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Wet Hot American Open - The New York Times

Category: Sports,Tennis

It was sweaty. It was thrilling. In the end, it was drenched in controversy. A look at the weirdest U.S. Open in years.

Novak Djokovic during a changeover in his match against Marton Fucsovics on Aug. 28.CreditCreditJason Szenes/EPA, via Shutterstock

The 2018 United States Open started with a cool new building, stayed up late, melted into a puddle of sweat, and then ended with a shower of boos that echoed into the next day.

It was exhilarating and exhausting. Mostly, it was weird.

Here are some of the highlights and oddities:

Friday, Aug. 24

The Lucky Loser

6:30 p.m.

Peter Polansky, who lost in the final round of qualifying, makes the main draw as a lucky loser for the fourth consecutive major — an unusual Grand Slam of sorts.

Saturday, Aug. 25

Serena’s Fashion Statement

10:30 a.m.

At her pretournament news conference, Serena Williams plays down the growing uproar over comments made by French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, who said the catsuit-style outfit she had worn at the French Open this year would not be allowed again. Williams said she wouldn’t have worn the catsuit again anyhow: “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender.”

When she plays her first match at the U.S. Open two days later, she is wearing a one-sleeved leotard with a tulle tutu designed by Virgil Abloh.

Monday, Aug. 27

The Knockout Round

12:27 p.m.

Less than an hour and a half after play began in the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, it was home to a history-making upset: Simona Halep became the first women’s No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open, falling to Kaia Kanepi, 6-2, 6-4.

Simona Halep, of Romania, lost in the first round of the 2018 U.S. Open.CreditBen Solomon for The New York Times

11:11 p.m.

In what he has said will be the last Grand Slam match of his career, David Ferrer is forced to retire because of a calf injury when leading, 4-3, in the second set against top-seeded Rafael Nadal. Ferrer is not the only player to end his Grand Slam career on such a down note: Mikhail Youzhny is forced to retire in his first-round match the next day.

Tuesday, Aug. 28

Extreme Heat Causes Problems

12:50 p.m.

After splitting the first two sets of her first-round match against Johanna Larsson, Alizé Cornet returns to the court after changing into clean, dry clothes. When she realizes that her top is on backward, she takes it off behind the baseline and turns it around. She is assessed a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

1:28 p.m.

The United States Tennis Association announces that it will implement an extreme heat rule for men’s singles matches for the first time, giving players the option for a 10-minute break after the third set. (Such a policy already existed for women, who are allowed a 10-minute break after the second set.) The extreme heat rule is invoked on seven of the tournament’s 14 days.

5:06 p.m.

Novak Djokovic, among the first men to use a heat break, details how he and his opponent, Marton Fucsovics, spent the 10 minutes: “We were naked in the ice bath next to each other. It was quite a magnificent feeling, I must say.”

6 p.m.

Suffering in the heat together, opponents Nicolas Mahut and Corentin Moutet begin to cramp simultaneously.

Wednesday, Aug. 29

A Reversal and More Controversy

11:20 a.m.

After outrage over Cornet’s penalty for her clothing change, the U.S.T.A. announces a clarification that women will be allowed to change their shirts on court without receiving a code violation.

5:48 p.m.

Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco leave the court for a heat break after the third set of their match on Arthur Ashe Stadium. When he returns, Murray complains to the chair umpire that Verdasco was with his coach and doubles partner during the break, receiving coaching that is not allowed. Verdasco wins the match and denies the charge.

Nick Kyrgios was trailing Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a match until he received a consultation from a tennis umpire.CreditRick Loomis for The New York Times

Thursday, Aug. 30

A Too-Friendly Umpire

1:23 p.m.

Nick Kyrgios was playing listlessly and trailing, 4-6, 0-3, to Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Court 17. The chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani steps down to the court and tells Kyrgios, “I’ve seen your matches; you’re great for the sport,” among other encouragements. The consultation appears to transform the match: Kyrgios wins 19 of the next 25 games. The next day, the U.S.T.A. says that Lahyani “went beyond protocol” but would continue to work at the tournament.

Saturday, Sept. 1

Federer Drops Some Jaws

12:34 a.m.

Juan Martin del Potro finishes his first match of the tournament at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where his group of friends from Tandil, Argentina, become a part of the show. Their chants and cheers become the soundtrack of his matches for the rest of the tournament.

Roger Federer reaches for the ball in a match against Nick Kyrgios on September 1.CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

3:48 p.m.

Roger Federer hits a forehand winner around the net post, leaving even his opponent Kyrgios in awe. The shot becomes the most viral moment of the tournament that actually involved a ball being hit.

9:58 p.m.

Fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova loses in Armstrong Stadium. It is the fifth loss by a top-five player on that court in the first week of the tournament. Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev, fourth seeds in their respective draws, had lost earlier that day. No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, who lost there the previous day, said: “Guess Wimbledon used to have a ‘Graveyard Court.’ Maybe that is going to be the new Graveyard Court.” Only two of the top-10 women end up reaching the quarterfinals.

Monday, Sept. 3

The Heat Returns to Wreak Havoc

4:30 p.m.

After a weekend break, the heat and humidity return. Lesia Tsurenko begins to feel faint and dizzy during her fourth-round match against Marketa Vondrousova. At one point, she collapses to her knees during the first-set tiebreaker. She is evaluated by a tournament doctor, but plays on, winning in three sets. Vondrousova accuses Tsurenko of acting.

9:50 p.m.

It is discovered that Roger Federer does, in fact, sweat profusely in very humid conditions. In the second set of his fourth round match against John Millman, the second-seeded Federer makes only 31 percent of his first serves. He loses that set and later the match, at 12:51 a.m. on Tuesday.

Sloane Stephens lost to Anastasija Sevastova on September 4.CreditUli Seit for The New York Times

Tuesday, Sept. 4

Cool in the Shade

1:37 p.m.

Sloane Stephens’s title defense ends in the quarterfinals, when she falls, 6-2, 6-3, to Anastasija Sevastova. The heat, which Stephens cursed as her fate grew clear, was a determining factor: the player on the shaded side of the court won 14 of the 17 games.

5:34 p.m.

John Isner needs 11 shirts in his four-set loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals.

Wednesday, Sept. 5

Marathons Take a Toll on Nadal

2:03 a.m.

In the longest match of the tournament, Nadal defeats Thiem, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), in 4 hours 49 minutes. Nadal also won the second longest match of the tournament, beating Karen Khachanov in the third round in 4:23. This will soon catch up to him.

10:30 p.m.

Midway through their quarterfinal, John Millman approaches Novak Djokovic with an unusual request: he needs to leave the court to change his outfit because his sweat was making his side of the court unplayable. Djokovic quickly agrees to the stoppage. “I’m soaked, too: go ahead,” he said. “I’m fine to have a little rest.”

Rafael Nadal retired from his semifinal match, citing knee pain.CreditBen Solomon for The New York Times

Friday, Sept. 7

Nadal Bows Out

6:20 p.m.

Citing knee pain, Rafael Nadal retires from his semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro, trailing two sets to love. In total, Nadal spent 17 hours 55 minutes on court during the tournament, a remarkable total for six matches considering that the first and last ended in retirements.

Saturday, Sept. 8

The Open Descends Into Chaos

5:03 p.m.

The chair umpire Carlos Ramos gives Serena Williams a code violation for illegal coaching, when he notices her coach Patrick Mouratoglou making a signal during the second set of the women’s singles final. Williams immediately objects to the ruling, setting off a chain of successive penalties that incense the crowd and overshadow Osaka’s first Grand Slam title. Williams calls Ramos a thief and accuses him of sexism.

Serena Williams received a code violation for 'illegal coaching' during her match against Naomi Osaka.CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Sunday, Sept. 9

Let the Second-Guessing Begin

3:42 p.m.

In an interview on ESPN, U.S.T.A. president Katrina Adams took the unusual step of criticizing an official at her own tournament, saying that “there’s no equality” when it comes to how men’s and women’s actions are handled by chair umpires. She suggested Ramos should have had thicker skin.

“It’s a ‘judgment’ call to give that last penalty because she called him a thief,” Adams said, using quotation fingers. “They’ve been called a lot worse.”

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