In the Mix

September 12, 2011

The U. S. Open 2011

My sport of choice is Tennis. I love to play it… I love to watch it… I know how to score it, call penalties, teach it. I’m one of those people who has 6 racquets and takes 3 to the court when I play. I know I don’t need 3 racquets to play, but, they all feel different and I like the experience of overcoming different elements of my game based on the quality of the racquet. One of them is called THE KILLER. It’s like I have lighting in my hand when I play with it! See? This is what I mean, I’m supposed to be talking about the U.S. Open and I’ve drifted into an analysis of my tennis equipment. When you love something… On to the U.S. Open.

I don’t watch every match – I tend to watch certain people throughout tournaments. This year, I watched Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the men’s side and the Williams sisters on the women’s side.

Of note: The women’s matches got little to no attention this year. With exception of Venus Williams having to bow out due to illness, didn’t hear much else. And that seems to be the standard anymore – If the Williams sisters aren’t winning/win, you don’t hear much from the women’s side. I guess I fall into that trap as well, because even at this moment, I can’t tell you a single woman of note currently on the women’s tennis circuit other than Venus and Serena. I should actually be applauding the ladies that they have kept the focus on their game and not becoming celebrities…

But, my focus this year was men’s singles. There were only a couple of things I found interesting – Rafael Nadal was the reigning champ of the U.S. Open, but, he didn’t play so well. He obviously played well enough to get to the final, but, his semi-final match against Andy Murray was a squeaker.

So, I’m watching this match intently and I can’t believe Nadal is winning. He looked tired, his shots were kinda sloppy – he just didn’t look like he was in top form. Andy Murray actually played quite well. Keep your eye on him. Maybe Nadal is having the opposite problem as the women, maybe celebrity is interfering with his focus. So after Nadal won, I though, “I don’t see him defending that title this year.”

Over to Djokovic and Federer. Very well matched. I’m a bit biased because I’ve been a Federer fan for a while, but, there was no way to miss how solid Djokovic played. I even think had Federer been playing Nadal, the final would likely have been Djokovic vs. Federer. And I think the final confirmed that. Djokovic really dominated that match and the scores reflect it.

So my rankings on actual play are as follows:

#1 Djokovic
#2 Federer
#3 Nadal
#4 Murray

(Numbers 3 and 4 are only separated by a thread and could easily switch pending future play)

Nadal may have been ranked #1, but, I judge based on actual performance, not last years’ play. He may be #2 now, but, I think Roger Federer is a better player than Nadal. You’re only as good as your last match in my world…

Congratulations Novak Djokovic. He’s done a good job of not becoming consumed by the fame and I hope he keeps his focus. And congratulations to Samantha Stosur of Australia for beating Serena Williams in straight sets in the final. I actually had to look up Samantha Stosur’s name because I forgot it. Sad. I love the Williams sisters, but, I think they are lost to celebrity. What does that say about the game when the runner-up is more well known than the winner?

Still my sport of choice…