Friends and I spent two days at the Masters Series tournament, the Western and Southern Open, here from August 14 through the 22nd – one of the 13 biggest tennis tournaments on the planet. We got to see our favorites play both days – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Roger was terrific – we watched him from courtside on the Friday evening, and then TV for the semis and finals. He was playing some of his best tennis ever – at age 34 – and beat world #1 Novak Djokovic (the Djoker) for the title.
We watched Rafa win once, and then lose to Feliciano Lopez on the Friday evening. He just couldn’t quite connect. And we saw the same thing this Friday on television, from the U S Open. He was playing Fabio Fognini, a good and yet confusing player, seldom playing to his own strengths. Fognini often seems to go for trick shots, or the hardest possible shot, given a range of choices. He can be confounding to play. And he confounded Rafa, who won the first two sets – and then lost the final three, for the first time in Grand Slam play.
Roger is up this evening in New York, against John Isner, the lone remaining American man, since Donald Young, now focused on his tennis and not lots of side issues, was just defeated by the #3 seed, Stan Wawrinka.
I love so much about tennis – not least its world-spanning reach. Go, Roger, and best of luck next time, Donald! And Serena is all teed up for completing her Grand Slam on Saturday – when she wins, she will have won all 4 of the biggest tournaments in one year – a true Grand Slam. Not done by men or women since Steffi Graf in 1988.