It’s Andy Murray vs. Juan Martin del Potro for the Rogers Cup title in Montreal. It’s the first time that Andy and Juan Martin, who are aged 22 and 20, respectively, will meet in an ATP final – it certainly won’t be the last. (Murray enjoys a 3-1 advantage in their head-to-head.) FYI: Del Potro is a Man Without a Master – Sunday will mark his first appearance in a Masters 1000 final. Murray’s appeared in four Masters finals and won three of them – all on hard court.
Saturday’s big news came when Andy Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis, securing his official place as the No. 2 player in the world. Do you feel a dull ache, watching the still Slamless Scot overtake a six-time Grand Slam Champ for the second-best spot? Don’t worry – it’s just growing pains. Four years have passed since someone other than Roger or Rafa has ranked in the top two. Change is tough. But the sport’s been evolving, the contenders multiplying, and the sea change has crested at the top of the game.
In Cincinnati, Dinara Safina – the real World No. 1 a.k.a. the “real” World No. 1 – is playing in her eighth tour final of the year. Have any of the three titles she’s won this season come in Slams? No. Does this bother you for some reason? Send an email to the WTA and BCC Serena. Or just get over it.
Dinara takes on former “real” No. 1, Jelena Jankovic, in Sunday’s final. (Dinara has the 3-2 edge in the head-to-head.) It’s great to see JJ climbing out of her slump. She played a three-set semifinal against Elena Dementieva on Saturday night, winning 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(6). She flubbed three match points at 5-4 in the final set, and was down 2-6 in the tiebreak, before finally coming out the winner. This is the kind of match JJ needed to win. It might not help her win the title in Cincy, but it will bolster her confidence going into NYC.
Speaking of rankings, congrats to Flavia Pennetta! She lost to Safina in the Cincy semis, but still made history. She’s now the first Italian woman to ever make it into the Top 10.
Both finals will be broadcast Sunday on ESPN: 1:30pm for Rogers and 4:00 pm for Cincy