For a fifth consecutive year, the men's singles final at the US Open will be played on a Monday afternoon, not a Sunday night.
That's because, for a fifth consecutive year, rain has spoiled the USTA's carefully-orchestrated tournament schedule.
There's a downpour of a different sort for Beth Allen, my USTA league teammate, Worthy Opponent, and I Hate Tennis fan. She is the winner of not one, but TWO I Hate Tennis US Open Cakes! She has won both the men's and the women's brackets, clinching victory even though the finals between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka today and the guys' matchup tomorrow between defending champ Novak Djokovich and Andy Murray have yet to be played.
"I think you owe me two cakes," Allen said to me as we warmed up for doubles this morning.
"Yes, I do! And I was hoping to post the results earlier today, but...," I stammered. (As the saying goes, everything after "but" is "bullshit.")
"Here's my quote," she told me. "I play the high percentages in brackets. Unlike my tennis game!"
Start picking your cake flavors, Beth. Tourneytopia's computers show that in every scenario -- an Azarenka win, a Williams win, a Djokovic win or a Murray win -- Beth wins.
I play the high percentages in brackets. Unlike my tennis game.
Allen successfully predicted a Vika/Serena final, and even foresaw the Azarenka/Sharapova semifinal battle of the baseliners.
(Hate me, Haters; I got to see that super-close 3-setter in the Emirates Airline clubhouse box on Friday, through lucky happenstance. Actor Will Farrell was in da box, nibbling on freshly-rolled sushi just three racquet lengths away.)
Beth faltered in Serena's semi, where she thought she'd face Agnieszka Radwanska instead of Sara Errani. But the Polish number 2 seed was upset in the 4th round to Italian slicer and dicer Roberta Vinci, Errani's doubles partner and fellow Italian.
Haters, I, too, had Serena and Vika going deep, but I had 5th seed and New Haven Open champ Petra Kvitova going deeper and winning it all. Petra was stunned by Marion Bartoli in the 4th round. But what really hurt my chances was Caroline Wozniacki's ouster in the very first round. UGH.
Cake contest newcomer Joe McGovern also played the percentages. He, too, had Serena in the finals, but facing Maria Sharapova. Not bad. But McGovern brought up the rear in the I Hate Tennis US Open WTA Cake Contest, having lost his way earlier on by pinning too much promise on American teen Sloane Stephens. He guessed quarters, she was out in the 3rd. Angelique Kerber was also no angel for McGovern's standings. He wanted semis, she gave him Round of 16. Keine kuchen fur dich.
On the men's side, Allen correctly chose Andy Murray and The Djoker meeting in the finals. Will her man Murray win? I, too, have Murray, the I Hate Tennis Poster Child, sulking his way to his first Grand Slam victory against Djokovic, but I lost points earlier in the bracket by envisioning a Sam Querry/Roger Federer quarterfinal (Fed faced Tomas Berdych, and lost).
That upset caused Worthy Opponent Tam Thompsen to lose ground in the standings. Hurting her even more was her choice of now-retired Andy Roddick reaching the final.
A shout-out to my fellow tennis blogger and I Hate Tennis Cake Contest newbie PJ Simmons. He was hoping for a Fed/Djoker final. He also, like the rest of us, had Jo-Wilfried Tsonga making the quarterfinals. Ah, the vagaries of sport, especially the sport of tennis. It's why we hate it. And love it, love it, love it.
Thanks to everyone -- Joe, Tam, Tamara, Beth, PJ -- who played. You make blogging -- and tennis -- fun.