Tuesday, September 11, 2012

U.S. Open over and out

Wow, what a match!  When I saw the wind once again and how that was affecting play in the first few games I really didn't know what to expect.  Novak Djokovic was obviously out of sorts from the start, not able to figure out how to overcome this disruption to his style of play.  It turned out to be a see-saw affair, however, as one would take advantage while the other was down, only to see the other turn it around.  Their rallies they had were incredible, with the longest being a 54-shot rally, and several in the 30s.  Even when they ended with an error, often from the wind, it didn't diminish the, dare I say, ridiculousness of what they were accomplishing!

The first set tiebreak was incredible!  I had stupidly scheduled my own tennis match that day, thinking surely there wouldn't be a Monday final for the fifth year in a row.  I needed to leave during the tiebreak but I thought maybe I could get through it and be a couple minutes late.  When Murray hit a fairly easy ball into the net on set point at 6-7 I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish it and had to wait through my own match (walking past the TV in the club with everyone gathered around without looking).  Talk about having problems concentrating on my match with that going on (though I did manage to win our first long set and leave it on serve in the second).  I digress - that tiebreak was very important for Murray's confidence and belief that he could do it.  I won't go through each set, but when he lost the 4th, with Djokovic rallying and taking control in the 3rd and 4th sets, I was getting pretty nervous for him that he was going to go away in the 5th.  He came out with fierce determination, however.  I can almost see his mind working, that he is NOT going to lose again.  He came out the much stronger player and Novak was obviously losing energy, surprising for someone who has played incredible back-to-back matches of endurance in previous majors.  Murray held strong through the whole set, really not showing any nerves, and closed it out at 6-2.  With a very muted celebration, and some hidden tears, Andy Murray finally stopped the drought of Great Britain grand slam winners and became the fourth different man to win a major in 2012.

Though I'm certainly not a big Murray fan, I really wanted him to win this one and get past this huge hurdle in his career.  So now we will have four long months to wonder who is going to emerge in Australia (assuming they get this pay issue worked out) after each of the big 4 winning one this year.  It will be truly fascinating.  And before that, who will end up as #1 at the end of the year?  Will Roger have the energy to defend all those points from last year and hold on to #1?  Or will this loss kick Novak into gear to try to have a strong finish to the year and gain it back?  It all remains to be seen.

 And I would be remiss not to mention Serena's great win on Saturday.  I was so pleased that this wasn't just another blow-out women's final, which gets so boring!  Victoria Azarenka really fought back and made it a great match.  Surely she must have been disappointed that she wasn't able to close things out when she served for it, but she also knew Serena is a fighter and wouldn't let it go easily.  I think they each did themselves proud and gave the New York crowd a great women's final.  Good to see some Americans come through, along with the Bryan Brothers winning their 12th grand slam trophy and breaking the record for the most major wins.

Time to take a bit of a tennis hiatus with some family stuff going on for the next week.  We'll see if I even get any Davis Cup watched or not.  All in all it was a great U.S. Open in spite of the disappointment of Roger losing in the quarters, and looking forward to next month already!

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