YES! Roger did it again! He played two astounding sets (1st and 4th) where he moved like a beautiful machine – or better, a human who surpasses the perfection of the most sophisticated piece of mechanical engineering by having the flexibility and creativity that only humans with their hearts and brains can summon up. Wow! I think I have the vision of Roger’s gorgeous forehand cracking up the line in the fourth set embedded in my brain forever. Good thing, if I ever find myself on a desert island. It’s weird how he creates these perfect situations for himself. He meets Tiger Woods beforehand (okay, I know it was partially cooked up by IMG, but still, it’s kinda cool), has a pleasant chat with Mary Jo before stepping on court in his personalized warm-up jacket, steamrolls Andy in the first, let’s him into the match in the second (just to make the win more sweet!), waits until the very climax of the third set to break (and just after Andy jinxes himself by declaring how much “fun” he’s having on court), and then plays jaw-dropping, beautiful-human, etched in my brain synapses forever tennis in the fourth. Of course I was nervous, being the Roger fan that I am, but in the end, I appreciate the win in four. It’s like hearing that fairytale for the umpteenth time – the good ones bear repeating, and somehow change and improve their meaning in the retelling. Ah, Roger, it’s been quite a year! Oh, and Roger added some great footnotes to this chapter by laying down a casual, insightful and impish press conference (“Oh shit, Roger’s here!”) after the fact. US Open.org interview
Andy: He was a true foil to Roger’s silky, “effortless” precision and mastery of the court, what with his gangbusters play at the net (sometimes just a bust, really), his squeaky feet, desperate grunts and the sweat pouring off the bill of his cap. It really was good to see him back – he has a fun, straight forward personality that’s good for the game – but it was also kind of sad. All the build up and talk about the “new Andy” still didn’t get him his second major. I was like the other side of the Mojo coin. I have to give him credit, though. He did enough to make me throw my free US Open cap at the screen in the third(when Roger couldn’t manage to break him after something like 5 break points in one game.) But that came out to nothing more than entertainment value – a new dragon for Roger to slay.
A FEW COMMENTS:
So, so happy that tennis majors don’t correspond too much with the football season. On the CBS sports wrap up show after the 11pm news, they didn’t even mention the US Open final until the last five minutes – it was buried behind baseball, NFL and college football. UGH! And then the dumb commentator (remember, CBS is the network that airs the final, for goodness sakes!) manages to get at least two facts wrong in the 30 seconds he has to talk about the final (no, Roddick did not take the first set, and no, Tiger did not come to cheer on BOTH players.) I blame football for all that’s wrong with tennis coverage today. In fact, I blame football for everything, including Dubya, global warming, and Jessica Simpson. Platform foam flip flops, too.
Mirka, you need to stop wearing v-neck cardigan sweaters. Donate them to South African orphans, NOW!
Jimmy Connors looks really good for 50! Martina N. looks better than ever, too. Even John McEnroe isn’t too disgusting. Tennis, fountain of youth?
Is it just me or did Andy say “Don’t let it end like this” late in the fourth set, when it seemed like he was serving to avoid eating a bagel? I lip read that after he yelled “Just win the damn game!” It was a sad moment.
Why is Andy so snippy about Tiger cheering for Roger? Are he and Tiger old college roommates? Did Tiger snub Andy’s invitation to the Glam Slam party? Is it a “United We Stand” American thing? Basically, another sad moment.
How much fun was this US Open??? We had an Andre finale (plus the 2 thrillers he played!), Martina N. having a triumphant performance in the mixed dubs final, dubs on T.V., BJK getting mad props, Maria turning 2 Slam wonder and teen-feminist, Serena making a run, Nadal going out, Roddick coming back, at least $20 bucks in free Metrocards, “banana gate”, Blake wearing pink spandex, Safin nearing a resurgence, Jelena crashing the party, free rain ponchos, and, best of all, Roger winning his NINTH MAJOR in what could only be called inspired fashion. Oh Mommy, why does Christmas come only once a year?