Sunday, September 14, 2008

US Open Wrap-Up (A Bit Late, I Know...)

I'm a bit behind and most people have moved on to bigger and better things, but the climax of the 2008 US Open does merit some comment.
On the women's side, I love the way Serena Williams stepped into the leadership void and seized not only the title, but what should have arguably been hers for the past several years; the number one ranking. Clearly her commitment to the game has been rejuvenated, and with some improved fitness and motivation to back up her massive game, there is no one (her sister included) that can hang with her. Should she keep this up, 2009 should be the year she cements herself as one of the greatest, maybe the single greatest, woman to ever play the game of tennis.
Speaking of legacies, Roger Federer showed how his legacy should focus not on his titles, but on the sheer guts and determination that this champion possesses. Written off by nearly every tennis pundit after a down year, Fed showed more passion, more grit, and more heart than we've ever seen from him before in seizing his 5th consecutive US Open and 13th overall Grand Slam title. So let's take a fresh look at the year: semis at the Australian (while admittedly ill with mono), the finals of the French Open, the finals of Wimbledon, and the US Open championship. By any other standard in the men's game, this is an incredible year, but universally regarded as a "down" year for Federer, thus showing how high he set the standard.
Now, with a chance to rest and refocus, we'll see what Federer is capable of next year.
The only downside of this entire tournament was the lack of televised coverage of the men's final on Monday. San Diego's CBS affiliate was the only one nationwide not to show the event, so we were left to find bits and pieces online. The idiot program director at San Diego's affiliate figured that Oprah and Guiding Light would get better ratings in a city with the most tennis players of anywhere else in the country. Good choice and thanks a bunch, you moron!

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