US OPEN SCENE: Serena sizzles in leopard dress
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams doesn’t just play fierce.
The five-time champion strode on court for her opening-round U.S. Open match against Taylor Townsend on Tuesday night wearing a black-and-white, leopard-print dress that looked as tough as she plays.
After Williams’ straight-set victory, ESPN’s Pam Shriver gave her review in the post-match TV interview: “By the way, the dress is phenomenal.”
Williams responded with a growl.
It’s not the first such fashion statement for Williams, who is seeded No. 1. On her way to the 2002 title, she wore a skin-hugging, all-black “catsuit,” and in 2004 she turned heads in a midriff-baring black top with a pleated blue jean skirt.
By James Martinez, www.twitter.com/jfmartinez
BACK TO SCHOOL: Noah Rubin will stick around the U.S. Open for at least a few more days before he starts his freshman year at Wake Forest.
He’s already enrolled in classes: art history, writing, astronomy and Intro to Judaism.
And what if he’s asked in his writing course to pen an essay on what he did over the summer?
“I played a little tennis, recreationally, and took it from there,” Rubin said with a smile.
A little tennis that took the 18-year-old all the way to the junior Wimbledon title.
Rubin made his Grand Slam main draw debut Tuesday at the U.S. Open, a spot he earned by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship. He lost to 66th-ranked Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.
“I learned that I can definitely compete with these guys at the best level, definitely things to learn,” Rubin said. “Fitness is one. Nerves came into play a little bit also.”
Rubin grew up nearby in Long Island and drew a standing-room-only crowd on Court 13.
Asked how many he knew personally, Rubin said, “Too many.”
He has decided to forego playing next week’s junior event, but his U.S. Open isn’t over quite yet.
He also earned a spot in the doubles main draw by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s title with Stefan Kozlov. The 16-year-old Kozlov was Rubin’s opponent in the junior Wimbledon final last month.
If they win their first-round match, they face 15-time major champions Bob and Mike Bryan. Now that would be a great story, too.
By Sandra Harwitt
LIGHT READING: Ana Ivanovic is an avid reader — maybe a bit too much, sometimes.
As she struggled with her game in the years after her 2008 French Open title, the Serbian star cracked open more than a few psychology books, searching out the mental keys to regaining her edge.
She eventually had to force herself to cut back.
“I’m sure when you study to be a doctor, you probably start to feel all these pains in your body,” Ivanovic said Tuesday. “So it’s the same. I started to read psychology, and I started to feel all of that in myself.”
Now 26, Ivanovic finally seems to have her head in the right place. This month, she returned to the top 10 for the first time in more than five years.
“I really enjoy psychology — I think it’s amazing what the human mind can or cannot do depending on how you perceive a situation,” Ivanovic said.
But, now, she added: “I try to read something on the light side.”
By Rachel Cohen, www.twitter.com/RachelCohenAP
U.S. Open Scene follows tennis’ hard-court Grand Slam tournament in New York as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.