Congrats to Murray on his first slam slam title. Believe it or not, I am happy for him. I’ll be the first to admit that I wrote him off after the Olympics. I just go by historical facts until I’m proven wrong. Having said that, my readers will know I’ve changed my attitude about Murray since the beginning of the year. I was always very negative about him, saying he would never win a slam. But since the beginning of the year I got tired of bashing him and stated that his partnership with Lendl could just be the thing that changes his luck. I just felt that even the guy I disliked the most deserved a break. We all do.
I thought Roger would win the US Open. It felt like destiny once again, but it wasn’t to be. A very awkward opponent for him in Berdych stood in his way. It was unfortunate because I felt Berdych did Murray a huge favor. I think Roger would have beaten both Murray and Djokovic. And as expected, Berdych was only a shadow of the Berdych that faced Roger when he played Murray. He won the first set and then just disappeared until the fourth set where he choked the tie break away. It was really disappointing to see him play so well against Roger and then falling flat against Murray. It’s like he only plays to beat Roger and not to win slams.
In the other semi Djokovic lost the first set against Ferrer, looking like a huge upset could be in store. But rain interrupted play, they came back the next day, and Djokovic breezed through the next three sets. I still felt Djokovic was the favorite for the final, but also that this might just be Murray’s moment. When Murray won the first set 12-10 in a dramatic tie break I felt even more so. But he still had a long way to go. When he won the second set 7-5 I thought he would win for sure. But Djokovic wasn’t done. He fought back and won the next two sets 6-2, 6-3. It was far from over. But Murray seized the moment and broke Djokovic twice in the fifth set to silence the doubters.
The match itself wasn’t of a very high quality. In the first set both players looked very nervous and did a lot of pushing. It was a good final as far as drama goes but as far as quality is disappointed. I know if Roger was there, pushing would not have been tolerated by him. But of course Berdych was bashing winners at will. Anyway it was nice to see Murray finally break through after all the criticism he received. Even if you hate the guy you got to be happy for someone who received so much criticism, endured, and then finally proved them wrong. Like Lendl he finally broke through after losing his first four slam finals.
I think this title will open the floodgates and we could well see him win multiple slams from here on. In a sense the Fedal era ended at this US Open and the Djokoray era dawned. But of course Roger is still #1. The fact that Murray won is good news for Roger. Djokovic lost 800 points by losing to Murray. This gives Roger a chance to still end the year ranked #1. So all in all I’m happy with how the US Open turned out. Ideally Roger would have won the title, but I’m happy for Murray and the fact that he won means Roger can still end the year on a high. If he ends the year ranked #1 it would really cap off a fantastic year.
By ending the year ranked #1 he would equal the only impressive record that Sampras still holds by himself. This makes the rest of the year interesting in terms of tennis. There is everything to play for still if you are Roger. Roger has a lot of points to defend as he won Basel, Paris, and London last year, but he is playing Shanghai as well which will give him a chance to hold onto that #1 ranking and end the year #1 for a record 6th year. I’m positive and excited about what lies ahead. In a sense I am glad things turned out this way, because if Roger won the US Open he would have had the #1 year end rank pretty much secured, and the rest of the year wouldn’t have been that interesting.
I think Roger will be very motivated for the rest of the year now. His favorite indoor season lies ahead. He will have a great chance of winning the title at every event he has left to play. Especially at Basel and London. It would be awesome if he could win the Masters Cup for a 7th time and thereby clinch the year end #1. That would really cap off a fantastic year in the best possible manner. The dream is on once more…
Ps. Roger announced that he will play Davis Cup against the Netherlands this weekend. Maybe a bit of a surprise given that he is playing Shanghai this year. I guess he is still feeling pretty fresh. It also shows that the US Open loss didn’t hurt him much and that he is ready to take on the world once more!