Monday, September 13, 2010

US Open Day 15: Let the New Debate Begin

Curtain Call

Player: Novak Djokovic
Nation: Serbia
Age: 23
Current Ranking: 2
Notable Conquest: Roger Federer (2nd seed, Switzerland)
Tour Page
Player Website
Today's Result: loss to Rafael Nadal (1st, Spain) in four sets

Photo from The Age

Before we move on to the obvious, let's give Novak his due. The win over Federer was huge. It's been easy to forget about the Djoker over the past few years with the rise of Murray and del Potro. With the Fed win, he puts himself firmly back in the conversation. I know it's four months away but why not? I say Djokovic takes Aussie in 2011.

Well, the greatest of all time debate just got a lot more interesting. Rafa now has 9 majors in total, the career Golden Slam (including an Olympic gold medal), a great career in Davis Cup and he's all of 24. He's three titles ahead of Federer's pace. He has strong career records against his best contemporaries. Yes, he's still seven behind Federer's slam total and one does still worry about long-term wear and tear but who, exactly, is going to slow him down at this point? His match tonight was a masterpiece. Who's even in the same league right now?

A colleague stopped by my classroom this morning and asked if I thought Federer is washed up. I still say no. I say he plays two more years and as long as he keeps entering tournaments, he'll be a threat to win them. His days as top dog are over, though. Nadal left no doubt of that tonight.

My Tennis Fantasy

My men's bracket was just awful. I finished in the top 95% in the Tennis Channel Racquet Bracket, aka the bottom 5%. Maybe I'll just go with the dartboard method next time.

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