Federer Thumps Djokovic to Reach US Open Final; Awaits Delayed Murray, Nadal Winner
by Sean Randall | September 6th, 2008, 3:39 pm
  • 133 Comments

Is Roger Federer back to his old self? I wouldn’t go that far but the former No. 1 is playing the best brand of hard court tennis he has in the last 12 months. Federer earlier today dispatched Novak Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the US Open final for a fifth consecutive time.

Federer I think played his best match of the tournament earning his 7th win over Djokovic in nine meetings, and second straight since his Australian Open loss. And with the other match, Rafael Nadal v. Andy Murray, locked a rain delay which could carry over until tomorrow, Federer’s got to be sitting pretty in the locker room. Raja definitely gets the edge in the final.

I actually thought going in Novak would get Roger today. I thought maybe Novak turned the corner after the Roddick win Thursday night, but he came out flat at the start and with the exception of a few spurts, he was never really in command. Credit to Roger for getting through again as he bids for his first hardcourt title of the year.

I will say in Novak’s defense the scheduling of his match was curious at the least. I would have thought that the Murray-Nadal would have been the early match especially since they both had two days off and Novak was the last to finish his quarterfinal.

Plus, Novak did finish late on Thursday so his having to play at 11am isn’t ideal start time. Again, I’m not sure what the decision process was, but had Andy Roddick come through Thursday night no way the US Open schedules him at 11am when he’s been playing a majority of his matches at night. Just a beef.

Federer now awaits the winner of the Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray match currently in a rain delay with the Scot leading 6-2, 7-6, 2-3. Nadal is down two sets but was up a break in the third before the rains hit. The delay should help the Spaniard who I thought would have won this match and still very well could.

In the weather breaks later tonight we get the Jelena Jankovic v. Serena Williams final. My girl Jankovic was trying to become the first player ever to finish a year No. 1 without a Grand Slam final, but she blew that by beating Elena Dementieva yesterday. Tonight she faces Serena in a rematch of their Miami final won by the American 6-3 in the third. I expect another long battle again tonight, and I think Serena’s experience on the big stage will prevail in the end.


Also Check Out:
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Murray, Roddick, Hewitt, Haas Winners at Wimbledon
John Isner: Not Many People Can Say They’ve Beaten A World No. 1, I Will Always Be Able To Say I Did!
Nadal Out, Roddick, Murray, Tsonga, Ward Into Queen’s SF
Novak Djokovic: My Ankle Is Not Bothering Me, I’m Confident Of Playing Well The Next Few Weeks

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133 Comments for Federer Thumps Djokovic to Reach US Open Final; Awaits Delayed Murray, Nadal Winner

Colin Says:

Why do you think the rain delay will help Nadal? The famous Rafa Stamina Factor will be negated, because Murray can start again fresh, and if he keeps his head together he should win.


Sean Randall Says:

Colin, it should help Rafa because he’ll have time now to discuss strategy, perhaps a new strategy with Uncle Tony on how to attack Murray. And maybe Murray was just in the zone, something that’s difficult to carry over when the match resumes tomorrow in Ashe.

By the way, play has already been called for all the matches today, that includes the final tonight which will be played Sunday.

This also means a Monday final for the men’s at 5pm local time. Strange to say the least!


Styx Says:

Aboslutely, the rain benefits Murray. Nadal is not himself, but if the continued and he won the third Murray would probably be pegged down to his level for the rest of the match fitness wise.

As it is now, if they finish the match tomorrow and the final is played on Monday, there’s really no way for Fed to lose. Murray will crumble in first final, plus his game is not really that much of a bother to Fed, so Fed being daisy fresh + expirience will tell.

If Nadal makes a comeback and had to play monday he’ll be like a fish in a barrel. You could see today he’s not moving as well, didn’t manage a single running passing shot, in fact he didn’t even put the ball in court. When they switched i thought he might be injured for a while. To much tennis, he’s no t a machine…would be a better final if Murray wins.


angel Says:

Who ever wins in the Rafa-Murray match is going to be really tired to face a fresher Federer in the final, not to mention that he is playing really good. Federer should win this in not more than 4 sets.


Pietje P Says:

Sean,

I saw the whole match and think it was below par actually. The first set Roger played quite brilliant. But the 2nd and 3rd were an error festival… Look at the game he played at 5-6 in the second set. It was very, very scrappy and bad. The “old” Roger would have never played that way.

As far as the Nadal-Roger rivalry… Nothing to take away from Nadal, but I just wish Roger would be in the shape (tennis level wise) he was a year ago. Maybe Nadal would still beat him, but it wouldn’t have come so easy. But he fully deserves to be nr 1 at the moment though. (Yes, I’m a Roger fan :))

But I wonder what will happen to the final tomorrow… probably Monday?

Regards, Pietje

PS I like your posts always by the way! Keep it up :)


Sean Randall Says:

Sure, you could make the argument that it helps Murray if he was indeed getting tired. But I would think Murray would have rather finishes today given his lead and his form.


Sean Randall Says:

Pietje, thanks.

I agree, it wasn’t a memorable/classic match. But I do think it’s the best hardcourt match Roger’s played this year. He’s played better in the past, no doubt, but I though he played pretty well given opponent and occasion.

Final is on Monday at 5pm. Just announced on CBS. So the Murray/Nadal winner will have to play three days in a row to win this title.


grendel Says:

“I would have thought that the Murray-Nadal would have been the early match especially since they both had two days off and Novak was the last to finish his quarterfinal”.- Sean. But why should there have been an early match at all? Why not start both at the same time – and in this event, Murray/Nadal might well have been finished. Doesn’t make sense to me.

Also, Sean: whilst it is true that Nadal will discuss tactics with auntie, does he really need to? He was looking good when the rain came, and once he gets on a roll, who can stop him? As it is, coming out cold tomorrow, Murray’s got to be in with a shot.

Just a few more comments on the Fed match: Federer came out like greased lightening, and shocked Djokovic. But the Serb gathered himself in the second set and showed his class – this was going to be no roll over. 2nd and 3rd sets were good fights. Djokovic was returning much better than Fed and – perhaps surprisingly? – was more convincing at the net. Fed’s serve often looked rather weak, and again, one wondered…

However, as the match went on, Fed’s serve suddenly switched on – and frequently saved Federer, it has to be said. Djokovic was oddly subdued; it was noticeable that when he hit a decent winner, the crowd acknowledged it politely, no more. This seemed to affect the Djoker, who at one point tried to pick a fight with the crowd – not exactly the best way to maintain your focus. He’s got to learn to put that behind him, like Nadal does (the Spaniard wraps himself in a “shell” as Zola has accurately said), if he wants to consistently dominate.

By the middle of the third set, Fed’s forehand – which we saw for a while in the first – established itself with a vengeance. When he ran round his backhand, you didn’t see those aweful pussyfooting pushes crosscourt; the ball, sweetly timed – such a satisfying thud of a sound – flew to more or less wherever he directed his racket. His backhand was pretty impressive, too.

But Djokovic rather disappeared from the scene in the 4th set. Final comments on Fed’s putative return to form should be reserved till after the final. b.t.w. – it should be noted how composed Fed was; all that agitation we have been seeing was absent. A good sign, I insist, where Fed is concerned; probably a bad sign where Djokovic is concerned. Composure with Djokovic seems to be allied with excitement. So people are different. Good job, eh?


zola Says:

I had a meeting in the morning so I missed most of Fed/Djoko match and then found out that Murray/Rafa was going on but the Clever CBS didn’t want to show it at the same time!
so I had to find the match on justine TV and Rafa was already a set down and he lost the tie-break. I watched the break in the third and then rain delay!

First, congratulations to Fed, for his fifth final in the us open and his 33rd win. I thought Djoko would win because he played brilliantly against Roddick. but maybe he was emotionally tired. Still, a great run. he has been in the semis of all GSs for the past two years.

Now , Rafa vs Murray. I can of course see how tired Rafa is, but Murray has improved a lot and has learnt his lessons from previous matches. Of course I hope Rafa can get some advice from uncle Toni and get some rest and finish it as a winner. but if not, it is no shame in it for Rafa . He has already achieved so much in this year. If Murray wins tomorrow I wish he can win the final too and I know he is able to win Fed. He has done it before.

I think Murray is using lots of angles. he is serving very well and returning very well too. He is of course volleying great so pretty much everything is in his favor. Rafa is slower and doesn’t move well. I think his timing is not right, which is perhaps because of Murray.

perhaps the courts make a difference ( I hope).

Fed said in his interview that it is not fair for a player to have some rest and another less and sort of said that it wouldn’t be like that if the semis were not played on Saturday.

Seriously, this is a very stupid idead. I hope they fire whoever thought of this ( I know its TV contracts!). Friday night is better. it is prime time, more spectators etc…

Anyway, crossing my fingers for a Nadal win. HAve a great weekend.


Pietje P Says:

Maybe you are right Sean. Roger mostly did play well when he needed too.

I hope next year he will closer to his old level, although age is becoming more and more of a factor there. But his movement, volleying and depth of his groundstrokes is not where it should and could be. His serve though seems to be the only consistent factor this year.

The whole rain delay, cancellation is not ideal for the final. But basicly it’s just two 2,5 setters should Nadal prevail somehow (I would like!). It is something which they are used too on the normal tour tournaments. No doubt it gives Fed a little advantage, but I don’t think it will provide Nadal/Murray with huge discomfort or fatigue.

Regards, Pietje


Daniel Says:

Agree Pietje P,

Nadal and Murray played less then Fed today, so Fed is more tired now. But if Murray wins tomorrow, in 3 or 4 sets it won’t make that difference, but if it go for a fifth, then Fed will be a lot favored and this will take away part of a victory, if he wins it. :)
So now, I hope for Murray to win it, start agressive tomorrow and get the break back.

Because if Fed happens to win against a tired Nadal I won’t stand the excuses here that will last for ages (vis Wimbledon 2007). So for the sake of good tennis and fair, it’s better if Murray wins tomorrow.

But, if Nadal beats Federer monday after a 5 set with Murray, then my friends, nothing will stop the spanyard in a long, long time!


Sean Randall Says:

Grendel, I believe the schedule for today had Murray-Nadal not before 12pm, so they could not have started that match at 11am. However they could have scheduled it at 11am yesterday, but then had the rain held off until later in the afternoon the US Open would have been killed.

It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario.

Under the circumstances I guess the US Open did right. I do question why the Fed-Djokovic was first on, and why the Nadal-Murray will resume so late Sunday (4pm) when they should start it earlier in fairness to the players recovery.


zola Says:

Daniel,

I think the players will always have this issue that some of them will be fresher than the other one. The wimbly 07 was an exception ( horrid!). right now it will be tough, but at least they had a few days off.
still if they chose me instead of ET! I will make sure the semis are played on two different courts at the same time. :)

***But, if Nadal beats Federer monday after a 5 set with Murray, then my friends, nothing will stop the spanyard in a long, long time!***

that will be GREAT!
Right now I will be happy just if Rafa can win Murray!


mem Says:

This is absurb! how on earth can federer vs djokovic be the first match up when nadal and murray have had two days off, and are suppose to be first on court. a blind man can see, its set up where federer’s match, if played first, will have a greater chance of finishing before bad weather strikes. fact is, whatever can be done to help federer will be done. then, he can relax and prepare! During federer’s reign as #1, I don’t recall him ever having to be told at the last minute that he’s being moved to anywhere other than authur ashe stadium(usopen) or centre court, regardless of the impact of weather conditions. I’m not upset because nadal is down two sets, because andy has played incredible. I’m disturbed because its obvious that nadal being #1 is not treated the same as federer being #1. nadal is #1 on paper, but federer gets the #1 priviledges. nadal has every right to be frustrated. he had to deal with all of this unfairness and at the same time try to maintain his focus against a red-hot andy murray, not to mention combating fatigue. had nadal vs murray gone on court first, which was fair, win or lose, the match would have been over. as far as I’m concerned, there’s not a logical reason for the way this situation has been handled. the bright side is, this rain delay just may be a blessing in disguise for rafa! I hope so. he deserves a good ending! vamos rafa!


Gordo Says:

Murray is delivering the potential best showing by a Brit in a grand slam in a long while.

But it is really EERIE the coincidence between Murray/Rafa and the last time a Brit reached the semis of a Grand Slam.

It was the semifinal of Wimbledon in 2001. Tim Henman, who had never lost to Goran Ivanisevic (having beaten him 4 previous times) lost the first set 7-5 and then took the second set in a tiebreaker, and then lost only 4 points in a 6-0 brilliant display in the third set. He was leading 2-1 in the 4th (and what would have been last) set when the rains and then darkness forced an overnight delay. Goran regrouped and the next day took the 4th set 7-6(5) and then the fifth set 6-3.

The mountain is higher for Rafa to climb, as Murray is up 2 sets at the moment, but Rafa is up a break, so we will see who has the best nerves. Rafa proved last year at Wimbledon that he battle through long rain delays – let’s see if he can tomorrow.

And great news for all you Fed-bashers in here – whoever Federer beats on Monday you can whine “Nyah-nyah, but he had an extra day of rest – if [insert opponent's name here] had finished his semifinal match on Saturday Federer would not have had a chance.

Sigh!


Gordo Says:

Yeah, Mem – the fix is in.

It’s all crooked, these Grand Slams – isn’t it?


Vulcan Says:

Interesting…even down 2 sets and only up one break Nadal is still favorite to win the match
according to bookmakers:

http://www.oddschecker.com/tennis/mens-us-open/


Vulcan Says:

Correction…favored over Murray to win the tournament…Murray is favorite to win the match.


Vulcan Says:

grendel Says:

This seemed to affect the Djoker, who at one point tried to pick a fight with the crowd

The crowd…again…as they did in his previous match…were heckling him.
It is very very uncool to yell out during a players service motion. People who dont play tennis may not be aware of just how sensitive a thing a players ball toss is. Some professionals…after years of playing…have been struck with “the yips” on their serve…a problem were they have trouble tossing the ball in the same location every time. After the first time they do it, the expectation of someone yelling out during your toss and disrupting your
concentration would be likely to drive the player bonkers if they actually become self conscious about it happening again.


Vulcan Says:

Styx Says:

To much tennis, he’s no t a machine…would be a better final if Murray wins.

Im not so sure about that…sometimes I expect him to say “have you seen this boy?”
Seriously though yeah he looked pretty spent today in the first half of the match…and I dont agree that the rain delay will help him because he was just finding his rhythm when it arrived.
Im not sure what he can change as far as strategy goes. Murray was playing pretty well but not really out of this world either. Not to boast (too much) but its looking like my original pick of Federer winning the tournament is likely…I cant see Murray bothering him too much if he plays the way he did today.


Gordo Says:

As to why we are having this delay – there was a paying crowd that was supposed to see 3 matches – both of the mens’ semis and, as is the norm – the highest seed was scheduled to play in the second match.

With the tour organizers keeping one eye on the weather, when the Djoker won the 3rd set they really had no choice but to set Rafa and Murray off to Armstrong.

It’s too bad for the 23,000 who could have seen 2 great matches. The tournament organizers must be a little distraught. And just when they thought everything was going their way – with the top 4 (as of Monday) men making it to the semis.


AfriendofAfriend Says:

I can see murray coming back tomorrow and getting into rallies with nadal in the third set just to see how rafas playing. murray will prolly drop the third set cuz he’s down a break and he should not waste all his energy. he will not let nadal get in his groove and just save his energy for the 4th set becuz he could scrap maybe a break off nadal in the third but if he wastes all his energy in the third and nadal still comes out on top (which is a good possibility) murray might be out of gas to put the pressure on in the 4th. im hoping murray wins becuz then i kno 4SURE federer will win the final. if nadal, it will be another nail bighter 5 set prolly.


Lucy Says:

‘im hoping murray wins becuz then i kno 4SURE federer will win the final. if nadal, it will be another nail bighter 5 set prolly.’

AfriendofAfriend i think you’re forgetting that head to head Murray leads Federer 2-1


Sanjeev Says:

Great tennis today. I had an inkling that Federer would pull through easily, but Djokovic did give a decent fight. Novak doesn’t play very well in the start of matches against Federer. Anyways, the game had a multitude of amazing shots. The Nadal/Murray game is shaping up to be the BIGGEST upset of all in this year’s open. To read more about this and Nadal’s wedgie problem check out this sight:

http://talkaboutsport.blogspot.com/


grendel Says:

Vulcan, in his interview, Djokovic was asked: “They were even cheering when you had unforced errors. There were times they were cheering in the middle of your serve. Did that rattle you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not so much.” Of course, he might have been putting a brave face on things.

He did make one notable comment, which kind of pinpoints the dfference between his own and Nadal’s attitude:”But, you know, I knew that this third set was really crucial. If it went my way, you know, I could have the bigger chance to get the victory, but unfortunately didn’t”. Of course in one way, he’s stating the obvious, naturally if he’d won the third set….But if Nadal had lost that 3rd set, he just would have got his head grimly down, and attempted to grind his way to winning the fourth. Djokovic, instead, let his head drop. That’s pretty human, and most of us can relate to that surely; it’s also why Rusedski, for instance, calls Nadal “an animal” – he means it as a compliment; animals fight to the death, regardless.

I don’t know if you can get stats on an incomplete match, but apparently Murray’s first serve percentage in one of the sets was 83, and he had a high one for the other. To a large extent, that’s why he is in the position he is. But Murray generally has a low first serve percentage (late 40′s to mid fifties). So, he did the necessary on the day it counted – Federer, in his interview, surmised that Murray was a big match player. Even so, to improve so drastically on a key component of the game once is remarkable enough. Isn’t it asking rather a lot to expect him to do it again tomorrow? But he’s going to need something pretty special to fight off Nadal. I hope he does it, partly for craven reasons (he’ll be easier for Fed), but actually also because I like him a lot. If Nadal beats Fed in the final, I won’t be fit company for about a week. If Murray does, part of me will be quite pleased.

Fed claims he wants Nadal. Now ALL players indulge in gamesmanship of one sort or another, including Federer and the sainted Nadal. Of course, Federer would like to improve his H2H with Nadal, but even so – can we really believe him……………..


Vulcan Says:

Grendel I think at this point Djokovic is probably not going to say very much in regards to the crowd bothering him or anything along those lines…he already made his point the other night…mainly with his racket but also with a simple, succinct statement in which he basically told everybody that was trying to distract him to stick it right up their asses. He showed that he wasnt going to be a pussy and pander to the press just because he won a match. Winning the match was not the issue for him. The point was to come out and serve up a performance in response to the criticism from Robredo, Roddick, and the crowd. Roddick pretty much just parrotted what Robredo said but he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Djokovic decided to knock his dick in the dirt over his unoriginal comments.


Vulcan Says:

As far as Federer claiming he wants Nadal…I hadnt heard that one…but the old saying “Be careful what you wish for you just might get it” comes to mind. He may want to exact revenge for Wimbledon and the French Open but he better seriously consider how his game matches up with Nadal’s…he would be better off with Murray.


mem Says:

federer saying he wants to play nadal in the final is about as fake as a three dollar bill. that’s what he wants everybody to believe. he’s probably in his hotel room right now praying that murray will finished the job on nadal tomorrow. talk about being the “greatest of all time.” a true measure of greatness does not come from defeating those who you are expected win, but from those who present the toughest challenge consistently. can that be said about federer’s record against nadal? no wonder, he would rather play murray in final!


Not fair for Nadal! Says:

This is stupid! If Federer wins, it definitely gotta do with the stupid rain! Just like what happened to Wimbledon last year. Nadal playing without rest.


Also Federer didn't thump Novak! Says:

You made is sound like an easy match for Federer. It’s a four sets match ya know?


Samprazzz Says:

Djokovic is not well liked by alot of people it would seem including the New York crowd. The Australian crowd turned on him too I seem to recall back in January, 08. Maybe beating his chest like a gorilla after winning key points is turning people off. Or is it the fact that he bounces the ball 33 times before he serves just slightly annoying for his opponents and the fans? He certainly is rubbing people the wrong way.


Samprazzz Says:

Just another thought on Djokovic- what’s with his haircut? Is his favorite movie “Dumb and Dumber”?


Murray gonna burys Federer in the final! Says:

He had beaten Federer! And he would does it again!


freakyfrites Says:

Whether it’s Rafa or Murray, Roger’s in for a fight!

I don’t think the rain will effect things too much for Rafa and Andy – they’re playing in the evening tomorrow, so the weather won’t wear them down, and they will have about 20 hours or so between matches. A long break is not always a good thing – Roger could suffer from a loss of momentum just as well as Rafa could be fatigued. Fed’s playing so hot and cold at this point that I don’t think it would matter if he had a day or a week off between matches. At this point all the guys are in it to win it and part of winning a Major is overcoming unforeseen obstacles like rain delays and bad scheduling.


zola Says:

Hi again
I would appreciate some tennis analyses for both matches. I wasn’t able to see them properly.just a few short games from RAfa/Murray on PC!

How did Fed’s game matched with Djoko? what made the difference in the match?
I read that from second set Fed’s serve was much better. How was his forehand? what about Djoko?

And Murray/Rafa…I watched a bit and in the third, Murray wasn’t serving well in the first game ( obviously! he got broken) but the third game he was good. I noticed that he was using angles and stayed back on the first serve. what was Rafa’s UE? How was his forehand? was Murray attacking Rafa’s forehand?
Did Murray come to the net a lot? how were Rafa’s passing shots working? slice? backhand?

thanks a lot!


zola Says:

I am not sure about Rafa. He looks too tired. If it is Murray in the final, I give him a chance.


I'm a nameless bastard Says:

Djokovic got his ass handed to him


Vulcan Says:

Zola, the commentators said that Federer looked the best he has looked the entire tournament in the first set against Djoker. If he plays at the same level hes gonna be really tough to beat for Murray but if Nadal makes it to the final somehow Federer’s highest gear may still not be enough.


Ryan Says:

He has beaten nadal on hardcourts.The main reason the head to head (6-12) is because fed doesnt get to play him much on hardcourts coz nadal loses early.Let nadal come to the final and then he’ll get his asss handed to him.


Vulcan Says:

Also, im not sure how good of a wind player Nadal is…the commentators really didnt say too much about the windy conditions but I think from what ive seen Rafa is maybe more uncomfortable in the wind then average.


Vulcan Says:

Samprazzz Says:
Djokovic is not well liked by alot of people it would seem including the New York crowd

The New York crowd acted like a bunch of drunken idiots. They have some of the worst tennis manners on the planet. I recall Baghdatis vs Agassi were they booed Baghdatis because he was cramping…I doubt Djokovic is losing much sleep over what happened and is glad the tournament is over.


andrea Says:

asking a player who they would rather face in the final is a little lame to say the least. while you wonder if it’s politics that made roger say nadal, somehow i think, if it’s between nadal and murray, roger’s got more to prove with nadal.

murray is looking pretty darn sharp though so he may pull thru. it would be amazing for him to beat nadal. he’s been on the cusp for so long. we could stop referring to him as one of the ‘dark horses’ at every slam.


ROXOLID Says:

I think roger was waiting for a long time to hand this gift to novak after the australian open.With many people doubting fed’s mono excuse for poor play, fed wanted to beat him right in front of his mom and dad(who said the king is dead) on his turf.I bet fed just loved it.


Wayne Says:

Fed is like 27 and novak is 21.So I bet this match would have been a real thrashing if novak had come around in 2004 or 2005.


Von Says:

Even assuming Djoko won’t lose much sleep over what has transpired over the last few days, which I seriously doubt, he’ll be losing a lot more from other sources. Let’s begin with the locker room, which is where most players want to be recognized as equal to, or above their peers — identity. His outburst will definitely cause him a huge amount of disrespect, and he will be avoided like the plague. There will be an air of tension surrounding him, and most players will be very, very cautious when interacting with him. There won’t be any light banter exchanged and the loss of camaraderie will affect him most of all. Sadly, he’ll be a marked man. Next, he’ll lose some very faithful fans, because the majority of fans love a winner — attitude and popularity turns them on. Next on the list, will be the sponsors. Sponsors love a winner also, and would not want a player who is held up to ridicule and/or cannot hold his own with the press to promote their products. His wallet/bank account will suffer big time. Even though his agent could probably convince his sponsors to turn a deaf ear and blind eye, the targeted sponsor population would not view Djoko’s product endorsement to be credible. And, last but not least, he’ll be breeding ground for the media and will have to succumb to a mediafest for every reporter, commentator and interviewer, who’s looking for a story. Djoko will be made fun of, forced to answer tricky, baited questions, and played up as an l’enfant terible. Those few minutes of revenge in front of tennis’ biggest stage at the NY USO, will cause him years of mental anguish. And, that’s just scratching the surface. Whether this youngman is our favourite player or not, he needs some sympathy, because he’ll need it in the weeks and months to follow. This guy thrives on people’s acceptance, which is understandable because we all have an innate need to be liked, some more than others, and it seems to me, Djoko needs a dose of that very often, hence the impersonations, etc. His is the one voice we hear above all others, unfortunately, his will be the most ignored one in the future. This is a very sad situation.


Sean Randall Says:

A few things.

First, keep in mind – and I’m sure Uncle Toni may already have put this on the table to Rafa – with the rain the tournament has essentially become like an old Masters event where you play quarters, semis and then a best-of-five final all on consecutive days.

In this case Rafa played 2.5 sets today, will need 2.5 sets tomorrow and then play a best-of-five on Monday. He’s done it before on clay which should give him some hope. Murray could get there in less, so “freshness” may not be as great of a factor as it would seem. Clearly though they would both rather be in Roger’s shoes tonight.

Re: Roger’s request to play Rafa. I would say that’s just a mental ploy to get himself ready and in a better frame of mind if it is indeed Rafa who gets to the final. By saying he wants Rafa he’s programming his mind ahead of time that playing Rafa is a good thing.

If you are scared of heights it would be akin to repeating “I like high places, I like high places” over and over to yourself as you climb higher.

That said, I don’t think Fed fears Murray. Even though a Fed-Rafa final helps the sport more, Fed would rather beat Murray than lose to Rafa (I would hope).

And regarding Novak losing sleep over the crowd issue. I’m sure he is. He seems like the kind of guy who wants to win over the crowd. He wants to be a showman. Yet he is failing miserably as it right now and he knows it. Conversely, guys like Marcelo Rios or Lleyton Hewitt never really made the effort to befriend audiences, and subsequently hardly cared what anybody said and how loud the crowd booed. Novak’s not one of those guys (yet).


Branimir Says:

I am Nole’s fan, but he needs to smarten up. I don’t believe the crowd was reason he lost today, nor I believe it’s Feds brilliant play. Fed was somewhat above average, Nole was criminal at some moments, on others good, but nothing special. He has gone from very aggressive player to pusher.

Nole really needs to decide what he wants to be. For the guy who likes to be liked by majority (and likes attention), he is making very stupid decisions. He managed to go from one of the players crowd in NYC liked to most hated one in 2-3 minute interview. What was he thinking is beyond me.

What hurts me most is that I really believe that Nole is a nice guy, but he just keeps doing stupid things over and over again.

I used to defend Nole all the time, but can’t anymore. For the guy who is been playing pro tennis for 4-5 years, he should know that his brain should be way ahead of his mouth, but with Nole it is opposite.


TD (Tam) Says:

Hello everybody,

I am tired so a few quick words-

I think Novak cannot figure out if he wants to be the good guy or the bad guy. He is confused and does not know what his place is in the tennis heiarchy, its all roger this and rafa that. novak has been forgotten.

His outburst at the Roddick match was so very strange, to me he looked he was having a nervous breakdown of some kind. I think he needs rest most of all. I am sorry Andy could not play as well in the quarters as he had in the matches leading up to it. He shouldnt try to joke around with the Eastern European people they have proven themselves to be too defensive and humorless when the joke is on them.

Rafa is toasted. what little of the match I saw today he looked like he down for the count. Murry is playing out of his skin he’s lucky rafa is so tired from the past few months-

I’m weary of Federer winning the title. I can see already his fans are getting obnoxious and are sure to get worse if he wins again. :x


zola Says:

Sean
***If you are scared of heights it would be akin to repeating “I like high places, I like high places” over and over to yourself as you climb higher.
***

love your confidence in Rafa! but he still needs to win Murray first! The rain delay was great but I wish it came when Murray was serving, not Rafa!

Branimir,
what Novak did was not smart. But he said what he felt. He didn’t accuse anyone of anything. I think some people in the crowd will start warming up to him after some soul searching.


zola Says:

TD

***Rafa is toasted. what little of the match I saw today he looked like he down for the count. Murry is playing out of his skin he’s lucky rafa is so tired from the past few months-***

Oh man!
I know Rafa cannot win everything. No one can. and he has had a great summer. Murray is a great player. still, I want Rafa to win this match….I hope he gets some energy and some good advice from uncle Toni for tomorrow!

**I’m weary of Federer winning the title. ***
well, if he is playing Rafa I want Rafa to win. If he is playing Murray, I will be just watching tennis and will be happy with either of them winning. Fed will get one more slam and his 5th here and Murray will get his first slam win. Both very exciting. But the best will be for Rafa to win tomorrow!

VAmos RAfa!


TennisMasta Says:

It’s the USTA trying to work around their own rules that caused the late start of Rafa-Murray match. Ideally they should have started both at the same time if they had any plans of using Armstrong stadium (which they did). Had they started both matches at 11am, chances Murray-Nadal wuuld be complete by now, the finals can be played on Sunday on schedule, and USTA would have saved a bundle.


Ryan Says:

To TD(Tam)

For sure it’ll be worse…fed fans have been taking a whole lot of shitt this year from people like you. If you have that much of a problem with it then don’t come around here if fed wins.


blah Says:

About Federer’s comment of wanting Rafa. I think it’s half truth. What would be sweeter and more of a confidence booster if he defeated Rafa, but part of him probably wants no part of Rafa. Anyways, Rafa still has to come back from 2 sets down to Murray, and I doubt he would have any fuel left to do that, and if he does, then he probably would have nothing left against Federer.
If he does beat Federer however, I mean, he really would be a beast.


casper Says:

I’m a big fun of Rafa but I think the mountain he has to climb is too high even for him. I’d be surprised if won this match today-he looked out of it, had no answer to Murray’s serve and I fear the fact he takes time to get going in a match (normally he masses the first set and slowly starts regaining composure-this will not be the first set but the final set for him if he stays true to tradition).


punjab Says:

Federer can beat Nadal in the final. Why is that so hard to believe? Rafa is not perfect either. Looks like the NadalNuts and RafaRunts are just as guilty as the FedFanatics have been when it came to falling for the illusion of invincibility. Ups and downs abound, and Rafa will lose to Fed on a few more occasions. Your heads are getting too big. Be careful.


randy Says:

dude. do you even watch tennis regularly, or were a somewhat serious player at some point in your lifetime? your predictions and comments are so off. no wonder you thought djokovic was gonna beat federer. please stop writing about tennis since its obvious to any REAL tennis player/fan that you don’t know whats what


David Says:

Agree Randy. I considered Federer the favourite for this match, as did Djokovic. Despite Federer’s results this year, which have actually been quite good, I still consider Federer the best tennis player out there. Djokovic does not touch him when it comes to ability and Nadal has to literally bust a gut, running his legs off, to have a chance. If he were right handed, their matches would be a different story entirely.


Gordo Says:

I do agree with Sean that when forced to make the decision on who he would rather play post-match, when Federe said Rafa it was part of a mental ploy.

But just like how a fellow says he is looking forward to a blind date that he does as a favour for a friend – dreading what the date is going to look like – and then he discovers that she is a great person – I am sure that when Federer saw the first 2 1/3 sets of the other semi he now REALLY does want Rafa.

Rafa looks tired, and I think that even if he somehow pulls out a win over Murray Federer should dismantle him like he did in Hamburg last year.

For the life of me though for a group of people that supposedly love tennis – I still can’t figure out all you Fed-bashers. You are like the Boston RedSox “fans” who complained after their team won their first World Series in like 90 years that the team was riding in the wrong model of car in the victory parade. Sheesh!!!


grendel Says:

Sampraaz says (re Djokovic):”Or is it the fact that he bounces the ball 33 times before he serves just slightly annoying for his opponents and the fans? ” I think you’ll find that these days, Nadal bounces the ball more than Djokovic, before first serve, anyway. Djokovic actually has taken note of the criticisms of his delaying manoeuvres (unlike Nadal, who hasn’t shifted an inch), and he should be given credit.

Casper, I agree Nadal tends to be more vulnerable in the first set. But it is not always so. At Wimbledon, he came out storming against Murray, quite bewildering him, I thought. Surely that will be his tactic today – massive preparation, and then in, all guns blazing. I wonder if it might not be astute of Murray not to challenge too deeply for the first set today, given he’s a break down. Take his chances if they come, of course, but otherwise, save himself for the 4th. If the 3rd becomes a dog fight which Nadal wins, he’ll have found his rhythm one assumes, and then will be favourite to win 4th and 5th.


Voicemale1 Says:

The remaining match is Murray’s to lose, since he just needs one of the last 3 Sets. Most tour players have always said rain delays always help the more experienced player, especially when they’re behind. Murray’s career (as he admits) is one of employing what he understands to be the correct tactics against whomever he plays, as opposed to a Sampras or Edberg game that’s Serve & Volley, period. When a set of tactics like Murray’s pays off, as it did in the first two sets yesterday, he looks like the world beater. But when it starts to work less, his game has a “throw everything but the kitchen sink” look to it. His plan, clearly, was to disrupt the Nadal rhythm, keeping Nadal guessing as to what was coming next, and most importantly: stay away from those grinding, punishing rallies from the back court because he’ll lose 70% of those.

The problem for Murray now is that those adopted tactics yesterday have been exposed the world over because of the delay. Counter strategies have already been discussed, and if Murray goes out today trying to employ the same thing he’ll most likely find a completely different set of responses, not too many of which will be to his liking. Not to mention it’s pretty likely that Nadal will come out today in no mood to allow Murray to dictate the terms of how the match will be played – he’ll have his own number of counter strategies on how to take it to Murray.

So the delay helps the person losing most, because they have some time to reflect on changing a game plan that’s not working. For the person winning, well – what’s to change? You’re winning – and you don’t change a winning strategy. A delay to the person leading is usually a halt to their momentum, and nothing more than that. The odds are still well in Murray’s favor since he only has to win one of the last 3 Sets. But would it shock anyone if Nadal managed to find a way to win this, bleak as it looks for him now?


Vulcan Says:

True Nadal was losing the match…but Murray was losing the set and the momentum was with Nadal.
As far as the tactics go…what would you change if you were Nadal? Murray seemed to be doing the same thing he always does…mixing things up and then ripping unxpected winners out of nowhere.
The main difference is he was doing it better and Nadal was not defending well – he appeared sluggish in his responses. The only way Nadal can win this match is if Murray cools off a bit and ups the UFEs and Nadal brings more energy.


zola Says:

voicemale1

** His plan, clearly, was to disrupt the Nadal rhythm, keeping Nadal guessing as to what was coming next, and most importantly: stay away from those grinding, punishing rallies from the back court because he’ll lose 70% of those.***

I remember him saying that about another player too in his postmatch press conf. It seems Murray is evolving into a very smart tennis strategist with some good coaching and advice. with his added fitness and his attempts to stay calm on the court, I think he will stay in top 1-4 for a loooooong time.

He is certainly on a mission. He came to that match with a plan. You say it is exposed, but was it surprising? I have seen Nalbandian playing something like that against Rafa. He should have been prepared for that. How did he think Murray was going to play against him after losing the past 5 matches?

I didn’t see enough of the match, but those few games, Rafa seemed very tired to me. I hope I am wrong. The second set was close and he was up a break in the third. So a slow start, but maybe he got the plan and started changing his game. So the rain delay did not come in a good time. If me and you know it, Murray know it too that Rafa starts slow and he would want to break Rafa in his openning game, unless Rafa thinks about it too and play as aggressive as he can.

He also gets nervous and his service motion becomes tight. I hope it does not happen today.

well, very interesting and scary match today. I really reall hope for a Rafa win, although i know it might be a tough one to ask.


Vulcan Says:

As far as the match statistics go…the most telling are the fact that Nadal did not even get to see a break point until he broke in the 3rd set. Murray had a +10 winner ratio while Nadal’s was -3.

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/stats/day19/1601ms.html


Voicemale1 Says:

Vulcan Says:
“True Nadal was losing the match…but Murray was losing the set and the momentum was with Nadal.
As far as the tactics go…what would you change if you were Nadal? Murray seemed to be doing the same thing he always does…mixing things up and then ripping unxpected winners out of nowhere.”

I guess I have a tough time thinking a guy’s got momentum when he’s still down 2 sets, break up or not.

What would Nadal change? Stand in closer on the Murray First serve instead of standing 8 feet back. That would force Murray to have to stop mixing up the serve speeds like he has been and go for the huge First Serve more often, which presents Murray with a lot more risk to consider. Since only 60-65% of those would go in, not all would be aces, and Nadal would connect with a lot more of those. Not to mention that standing that far in on the 2nd Serve would give Nadal more opportunities to unload on those. Nadal’s been giving Murray too much leeway & authority on the serve, and allowing Murray to dictate & keep the points too short. By standing further in to block it back deep, it would force Murray to reply to the return a little more defensively, and then take charge of the point with Murray’s reply to the Nadal return. That would set up the back court rallies Nadal wants to play.

How’s that?


Vulcan Says:

Seems reasonable…I think the commentators also mentioned this in regard to him cutting off the angle of Murrays serve. There has been alot of speculation and discusion on Nadal’s ability to step in closer on hardcourts and play less defensively. From what I can tell he clearly has the timing to take the ball on the rise and return it with interest but it may just be that he has to be forced into a situation where he has to do that or else he will just revert to playing a clay court game on hard courts.


grendel Says:

Ah, 63% on first serve for Murray. Much more reasonable – still very good, though, by Murray’s own standards, and he’ll have a job repeating it tonight.


Sean Randall Says:

I have to still think that with the Murray-Nadal situation it’s advantage to Nadal with the rain carryover.

Had the matched finished yesterday Murray takes it. But the stoppage adds some new elements.

Again, Nadal gets 24 hours to retool his gameplan. Murray more to time to think about how well he played in those first two sets, and how he can conjure that magic up again and maintain that high level.

And just to throw out there, yesterday both players woke up expecting to play on Ashe and not on Armstrong where Rafa played how many matches there this year? Zero. Meanwhile Murray did have familiarity with that court.

And we know just how much Rafa likes his water bottles in order, his butt picked at the right time, etc., and I think having the match switch to Armstrong benefited Murray and disrupted Rafa’s routine.

With the match now in Ashe that should help Rafa mentally. Of course he has virtually no margin for error in the two set hole that he is in, but if he looks at it like as a new best-of-three set match that he has to win in straights, there’s no reason he can’t get through. He’s done it before.

Between the ears, it’s a new day, new court, new match for Rafa.

So do I think Rafa will do it? Tough to say. Really tough. Rafa is a slow starter and he could lose that break early. And Murray’s been playing really well and I think that two-set hole is just too deep for Rafa to overcome. I think if it does go to a fifth Rafa comes out on top. But the quicker court plus the lead should get Murray through. But he’s got to do it in three or four sets.


Vulcan Says:

The most likely outcomes for this match are:

1. Murray in 4
2. Murray in 3
3. Rafa in 5


zola Says:

Vulcan
lol! at your 1:23 pm comment. :)


Daniel Says:

The problem for Nadal is that he has been treaten in every single game he serves, this is very mentally exhausting, even for him. It was countless deuce games.
Deep down Muray knows he can break Nadal again and Nadal will only has this feeling if he can put pressure on Murrays serve, something like what Nadal feels on clay, He knows he will break the opponent. The second set should be Murrays sooner.

And Nadal is staying a lot far from the baseline, even to return second serves. His winners don’t look as flat as before and his deffense is not as accured with those 1 inch from the baseline shots. He will have to be more agressive and this can’t cost him some more Unforced errors.

I still has the feeling that this match is Murrays to lose! But Nadal is Nadal so…


Samprazzz Says:

I have to agree with Vulcan. I saw the Murray-Nadal match, and the momentum clearly shifted to Nadal in that 3rd set. Murray was beginning to miss his backhand drives that were going in in the first 2 sets, and Nadal’s wide serves were starting to bite more. Nadal is very much a momentum player. He keeps working until he’s got his roll going, and then he steam-rolls you. I thought, oh-oh, Murray is in trouble, and then the rain delay happened. I think the rain delay will help Murray much more. Nadal cannot change tactics that much. His game isn’t one of variety. To my mind, this match is up to Murray. If he can continue to serve lights out like he did in the first two sets, then Nadal is going to have a real tough time breaking him. In terms of Murray’s return game, he can stay with Nadal at the baseline enough to be able to get one break of serve per set. The match hinges on Murray’s first serve percentage. I think the rain delay gives him a good rest to be able to recharge and go back out there to serve well again. Had the match gone on, I doubt whether Murray could have kept up his serving for 4 or 5 sets in a row. I think Nadal would have taken that 3rd set, and then stormed back in two quick final sets with all the momentum.
I still think Nadal will come back and win simply because Murray tends to be a patchy player who throws in a bad game here and there. I don’t believe that Murray can keep his level up consistently enough. Plus, Nadal wasn’t playing his top form, his balls were landing short until the 3rd set. I think he’ll be better warmed up this time around and play his “A” game right from the beginning. Murray’s serve will desert him at least one game per set. That’s all Nadal will need.


mem Says:

if murray wins, I’ll be the first to applaud his efforts. however, I’ve seen it all before. a player comes out and proves that he can beat nadal, because for some strange reason, most players will give everything to beat rafa. those same players do not play federer or djokovic with the same aggression or intensity. why? i.e tonga in australia, and ferrer at the 2007 usopen. both players played out-of-their-minds against rafa. I’m curious, does it mean more to beat rafa than federer? I don’t know the answer, but, in my opinion, that’s probably a key reason why federer has remained so dominant. truth is, most players don’t play him with the same fierce competitiveness. if murray wins, I would love to see if he implements the same aggressive game plan or will he roll over and hand it to roger?


mem Says:

I agree, Daniel. Nadal is struggling on serve. I’m surprised he held to get to a tiebreak in the 2nd set. a lot of his returns are also landing short. if he can come out today serving better, returning better, it would put more pressure on andy. we will see!


Vulcan Says:

Hehe, Zola I think why are you laughing is because your’e thinking I was just listing the possible outcomes…of which there are 4…but remember…there are 4! possible permutations of those 4 outcomes (16 total)…and 3! of the 3 I chose for a total of 6 different ways that list can be chosen (if my math memory serves). So of the 6 I think that one is the most likely ;)


Vulcan Says:

Err correction 4! gives 24 possible permutations


Noel Says:

I think Rafa remains the favourite till he is actually beaten by Murray.Now that Nole has been ousted,I will say that for the final also if Rafa wins the sf.We have been expecting the ‘breakdown’ for quite some time but Rafa has continued to march on and on.Of course,it has helped that his path has been pretty easy in new york so far.Even the tremendous display by Querrey was good enough to only stretch Rafa.His physical and mental strength have probably been even more impressive than his improved game and I still expect him to find the will-power to turn the sf around.It is all about what Rafa brings to the court today.As much as I admire Murray’s amazing talent,I still think he doesn’t have the game-at least as of yet esp w.r.t. firepower-to beat Rafa if Rafa is playing at a high level.Admittedly,Murray played very smartly yesterday and served really well but Rafa was strangely sluggish and made some very uncharacteristic errors although some of them were due to the denial of any kind of rhythm from Murray.

Even though Murray also has a winning record against Fed,I’d like Murray to win this sf primarily because I won’t like the possibility of a third straight major loss for Fed at the hands of Rafa.I know that a final against Rafa will present Fed with an opportunity to undo some of the damage but the downside risk- esp in terms of longer term psychological repercussions-appears way too much for me to relish the prospect of another Fed-Rafa encounter in a major final.


Vulcan Says:

mem Says:

I’m curious, does it mean more to beat rafa than federer?

Im sure the players all think about Rafa’s mental toughness and know coming into the match that they are going to have to battle to the very end to win a match against him…he’s not going to go away. This applies day in and day out against Nadal. Against Federer, it’s more a question of if hes simply going to crush the opponent on that given day…if he is many opponenets are likely to fade away early…but now more than ever players know that if they can win the first set against him they might have a chance at a semi-comfortable victory.


David Says:

mem

Nadal has a more defensive game with his loopy topspin, so it’s easier to tee off on his shots. He also gets a lot more balls back, so opponents have to keep going at it until they break through. Federer and Djokovic are more aggressive players, so it’s not so easy to run them around. It’s more likely they will be running you around. This is why their matches look different.


Vulcan Says:

Talking about flat out hard court tennis…check out the Djokovic-Cilic match..those guys were absolutely just standing on the baseline and crushing flat balls back and forth with long rallies…some of the hardest continous hitting ive ever seen.


Colin Says:

I don’t know how much attention Americans would pay to Jeff Turango’s opinions but…
He’s doing commentary on BBC Radio, and when the other commentator mentioned Rafa having a chance to talk tactics with his team, Jeff said he doesn’t think they have any tactics other than Nadal going out, playing his game, and steamrollering the opposition as usual. I hope he’s right!
Like others, I wonder if Murray can possibly get in that “zone” again today. Even if he doesn’t, and loses the match, he’s proved he can play top-level tennis.


Daniel Says:

Vulcan,

totally agree with the above. I even mentioned that Fed couldn’t handle the power those two presented. Not even in Safin’s good days (I will beat harder then you, bring it on) I saw the ball so fast.


grendel Says:

Sampraaz makes a number of points, all of which seem to me correct, and I’ve taken the liberty of making a precis. 1a: momentum with Nadal when rain; 1b:as a rider to that, Nadal’s game was coming good, Murray’s going slightly off. 2a: once Nadal is on, Murray has to continue high serving percentage to win thru 2 or 3 more sets – unlikely.3a: rain gives Murray chance to start again with serve but, likely to have one patchy game per set – enough for Nadal to pounce. 3b: Unlike yesterday, Nadal will start on “A” game. Conclusion: Nadal likely winner. Rider: (1)one assumption is made, basically that Nadal is more or less superhuman, and that everything that should go right with him will go right. Somehow, that doesn’t seem as unreasonable as it should. (2) Murray’s excellent return of serve has not been considered. But that could be key.

God, I hope so. Federer/Nadal again. Masochism!


Vulcan Says:

Daniel, yep, the only guy that I think is capable of hitting the ball harder consistently than those two were is Jane’s horse Gulbis…the first set against Roddick made me a believer in his talent and power. I used to think Gonzo hit the ball hard but Gulbis takes it to yet another level.


Samprazzz Says:

Grendel, right back at you, brother. I was somewhat miffed that Murray wasn’t using his excellent return of serve inside the baseline against Rafa. Even though Murray has had some success against Rafa in this match by standing back at the fence to return, if I were him, I’d be standing inside the baseline a-la Agassi, and crunch back the returns to gain control of the point, like Murray did against Djokovic this summer. It could be that Rafa’s spin is just too heavy and unpredictable. But by standing so far back, he’s giving Rafa the wide serve, which I thought Rafa began to capitalize on starting in the 2nd set. If Murray stands so far back again, I’m betting that Nadal’s going to be prepared for it this time, and eat him alive with wide serves. I’m sure that’s one of the key points that Tony and Rafa discussed during the delay.
I would like to see Nadal play Federer, simply because you know it’s going to be a good match. With a first time grandslam finalist like Murray, you never know- often times they’re too nervous and get steamrolled.


Vulcan Says:

I’m wondering if Nadal hasnt created some unrealistic expectations of his abilities with that 5 set win over Federer at Wimbledon.
To think that he is the actual favorite in this match…on hard courts…against Murray…down 2 sets…to me is really looking at him as superhuman. He has to walk a tightrope and not flinch even once to pull it off…a big ask considering hes only what 22? and he flinched at least a couple of times when trying to win his first W title…so again…possible…but IMO unlikely…if he does it…I like his chances of winning the entire tournament because it just seems like the adrenaline is pumping in full flow when he goes up against Federer.


David Says:

Daniel

Please, get real. Federer has a bigger forehand than both Djokovic and Cilic. I think Gulbis hits bigger, but lacks consistency and variety. At the end of the day, it’s not important to have the biggest. It’s better to have the most devastating and Federer’s forehand is peerless in this department. I mean look at Roddick, he has a big serve, but it was Federer who won the most free points against Djokovic on his.


Gordo Says:

Gee, guys and gals – wouldn’t it be great if there were rain delays after every set in every match in a Slam? That way we could all come in here and speculate and guess and boast and claim we know what’s going to happen and project and continue the TOTALLY MEANINGLESS CHATTER about who might win. So help me, if there are any more rain delays I will erect a roof over Ashe Stadium myself, just so we can all GET ON WITH IT.

I am seeing alot of comments about how Federer is lying when he says he wants to meet Rafa in the final. I think he means it – a) Because Champions welcome adversity – it is the level of their opponents that make them and their accomplishments great, and 2) He has visited this website and he knows there are a dozen bloggers in here who have been saying if he were to beat Murray tomorrow it really wouldn’t count because there is no way he could beat Rafa.

Puhleeeeeeze!!! Somebody get me to the medicine cabinet.


Samprazzz Says:

Gordo, you pretend that you’re above this discussion, but deep down you love it!

David wrote:
“At the end of the day, it’s not important to have the biggest. It’s better to have the most devastating”
That’s what my wife tells me when she compares me to her prior lovers. But let’s face it, I know she’s lying to make me feel better.


Daniel Says:

Yes David, no doubt about that! Fed won’t let those big hiiters gets what they want. I was just pointing that both Cilic and Djoko decided to hit the ball hard and that was insane.

There was a point in Fed x Djoko match that they exchange 3 or 4 hard forehands and Djoko missed. I liked that too! :)

Samprazzz, priceless!! :)


grendel Says:

Samprazzz: kindly get onto Murray immediately (you have perhaps 10 minutes) and tell him to on no account stand so far back when returning, and to remember Agassi!


Ra Says:

Am I the only person who thinks that an extra day may be hurting Federer? In light of his variable form over the year, I’d have rather seen him play today considering the semifinal was the best display of tennis I’ve seen from him since he played Nalbandian on clay earlier in the year. I hope that he can keep the rhythm he’s been building and really does peak out in the final despite the delay.

As far as Rafa’s level of fatigue goes, I’m not sure one day will make much of a difference. That guy has played so much tennis and has been the last man standing so many times over the past several months, that it seems like at this stage he’ll either be able to dig deep or he won’t. I’m sure he could stand a month to recuperate. In any case, though, he’ll have had do work hard to pull out a comeback over 5 sets, and that could definitely factor into his emotional energy.

I was going to address Murray’s condition, too, but now the match is about to start.

Oh yeah, and even in the face of how painful it was to watch Novak’s rant the other night, the guy seems to keep growing on me. More on that later, perhaps…


Michael gaobest Says:

I really think it’s unfair that Rafa/Murray start at 4pm EST on Sunday, with the winner playing a very refreshed Roger Federer at 5pm EST on Monday. Considering the excitement of night matches, why can’t the US Open Men’s Final start at 7pm or even later on Monday night? It ensures more rest for the winner of today’s SF so that if Federer wins, at least he can claim that his opponent got somewhat decent rest. Of course it’s too much to ask the SF start at 1pm, since it probably interferes with CBS’ precious schedule…

Either way, it seems a bit unfair that one finalist gets a lot of rest for the final whereas the other one gets about half the amount. Of course it’s also the nature of the US Open final and Super Saturday – something that all players accept when they sign on for this tournament. When Sampras lost in ’00/’01, I don’t know if he had played the first or second SF the day before. I wonder if it made any difference. I remember Agassi playing the 2nd SF in ’02 and then losing the first two sets against Sampras in the final. But there’s a difference between one extra day of rest and a few extra hours of rest…

I’m a huge Rafa fan and would love to see him win it all; that said, it would be lovely if Murray won his first GS or if Federer could “salvage” the second half of his year with this and yet another Masters Cup title. I just wish that Federer didn’t get the weather advantage.

Michael


Samprazzz Says:

6-4 Rafa! But Murray looks razor sharp! Didn’t think the kid could come out guns blazing again, but he’s doing it. Rafa’s going to have to play tops to beat him. Should be good 4th set.


Leftykick Says:

Nadal has come out playing very agressively. He is trying to win the point at the earliest opportunity.

Murray cannot afford to play posum, as Brad Gilbert might say. As sharp as Murray is looking he needs to be sharper and more agressive – soon!


Daniel Says:

Well after the second game in the third set, this match is over. Nadal will win it with an easy fifth set.

I am starting my mental preparation for another Fed x Nadal!


Sean Randall Says:

Wow! Murray flinches. Five break chances blown in Nadal’s first service game of the fourth. He then follows by getting broken at love following four poor errors.

The match was on Murray’s racquet. Shades of Gulbis-Roddick. Let’s see if Murray can regroup mentally, but it’s going to be tough from here to get another look as good as that for the Scot.

One more thing to add, Murray does not close matches well.


Daniel Says:

4th set, sorry. Told ya, Nadal nreaks for 0-40!


TA (Tom) Says:

Nadal comes from 0-30 to hold for 3-1. And Sean, Nadal actually saved 7 break points! Two when down 15-40, and 5 when Murray had advantages. He should be able to win now


sherose Says:

i don’t care who wins nadal/murray final. i just want federer to win the tournament. they’re all great players, but we obviously have our fvt player to win.


Daniel Says:

Wow!! Nadal gave Murray his birthday present in advance, 2 errors at 40-40 to return the break, and now Murray won a sensational ball to close the game. Nadal will serve 3-4 and the momentum is all Murray. Indeed, a lot of drama in this match!! :)


sherose Says:

one more thing. federer seems to get bashed if he wins because fans of other players are tired of him winning, and he gets bashed if he loses because then fans of other players say hes not as good as them. it seems 2b a no win situation and as i said, i am a federer fan, always will b, but i totally respect all the other players tennis skills.


Daniel Says:

Murray is again 2 points of winning! 40-40


Daniel Says:

Sensational match so far, awesome!


Daniel Says:

Murray wins it!!! Congrats, fist Grand Slam final.

Curiosity: when was the last time somebody beat two differents world number 1 in the same season?!


Michael gaobest Says:

Wow. The end of the SF was amazing – Murray deserved to win in the end with his great points and plays.

It’s amazing to think that both Nadal and Murray have winning records against Federer! But… Federer’s win against Murray was in a final :D

I really wanted Rafa to win it all, but hope that Murray gets enough rest so that the final isn’t a massacre. It’d be so amazing if Murray wins the US Open!

Michael


jane Says:

ALRIGHT Andy Murray! Great Match. Now win the whole damn thing would you? First British player to win a slam in how many gazillion years? Be a great story. Murray mound would become Murray mountain. The British would begin to don kilts in honor of their man. Knighthood around the corner! ;-)

Good match. Enjoy the final people.


S Green Says:

Congratulations to Murray !
That was very high level tennis. Both played a great match.
That point before the match point was simply one of the best ever!


Vulcan Says:

That was some finale for that match…it could of easily fizzled out and been a quick win for Murray. Nadal basically spent the entire time dodging bullets. And that point before match point…Murray simply would not let go.


Mary Says:

“Curiosity: when was the last time somebody beat two differents world number 1 in the same season?!”

Well, if you are posting about the WTA, then probably within the past week or so.


Rimaille Says:

Interesting feat.: Federer reached 3 Grand Slam Finals this year (and 1 semi-final), while Nadal reached “only” 2 GS finals and 1 semi-final.


Vulcan Says:

It is a shame that Nadal didnt make it to the final…it would of been ironic if Federer was the man to prevent him from making history just as Nadal has prevented him from doing at the French…anyway my pick for Federer to win the whole thing still stands firmly.


Michael gaobest Says:

One interesting trivial fact is how Nadal has done better this USO compared to last year so will actually gain more points, whereas RFed needs to win to maintain his points.

And for those who still can’t picture RFed as GOAT, one other fact is the reminder that he still made it to the finals in 3 surfaces this year – including yesterday’s win over Djoko. Although I doubt RFed can win the French, and even if he never wins another slam, he still has made SFs or better in almost every major (plus Masters Cup) for 4 straight years. Other than Connors winning USO on 3 surfaces, who else has come close to RFed’s stat in the Open era (yes, please tell me!) :D

I am sure someone must have beaten two different #1s in a season, but I’ve no idea who! I’ll check ATP and respond shortly (if applicable).

Michael


Leftykick Says:

Magnificent Murray!

Can you believe that I suffered a power cut during the early part of the fourth set!!!
Luckily my electricity was restored before the end of the match.

My pick to win the whole thing was the winner between Murray and Del Potro and that still stands. He can go all the way now.

Definitely worth a Knighthood if he wins.


Leftykick Says:

Interestingly, Murray wears Fred Perry clothing and he was the last British man to win a grand slam singles title. a good omen :-)


grendel Says:

Now I can watch the final, for once, without danger of stroke, aggravating ulcer, heart attack, alienating the neighbours, alienating the family, alienating myself, and a few other things. Would like Fed to win, but it’s ok if Murray does. First British finalist since Fred Perry (who became American), oh, 70 odd years ago. Before anyone says, Rusedski is no more British than Navratilova is American – his tennis was learnt in Canada. The key to Murray is that he isn’t English, when did you last see an English tennis player with fire in his belly – but we British like to borrow the Scots when it suits us.


vw Says:

Go Murray.


grendel Says:

That doesn’t make sense: I should have said “We English”, not “We British”.


Michael gaobest Says:

OK finally found ONE stat – in 1990, Becker beat Edberg and Lendl when both were #1. Still trying to see if I can find more :D That was 15 minutes well spent… oh and in 1995, Agassi and Sampras beat each other when the victor was #2 and the loser #1, but…

Michael


NachoF Says:

This feels a lot like last year’s final…. a youngster (Djokovic 07) that had already beaten Federer earlier in the year (Djokovic had beatn Federer at Montral in 07) faces him again at the US Open final…. we all know how that turned out :):):)


Colin Says:

For a long time Murray fans have wondered if and when he would get his head right and make the most of his talents. Today was the day he proved that was achieved. I didn’t think Federer would even reach the final, after his recent losses to Karlovic and Blake, whom he’d have slaughtered in his prime. The general opinion seems to be that he wasn’t quite back to his incredible best in his semi, and I therefore think Murray could well win the final. I’ve run out of fingers to cross, so I’ll start crossing my toes!


YY Says:

Nadal won 2 finals and reached 2 GS semis. Even if Fed wins the USO, Nadal’s GS record for the year is way better.

Interesting final! Hope it will be close and not a completely lopsided affair unless it is a Murray win! :)


Vulcan Says:

Colin Says:

after his recent losses to Karlovic and Blake, whom he’d have slaughtered in his prime

Hehe, slaughter Karlovic?
Virtually every set they have ever played has gone to a tiebreaker…but yeah he does have a good H2H against him.


Von Says:

GOOD JOB ANDY MURRAY. I think I can hear the British squeals of delight emitting from my computer. The decibel level has gone up to the 100th exponent. Watch out “The british are Coing!”

Mary, sounds like the early days of our country, yes? Now, all we need are the horses and the Boston Tea party to complete the scenario.

Colin, are you smiling? I’m so happy for ‘our” Andy, and yes, I have 2 Andys; one Smerican and one British. I enjoy the best of both worlds. Can we break out some Pomp and Circumstance now, or is it too soon? Maybe, Elizabeth will shed her hat and handbag. LOL :P

GO MURRAY, GO!!! KEEP TH GOOD OE UNION JACK A FLYIN!!!!


Von Says:

Sorry typo. I guess my exuberance got the better of me. My sentence: “Watch out “The british are Coing!”
Should read: “The British are Coming!!”

I’m so excited and haaaaaaaaaaaaaaapypppyyy.


Von Says:

Mary, with the red hair and Irish temper. Now I’ll tell you my story about the cab driver, since you had previousl shared yours with me.

I’d been living in the US for a couple of years, and my English accent was very discerbnible. I got into a cab at night after work in NYC, and was so scared, I began babbling like a child to the cab driver, who was not too eager to talk. Anyway, I barely picked up an accent, which I thought was Irish, and asked him if he was Irish. The guy lost it, and told me I was a dumb English broad who didn’t know sh*t, and what the hell was wrong with me; can’t I tell the difference between a Scotsman and a drunk Irishman. Ay, yay, ya, yay. That was the last time I ever asked anyone about their nationality, and struck up conversation with e cab driver. Another one gave me a nationality I didn’t have and when I denied not being of that nationality, told me I shouldn’t be so eager to disown my country — I should be proud of it. He was Irish. :P

BTW, thanks for the info on the NYC subsway. When I left NYC the roundtrip fare was $3.00 roundtrip. But I’m not doing much better in Florida — my car uses premium gas and costs $4.00 per gallon. I use 1 gall each way = $8.00. Anyway, I’d take travelling in my car as opposed to the NYC Subway system anyday. Talk to you later. :D


Leftykick Says:

Von,

Wow, you are excited!!!
How will you react if he actually wins the thing???

This is the final that I wanted. I can relax and marvel in the feast of tennis that these two will no doubt serve up in the final.

…of course I still want the Brit to win – come on Andy!

Keep your toes crossed Colin.


Von Says:

Leftykick:

“Von, Wow, you are excited!!!
How will you react if he actually wins the thing???”

You betcha!! Do you know what it’s like to read the incessant Rafa chatter and have to swallow it as if he’s the only tennis player on the planet? Additionally, I have to gulp a lot when the other Andy (Roddick) gets lambasted if he even dares to breathe? So this feels sooooooo good, but i’ll probably get stomped on sometime before the day is out, so let me indulge my senses however long it lasts. England is my mother country — I adopted America since I lived my entire adult life in the US, but I still get all misty-eyed everytime I hear “God Save the Queen’ and “I Vow to Thee my Cuntry”. Tim henman broke my heart so many, many times — I happy that the brits now have another tennis player.

Now Andy M, go out there and put British tennis back into the running — you’ll get some more Perry clothes/shoes.


Von Says:

Leftykick:

“This is the final that I wanted. I can relax and marvel in the feast of tennis that these two will no doubt serve up in the final.”

You can tell I’m so excited i forgot to comment on your above sentence. Yes, now well’s see some great tennis, with sweet shots, but that’s dependent on Federer, whether he’ll come out blazing or being content to just push the ball back into the court. At least we won’t see the ‘war of attrition’ tennis we see in the finals of GS over the last 3 years.

This is the final that I wanted. I can relax and marvel in the feast of tennis that these two will no doubt serve up in the final.

“…of course I still want the Brit to win – come on Andy!”

Of course, and you know that goes without saying on my end.

“Keep your toes crossed Colin.”

How’s Colin going to keep his toes crossed; he’ll fall down if he attempts to walk. :P

…of course I still want the Brit to win – come on Andy!


Von Says:

sorry for the many typos. I need to calm down.


Leftykick Says:

Steady on Von, I feel another spelling correction coming on :-)

“I Vow to Thee my Cuntry”

Being born in England I feel the same way. I just hope that win or lose he gets the credit for his achievement in getting to a slam final. Sometimes I feel that in England if you dont win Wimbledon, even if you win other big tournaments abroad, then you are counted as a failure ie Tim Henman.


Samprazzz Says:

Well done, Andy Murray!!! Didn’t think he could pull it off. Very interesting strategy, running down Nadal’s balls, and basically counter-punching Nadal. It forced Nadal to try to get to the net to finish points, and clearly, Nadal was not able to move forward consistently. I’m a little surprised that Nadal didn’t go at the Murray forehand a little more. Especially serving at the deuce court, anytime Nadal kicked it out wide to Murray’s forehand, Murray was way too far back and leaning the other way. Bottom line, Murray’s defense was too good, and Nadal’s shots couldn’t penetrate often enough. Amazing play from Murray, if he plays as well against TheRog, he’s got a shot. However, Rog isn’t going to let Andy get away with standing that far back on the serve return, he can pick the corners on his serve. Also, Murray won’t be able to run down Rog’s forehand like he did to Nadal. Murray’s going to have to play more aggressively- I predict a straight set win for Rog. Then again, I was wrong about Murray in this match too.


Von Says:

Leftykick:

“Steady on Von, I feel another spelling correction coming on

“I Vow to Thee my Cuntry””

It has alredy arrived. I need to do spellcheck. Would you believe that i actually know how to spell, but am careless because this is just a blog. And, just look at the spelling error, if you know what I mean. I’m winking!! :) LOL. I’m laughing so much at myself. Have you ever done that — I mean really laugh at yoursllf? I do it all of the time. I’m in stitches here.

Glad to know that we’re almost the same — we’ve adopted other countries. Yay, I spelt it correctly this time — “countries”. I’m now going to hear one of Pavlov’s bells ringing each time I write that word. LOL. :P It’s all so very, very funny. :D


Von Says:

Leftykick:

“I feel that in England if you dont win Wimbledon, even if you win other big tournaments abroad, then you are counted as a failure ie Tim Henman.”

That’s because it’s THEIR GS. It’s the same for the American players and the USO. I loved “Gentleman Jim” and am so sorry he didn’t win Wimby. Now he’s what you’d call a “classy” guy. So suave, sophisticated, debonair and boyishly goodlooking. I’m lost for more descriptive words. :P

Top story: Djokovic v Murray Halloween Friday In Paris; Raonic, Ferrer Fighting For Final London Berth
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ATP - Oct 27 WTA - Oct 27
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
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5 Tomas Berdych5 Ana Ivanovic
6 David Ferrer6 Agnieszka Radwanska
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