One year ago someone claimed that Rafa Nadal was done as a high level player because of his continuous problems of knee tendinitis and at the U.S. Open 2009 he also suffered from an abdominal tear. Still at the beginning of the year he retired during the Australian Open and this wasn’t a good omen for his future. Last night Nadal won the U.S. Open for the first time, his third straight Grand Slam title, completing the “Career Slam” as now he won all the Grand Slam tournaments at least once.
The conditions for the finals weren’t very easy: Suday’s rain forced the match postponement but that was good because Djokovic was coming from a very tough semifinal vs. Federer so he would have had little hope to win, besides the final was split in two parts, again because of the rain that forced the players to stop for almost two hours during the second set. Despite those difficulties both finalists played a good match with spectacular shots from both sides.
The first set immediately gives many emotions with three breaks in the first six games, two in favor of Nadal who takes advantage of Djokovic slow start so the Spaniard wins the first set 6-4.
In the second set there are two more breaks but on the 4-4 30-30 the rain starts and the players have to wait for almost two hours. At the restart Djokovic must defend his service in a delicate score situation but he starts the second part of the match well so he wins the game and then he breaks Nadal on 6-5 to win the set 7-5.
The third set is a battle decided by just one break and Nadal wins it 6-4. Rafa smells the title and breaks Djokovic early in the fourth set then he breaks the Serbian again and never looks back eventually conquering the title he’s been wanting for a long time.
Among the fans there are various factions and particularly some Federer fans accuse Nadal of beeing an all muscles player who sometimes wins thanks to a lucky draw that gives him opponents not up to the task of facing him. Really you can’t win 9 Grand Slam titles by luck and through the years Nadal vastly showed his technical improvements, even playing at the net certainly not like Edberg but certainly showing that there’s a smart strategy behind his working to improve certain shots.
Novak Djokovic lost the final but he seems a recovered player after an year of ups and downs: he reached the second place in the ranking that now he took back thanks to this result but he won Dubai tournament only. After his win in 2008 Australian Open people already expected a lot from him but he wasn’t able to keep the same level, now let’s hope that he’ll stay at the highest level to offer us more great matches in the next Grand Slam tournaments.
This was the third straight U.S. Open final played on Monday because of the rain. In the USA it’s not a problem to think about a solution, unfortunately it might be not so simple to build a roof for the Arthur Ashe court: not only there are rumors mentioning a cost around 150 millions dollars but there might also be structural problems that might make the building of the roof at least more complex and expensive. This is basically an engineering issue but I wouldn’t worry too much: after all those delays bring a break of one day after the semifinals and in a way that fixes the mistake of the Super Saturday.