Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - First Alternate
Home       About Steve Tignor       Contact        RSS        Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
First Alternate 09/11/2010 - 11:24 PM

Nd Or . . . maybe not.

OK, history has eluded us, and, no matter how thrilling and nerve-wracking the match we just saw was—and it was easily the match of the tournament, if not the year—that takes a few minutes to get over. But look at it this way: What are the chances that Roger and Rafa would have put on a more scintillating and dramatic show than Roger and Novak? It’s hard to imagine.

From the Djokovic perspective, it’s just too bad this couldn’t have been a final. It deserved to be a final. He reacted, naturally, as if it were a final, staring, stunned, at his delirious parents in their I-don’t-give-a-damn-if-Anna-Wintour-is-here, my-son-is-awesome T-shirts. It was a poignant moment, I thought. Djokovic, like his mom and dad, wears his ambition on his sleeve—and his back, and his hat—and that ambition was always to be No. 1 and to unseat Federer. Three years ago, when he reached the final here and won in Australia, Djokovic appeared to be the streamlined future of the modern game, a player who fused clean and uncluttered ball-striking with an uncannily flexible athleticism.

Since then, while he’s remained in the Top 5, Djokovic has also had to learn to live with being a third-fiddle—this will be his first Slam final since he won in Melbourne in 2008. At times, like last year’s semi against Federer at the Open, Djokovic has accepted his fate too readily. But it was clear from the beginning on Saturday that we were going to get him at his best. Federer was sharp from the baseline early; 99 percent of the time that would be enough. But Djokovic was on every ball, giving as good as he got, if not better. Federer drove Djokovic back, but he ended most of the points on his own heels.

Djokovic’s head wasn’t ready to keep up with what his body, his hands, his shots were doing. He botched two service games and lost the first set; he botched one and lost the third. Otherwise, it was his match through four sets. The fifth belonged to both of them. This was the tennis I’ve been waiting all year to see. To put it in British sportswriting terms, each player had the answers to the other one’s questions. Federer picked up his serving in the fifth, but Djokovic lifted his return higher. Federer showed off his flick flat backhand pass, a shot that no one else has ever owned. But Djokovic’s passes were threaded to equal perfection. It got to the point in the middle of the fifth where neither of them wanted to venture forward unless there was no other choice. Federer remained passive on his returns, and Djokovic refused to come in even after cracking an utterly devastating approach, which he did many times. I couldn’t blame either of them. Both had been burned enough times up there.

Federer reached double match point, but there was something in Djokovic today at the start that stuck with him until the end. He was, simply, hitting the ball too well to lose. He smacked a titanic swinging volley on one match point and a blistering forehand an inch from the line on another. And when he served for the match and went down break point, he swung with total confidence at a forehand that Federer couldn’t handle. Watching the final rally, listening to Djokovic work and grunt, I thought: He’s not going to miss.

***

Now, in less than 24 hours, he gets the rested and hungry Nadal, who also happens to be playing the best hard-court tennis of his career. Before his semi with Mikhail Youzhny, I said that the Russian would be able to hit his backhand down the line, and that that would trouble the lefty Nadal. Ha! Youzhny spent the afternoon darting from sideline to sideline and flailing futilely. Nadal’s shots look heavier than ever, and he was expert at finding the inside-out corner deep into Youzhny’s forehand. He dismissed a guy who had beaten him four times on hard courts, and made the No. 12 player in the world look like a sparring partner at best.

Should we expect anything else in the final? Is Nadal a lock? It’s certainly all working in his favor, and he couldn’t ask for a better chance to finish off his career Slam. But there’s work to be done. Nadal is 14-7 against Djokovic for his career (the same record he has against Federer), but Djokovic is 7-3 on hard courts, with straight-set wins in their last three meetings. While Federer and Nadal have staged their share of classics, Djokovic and Nadal may be the more entertaining rivalry from a rally-to-rally standpoint. Remember Hamburg 2008? Beijing 2008? Madrid 2009? All were epics of baseline brutality. And they all developed the same way. Djokovic started strong, using his ability to drill the ball down the line with power and accuracy to put Nadal on the defensive. But as the games wore on, Nadal wore Djokovic down with his speed and accuracy and cussed determination. Djokovic couldn’t keep finding his spots on those risky shots over the high part of the net.

Only one of those matches was on hard courts, at the Olympics in 2008, which was played with the same ball and on the same surface as the Open. It went down to the wire, and Djokovic lost it on a horrifying shank overhead at 4-5 in the third. Nadal, who is No. 1 and may be playing the very finest and heaviest tennis of his career, must be the favorite. Djokovic, the more fatigued player, will likely work to shorten points. But while he’ll be more fatigued, he’ll also come out on an emotional high after Saturday. I can imagine Djokovic firing away early and winning a first set. Then I can imagine Nadal winning the rest.


 
165
Comments
 
<<      1 2

Posted by heidi cheramie 09/12/2010 at 11:31 AM

Rafa all the way!! This is Rafa's year to win the Open! He deserves it! Worked hard for it!

Posted by Mr Rick 09/12/2010 at 11:33 AM

Well, count me as one of those who was a little shocked that Nole came through yesterday. But it was a major step for him, no question, he does have the reputation of wilting as matches drag on, but yesterday he hung on physically and mentally. A great achievement - very, very impressive.

That said, Roger played surpringly bad yesterday. Something was off physically for him and he was playing with poor confidence - like Rafa sometimes does, 20 feet behind the baseline, when he is not feeling confident. His serve - oy! Losing a set 1-6 in a USO semi-final??? Everyone has a bad day, I guess, but I just wasn't expecting that from Roger, not at the USO. It is hard for me to chaulk it all up to just advancing age.

Roger was playing so badly yesterday the arguement could be made that Nole should have taken care of business earlier and taken Roger in 3 sets instead of 5 long ones. I know Rafa would have if he had been playing Roger yesterday under those conditions. Therefore, Nole has brought on himself any fatigue he may be feeling for the final. Conditions will be cool which will help Nole; there may even be some rain delays. No asterick needed if Rafa beats him today.

Which Rafa will. We've seen this before, when Rafa gets going like the way he has this tournament, he is like a freight train that no one can stop. Even a perfectly rested Nole could not stop that freight train today, and IMHO neither could Roger even if he was playing well.

Posted by Peter 09/12/2010 at 11:36 AM

federer is full of himself. of course djokovic beat him. federer and nadal should go and do something else with their billions of dollars.

Posted by Jim 09/12/2010 at 12:04 PM

Federer hit too many short balls and defensive slices. Plus, no one can win with that many errors. He even had the match won with two match points, but blew it. Federer's game is becoming obsolete with his style of play and mental staleness. He is old for a tennis player and has millions, so what is his motivation? He has too much money, a family, and a syle of playing that's needs changing. It needs be a way for older unmotivated tennis players to fade successfully in the sunset. For example, Agassi won't go away with his nutty book, new wave psychology, continuing money grubbing talks,
and Tennis Channel showing Between the Lines over and over. Graff was the great one in that bunch. Maybe Agassi will become a TV fortune teller or get gig with some type of light weight soap opera. Agassi please fade away somewhere out of the public eye.

Posted by Sanjay 09/12/2010 at 12:11 PM

Nadal is no lock, but you Nole fanatics who are claiming a straights for him are ridiculous. Yes he won the last three HC match ups but at the end of 09. If you can't see that Rafa is playing a different brand of tennis from then to now, well there is just no helping you. I expect it to be a competitive match unless the semis really took a toll on Novak.

Posted by Tak 09/12/2010 at 12:16 PM

Nadal is going to win all the way.

Posted by Alex 09/12/2010 at 12:18 PM

Lets go novak lets take out both of the biggest names in tennis in one weekend

Posted by I'm just passing by 09/12/2010 at 12:19 PM

It's so boring reading this comments from pasionate fans of Roger's and Rafa's. Will you people stop projecting your super ego wish lists on the garanteed winners and for once start to watch tennis as it is, with a litle more objectivity? So it wasn't Novak who beat Roger, it was Roger himself...and even more, Rafa will smash Nole in 3 and send him home in a bag..You know, if you were watcing properly you would see some extremely good play from Novak, some errors from Roger and a clear win earned with guts. And nerves... And try to remember what happened to Nadal a couple of times on hard courts in US when Nole was opposite. Good luck to you all.

Posted by lollipop 09/12/2010 at 12:35 PM

thanks for the great match report, Steve. beautiful.

Posted by Geellis 09/12/2010 at 12:50 PM

@I'm just passing by
First, the last 3 meetings between the two were during rafa's slump last year. I think it's also clear to anyone who follows the game that we're seeing a much different Rafa than we've seen before. It starts with his serve. It is 12mph faster on average (according to the folks at CBS) than it was in last year's tournament. That's a weapon Nole has not seen on Rafa before and it will have an enormous impact on today's match. Furthermore, have you been watching Nadal's court position? Youzhny hits as big a ball (if not bigger) than Nole and was not able to keep Nadal off his baseline consistently. Nole will have as difficult a time accomplishing the same. I think if Nole plays his very best it will go 4, Nadal winner. If, somehow, it goes 5, it's difficult for me to imagine Nole having enough in the tank to survive 5 against Rafa. Wrong guy for Nole to survive in 5 against with all the motivation Nadal will have today.

Posted by Flyer 09/12/2010 at 12:55 PM

What on earth goes on with people here?

Instead of reading interesting posts on how the match was played - all I get to see are miserable tirades against the players as if these guys were war criminals or deviants.

Leave off.

Is bile all that most fans can spew these days? No respect for the effort these people put out to ply their trade? It takes a hell of a lot of work to stay in top athletic shape - and singles tennis is one of THE most difficult sports as it there is no team to fall back on when you're not playing at top performance.

Unfortunately Nadal will have the upper hand in the final. He has indeed played well all tournament, but he has also indeed been very lucky to have played his 4qrt, Semi and Final against players who have all had to go the distance playing 5 tough setters.

I hope it is a very competitve final - but I sincerely doubt it - there just isn't enough time to recoup for the final afer playing such an physically and emotionally intense 5 set Semi the day before.

Where is all the "hue and cry" about how unfair it is for Novac to play the final? When Nadal had to play his final against Fed at the 2009 AO all I read was how unfair that was after fighting thru a hard 5 setter with Verdasco - and Nadal had more time to recoup than Djokovic does.

Nadal has the upper hand and should win this final.

But all the gloating before a ball has been struck is offputting to say the least.

Posted by gracias 09/12/2010 at 01:00 PM


Tignor curse is alive and well. Roger picked to win. Thanks Steve. Now you give Rafa a lock on the final? Thanks Steve. :)

Posted by Azhdaja 09/12/2010 at 01:04 PM

Christopher 09/12/2010 at 10:09 AM

"Federer played his best and lost to Djoker."

Petewho-- If you can look at the stats for this match and say that "Federer played his best" than you have a special relationship with reality. Serving at 53% and 48/66 winners-to-UFE ration? That's not even his best this week.
________________________

So, you want the numbers to favour Fed to prove that he played his best?? Then he would've won! You can't get it both ways. Those numbers are low because Djoko made them for Fed. Even though Fed played his best, he didn't rake much because of the Opponent. Get this??

BTW, go to presser and learn that Roger Federerer stated that he gave his best in yesterday s/f.

Open your eyes, man. You'll use need it a lot in the coming years for Rogi.

Posted by anybodybutnadal 09/12/2010 at 01:05 PM

I am rooting for Djokovic!!! Can't stand Nadal...he's nothing but a brutal, butt-picking steroid-induced beast!!! Pray for rain so that Djokovic has a fair chance of winning.

Espanaldo - You suck. What's your problem? No class whatsoever.

Posted by Resa 09/12/2010 at 01:31 PM

If Djoker delivers deep flat balls Rafa is out before dark.

Rafa has his chances, of course. He can hang on very long in the rallies provided the balls bounce high. If they`re flat, rafa just look at them without even trying to chase them. Deep flat balls will make Rafa find the net too often.

So, t summirize: Rafa will try to hit high bounce top spin balls, and Djoko will hit deep flat balls. Two totally different styles...Who will winÉ The one who manage to impose his game style.

You be the judge.

Posted by Resa 09/12/2010 at 01:33 PM

Posted by gracias 09/12/2010 at 01:00 PM

Tignor curse is alive and well. Roger picked to win. Thanks Steve. Now you give Rafa a lock on the final? Thanks Steve. :)
-------------------------------

LOL...

Posted by Sofia 09/12/2010 at 01:44 PM

Are you all forgetting that their last 3 meetings have been when Nadal was injured or not at his best, let alone his hard court best? Rafa's looking untouchable. This US Open has always been about him, just like the French in 09 was all about Roger once Rafa lost.

If the final isn't washed out Rafa in 3 tight ones. If it is washed out, Rafa in four tight ones.

Posted by Alain 09/12/2010 at 01:52 PM

@ daniel (4:45 AM)

I tend to agree with you...

Posted by arbiter 09/12/2010 at 02:04 PM

Nadal is struggling also, he has blisters and probably other pains. He just had short matches and that did not show. So, if Novak manages to keep him on the court, it will be a struggle for both of them.

Posted by Evelyn 09/12/2010 at 02:08 PM

I am so looking forward to a healthy Delpotro. He can hit through a phony Nadal.
We need genuine champions like Juan, Novak, Roger.
Nadal is fabulous on the court but off the court the disingenuous pretense about being a modest, home town boy is revolting
Tonight, go Novak, even if you are tired. You are at least the genuine player, personally

Posted by Mike 09/12/2010 at 02:13 PM

For players that rely a great deal on their serve for free points and to get them out of a jam (Fed, Sampras, etc.), 1st serve % can make the difference between a win and a loss, not to mention the level of confidence. The 'human backboards' are less likely to be dependent on it, IMHO.

Posted by Sanjay 09/12/2010 at 02:42 PM

So evelyn... if you are a nice player and say humble things you're a phony... seems like irrational disdain for the guy?

Posted by sherwin 09/12/2010 at 02:54 PM

go rafa

Posted by Go Nole!!!! 09/12/2010 at 03:07 PM

Go Nole, you're the best!

Posted by Joanie 09/12/2010 at 03:26 PM

'Posted by ixvnyc 09/12/2010 at 02:42 AM

"enough joking around, let's talk some tennis.

when you keep hitting service winners all tournament, and you finally run into
the guy who keeps retuning them deep... the fact that your serve comes undone as the match goes on MOST CERTAINLY has something to do with that guy!

when you keep running forward and finishing guys off at the net all tournament, and you
finally run into the guy who can hit a passing shot, who can guess which way you send the volley... the fact that you become hesitant to attack MOST CERTAINLY has something to do with that guy!

when you keep building large leads over the guys who can't string a bunch of points without making an UFE, and then you finally run into the guy who just doesn't err much...
the fact that you start making errors while trying to figure out a new way to win the points that no longer just open themselves up for you MOST CERTAINLY has something to do with...

NOVAK DJOKOVIC!""

Great post that considers the opponent or victor not only the loser.

Posted by camarade 09/12/2010 at 03:48 PM

"Fortune favors the brave."
Cool your head, fire up your heart... give him nothing, but take from him - everything, even if he's Nadal. I hope there's enough strength and will left inside you.
Dare to be... last man standing.
Good luck Nole.

Posted by Shannon 09/12/2010 at 04:07 PM

espnalanaldo, grow up and get over yourself.

Posted by Brittany 09/12/2010 at 04:39 PM

Let's hope Nadal (not "Rafa", I don't know or want to know him like that) loses :)

Posted by daniela 09/12/2010 at 04:59 PM

WHERE CAN I WATCH THE GAME ONLINE??? FREESTREAMING?? ANYONE?
PLEASE...

Posted by Clovis 09/12/2010 at 05:00 PM

We all need to know that Federer is growing old , Rafa is still young , but we dont rule out the fact that age comes with experience , but Rafa is young and he still got the speed , accuracy , pace .

GO RAFE , GO GET IT , THE 4TH GRAND SLAM OF THE YEAR ....

Posted by HONESTitwasout 09/12/2010 at 05:02 PM

Roger and Rafa are 2 classy young men
Roger and Rafa have enormous respect for the Game and each other
Ma and Pa Djokovic were mighty happy when their son NO-Joke beat ? Roger
Forensically speaking someone tell me how one of the all time tennis greats loses 2 sets while winning just 3 games 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 i
Roger said Rafa will prevail in the Final

Politically a brillant move for Federer
Recall a couple of years ago when NO-Joke said he was going to knock Rafa out of 2nd place??

Posted by Rebecca 09/12/2010 at 05:16 PM

Wow. Roger and Rafa are classy. Nole is getting there, although 3-4 years ago, he certainly angered plenty of people before. The point is, all three top players respect each other, as do most of the top players in tennis in general, anyway.

The majority of their fans here on this thread obviously have no clue what respect is. Just bitter spew everywhere.

daniela - the finals (and all the previous matches, actually) are streamed at the USOpen.org website in HD for free. The commentators there are pretty good and unbiased, too.

Posted by Resa 09/12/2010 at 05:53 PM

Daiela, here:


http://www.fromsport.com/c-4.html

http://www3.serbiancafe.com/lat/diskusije/new/redirect.php?url=http://www.livescorehunter.com/Livescores/Livescore-Tennis.html

Posted by daniela 09/12/2010 at 06:23 PM

Thanks Resa, does anyone knows when is going to start?
kiss *D

Posted by catrice 09/12/2010 at 06:24 PM

sometimes it is scary for me to see the vitrol that people post on the boards about players they have never met and have gained their "insight" into their souls and true selves via soundbites, quotes reported out of context etc. If they can muster up this much ill will toward people they don't know....I am afraid for the people they live around! It is easy sometimes to forget that most of these players are very young, most not formally educated, but most importantly human....they will make mistakes, they will say things wrong and they will move on from those mistakes....why can't we?

Posted by john smith 09/12/2010 at 06:53 PM

Steve, man. I want to thank you for jinxing Nadal, too.

Rain has delayed the final. Destiny or not, I must tell I've got and insane feeling Novak is going to win it all. When the man was down 2 MP against Federer I was so confident he would hold and break before TB. I can't describe this... but it's exactly the same feeling I had at AO 2008.

Nadal plays for history, and he will have it but not now. This years finals is not about history rather about future.

After 2 years of delay, Novak is back where he belongs.
I think he is now ready to turn the page in his career, he is truly ready to leave Federer behind. So, it will be a second GS for him and a first final for Nadal.

If you ask me, I think this is the best possible outcome. Tennis needs someone who can challenge Nadal in the future. That ain't Murray, it ain't Tsonga nor Soderling.

Nadal will have future chances, he will eventually complete Career GS. But please, suspend the GOAT debate for the next 3-4 years. When Federer calls it career and when Nadal will be 29, the judgement will be easier. Until then, it's just a pure speculation.

Posted by Eugene 09/12/2010 at 07:14 PM

.... "Rain postpones Nadal-Djokovic final until Monday."

Djoko will be well rested and relaxed.
I hope it will be Delpo way: 6:2 6:2 6:2 ....
(rubbing hands deliriously. )

PS: Generally, I don't mind Nadal, but somehow trolls make me blood-thirsty.
Go figure ... LOL


Posted by Eugene 09/12/2010 at 07:19 PM

Posted by arbiter 09/12/2010 at 02:04 PM
Nadal is struggling also, he has blisters and probably other pains. He just had short matches and that did not show

Don't forget bruises left on his bottom from his grandma spanking for stealing chocolate cookies. He still remembers every time he is about to serve. Not mentioning mental trauma.

Posted by Eugene 09/12/2010 at 07:22 PM

Posted by john smith:
If you ask me, I think this is the best possible outcome. Tennis needs someone who can challenge Nadal in the future. That ain't Murray, it ain't Tsonga nor Soderling.


Well said,
but I would add Delpo to Joko, would be nice tandem, just to make sure.

Posted by amanaceo 09/12/2010 at 07:58 PM

espnalanaldo represents about half of Nadal fans, whose only goal in life is to hate Federer. That is unfortunate considering the humility that Nadal himself seems to have. You have to humble to fail at a tournament two days in a row to the same opponent, improve on your game, and come back and win it. The other guy who is as impressive in doing that is Federer himself at FO winning his 5th attempt. And the latest is Djokoic who wins his 4th attempt at Federer in New York. Go Away espnalanaldo.

Posted by amanaceo 09/12/2010 at 08:01 PM

corrections:

espnalanaldo represents about half of Nadal fans, whose only goal in life is to hate Federer. That is unfortunate considering the humility that Nadal himself seems to have. You have to be humble to fail at a tournament two years in a row to the same opponent, improve on your game, and come back and win it. The other guy who is as impressive in doing that is Federer himself at FO winning his 5th attempt. And the latest is Djokoic who wins his 4th attempt at Federer in New York. You are a bad sport espnalanaldo.

Posted by bdscks 09/12/2010 at 08:05 PM

nadal is not winning this, it is meant for nole. full stop.

Posted by Rada Tome 09/12/2010 at 08:27 PM

Novak deserves to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just because he beat all the americans on the way to final he is not popular as Roger of Rafa? so what. He is the ''OLD NOVAK'' and will win his 2nd grand slam title.
r

Posted by Christopher* 09/12/2010 at 08:45 PM

"So, you want the numbers to favour Fed to prove that he played his best?? Then he would've won! You can't get it both ways. Those numbers are low because Djoko made them for Fed. Even though Fed played his best, he didn't rake much because of the Opponent. Get this??
BTW, go to presser and learn that Roger Federerer stated that he gave his best in yesterday s/f. Open your eyes, man. You'll use need it a lot in the coming years for Rogi."

Azhdaja-- Please read more carefully. I'm not saying the numbers show a poor match for Federer because they are worse than those for Djokovic. A player can obviously have the best 1st serve % and winner/UFE ratio of his career and still lose. My point is that the numbers are. lower than those for Federer's "best" matches, including matches that he has lost.

I fully agree that Djokovic won this match in every way that is meaningful (and perhaps some that are not). He played better for most of the match, he won more points, etc. And yes, that affected Federer's play. But I think it is ludicrous to attribute all of Federer's low 1st serve % and UNFORCED errors to Djokovic.

If you read my comments through and after the match it will be clear to you that I don't at all think this was just a case of Federer having and off day and Djokovic getting lucky. Djokovic played brave and often spectacular tennis through much of the match. However, if you really think that this match represents the best tennis that Roger Federer has ever played then you clearly have not watched many of his matches. (It wasn't even the best tennis Djokovic has ever played, though he played very well.)

And by the way, do you really think that when a player says at their presser that they "game their best" that means they think they played their best tennis ever? Come on.

Posted by Tennisboy 09/12/2010 at 09:19 PM

I don't know what happen to Federer but he played so sloopy that it's suspicious. Djoko took advantage of that and good for him, who doesn't like gifts?

Posted by jordn 09/12/2010 at 09:35 PM

I hope this final is a classic - both of these guys have a few somewhat similar strengths - movement, and consistent yet forcing shots. Nadal's ability to hold serve has been spectacular this tournament, but as someone else said - he just didn't face a returner of Djokovic's skill. Can Djokovic return well enough to neutralize Nadal's increased serving advantage? Even if he can get the ball in play, how will the rallies look, assuming Rafa's playing a somewhat more aggressive, and definitely less passive sort of tennis these days - putting a neutral ball over the net just isn't enough against Rafa, most of the time. Aside from the nuts-and-bolts comparisons of ground games, there's the complexity of the pressure of the moment for both players, and how that will affect their mental gameness.

I kind of want Djokovic to win, even though I'm a huge Rafa fan. I think it would be great for his game and his competitive spirit; a rejuvenated Djokovic could make for an even more interesting tussle for the top ranking and important titles.

Posted by arbiter 09/12/2010 at 09:56 PM

Christopher, you will have to discuss this with John McEnroe, as he has said that Roger played his best tennis at US Open this year.
Obvious facts: Novak is the best returner in the world. Facing such returner makes you go for more on your serves - therefore the percentage is low.

UFE - same thing. Why didnt Roger implement his famous ability to adjust his game to the moment and reduce the errors? Because he was forced to play this way, forced by Novak's play. As simple as that.

Also, it is easy to serve 70% percent when the rallies are short and not so demanding. Running around with Novak is not easy.

Everything put together - Roger probably REALLY PLAYED HIS BEST TENNIS, but Novak made him look not so great.

Posted by Gabriel 09/12/2010 at 10:27 PM

Hola espnalanaldo!

"...who Roger really is. He is nothing but one conceited, arrogant player."

Take it easy and breathe, espnalanaldo! This is not a place for venom.

If you have never shown arrogance in your life (at whatever height you have reached), then you may throw the first stone.

Posted by tennisforthebest 09/12/2010 at 10:43 PM

Does anyone think that Roger actually tanked this match? Look at the score line what a roller coaster as he already knew how he was going to loose this match. May be he didn't tank the whole match but fifth set for sure, just look at the last shot he played as he was not interested in the match anymore because he realized in the middle of the fifth set that its not worth the effort anymore because even if you win the semifinal you don't have any energy left for the final, particularly if you have to play 5 sets against Nadal, so in order to avoid that he thought its better to loose now than in the final against Nadal. Had Nadal lost to Youzhny in the semi-final I can bet the result would have been different as Federer would have done everything possible to get into the final. He didn't know that its gonna rain and you get a day off so he miscalculated the whole thing and I still think it was a wrong approach to loose this match, Fed should have gotten into the final and even Nadal had beaten him in the final its no shame since everyone knows that they are 5 years apart (which is a lot in tennis) and after playing 5 sets in semi-final no body would have expected him to win anyway.

Posted by Christopher* 09/12/2010 at 11:02 PM

"you will have to discuss this with John McEnroe, as he has said that Roger played his best tennis at US Open this year."

arbiter-- Well, if John McEnroe said it, it must be true.

Of course he also pronounced Federer the greatest player of all time. If he now thinks that the greatest player of all time played his best tennis ever and lost to Djokovic while doing so, then we must assume he now thinks Djokovic is the greatest player of all time. Finally, the tedious GOAT debate is settled. Thank you JMac!

Posted by espnalanaldo 09/12/2010 at 11:50 PM

Bds*cks is a troll. Or, = troll.

Posted by espnalanaldo 09/12/2010 at 11:53 PM

For Roger to have a comment about the rain delay, just shows also what a hypocrite he is. If he is not interested in the USO finals, what the heck are you still making comments about it.

Just go. Go now! Roger, you are not in the finals, all right!

Go on vacation. Pronto.

Posted by espnalanaldo 09/12/2010 at 11:55 PM

It is also very revealing in the interview vignettes at the US Open promos that Roger wants to play for "himself" and yet Nadal says, "to learn something."

Very revealing points of view. One egotistical, another philosophical.

There.

Posted by espnalanaldo 09/13/2010 at 12:17 AM

Man, was it nauseating how Mary Carillo tries to rationalize the misfortunes of a non-winning Roger during the spring and early summer about some flu like disease or something. Is Mary, Roger's publicist??? It really is pathetic when broadcasters/commentators act like paid mouthpieces for Fed.

I do not know if you guys noticed that on many occasions when Rafa is serving, some jerk in the stands are also hollering to perturb him and yet the USO organizers do not seem to do anything about it. Could it be some paid hooligans to upset Rafa? And to think also that Roger's picture is on the shuttle vans, when Del Potro is the defending champion? Boy, are those US Open organizers are something else!!!

I guess it is all about the almighty dollar and sucking up to any current cash cow.

And even Dick Engberg shows his true color of a Roger fanboy. Try as he might being objective, but his subtle digs at Djok and Nadal, shows he is nothing but a Roger "groupie" as well? You think? For proof, just replay their commentaries, Mary and Engberg, at the 2008 French Open!

It is nauseating!

I expect network broadcasters to be objective, otherwise, might as well tatoo their favs' names on their foreheads.

Posted by John 09/13/2010 at 12:21 AM

hehe, now not more excuses for Djoko, two day resting so if he would lose it would be because at the other side of the net is the greast player of the Open Era

Posted by espnalanaldo 09/13/2010 at 12:36 AM

Gabriel and Zazor,

not worth my time.

Posted by espnal-anal-do 09/13/2010 at 12:53 AM

I am so jealous of this good-for-nothin' Djoko! Man, who woulda thunk all one needs to do is just show up there and have a little luck to watch some silly guys on the other side of the net self-destruct and go down in flames! Why am I jealous? Because I wish that was me then instead of this Djokster - I just realized that was absolutely realistically possible after reading all ingenious comments from "espnalanaldo without hyphens". Thank you for opening my eyes to misconceptions about professional world class tennis, dude! Third-ranked player in the world winning by his own merit? Pffft, what an improbable rubbish. You truly humbled me with your smarts, Mr. espnala....whatever it is.

Posted by WozniNadal 09/13/2010 at 02:13 AM

The rain saves the joker! Yes, the rain on Super Sunday has saved Novak Djokovic the humiliation from an easy win by Rafael Nadal. Has the rain not arrived, it will be an easy walk for Rafael Nadal to victory. There is no more adrenaline in Novak Djokovic on Sunday. With the delay, Novak Djokovic has an additional day of rest. His body will be in full force, and he can play at the normal level. But with the way Rafael Nadal is playing, no player can take a set from him. Therefore, the people’s champion does not need any unfair advantage. The rain only delays the inevitable: a new chapter in tennis history. Let’s wait and see if the people’s champion can write history on Monday September 13th.

Posted by acuvue oasys 09/13/2010 at 02:19 AM

Posted by Resa 09/12/2010 at 01:31 PM
"If Djoker delivers deep flat balls Rafa is out before dark."

Oh you mean like @ The French Open against the big FLAT HITTING Soderling, then 2 weeks later on GRASS against the big FLAT HITTING Soderling then AGAIN against big FLAT HITTING Berdych? Lights out indeed, lol.

Please buy a new argument - the flat ball bothers Nadal argument has been debunked long ago in the form of multiple Grand Slams plus consecutive victories against FLAT HITTING players who USED to bother Nadal on hardcourts earlier like Blake and Youzhny.

Posted by ashram 09/13/2010 at 04:24 AM

The rains saved the DJoker!! If he wins the match, then Djoker would definitely thank the gods who sent the rains in flushing meadows for him to recover..DJOKER is really one helluva lucky guy in this tournament.. and if he loses the match well, Djoker would have an excuse readily available.. he was tired with the 5 set win against Federer.. Praying for a RAFA win.. He needs to win a US Open crown, and what better way to do it but against his buddy the Djoker...

Posted by steve137 09/13/2010 at 05:40 AM

Go Djoko,
now things are on an even keel with a days rest. Play the way you have done. You deserve it!
PS "The Sun Also Rises". Get a life you fool.

Posted by justice 09/13/2010 at 07:56 AM

heidi cheramie 09/12/2010 at 11:31 AM

"Rafa all the way!! This is Rafa's year to win the Open! He deserves it! Worked hard for it!"

Well then... if you say he deserved it, than everything is clear - they shouldn't even play at all - why bother - they should just give Nadal a trophy with a red ribbon on it. Maybe they should have cancel all US Open matches before so many players tried hard...and just say - sorry guys - this year Nadal deserved it.

Posted by Popoy 09/13/2010 at 08:46 AM

Resa, Bading...ka ba?..

Posted by justice 09/13/2010 at 09:51 AM

Posted by catrice 09/12/2010 at 06:24 PM

"sometimes it is scary for me to see the vitrol that people post on the boards about players they have never met and have gained their "insight" into their souls and true selves via soundbites, quotes reported out of context etc. If they can muster up this much ill will toward people they don't know....I am afraid for the people they live around! It is easy sometimes to forget that most of these players are very young, most not formally educated, but most importantly human....they will make mistakes, they will say things wrong and they will move on from those mistakes....why can't we? "

The smartest post ever on this site!

Posted by SexyTennisPunditLady 09/13/2010 at 11:02 AM

Even though Novak Djokovic faced two match points, those points are on his serve. The threat of an ace from the opponent is not there. Novak just played two poor points consecutively. Then he played two good points to erase the match points. So Novak's win over Roger is neither a miracle nor a divine intervention. The rain on Sunday might be.

<<      1 2

We are no longer accepting comments for this entry.

<<  We Saw, No? Tightrope Walkers  >>




A Little Less Life and Death
Playing Ball: Good Luck to a Partner
Playing Ball: Losing Them All
Keeping Tabs: August 8
Quick-Change Artists
Hard Landing
Part of the Action
This blog has 1484 entries and 99623 comments.
More
More Video
Daily Spin