a few notes on the 2007 U.S. Open

10 09 2007

I’m going to make a few notes on the (tennis).  It was a great event, with lots of drama, and, as usual, was great “reality” TV (because you really don’t know what will happen).

In the fourth round, lefty took the first set off , then at one set apiece beginning the third set, Federer was in a 0-40 hole.  From that point on, he decided he wasn’t going to be broken again, and he won 35 straight points on his serve!  How amazing is that?  That is dominating!  And of course he won that match.

In the quarterfinals, lost to , and Serena should’ve skipped the post-match press conference or at least taken some time to cool off and relax, because she said things like this :

“I just think she made a lot of lucky shots and I made a lot of errors.” ~ Serena Williams

Serena did make a number of unforced errors, but there’s no need to disrespect her opponent.  Justine Henin is only the #1 ranked women’s tennis player, and she made it through the whole tournament without losing a set (which she also did at the French Open this year).  So it’s really stupid to say she won because of “lucky shots”.  She was the best women’s tennis player this year.  Someone in Serena’s camp needs to help her gain some perspective and learn some tact.  This is becoming commonplace for her, and it doesn’t help her reputation.

played extremely well in his quarterfinal match against world #1 Roger Federer.  There wasn’t a break of serve until the third set.  So even though Federer won in straight sets 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-2, it was a lot closer than that.  I hope Roddick feels encouraged by his effort and results (once the disappointment wears off), and that he keeps trying to improve.

The men’s final was really unique and suspenseful.  couldn’t break through on the seven set points he had, and Federer won in straight sets.  For whatever reasons, Federer didn’t play well (by his standard) for most of the match, but he raised the level of his game when it mattered most.  Djokovic is now #3 in the world, and he’s only 20 years old.  I suspect he will take over #2 next year, passing .  He beat Federer earlier this year, and he gave him plenty of trouble in the U.S. Open final.  But as long as Federer can find that “extra gear” he has — which no one else has — he can win any match against any opponent.

While on the subject of tennis, if Roger Federer were American, he’d be considered one of the top athletes of all-time here.  He would be making tens of millions more in advertising contracts, and his face would be on countless magazines.  But because he’s not American, he gets largely ignored on SportsCenter and other American media, which is a shame.  Federer is creating history, dominating a difficult sport in a way no one ever has before, yet many Americans lament the state of American tennis.  The problem isn’t American tennis — we have two players in the Top 10, which is incredible for a global sport — the “problem” is that Federer is the type of player you see once in a lifetime, and he is hogging most of the trophies.  Andy Roddick would most likely have several Grand Slams if it weren’t for Federer.  Why do worldwide sports get neglected so much in American media?  An example is the women’s semifinals — ‘ match gets mentioned (presumably because she’s American), but the other semifinal wasn’t mentioned at all on SportsCenter.  What’s up with that?  The U.S. Open is a huge event, having two-week attendance over 700,000, watched by millions on TV, is even in New York City, yet gets largely ignored compared to the other sports.  At least we can see some tennis on TV, particularly the Grand Slams, even if it’s difficult to see highlights of the matches we miss.

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