USOpen2014eKristinaMladenovicUSOpen-ShuaiZhangUnder a perfect sky in Flushing the U.S. Tennis Open got underway today.

One of the stories at this year’s Open is the lack of American men, among the top performers, in Grand Slam matches during 2013 & 2014. A Tennis Hall of Fame official we spoke with was forthright, saying the reason may have something to do with the adverse effects of American culture — making people soft (especially mentally), with no work ethic.

Kristina Mladenovic (top right) of France plays Petra Kvitova (recent Wimbledon champion) of the Czech Republic, 8/26. in what could be an interesting match.

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Photographs: Stephen Wise