Tag: us open
Looking as strong as ever, the US Open defending champion managed to outplay the Argentinean in three straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4, to earn his 10th consecutive trip into a Grand Slam semifinals. But despite what you might make out of the overwhelming three set win, Del Potro had a fabulous game against the Serb. The match included a thrilling 20-stroke game that could have only come from a matchup between two previous US Open Championship. Some dozen shots into the play, Del Potro sprinted with his back to the court, got to the ball and lofted a lob the other way. It was a miracoulous save. Djokovic responded with a slamming overhead. Del Potro somehow kept the ball in play right in front of the net. Djokovic laced a drop shot. Again, del Potro got there, attempting another lob. This time, it landed a little long.
This was the turning point of the matchup. Del Po was never able to get back into the game after this point. Juan Martin del Potro had defeated Novak Djokovic on their previous matchup as both went on head to head for the bronze medal in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. At the end, when it came to the bigger stage, it was the Djoker making the best out of that matchup. “We played some incredible rallies and incredible points,” the second-seeded Djokovic said. “It’s always entertaining, always so much fun, playing in these night sessions.” This was by far the first real test for Novak in the 2012 US Open. Let’s not forget that for the better part of the tournament, Djokovic just kept on rolling over his opponents. As a matter of fact, he hasn’t loss a single set yet.
But if anyone was going to give him a fight, a run for his money, that was going to be the tall and slender Argentine that kept on smacking down 100 mph forehands. Just to put this into the right perspective, consider for a moment that Djokovic’s and del Potro’s second set alone lasted 84 minutes. That is, 11 more minutes than the Djoker’s entire first round match last week. It is really a shame that Argentinean player has not been able to reach his full potential since he last won the tournament at Flushing Meadows. Injuries have really kept him from staying constant in the tour. Let’s not forget that he was sidelined for most of the 2010 season because of a right wrist injury that required surgery. Last year he had some issues with his lower back and to make things more complicated earlier this year he had problems with his left wrist, an injury that has limited the effectiveness of his two-fisted backhand.
Djokovic will now face the fourth-seeded David Ferrer in the semifinals on Saturday. Ferrer had to rely heavily on his speed and skill to defeat eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in 4 hours, 31 minutes. The other quarterfinal will be played between Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray and Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who pulled off an amazing upset over Roger Federer last night. Stay tuned for more action at the 2012 US Open.
Rhyne Williams is a 21-year-old qualifier into the US Open at Flushing Meadows. He was thrilled to be playing his first ever Grand Slam tournament. Rhyne had a decent run earlier this season, and the 2011 runner-up of the NCAA title, had been invited into the Open. He actually won three matches in the qualifying stages of the US Open and was maybe hoping that he could make it pass the first round. Though luck I guess, because Williams had to face No. 28th ranked player in the world, and he just simply didn’t hold a chance against the 30-year-old veteran Andy Roddick. Sure enough, Roddick’s career hasn’t really reached it’s full potential because of the series of injuries that have one after another affected his game over the years. One thing is clear though: despite the years, the injuries his serve is still without par in the tour. He finished off a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win against Williams with 20 aces. Oh yeah, and he finished it off with style. He shot a 141mph ace to close the first set; a 134mph ace to close the second; a 127mph bullet to close the third.
Then again, we have to remember one thing: Roddick knows exactly what it takes to win the championship. After all, he is the 2003 US Open, and he knows he has to rely heavily on his serve now that he is playing against other players who once used to cheer for him. Let’s not forget that by the time Roddick won his last Grand Slam, Rhyne Williams of Knoxville, Tennessee was only a 12-year-old kid. It’s been a while sicne the 2003 US Open. It’s been a very long time particularly for USA Tennis. That was the last Grand Slam singles title for an American man, the longest drought in history. Let’s put this drought into perspective, we are talking about the country that produced the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.
Andy Roddick is not to keen to talk about his future, or about a possible retirment coming up soon. After all, it’s been a long while since he last won a Grand Slam and it’s very hard to live under the shadow of both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the better part of a decade. Still, Roddick was making his 13th consecutive U.S. Open appearance yesterday. Many fans, many sports commentators have considered Roddick to be an underachiever. Still, with his training and by the looks of what he put out on the court today, he is willing to alter the expectations this time around, and hopes to be a real contender down the stretch.
In other related news, Novak Djokovic, the other player that next to Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have dominated the Grand Slam circuit, is looking quite strong again this year. The U.S. Open defending title began his run by overwhelming 69th-ranked Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 on Tuesday night. Lorenzi never held a chance against Djokovic who is trying to repeat his win.
Rumor has it, when you play at the Olympic Club it is always going to be the wrong guy who wins the US Open. And boy, did they get that one right. At the beginning of the week, the press and the media were all talking about Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods fighting for another win at the US Open. Later on, as the tournament kicked in and Phil Mickelson had just one of his worst starts ever, attention shifted and although Tiger was still in the pack, everybody was talking about Jim Furyk and how he was starting to dominate on Saturday, and could be in his way to win his second US Open.
And yet, the Olympic Club golf course proved to be a really though match for the field and at the end, it was not about mastering the golf course. In my humble opinion, and I must confess I’m not a big fan of the sport and not very savvy in this field, this tournament was a bit like a survival contest. At the end, when all the great names in this sport had failed, Webb Simpson took the win because quite simply, he was the last man standing. The golf course itself took care of all the rest. That been said, I don’t mean to belittle Simpsons talent or effort. Don’t get me wrong, he did had a phenomenal weekend, keeping it cool thru the first rounds and kicking it in on Monday. Simpson finished the day with four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn, and a tough par from the collar of the 18th green for a 2-under 68.
He then returned to the locker room and watched from a small television as Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell tried to catch him. These two guys trailing him had both won this tournament and they knew exactly what it took to finish here first. And yet little by little it became evident that the guy in the locker room would be the one winning this year’s US Open. Simpson sat next to his pregnant wife and watched as Furyk bogeyed two of his last three holes, and McDowell couldn’t recover from a bad start and too many tee shots in the rough. He hugged his wife and began to celebrate as McDowell’s 25-foot birdie putt to force a playoffs stayed left of the cup.
The Olympic Club is informally known as the graveyard of champions. Simpson came out from a fog-filled final round at the U.S. Open championship and with his first mayor win, he put two more names into the graveyard of champions. Furyk and McDowell joined a group of proven major winners who were poised to win the U.S. Open — Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Payne Stewart – and ended up losing to the underdog. “I never really wrapped my mind around winning,” said Simpson after winning his first mayor after only 5 appearances, “This place is so demanding, and so all I was really concerned about was keeping the ball in front of me and making pars.”
This was a great finish to an almost perfect season. Serbian Novak Djokovic has just won the 2011 US Open after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain by 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1. He needed four sets and overcome constant pain in his lower back, but Novak Djokovic has now won three of the four Grand Slams of 2011.
Novak Djokovic found himself down by two games in the first set. It wasn’t the best start for the Djoker, the player who has mustered his way into the record books with one of the finest seasons ever, but he looked quite brilliant against the defending champion Rafael Nadal. Still, with an incisive backhand, Novak Djokovic managed to turn the first set around and won 6 straight games to outplay Nadal 6-2 in the first set.
In the second set, once again Nadal came very aggressive at the start and opened up a 2-0 lead early. But Novak Djokovic wasn’t going to let the Spaniard take a 3-0 advantage and in after a 27-play tiebreak, he managed to win the third game to shorten distances in the second set. Still, Nadal managed to regain his confidence and at least momentarily he was able to push Djokovic and break his service for to tie the set 4 games apiece. Still, Djokovic didn’t lose his tempo and took a 5-4 advantage to serve with a 5-4 advantage in the second set. Djokovic’s first return had been the key to his success in the second set. Despite the fight, Nadal couldn’t really work his way around the frustration and Djokovic won the second set 6-4.
In the third set, Djokovic was again pushing Nadal to his limit. By the fifth game the set was 2-2 and one of the best rallies was played. Nadal gave it his best shot, but at the end, Djokovic took the 5th game and served with a 3-2 advantage. By the last few games of the third set it became evident that Rafel Nadal wasn’t going to be able to successfully defend his championship. He did manage to win the thir set to make it 3-3, and then pushed him to a 40-0 deficit on the seventh game. Nadal was taking advantage of Djokovic’s weakest moment in the game and took a 5-3 advantage.
Nadal kept on pushing Djokovic and eventually his body began to give signs of fatigue. The third set proved to be a long set and Djokovic took his turn at serve down by 4-5. Djokovic managed to tie the set 5 games apiece but he was starting to hope that the game would end up soon. He was tired and you could see it in his face. Nadal would eventually win the third set, in the tiebreak, 6-7.
In the fourth set, Djokovic managed to build a 4-1 advantage and after receiving medical attention twice for back pains, he was starting to see the end of the road. He dominated the fourth set, he worked through the pain and by the time it was all over, he had defeated Nadal by 6-1 in the fourth set.
Djokovic Motivation was at the top of his game. Djokovic had played a very challenging semifinal game against Roger Federer. The Djoker survived a 2 set deficit and 2 match points in the 5th set to beat Roger Federer for the fourth time this season. It was one heck of a match. All the tension, all the beauty of his comeback could be retraced to Djokovic’s daring crosscourt forehand winner when he was down by a double match-point.
Nadal had taken the better part of their head to head matches. But not this year and not on Grand Slams: this had been Novak Djokovic’s season. Earlier this year, at Wimbledon, Djokovic outplayed Nadal in the championship game at the All England Club. Djokovic defeated Nadal in four sets, 6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3, to win his first Wimbledon title and third grand slam singles title overall. It was Djokovic’s fifth consecutive win over Nadal, all of them in finals, and it was his first victory over Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament after six attempts. The US Open title was next.
The Djoker had previously won the 2008 Australian Open. With this win, he has secured his third title in 2011. This year he has won at Australia, at Wimbledon and at the US Open. He only lost to Roger Federer in the semifinals of the French Open, the one title he has to win in order to clinch a career grand slam.