Whether or not this was the best match of the year, it definitely was the most entertaining in my memory. When the two biggest players in the world are playing at the biggest venue in tennis, you are bound to see one of the greatest spectacles in sport.
Both players had high expectations coming into the final of this year’s US Open. Novak Djokovic was going in with his top ranking and his prominent win-loss record of only 2 losses for the whole year. Nadal came in as the defending champion with plenty on the line. The winner of this match would be determined by the level of their concentration and the true-ness of their grit.
The first set was marked by great athletic ability with both players running around the court like wild horses on a field. Retrieving every ball as if their life depended on it, most rallies lasted more than 10-15 shots. And surprisingly, the quality of play didn’t disappoint the crowd for the rest of the match. It was hard to believe how these two could get to so many balls back in the court, which really emphasizes the importance of physical readiness and how it could help you be a better player.
After crushing Nadal in the first two sets, when Nadal was leading 2-0 in both of them, it looked as though Rafa had no more gas in his tank. But just when you think he is down, he got back up and took Djokovic to a tiebreak which he eventually won with a score of 7-3.
In the fourth set, Djokovic started receiving treatment for his back, sending the crowd into a wave of whispers and ultimately giving us the question if Djokovic will have a vulnerability that will work to Nadal’s liking. Nadal however did not deliver as expected and Djokovic took his chance to become this year’s US Open champion.
Throwing his racquet in disbelief and sinking to his knees, Djokovic’s box erupted into a frenzy. The ceremony was then quickly set up and we heard a few words from both great champions. Nadal stepped up to take his finalist plate and humbly admitted that Djokovic was just too good for him today. Djokovic also congratulated Nadal for his run to the final and gave a message of salute to his box and of course to the fans. Both players also said a few words about the incident that has rocked New York and the whole world for the last 10 years and commemorated those who have fallen and are still affected by this tragedy.
It was a great match and a great finish to the last Grand Slam of the year, but the year is still not over and there is still more great tennis to come!
Congrats to Novak for his amazing win and year so far. He goes home with the trophy and a prize of US$2.3 million dollars because of his position in this year’s Race to the US Open. Nadal on the other hand goes back to the drawing board to work on what went wrong today and how he could dismantle Djokovic in their next meeting.