USO: Not this time
#1 verses #2 in the US Open final, that hasn’t happen since the Samprass/Aggasi days. Then, it was the #2 who ended up winning. But this is hard-court and one that requires non-stop aggressive play. When confident, Rafa can do that. When not? It’s damn tough. Add to that a player oozing confidence and no visible weaknesses, and it’s not good. Rafa fought, he fought hard, but it just wasn’t enough. Djokovic wins his first US Open: 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||68%||66%|
|1st Serve Points Won||50/96 (52%)||55/84 (65%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||19/45 (42%)||19/43 (44%)|
|Break Points Won||6/14 (43%)||11/26 (42%)|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||69/141 (49%)||74/127 (58%)|
|Total Return Points Won||53/127 (42%)||72/141 (51%)|
|Total Points Won||122/268 (46%)||146/268 (54%)|
|Net Approaches||13/17 (76%)||31/47 (66%)|
|Fastest Serve Speed||128 MPH||126 MPH|
|Average 1st Serve Speed||107 MPH||111 MPH|
|Average 2nd Serve Speed||81 MPH||86 MPH|
Some stuff that happened:
Just to muck with everyone’s mind, Rafa won the toss and elected to serve. It worked as he held and then broke Nole in his first game. In the very next game, his 1st serve abandoned him and he went down triple break point. He saved two, but then sent a forehand long, and we were back on serve. In the next game, Rafa had 3 break points, but failed to convert. Short balls and a forehand error and Nole earned a break point on the next game. He ran Rafa all over the place and broke for a 3-2 lead. Rafa pushed the game to deuce in the next game, but Nole held for 4-2. Nole went up triple break point in the next game. Rafa saved two, but netted a backhand on the 3rd and Nole was up 5-2. Nole serve it out: 6-2.
Rafa held to start the 2nd set. Much like the first set, Rafa then took the 1st two points on Nole’s serve. Nole sent a forehand long and Rafa had triple break point. On his third break point, Rafa sent a smoking forehand winner and broke for 2-0. The next game was impossibly long with Nole earning and saving many break points. He double faulted to another one and then had three clear chances to finish a rally, but let Nole off the hook each time. Nole broke to put things back on serve and then held with ease. Down 15-30 in the next game, Rafa couldn’t get to a second serve return winner from Nole. Follow that with a double fault and Nole’s up a break: 3-2. Nole again held with ease: 4-2. With Nole serving at 4-3, Rafa hit a beauty of a backhand down the line passing shot to break and put the set back on serve. For the third time in the match, however, Nole broke back to give himself a chance to serve for the set which he did.
Rafa held at love to start set 3. Nole followed suit. In the third game, down 30-40, a long rally ended with Rafa hitting a forehand wide; Nole broke for a 2-1 lead. Rafa broke back to put them on serve, but, like every previous time, was broken in the next game. During the next service game, Nole started stretching his back a bit. He double faulted to triple break point and Rafa broke at love with a fierce winner. With more winners, he went on to consolidate his break to stay on serve. Rafa had his chances in the next game, but both players kept holding until the 10th game in which Nole broke to go up 6-5. A few loose shots from Nole in the next game and Rafa broke to force a tiebreak. Which Rafa won. Somehow. But it was amazing. And I screamed.
Nole had a bit of a massage for his back.
After Nole held to start the 4th set, he took a full MTO for the back issue. Rafa forgot how dangerous an injured man who needs to end things NOW can be and Nole broke. Rafa held nicely for 1-4. Nole held easily – to me it looked like Rafa was having some trouble with his hamstring. Nole broke again for a 5-1 lead.
Updated to put some stuff in bold since it took no time at all for people to bring it up:
BTW, if I hear one person say that Nole faked the back issue and it was convenient how well he played after the MTO, I’ll ask you to prove to me that you said the same thing about Rafa at Wimbledon. There is nothing more dangerous than an injured player who needs to win NOW and has the shots to fire at will. I’m trying to be with colm, accusations won’t help, and am likely to be rude. Enough said.