John McEnroe couldn’t get over the crowd noise at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the Novak Djokovic – Andreas Haider-Maurer evening match at the US Open. Flushing Meadows sounded more like a roaring waterfall, according the ill-tempered champ-turned-announcer. It’s “the indoor noise” as fellow announcer Brad Gilbert described it. The new roof at the Open — which isn’t even finished, but has its superstructure in place — traps the sound.
But McEnroe didn’t think the roof was the whole reason for the cacophony. This is the “loudest it’s ever been,” he said, even louder than “the first two nights” with the roof. McEnroe’s colleague Mary Joe Fernandez volunteered that the crowd was still buzzing from the close, exciting Venus Williams – Irina Falconi match that preceded Djokovic. But McEnroe — not historically a proponent of decorum — sounded appalled. There’s not a single person that’s not talking, he said, of the fans in the stands. Even acknowledging the US Open is always the loudest and rowdiest of tennis’s Grand Slams, McEnroe couldn’t believe it. “It’s like [the crowd] isn’t even watching,” he said. And Arthur Ashe hummed along.