defeated Scoville Jenkins. Federer is the top player in the world and Jenkins has had a spotty past. He was a great junior, but really has not taken off as a professional.

Jenkins is 6-feet-2 and 170 pounds and a native of Atlanta. He has won a match at the U.S. Open in the past. He has tremendous talent but didn’t stand much of a chance against Federer.

At 5 pm, there was a press conference for the African American women to be honored in the evening in the salute to Althea Gibson. Ms. Gibson won the tourney 50 years ago along with many other Grand Slam titles.

In the evening event at 7 pm, many African American women were honored for their firsts in different venues. There will be an astronaut, athletes and other dignitaries.

Aretha Franklin sung a tribute. She was one of the first African American musicians to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Throughout the day and throughout the entire Tournament the International Tennis Hall of Fame will have an exhibit in Louis Armstrong Stadium honoring the 90th anniversary of the ATA, an African American tennis society which spawned many great tennis players throughout the years.

The exhibit is fascinating. It will then be situated at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Rhode Island.

Following the ceremony, both Williams sisters played before a packed crowd and a national television audience. Serena had to drop out of the Pilot Pen due to an thumb injury and Venus skipped the event.

The Pilot Pen men’s final was won by James Blake. He defeated very close personal friend Mardy Fish . Blake will most likely be playing on Wednesday as the Open likes to give a break to players who have played in events the week before.

Blake can’t be discounted as a contender. He is playing some of the best tennis of his life the the hard court surface at the US Open is to his liking. He is in great physical shape and is a favorite at the Open.

His recent match against Andre Agassi at the Open eventually turned out to be an instant classic.

Enjoy the event. There is none better in the world. And maybe a Williams sister will walk away with the crown. Few gave Venus much of a chance at Wimbledon and she ended up as the winner.

She can make some noise as can Serena and Blake.