Tuesday, September 15, 2009

U.S. Open Men's Singles Final

Well, I must admit that I wasn't going to bother writing a piece on the U.S. Open Men's final. I was prepared to just feel bitter, drown my sorrows with some silent treatment for half a day, and keep replaying in my mind where it went wrong.

Yes, Juan Martin Del Potro caused a major upset by overcoming Roger Federer in this morning's U.S. Open final. It went the distance to 5 sets, the Argentine coming from behind to prevail 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.

It was pretty hard to take defeat, as it always is, although not quite as difficult as Federer's loss in the Aussie Open final earlier in the year while he was still chasing Sampras' record. Now he's the Grand Slam outright record holder, it's not as bad. After mouthing some negative remarks about Del Potro and Argentinians being cheats, I realised that he really did play a great game, was nerveless and handled the pressure well. Maybe Rog had other things on his mind, his daughters perhaps; maybe he's the tiniest bit more relaxed or complacent now that he's over the Grand Slam record hill; or it might just be that Del Potro took his chances and played better today.

Congratulations to him, but he'll find it tough to keep up these sort of performances and win more Grand Slams. (Look what's happened to Roddick and Djokovic).

For Federer, he must now analyse his defeat and assess what went wrong, and come back better and stronger for next year's Australian Open. The tennis world is becoming increasingly intriguing, with more young players rising through the ranks to emerge as top challengers.

Just as a footnote, 5 of the top 6 players in the world now hold Grand Slam titles. Federer has 15, Nadal 6, Roddick 1, Joker-vic 1, Del Potro 1. But who's missing from the list? Yes that's right, Andy 'cannot-win-a-major' Murray. He must be feeling pretty down after this morning's events. He is not part of the current elite group. How many more chances does he need to win one? How many more times will he be hyped up only to easily fall each time? Del Potro has made the breakthrough at the tender age of 20.

We look forward now to the end of season Masters Series in London where the top 8 ranked players will battle it out to finish as 2009 champion.

I wouldn't be surprised if Murray wins it. The others have got to let him win something, although what would it prove about him as a player or about his season? Absolutely nothing.

So long.

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