Some things still seem the same as when I started playing in 1959 trying to emulate Maria Bueno, the national winner that year. My first U. S. Open was in 1971, the 91st year of the event, as a 16 yr. old trying to play on the grass courts of Forest Hills in Queens, NY and be the next Evonne Goolagong. I ran into Althea Gibson figuratively and literally. She was nice as I rambled on giving me the moniker of "Little Girl." Until she died she never called me anything else. I went in with Althea that day as she talked more about golf than tennis reminding me that, "No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you," as we sat outside the door of the club's kitchen.
After John Isner, now it is Roger Federer.
The world number one wants to see Rafael Nadal back on court again this year itself despite the Spaniard is suffering from a career threatening knee injury.
Eleven-time Grand Slam winner Nadal is likely to miss the forthcoming Davis Cup semi-final and even write off the rest of 2012.
"It's obviously not great news but one that was a possibility," said Federer.
"I'm not shocked about the news. I'm still hopeful that he'll be okay for the rest of the year," added the world number one.
Despite being one of the biggest rivals in tennis history for last eight years, who won 24 of the last 30 majors between them, Federer has shared that his relationship with Nadal is based on a lot of trust, as they know that the issues they share with each other do not reach anybody else.
He said, "There's no real secrets out there, because he knows and I know when we tell each other that stuff it doesn't leave the room. That's a nice relationship I have with Rafa. It's based on a lot of trust."
Big-serving John Isner wants to see a fully fit Rafael Nadal against him in next month's Davis Cup semi-finals, though the Spaniard is still unsure if he will recover from a nagging knee injury in time to feature against the United States.
The world number three, after a shock second-round Wimbledon defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol in June, has not played yet.
He missed the opportunity to defend his Olympic Gold at London, and was also forced to withdraw from the US Open.
Asked if he would be fit for the September 14-16 Davis Cup tie in Gijon, Nadal said, "I don't know".
"The truth is I really don't have any idea and when the time comes my knee will decide, and if the knee is fine, then the captain will decide," the 26-year-old said.
"I am feeling the calm that comes from knowing I'll be back when I genuinely feel ready to play at the level I really want to and not have to suffer through every match," Nadal told on the sidelines of Wednesday's Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But Isner is keen to face Nadal.
Let's not do a disservice to Sloane Stephens by anointing her the next Serena Williams or next great American champ, even though we need one. Although quite talented, we should let the 44th ranked player in the world, especially when she feels confident, be her own person and not have to shoulder additional expectations. Let's just let her enjoy being 19 and having a good 2012.
After beating Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champ, in the first round of the US Open, people are too eager to make more of a match result and a good summer after getting to the fourth round of the French Open. Last year, Stephens reached the third round of the Open.
Stephens showed uneasiness in her 2nd round match to Tatjana Malek winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. She had difficulty constructing points to offset the constant changing tactics of a player almost 100 positions lower than her. Absent was her strong serve and opportunities to set up her best shot, her forehand crosscourt. Stephens made a match of it by hanging in there on a bad day where both players had many unforced errors, and by trying to come in and getting in some good slice serves.
Honeymoon period is over for Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. The Indian duo will not play mixed doubles together at the US Open despite having captured two Grand Slam titles as a pair.
It seems that it is the result of the bitter fall-out from the Olympics.
Bhupathi will be partnering Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic in New York while Mirza will team up with Britain's Colin Fleming and could face each other at the last four stage.
Bhupathi-Hlavackova seeded 6th will play their first round match against American pair Samantha Crawford and Mitchell Krueger.
The unseeded Mirza-Fleming will start their campaign against wild card entrant Andrea Petkovic of Germany and Eric Butorac of USA.
Mirza played mixed doubles at the Olympics with Leander Paes after the later had demanded an assurance that only he would be allowed to pair with her.
Angry Mirza agreed to team up with Paes, but utter her discomfort in a huge press release hitting out about the arrangement, saying she was used as a "bait" to keep Paes happy, and was a victim of "male chauvinism".