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Expected and unexpected moments at the US Open

Flavia Pennetta greets Sara Errani at the net.
By Neil Schlecht
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The glorious Manhattan skyline is on view at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Stamped across the chest of men’s doubles champion Radek Stepanek

Victoria Duval takes to Louis Armstrong Stadium in white shades and takes down former champ Sam Stosur

 Vicky exhibits an imposing, mature game, but her unbridled excitement afterward reminds us that she's still 17

A Swiss man’s game is clicking like a precision Swiss timepiece

That man is Stan the man Wawrinka (Wow-rinka), the No. 2 Swiss man – and not Roger Federer

A storm moves through Flushing Meadows

Her name is Tornado (Black), and the unseeded American knocked out opponents rather than power lines, muscling her way to the junior girls' final

Expressive on-court hand gestures are seen across the net

Many from a growing army of Italian women, with three in one quarter in the fourth round

The one-handed backhand is still a unique shot, capable of extreme angles and spins

Eight of 16 men in the fourth round sport a one-hander

Frenchman Richard Gasquet says a five-set match is n'est pas possible

Turns out he meant “impossible to lose”

Hewitt, Haas, Youzhny and Robredo represent the old guard of over-30s

The senior citizens of the game run circles around the ones Robredo calls “youngers”

Four women bring their experience to the semifinal

Three of four – Serena, Pennetta and Li – are age 31

The intimate Grandstand court is on its way out, part of the grounds’ upcoming renovation

It inspires a chorus of wistful tributes from writers and even that notorious sentimentalist, Brad Gilbert

American Ally Riske brings her girlish enthusiasm and giggles to the court

As well as a beloved, well-worn blankie for comfort

Andrea Hlavakova wins in both mixed and women’s doubles while looking a bit like a reedier St. Pauli Girl

Her dad is the master brewer at the famed Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell

The unstoppable Bryan brothers close in on a calendar Grand Slam in doubles

Alas, they prove stoppable, losing in the semis

Serena roars through the draw, not losing a set in matches that average just about an hour

She plays a marathon in the final Friday, coming right back on court after her semifinal win over Li to play the doubles semi with big sis Venus

James Blake is one of the veteran hopefuls at age 33

He announces his retirement and energizes a late-night crowd, but goes down in five to a Croatian giant named Dr. Ivo

Andy Murray returns to the site of his breakthrough major championship, when he won last year’s US Open crown

The Scot reverts to his tormented, pre-major- and pre-Olympics winning self

Novak Djokovic meets little resistance in cruising to a 14th straight Grand Slam semifinal

But finds stiff resistance there, against a surging Stan Wawrinka

Rafael Nadal is known for his brutally efficient ground strokes

But his serve does the real damage as he holds 88 straight games, dating back to Cincinnati

Maria Sharapova, citing a shoulder injury, withdraws just days prior to the start of the Open

But not before floating the idea of changing her name to Sugarpova