Sunday, September 7, 2008

Prince Andy Sets up showdown with the King Federer

Take a good look at the picture. This is your own Desiwriter as the chair umpire on Court 17!

So Doubters, hope you trust my forecasts now!
When I wrote 10 days back that I expect Nadal to be out and Andy to storm into the finals - many a doubts were raised! Someone even commented that I was not only writing my blog but was also writing my own comments (this was because someone wrote a comment on my blog, agreeing with my assessment).

Before I get drunk in my own heady minor success, let me say that I also forecast in the same article that while Roger would get into the semifinals, he will lose to Djokovic, so I was off on that! I have to say that I'm delighted that Fedex is rolling back again and the way he played in the last two sets, I felt that old Roger was surfacing back again, if not almost back. Hope he wins the final and is resurrected. On the other hand, i saw him practice today and was confused - why! Lets come back to that later.

Getting back to the match, watching the match live at Arthur Ashe stadium with my family, almost as always, I was the only one amongst the group who was supporting Andy Murray, and very vociferously too, if I may add. In fact, the people seated right ahead of me complained that I was too loud, thankfully they were nice people and knew that I was a true sports fanatic and meant no ill will for their ear drums. In fact, if you were at the stadium, you'd think that there was barely any Andy supporter. Court would erupt if Nadal won a point and would have a smattering of applause when Andy carved a point. Of course, Nadal is a great player and that kind of support is expected in a way but I was still surprised that Andy didn't have more support than I saw. Well, the good part of being in minority is that when you are vindicated, its doubly satisfying and thanks to Andy, I could celebrate.

Now before you jump to the conclusion that I don't like Nadal, as I have seen many people do, whenever I write anything that happens to go against popular sentiment. He is a great player, someone who was just considered a good clay court player and is now feared on every surface. I just felt that the long season was about to catch up with him and I had expected him to be out in the quarterfinals of US Open and he still made it to the Semis. just goes on to show, how good a player he is.

Getting back to the match, what I liked about Andy was that even though he lost the third set, he never appeared to not have the guts to take the game to Rafal. I for one was not surprised at his win even though almost the entire staidum seemed to!

Moving on to his bigger challenge, the Men's final - obviously, he does have a chance, a good one at that to upset the overwhelming favorite - the King - Federer. Andy is playing with great confidence, he has the skills, he hits the shot with convictions and just if you didn't know or forgot, his record against Fedex stands at 2-1. Oh, and don't forget, Andy won the US Open title in 2004 in the Junior championship so he knows this surface very well.

However, something tells me that Roger is not about to give up, just like that. The man is on a 33 consecutive wins streak at US Open, since the last one and half sets is playing like his old self again and is a master of the craft. I must mention though that, as the Andy/Nadal match was in progress, I saw Federer come into the practice court. Thinking that, it was going to be a good practice session, I temporarily stopped watching the Andy Nadal match and focused on what I though was going to be an intense practice session by Roger. I have to say that I was surprised that Roger stayed not more than 20 minutes on the court. he hit a few balls with his hitting partner, hit out a few serves and was gone before I could say Roger Federer. I don't know, maybe he was out there just for the heck of it or just to stay loose or maybe changed his mind about a long practice session but I was surprised that he left so quick!

even though, I felt uncomfortable, I think, Roger will win the title. In the last one and half set he played against Djokovic, I felt that he was sharp, gained confidence rapidly and didn't let up. I do thaink that it would be a four setter and we'll see some good action in the second and third set with Roger prevailing. All in all, it would be a great match and I know that you are as excited to see this one as I am. I do wish that I had tickets for this one too - I would have really enjoyed watching it live in the stadium but then, that would have burnt a deeper hole in my pocket. The semis have alreday done it so I think I'll better watch it on TV.

Good luck to both and may the best player win!

Some of the pictures, I snapped today;












Above- India's Leander Paes is listed on the winners board for his win in the Mixed Doubles Final












Above- Roger Federer practicing while the Andy/Nadal match was in progress












Above- Roger Federer sitting in the practice court












Above- Andy after the win












Above & Below - Andy/Nadal match in progress

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