Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here's Hopin' For The Open - Rafa in the Semifinals

(Jump for joy! Rafa made it to the US Open Final!)

Holy Crappola. Rafael Nadal has mad it to his first U.S. Open final! I'm so excited for him. Our Hero beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 and will now meet Novak Djokovic (!!!) who upset Federer in the other semi. That was an incredible 5 set match, with Joker finally winning it 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. The Fed loss robbed the tennis world of its much-desired Fed-Nadal US Open Final, but what can you do? Maybe next year. After his loss Fed said, "I would have loved to play against him here. I won't watch but I hope he wins." I get a little choked up hearing Roger say that. It reminds me of when Rafa hooked his arm around a distraught Fed following the 2009 Australian Open Final, and Rafa told him he was a champion and that he'd break the all-time slam record. Curiously, of the following following 6 slam titles, either Fed or Rafa has won 5 of them( and Rafa could make it 6 of 7 later today), but in all those wins they haven't played each other in a Slam since that moment. That will make it TWO YEARS when the next Aussie Open comes around for a chance to have that happen. So weird!

But back to the tournament at hand. Rafa is now just one win away from completing a Career Grand Slam. A victory on Sunday would mean he becomes the seventh man in history, to win all four grand slam titles during his career. He's the sixth man ever to reach the finals of all four Grand Slams, and the second-youngest. (Rafa's 24, and Jimmy Courier did it at age 22! Crazy!) A win would also make Nadal the fourth man ever to win the French, Wimbledon and US Open in one season that hasn't been done in over 40 years! So there's a lot of history on the line.

Rafa goes into the final with a 14-7 career advantage over Djokovic (coincidentally that's the same record he has against Federer!) but Novak has actually won their last three meetings, with all three coming on hard-courts. So even though Rafa has to be considered the favorite, the match could be complicated. Let's hope the rain doesn't wash out the match and that Rafa wins in three easy sets! Vamos, Rafa!

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