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'One of the worst people' | Will Margaret Court be knocked off her perch at US Open?

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

14:24 3 Sep 2020

The US Open is ongoing at New York's Flushing Meadows, with no crowds present but plenty of talking points to keep tennis fans engaged.

Novak Djokovic is through to the second round, safely navigating the challenge of Britain's Kyle Edmund in four sets last night, having lost the opener on a tiebreak.

Andy Murray had a big win in the opening round, and as Serena Williams goes for a 24th Slam on the women's side of the draw, our resident tennis expert Colm Boohig joined OTB AM to run through the tournament so far.

===

Djokovic goes rogue

"Novak Djokovic's quest to become popular has been completely derailed over his excursions this past summer", says Colm.

"From hosting his own tournament, which was ill-advised, in Serbia, to contracting coronavirus, his anti-vax stance, and then setting up his rogue players' union which didn't include any women in it.

"At the same time on the court, he's 25-0 for the year, i.e. he's won every tournament he's played in, in an admittedly truncated season. He's unstoppable at the moment, and two of the big three in Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer aren't in this US Open.

"So he essentially has the place to himself, and he'll probably win his 18th Grand Slam, which will bring him to two behind Roger Federer."

===

Benoît Paire's bubble

The 31-year-old Frenchman isn't at the tournament - but after contracting Covid-19 in the buildup, Colm tells us his is a name on plenty of people's lips.

"He likes to do his own thing, in post-match interviews he's often talking about enjoying the city that he's currently in, enjoying the nightlife and the women.

"The reason people talk about him is he is talented - he has reached three of the four quarter-finals of the Grand Slams, so he does have some substance to his game.

"He played last week at a warm-up tournament and wasn't playing well, wasn't feeling well. He felt tired, but he didn't get it checked out for a while.

"A few days later he got it checked out, and he had contracted coronavirus. The problem with Paire is he was in contact with players who actually are playing at this year's US Open.

"So there's a bubble within a bubble."

===

Serena's quest for 24

Williams hasn't won a major championship since the 2017 Australian Open, and sits just one behind Margaret Court's all-time record of 24.

Colm told Ger and Eoin this tournament presents a huge opportunity for Serena to get into the history books.

The ultra-religious Court has been known for her controversial comments in the past on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and Ger says he is backing Williams all the way to make history.

"Margaret Court is one of the worst people in any sport, ever. And I'm including everybody. She's literally one of the worst people, and so to have her as the alpha of women's tennis - I'm onboard Serena's train, no matter where it takes us.

"I desperately want her to knock her off her f*****g perch, in the immortal words of Alex Ferguson."

===

Andy Murray's win - potential sports story of the year?

Andy Murray has to wait until the early hours of tomorrow morning to face Canadian 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round.

His first-round win over Yoshihito Nishioka came after being two sets down, and considering it's his first major since the 2019 Australian Open, Colm says it was a huge moment for the Scot.

"This is his last dance - this is incredible. This is potentially the sports story of the year.

"He never said he was officially retiring, he just said on many occasions 'I don't think I can do it anymore'.

"So after that Australian Open last year, he went and got hip surgery and started coming back.

"The first-round this year was not just his first Grand Slam match since that Roberto Bautista Agut match [in 2019], it's his first best of five set match since then.

"The guy has absolutely no right to be playing this level of tennis anymore... It's one of his biggest achievements, and this is for a player who has reached 11 Grand Slam finals and won three of them."

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Read more about

Andy Murray Colm Boohig Margaret Court Novak Djokovic Otb Am Serena Williams Tennis US Open

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