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Update 09/10/2006 - 3:47 PM

Well, we're down to it, the last match on the last day of the last Grand Slam event of the year, the U.S. Open. I'm posting this so that you can discuss the final and weigh-in with your own post mortens later tonight and tomorrow. Before I forget, Matt Zemek, can you hear me? Please post the website where we can read your college football columns in the comments, okay?

I'll write a post after the men's final, and Steggy and I will both be posting some closing comments, but not until Tuesday. She's going shopping tomorrow for a new TV and glamorous shoes (which she will then proceed to duct-tape up; trust me on that); I'm looking at a late night, because I have about an 8-hour deadline to write a recap of the tournament for Tennis, the magazine. I've also got to take Luke to his first day of school tomorrow.

You all may be interested in following the junior (18-and-under) finals. There are four American boys in the doubles final; it will be Jamie Hart and Nathaniel Schnugg against Jarmera Jenkins and Austin Krajicek (how's that for diversity, folks?), and xenophobes take note: the U.S. Open's own website hasn't even bothered to crank up the marching band. For full coverage of the junior action, check out the two 24/7 junior websites, Colette Lewis's Zootennis and Marcia Frost's College and Junior Tennis.

Colette and Marcia are hardcore, in-the-trenches tennis nuts and they deserve all our support. Both should have full wraps by tonight, and the synergy between them is wonderfully old-school - Colette is crashing on Marcia's sofa tonight, because she couldn't get her work done and still get a flight out.

Okay, everyone. Enjoy the final!

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Posted by Ray Stonada 09/10/2006 at 03:56 PM

K, then I'm reposting, Pete, my captain.


...jeez louis (armstrong), guys, it's so hard to be a TW completist if you ever take time off. Just got done with two hours of catching up on the posts.

Salivating, just salivating over this match today. Yessirree, tennis time.

It'd be nuts to pick Roddick in this match, just n-n-n-n-n-nuts. Yet let's come out and say it: everyone on this board wants Roddick to make the Raj spread his wings and fly. Even Timbert can't be hoping for a 5, 2, and 3 affair, can you Timbo?

Please oh please make this a match for me, tennis Thor. Show us hammerous serves and anvilious backhands, orange steel forehands and then, yes oh yes, please to arrive dear Loki, the trickster God, with misty slices and foggy dropshots. Let thunder be answered by flashes of radiant lightning, Thor and Loki, and may Roddick take this to at least fours sets, dear sirs, for the good of my afternoon.

TW'ers unite! Thundercats Ho!

PS: Roddick, 6-3 in the fifth!!!

Posted by Andrew Miller 09/10/2006 at 04:14 PM

I'm picking Roddick!

Posted by Pete 09/10/2006 at 04:20 PM

Oh my god, Go Jets!

Posted by Pete 09/10/2006 at 04:22 PM

Ray. Bills lose. Bummer.

Posted by Lucy 09/10/2006 at 04:31 PM

Morning all!

Ugh, I can't pick it. I've got a strange, Roddicky feeling about this... but it can't be... eek.


Posted by Lewis 09/10/2006 at 04:38 PM

Fed in straight sets: 6-4, 7-6, 6-3. And Roddick won't win another tournament in 2006.

Posted by Mike_Krakow 09/10/2006 at 04:38 PM

Being a total Roddick-KAD I'm soooo hoping for an upset, and though it does seem highly improbable, my gut feeling is that A-Rod will make it. Let's say 7-6 in the fifth.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 04:40 PM


One regular weekly feature column here:

Another weekly column here:

Ohio State-Texas "Instant Analysis" (i.e., less than 90 minutes after game's end) here:

Search engine/article database:

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 04:43 PM

Tiger and wife in Fed's box.

Maybe that will get sports reporters to think straight.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 04:51 PM

i'm picking roddick IF mandy moore is out there in the stands. haha! i remember the only time andy beat roger (canada masters), and the only time he won a slam, she was out there. having said that, i hope to god she's not out there today. girl must have learned her lesson and stay away from jocks for good. lol.

Posted by kbomb 09/10/2006 at 04:52 PM

Tiger Woods in Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch Federer in action. That's pretty cool. Maybe the knuckleheads in the media who worship Tiger might take a cue... surely Tiger could be at an NFL game, on his sailboat or relaxing at a resort rather than at a silly tennis match! ;-)

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:00 PM

Can you say "decisive"?

Wow--the script couldn't have been written any better for Fed out of the box.

The big key, though: a dominating break of Andy's serve. Roger's reading it like a coloring book.

Posted by Scott 09/10/2006 at 05:02 PM

If Roddick doesn't step it up and start hitting bigger, Tiger's gonna have time to go out and put in 9 holes.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 05:04 PM

Wow, great start for Roger so far!

Posted by Lewis 09/10/2006 at 05:05 PM

NADAL, where are you??????????

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:07 PM

It's the full flight game.

Must be that Tiger mojo.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:08 PM

How would Roger do versus Pong, anyway?

Maybe someone should do a Nadal commercial with Pong. Has possibilities, no?

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 05:08 PM

too many net approaches, too little success. not winning on baseline exchanges either. andy's in big trouble.

lol temes, careful now.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 05:09 PM

Let's all pray Roddick sums up a total of three games, shall we? Poor guy looks all sheepish there...

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:10 PM

Well, how Roddick served at love-5 is his chance.

If he can serve like that in sets 2-4, he could beat Fed the way Stich beat Edberg in the 91 Wimby finals: without breaking serve.

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 05:14 PM

goodness me!!!! tiger beside mirka??? roger must be so thrilled! and nervous. didn't he just say in his presser yesterday that he would like to meet tiger one day???

so there's the ultimate multicultural champ watching the swiss maestro. goooo tigerrrr!!!!!!!!!!

ps: schumi is retiring from motorsport after the last three races of the year. i think kimi will take his place in ferrari!!!

gosh, i'm thrilled. tiger!!!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:14 PM

Fed's first serve went to pot at 5-1. That must stay solid. Roddick will creep back into things if it falters.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 05:15 PM

I cheer for Roddick, I want the guy to have a great match, so that his mojo won't suffer any more blows, and that he can be happy with his performance. But, *of course*, Fed will win. He has to. I just don't care to see a 63 64 60 match.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 05:19 PM

Whew! Good first set for Roger! Now finish him off!!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:19 PM

Whoa... Andy makes the sin of allowing Fed to serve to begin a set (it's ending a set where Fed's serve isn't a cinch, but Fed thrives on serving first and putting more pressure when a set is on serve).

Not a huge game in the immediate sense, but Roddick needed to start the second set as the server.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 05:20 PM

one break back was just a tease, as it turns out. so much for a close match.

Posted by Luke 09/10/2006 at 05:21 PM

Watching Federer is depressing. I can't remember the last time I saw a close match.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 05:22 PM

Nooo, Svelte, the charmer steps aside, and the Ice-man takes his place. NOoooooo! Schumi is a legend, he can't retire just yet. Not that I'm a big fan of formula, but still. A roadkill has twice the charm and appeal of the Ice-man, just using M+T+T words.
Anyway, Go Fed! I changed my mind, just crush the frat boy. C'mon he *is* a frat boy, no question about it.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:24 PM

Hold on, Tribe.

Roddick's confidence is surging, and with confidence comes Andy's biggest, best game.

Roger has a little storm he needs to ride out here in the second set. It could become a hurricane.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 05:30 PM

fed, pleeease don't make this look like the french final. easy first set, losing in 4? this is not rafa dude. you gotta realize that!

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 05:31 PM

Ok now I change my mind for the last time(no no, I'm not unstable), I want Roddick to do well. Go Roddick! I like him, he is a very likable guy. Federer is just better in every area, except first serves. But Roddick, he can make it tight. But Fed must win.
I just don't feel like being mean today.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:31 PM

Fed cleaned up his first serve in that love-2 game.

The long-term competitiveness of this match will hinge on Roddick's ability to hold this break lead throughout the remainder of set two.

Posted by Lewis 09/10/2006 at 05:31 PM

"Schumi is a legend, he can't retire just yet."

Schumi is a twister and a liar, he has won today (as many other times) thanks to the umpires. He's going to retire just because he knows Alonso is better than him.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:36 PM

You have GOT to be KIDDING me!

Those two points?!

Posted by kiwibee 09/10/2006 at 05:36 PM

Come on Rajah!!!!

Posted by Tim 09/10/2006 at 05:38 PM

I strongly suggest any Fed fans turn the sound WAY down, its much more calming... lol

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 05:39 PM

I feel a break back in this set by Roger.. Maybe this upcoming game...but I feel that he's going to break Andy in this 2nd set.

Posted by Tim 09/10/2006 at 05:39 PM

ok yall time to drink heavily and try to relax.. lol ... back later!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:39 PM

9 times out of ten, Federer would have had 15-40 on Roddick's serve in that 2-1 game of the second set.

Roger continues to read Andy's serve well, as shown by the fact that Andy has just ONE ace so far.

Roger's groundies are clean; he's not dumping balls or playing with food at this point. Roddick has to get his 1st serve from the current 69 percent to 90 percent in these next few service games of the second set.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 05:40 PM

Lewis, I don't really know that much about F1, just that Shcumi definitely is a legend. Legends can be bad, can't they? But I don't know about Shcumis affairs, just that he is a very, very succesSful formula 1 driver, and risen to legend status, no question.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:40 PM

Fan of Tennis:

Could not agree more. He's still reading Andy's serve. Andy has to crank it up.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:42 PM

Roddick's won 3 of 12 second serve points. It's all about his first serve.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:47 PM

This is a meta-perspectival comment that has just hit me:

John McEnroe bangs so many of the same drums in every match. He needs to find a more textured, layered kind of analytical game.

He needs Mikey, our Portuguese friend.

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 05:48 PM

wtf??? all throughout the USO, i noticed that replays showed winners... from time to time, the expression on the face of the player who committed an error or won a point.

but in this match, i've seen two horrible instances of horrid selectivity: they replayed roger dumping a forehand smash into the net (hmmm) and roddick running hard for a beautiful roger winner (double hmmmm).

go, roger, ace him in style!!!!

god, i hate the bias in coverage as it is, but does it have to be painfully obvious in the director's choice of camera replays?????

a bit miffed, svelty

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 05:49 PM

and fed teaches andy how to smash. that was funny. duh andy!

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 05:52 PM

Ok, now Roger needs to put the pressure on Roddick as he serves for the match. Come on Roger!

P.S. Is it just me but is McEnroe getting on your nerves too?

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:53 PM

Here's the tricky element of this match:

After looking at the first set, it seemed as though it was dumb for Roddick to come to net, given that he'd get passed so often. But here in the second set, Roddick is making it work for him. He's shortening points and preventing Fed from getting into a rhythm/comfort zone.

Roddick is generally making better decisions, but not all the time; in that 2-1 game, he should have lost consecutive points, the second one being at net, but got a bit fortunate.

This tension point is something to keep an eye on, beyond the first serves of both players.

Clean match, good stuff. It's not an error-fest, though I'm sure Roger would like to hit his passing shots better.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 05:53 PM

I meant as he 'serves for the set"...not match.. Sorry

Posted by kiwibee 09/10/2006 at 05:54 PM

Come on Raja!!!! I am very nervous right now....

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 05:56 PM

S.R., the instant replay bias is NOTHING compared to the unfair treatment given to fed all tournament long. scheduling and all that. serves them right when fed wins this match. when, not if. ;)

meanwhile, roddick evens the match 2 sets all. comon rajah. vamos!!!

Posted by Scott 09/10/2006 at 05:56 PM

The fight is on! Fed looks a little off the rails.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 05:56 PM

OK so he lost a set. Now is the time to pick it up and get that 'smirk' off Roddick's face!

Posted by Luke 09/10/2006 at 05:57 PM

"scheduling and all that."

Ooh, poor baby...

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:58 PM

Got to give it up to Andy for taking that very early break and making it stand up.

Best two of three. This first three-game cluster in the third set will give us an indication of whether or not momentum will be sustained.

Fed did butcher a few easy ones in that last game, I must admit.

Fan O Tennis:

To an extent. But I am genuinely noticing the repetitive, almost cookie-cutter nature of Mac's analysis. Perhaps being a Fed fan has made me more attentive than I otherwise would have been--that's the unique facet of all this.

Another point: Roddick has used a lot of energy to celebrate points. If this goes five, who will have more in the tank?

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 05:58 PM

God Jimbo Bimbo looks so adorable with those a cute owl. He's great.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 05:58 PM

i agree matt, andy's success percentage at the net has gone up in the second set. but it's still flawed. roger's helping him a bit.

Posted by Pete 09/10/2006 at 05:58 PM

I let Kamakshi go out to our courtside seat so I'm sitting here in the pressroom, under headphones, for a while. I think Roddick has to keep pressing and pushing - early on, TMF was passing him left and right, but having to do it, over and over, esp under increasing pressure is a way to break that down. . . anyway, it seems to me the ONLY chance for AR

Posted by Lewis 09/10/2006 at 05:59 PM

Fed won the AO in four, lost RG in four, won Wimbledon in four...

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 05:59 PM

A very clean Fed hold in game one. Good sign for the Rajah.

Posted by Scott 09/10/2006 at 06:01 PM

If Roddick can maintain his serving this will be interesting. Still, Federer is only slightly off his game -- and nearly impossible to beat for a sustained period.

Posted by kbomb 09/10/2006 at 06:01 PM

My sewer lines backed up, I leave at 5-0 to meet a plumber outside my house to root the relief line to the main line... and I come back to an ENTIRELY different match. What the hell happened in the last 30 minutes?!?

Looks like that initial Tiger buzz wore off rather quickly. This should be interesting for Tiger to watch... Federer actually has to deal with yet ANOTHER rival besides Nadal who isn't backing down and shriveling from the pressure.

Posted by Samantha 09/10/2006 at 06:06 PM

Although I've already made a longer post in the Banana blog, I want to again congratulate Maria on her win. Maria deserved to win.

Posted by kbomb 09/10/2006 at 06:06 PM

Yes, Pete, but does Roddick have the cajones, the Connors-injected cajones, to keep coming forward!!?!

Matt, Mac has had that effect on me for the past few years, which is why I enjoy Carillo and Courier more. I may not always agree with what they say, and Mary's riff on Fed tanking against Murray was over the top, but I also haven't heard it all before from either of them.

If you tried to sit through Mac's short-lived talk show, you know how a little of J-Mac can often go a long way.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 06:08 PM

well, roddick usually puts up a good fight against roger, just rarely wins the entire match. it's not like he's consistently getting bageled by roger in their past meetings. so i guess this fight from andy is not entirely surprising. but this is not going to deviate from the norm. good match-up, but roger will have to win in it the end. pleeeeease!

Posted by steggy 09/10/2006 at 06:12 PM

Pete: Shoes, among other things.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 06:19 PM

Oh, this final turned out to be a proper one. Great entertainment, whoever wins. Great, I love it.
Samantha, I'm impressed. I just bashed Momo left and right when she defeated Serena(and I had all the right to!). You did the right thing. LOL

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 06:31 PM

fed saves 4 break points. then andy has to save 5 break points. great match. or....

andy wastes 4 break points. fed wastes 5. either way, great entertainment.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 06:34 PM

Do you think Andy could hang with Roger like this if it wasn't in America? He's playing the crowd - trying to be Jimmy #2..

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 06:34 PM

roger is so silky. with rafa out of the tournament, this is the first time i'm actually rooting for him... but! if andy wins, it wouldn't break my heart. and having said that, i know that if roger doesn't hoist the trophy, it wasn't because he didn't try.

his defensive skills are awesome... even when he's missed a passing shot, he moves so gracefully it makes me weep. from the sheer beauty of his elegance.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 06:34 PM

Andy is clearly playing his best tennis, duh. Is it enough to beat Federer, is the real question,

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 06:42 PM

Fan of Tennis, to be fair, andy gave roger good runs in their wimbledon meetings, and he won over roger in canada 2003. about playing the crowd, i think roddick's always been like that in his USO matches ever since i first saw him play in 2001. i don't think fed minds as much as we do. ;)

Posted by Lewis 09/10/2006 at 06:45 PM

21 winners for Federer only in this set!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 06:47 PM

I got interrupted myself for a bit...

It could be just like last year: a momentous 3rd set tiebreak.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 06:47 PM

This match reminds me of the 2005 final with Agassi.. Fed wins the first set, Agassi wins the 2nd, they go to a tie-break in the 3rd (which looks like we're heading that way).... I hope it continues like last year as well in the tie--break and 4th set

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 06:47 PM

temes honey, i don't care if kimi is the iceman with the squeaky voice... he looks great on the podium (when he does make it there for some nice points) and i agree with lewis, schumi is a conniving, sly racer with more enemies than friends! he was lucky alonso's car smoked out today or he'd look pretty awkward getting all schmaltzy in the presser with his goodbye spiel.

gooo kimi!!!

ok, 6-5 in the third, andy serving. off to watch.

Posted by 1fedfan 09/10/2006 at 06:47 PM

I am a die hard fedfan, BUT if Andy wins, good for him because of how he has made his climb back these last 2months. I think Roger would be happy for him too in the end of course.

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 06:49 PM




Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 06:49 PM

and just like that, feddy breaks roddy and is up two sets to one.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 06:49 PM

andy obviously didn't want a tiebreak. lol!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 06:50 PM

I expect a full-flight fourth set.... and THAT will be just like last year.

Fed put the foot down.

Do NOT play with Sunday dinner, Roger.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 06:50 PM

All right then....Nice break by Roger! Now let's get this last set over and hoist that trophy!

Posted by L. Rubin 09/10/2006 at 06:50 PM

God, I love tennis!!!!! Do you love it too?

Posted by Sahadev 09/10/2006 at 06:50 PM

Got to feel sympathy for Roddick. He's giving it his all. The pressure on his serve is relentless.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 06:51 PM

I'm with you Matt... Roger does not need to play with his dinner. He needs to clean the plate!

Posted by Scott 09/10/2006 at 06:51 PM

This stuff is too good and too tense. Even Tiger looks nervous -- a look nerver seen from him on a golf course.

Posted by steggy 09/10/2006 at 06:51 PM

Appropriate lead-in song.

Posted by temes 09/10/2006 at 06:52 PM

Gotcha Svelte...what the hell, go Kimi!
Fed is tha best, no question. Andy will fall into pieces this 4 set, I predict.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 06:52 PM

I'm with you Matt... Roger does not need to play with his dinner. He needs to clean the plate!

Posted by Myskina+Trains=Tolstoy 09/10/2006 at 06:52 PM

Quick poll: What's more annoying?

Endless replays of Agassi's blubbering or Maria's "I Feel Pretty" commercial?

I vote for the former.

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 06:54 PM

taking a breather in the beginning of the fourth (ray, you got your wish! LOL)

daf, i couldn't agree more with the friggin' lack of respect to roger in putting him out of ashe, but roger said that it was no big deal since the atmosphere at armstrong is better, he said. plus it used to be centre court so nothing demeaning in that... plus the fans got to watch him for only $20 last wednesday... too bad rafa lost for the same amount, though.

nancy j, looks like your andy-maria double is not as ludicrous as it may have seemed before the USO... =)

back to ze match!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 06:55 PM

Fan O Tennis:

I know what you mean, but of course, Fed sometimes tries to get it over with so quickly that he rushes and dumps a game. Let's just see the flowing groundies, the solid court coverage, and a willingness to hit an extra ball.

Addendum to the 6-5 game in which he broke Roddick:

That last point had Fed blocking back a missile. That Fed broke Andy in that particular fashion has to be so confidence-building for Fed, potentially devastating for Roddick.

What flowing tennis in the first game of the fourth. The ballstriking is immaculate.

Posted by Svelte Rogue 09/10/2006 at 06:57 PM

myskina, i vote for the shara ad simply because i saw it once and i had enough. i watched agassi on larry king and got sick after the third tearful rerun. rocket science!

i just realised that i love the way jimbo cheers for andy. what a cutie. =)

temes dear, am not being combative about kimi. i don't care much about schumi, either. it's just exciting watching these grand prix races... compelling!

ok, back to the fourth. let's hope andy makes something of it and brings it to a fifth set.

gooo, roger!

Posted by steggy 09/10/2006 at 06:58 PM

Roddick's momentum seems to be gone. He's gone back to playing like a whipped dog again.

Posted by Fan of Tennis 09/10/2006 at 06:59 PM

I don't think Roger wants to play with his food anymore.!

Posted by Matt Zemek 09/10/2006 at 07:00 PM

Full flight game, baby.

The shirt is aqua, the strokes are liquid, the winners coming in waves.

Posted by steggy 09/10/2006 at 07:01 PM

They should get bonus points if they tag the Lexus logos on the net.

Posted by daf 09/10/2006 at 07:01 PM

well it looks like 4 is the only number for roger this year. he's about to finish all 06 slam finals in 4 sets.

Posted by Myskina+Trains=Tolstoy 09/10/2006 at 07:01 PM

Well done Matt!

Posted by Sam 09/10/2006 at 07:02 PM

"The shirt is aqua, the strokes are liquid, the winners coming in waves."

Beautifully put, Matt. Let's hope he keeps his foot on the gas.

Posted by Jen 09/10/2006 at 07:02 PM

This reminds me of Wimby 2005 final. Roddick giving everything but still not quite enough to win. I think he's getting tired too.

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