The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament has begun (not to get you confused with the U.S. Open Golf Tournament) and the legends of the mens game are on display. Well, one of them was bounced early, but everyone's human. Here are the four Gods of the Tennis World right now.
The "Joker" of the Tour has grown up and shed the clown label. As of the Open, he was No. 1 in the world and looked to keep his grip on that ranking for a very long time. He won the 2013 Australian Open earlier, his sixth time winning that tournament and as of this writing, he was still in the 2013 U.S. Open.
Federer was on top for a long time, but he is on the other end of his career, as his being eliminated before the Quarterfinals this year shows. Still, the man has had a run that rivals the all-time greats, and nobody stays on top of the hill forever in tennis. As of the Open, he was ranked No. 7 in the World, though he had a very long run at No. 1 before Djokovic.
If there's one word to describe Nadal on the court, it's fierce. He gives no quarter and while that is a good trait, he's also brutal on his body. That could curtail what has been a fine career, though he's struggled in the shadow of Federer and Djokovic. It's like Highlander, though: There can only be one. When the Open began, Nadal was ranked No. 2 in the World.
By winning Wimbledon in 2013, the first time someone from Britain had won it in 77 years, Murray muscled his way into the Mens Pantheon. It moved him up to the No. 3 World ranking when the Open began and he was looking to keep on that perch.
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On Aug. 26, the U.S. Open began its first round of matches for the 2013 tournament. Tennis lovers from around the world flocked to Queens, New York to see athletes like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams participate in the renowned competition. Along with the fans, celebrities also made their way to the USTA National Tennis Center to see these athletes in action.
Movie stars like Matt Bomer, Kevin Spacey, and Blake Lively all showed up on the U.S. Open Instagram, while our very own sister site, Beyond the Row, caught Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour taking in a set or two. Nick Jonas kissed new girlfriend Olivia Culpo in the stands while Ben Stiller was caught chatting with tennis star Andy Murray.
The US Open will end Mon. Sept. 9, with the finals beginning on Sun. Sept. 8 at 12 PM ET. But you can get your dose of Open star power now by launching our gallery.
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Tennis ace Victoria Azarenka has brushed off rumours her relationship with Lmfao rapper Redfoo is on the rocks after gushing about the eccentric pop star at the U.S. Open. The Party Rock Anthem hitmaker began dating the Belarusian sportswoman after meeting her at the New York-based tournament last summer (12), but he hinted the romance was in trouble in July (13) during an appearance on Australia's The X Factor.
Redfoo, who serves as a judge on the TV show, became tearful while listening to a wannabe perform an original track called Don't Let Me Go, and spoke about his personal woes when addressing the 14-year-old singer, saying, "I'm going through something right now in a relationship. And those lyrics made me cry. I wish I could show this to her now."
However, it appears the couple has resolved its relationship issues - after defeating Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals on Wednesday evening (04Sep13), Azarenka revealed she has been listening to Motown tunes to get her in the zone before games after receiving a history lesson in soul from her boyfriend, the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy.
During a post-match interview with sports network ESPN, she branded the veteran music mogul a "genius" and added, "I'm learning the history of music... I went to the iTunes store and I bought everything there is, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes... My coach... said, 'Vika, there's hope for you now, we can talk about music!' It's just such a good music, I was just blown away."
Azarenka revealed Redfoo, real name Stefan Kendal Gordy, would have been cheering her on from the stands had he not been busy Down Under: "He's working on The X Factor now and he's having a lot of fun, I hope his team wins."
The 24-year-old world number two also opened up about her nickname for her beau, which was inspired by comedian Jaleel White's geeky character on sitcom Family Matters.
She said, "He's work (sic) so much that it's just incredible. Being himself, he's like a party person, (but) he's such a nerd and he works all the time. I came up with a nickname for him, I call him Party Urkel."
America's top player for the past decade announced his plans to retire from the sport after the competition last week (ends02Sep12), and he played his last game at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.
Decker was on hand to watch her husband compete against Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro - and became emotional when Roddick lost the match.
Speaking about his retirement from the sport after the game, Roddick told reporters, "For the first time in my career I'm not sure what to say. Where do I start? Since I was a kid, I've been coming to this tournament and felt lucky to sit where all of you are sitting today and watch this game and see all the champions that have come and gone. I've loved every minute of it.
"It's been a road of a lot of ups and downs, a lot of great moments. I appreciate your support all the way. I really do appreciate and love you guys with all my heart. Hopefully I'll come back to this place one day and see all of you again."
Actress Joanna Garcia reached out to the sportsman on Twitter.com after his final match, writing in a post, "Congrats (sic) to my friend Andy Roddick on an amazing career! Such a talented player & an even better person! Can't wait 2 (to) see what's next Andy!"
Rapper Lil Wayne adds, "I am truly thankful and blessed to have been able to witness the greatness of Andy Roddick," and singer Nick Lachey jokes, "Congrats (sic) to Andy Roddick for an incredible career. It's not like he gets to retire at 30 and go home to a beautiful wife or anything..."
Roddick also received congratulatory tweets from other sports stars including Billie Jean King, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova ?
America's top player for the past decade, who is married to model/actress Brooklyn Decker, won his opening-round match at the Open on Tuesday (29Aug12) - and then announced his plans to hang up his racquet.
He told reporters at a press conference, "I have decided that this is going to be my last tournament (because) I don't know if I'm healthy enough or committed enough to continue another year."
He added, "This (tennis) has been a huge part of my life always. But I don't know that it's always been my entire life. I do feel very confident in the things and the people that I have to fall back on."
The three-time Wimbledon finalist has 32 career Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour titles.
Roddick turned 30 on Thursday (30Aug12).
The actress was supposed to join director Bruce Beresford and co-star Catherine Keener at the festival, but pulled out over the weekend (10-11Sep11).
And in a post on her blog on Monday (12Sep11), she wrote, "Bummer! I was to be at the Toronto Film Festival today and tomorrow to support my newest film... but I have been sick with a persistent and very contagious bug for the last 5 days and had to cancel the trip."
Fonda has also pulled an appearance on U.S. TV talk show The View to promote her new book.
But she's making the most of her sick days: "One thing being sick has afforded me is the down time to watch college football and the U.S. Open (tennis tournament). The University of Michigan versus Notre Dame game - the first night game in Michigan's stadium - was extraordinary. With three minutes remaining and Notre Dame up by a considerable lead, I emailed my friend Frank Belatti who is a Notre Dame alum and runs a program there, to congratulate him on his team's win.
"No sooner had i hit send, than Michigan scored 3 touchdowns in a row (in the last 3 minutes!!) The amazing Denard Robinson threw the winning pass with 2 seconds to go. (Boyfriend) Richard (Perry) is a U of M alum so you can imagine the jubilation.
"Yesterday, though, things were glum when Serena Williams lost. We both adore her."
Williams shouted at the presiding referee after what she thought was a poor call, and, in the midst of passion, she blasted the official as a "hater", who was "unattractive inside".
The remarks were captured on camera and went viral, prompting bosses at the Tournament Grand Slam Committee to launch an investigation into the incident and review the star's behaviour.
And on Monday (12Sep11), Williams, who earned a grand total of $1.4 million (GBP875,000) during the tournament, was slapped on the wrist with a small fine.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Tennis Association says, "Williams' conduct... does not rise to the level of a major offence."
Williams went on to lose the match against her opponent Samantha Stosur in straight sets.
It's not the first time her temper has landed her in trouble in New York - Williams was fined $82,500 (GBP51,500) for a foul-mouthed tirade during her 2009 semi-final defeat by Kim Clijsters.
Tennis ace Venus Williams has pulled out of the U.S. Open with a viral illness. The sports star, who won the tournament in 2000 and 2001, was about to take the court for her second round match against German Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday afternoon (31Aug11) when she announced her decision to quit.
The Old School star will join retired tennis champs John McEnroe and Jim Courier on the court in New York for a special doubles exhibition on 8 September (11).
Rapper/actress Queen Latifah will help to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 in a ceremony on the last day of the event, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks (11Sep11).
Meanwhile, singers Taio Cruz and Greyson Chance are also due to perform during the annual championships.
The U.S. Open will kick off on 29 August (11).
The Belarus tennis ace briefly stumbled while attempting to serve to her opponent early on in the game but she composed herself and carried on.
She then collapsed minutes later and had to be helped into a wheelchair and taken off the court.
Dulko was ruled the winner of the game after Azarenka was forced to retire.
It is not known what caused the tennis player to collapse - but the current U.S. Open is being played during a heatwave in New York.
Azarenka retired in similar circumstances during an Australian Open match against Serena Williams last year (09).
The tennis player is currently recovering in a local hospital.