The No.1 seed had an answer for everything the Mallorcan threw at him—from his top-spin forehands, ripped backhands, deceptive serves and breaks of service.
If Nadal would break the Djoker’s service, Djokovic would come roaring right back with his incisive return of serve. The Spaniard was outlasted, out-rallied and outplayed by the Serb on his own terms—from the baseline.
The US Open is his fourth major and leaves only the French Open to complete a career Slam.
“So Dad, please don’t ever stop telling me what to do.”
Andre Agassi, in his acceptance speech at the Newport International Tennis Hall of Fame, thanked his dad Mike for his advice over the years that included exhorting him to win Wimbledon and all the Slams, getting into the Hall of Fame, and marrying his current wife, Steff Graf.
What he really meant:
“I could always do with more validation. Thanks, Dad.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Just don’t remind me to floss at night. (Steffi does that now.)”
Roger Federer won his last major in January 2010 in Melbourne at the Australian Open.
The six majors that followed were divided among two bionic contestants, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The Spaniard claimed four, the Serb two.
Has the Swiss truly fallen by the wayside?
Just one Grand Slam final in over two years between the giants that straddle the men’s circuit. Yet fans and critics alike are terming it a revival of the Fedal rivalry.
Is it, really?
It cannot be much of a competition if the duo have faced off just once in the last eight Slams.
Roger Federer is through to his first major final since the 2010 Australian Open.
He was written off. Yet he bounced back.
Novak Djokovic can console himself that he almost took the match into the final set. It says a lot for the progress he has made in the past six months. His confidence has skyrocketed and setbacks are to be met with unequivocal defiance.
Federer may not have captured a Slam in over a year but he was unlikely to let a 2-0 lead in a Grand Slam semi-final go to waste. The writing was on the wall. The Djoker delayed the inevitable—splendidly.
World No.3 Roger Federer called up Belgian Kim Clijsters to express his sympathy for her freak disco-dancing injury at her cousin Tim’s wedding.
Kim thanked him and asked for his advice as to how best to recover and avoid similar injuries in the future.
The great Swiss reportedly broke into song on the telephone, yodelling to the tune of Genesis’ ‘I can’t dance’:
The writing is on the wall.
We’ve dismissed suggestions that Federer is fading and have hoped against hope to be rewarded with another Slam this year but we were destined to be disappointed.
Federer has lost his aura of invincibility. We just failed to recognise it for what it was.
We believed that it was only Nadal who stood in his way. How we have demonised that man from Mallorca!
But we forget that our Gods are human too. We forget that they age too.
That they succumb to their mistakes.
That their creaking bones may no longer withstand the rigors of a gruelling tour.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Or woman!
And may it never be said that Serena and Rafael don’t know how to party!
They came to the Wimbledon party and how!
Nadal, as though his year-long hiatus from the sport was a mere blip in the chasm of tennis time!
And Serena, who perhaps believes that it’s now time to just buckle down to it and claim her space in among the greats! Not that she does not belong there already but who’s to say that she might not have been the greatest?