Sunday, September 09, 2018

US Open Day 12/13: Just a Whole Lot of Nothing (then a whole heap of something)

Hi All. Galileo here.

Some days nothing much happens at all, even in the later days of slams. Kei Nishikori had less fight in him than a dying fish in a boat. He gets an enormous F. The biggest F possible. Bernard Tomic was upset by his lack of effort.

In the men’s double final, Mike Bryan and Jack Sock won going away against Kubot/Melo 6-3, 6-1. They saved one break point and that was the entire drama of the match. Sock may have had an abysmal year in singles but he is the current world number two in dubs. The Americans won 51 per cent of their return points and blasted 36 winners. It was a really straightforward match despite the 7th seeds being a great pair. The rest of the men’s action didn’t get much better, so this BACKSPINNER decided to wait for the ladies final to come out so there was something to write about.

Turns out this BACKSPINNER'S guess was correct. There was something to write about.

In a mirror of the 2011 US Open final, Serena Williams has lost in a controversial match. That will be the headline. It is wrong. It is awful. It should Naomi Osaka, at the age of 20, makes Japanese history and wins Japan's first singles slam. She outplayed Williams from start to finish and the outburst should not change. Serena got screwed by the line calling in 2004. She referenced that in her interview afterwards. That was such a bad umpiring performance it is one of the reasons we have HawkEye today. In 2009 she also had a fracas, but that was of her own making, though the foot fault call remains dubious. In 2011 she did break the law. In 2011 the umpire made the correct decision. And Serena blew up. There is a history, but calls go against you and, if you notice, in all those matches she was playing a really tough match. I urge you to go and watch the post match interview. It is one of Serena’s best.

Patrick Mouratoglou has since admitted that he *did* coach.

Todd will go into the nuts, bolts, winners, errors and smashed rackets of the match. In fact, go and read it. Right now. Go! I just want to add, as a final note, that Osaka is an incredible champion and Serena stopping the crowd from booing is an awesome act of sportswomanship. Ash Barty has already won the US Open sportswomanship prize but the graciousness of Serena is awesome. She did the same for Stosur. Osaka has done it. Will she be 2005 Kuznetsova, 2018 Ostapenko or will she dominate the game like the woman she just beat?

Now for the boring part. The men’s results.

...Novak Djokovic is always complaining that the crowd goes against him. Well, he just isn’t likeable. Ever since he ripped his shirt open after beating Nadal in Australia in that match, this BACKSPINNER has found him crass, rude and unsporting. After that epic match he and Nadal should have been consoling each other or being respectful. Federer was after the 2017 final, after the 2007 Wimbledon final. You can’t be unpleasant and irritating and then expect the crowd to like you. In this match he got an early break against Kei Nishikori and won easily 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The only thing the Japanese man did well was save break points. He saved 13 of 17. There was no fight. He tried nothing new. He sat back and let Djokovic bully him. He just let the 6th seed win. He didn't approach the net, try slices, try moonballs or try swinging from the hip. He did nothing. I had a choice between this and the Red Sox and I should have chosen baseball. This was an awful, half-baked match. Nishikori gets an enormous F. At least all those semi-finals where Nikolay Davydenko lost to Roger Federer were entertaining, if lopsided. This had about three good rallies in it.

Djokovic will need to extend the points against Delpo. He will have to make him move and try to take away his serving advantage. The tower from Tandil has been nigh on unbreakable the whole tournament. I want an Argentinian victory, but it will be Djokovic in five.

...Towards the end of the second set, with Nadal already down a break, there was a little moment of controversy when there was a late call. Nadal said to the umpire it doesn’t matter because “I’m going to retire.” This will be the second slam Nadal has retired in this year. He has been to three semi-finals, and won only one, but it is still a great year for the Spaniard. His quarterfinal retirement against Cilic, down 2-0 in the 5th. The first set, which Delpo won 7-6[3] was good but whenever Nadal has a long five set match, particularly on hard-courts, it never looks like he is going to be able to win the next match. There isn’t much left to say about this except that Del Potro has made a second slam final. We all thought he would have won five or six by now, but nine years after the first he is back again. He is going to want shorter points. He needs to thump his forehand into Djokovic’s forehand wing and try to attack the Serb’s second serve. He can do it, though.

Thanks and visit WTA BACKSPIN.

Read more!


Post a Comment

<< Home