Categorized | News

Down But Never Out: Federer Grabs Last Major Of The Year

Saturday’s rain postponed the U.S. Open final between Roger Federer and Britain’s Andy Murray until today. But, Federer, the former world number one, did not permit this first time finalist to rain on his parade. Federer swiftly handled the Brit in straight sets 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to capture his only major of 2008.

The first set was a throwback to the Federer of old. His first game was a walk in the park, Federer held at love. Despite being flustered, Murray initially kept up with beautiful passing shots and good serves 1-1. After a forehand error, Andy faced his first break point and was bailed out by a backhand error from Roger 2-2. But in the crucial sixth game, Murray had a double fault and two unforced errors including on his best shot, the backhand, to allow Federer to lead 4-2. Federer then took command, breaking Murray after another backhand error to close the set 6-2.

Federer got off to a fast start in the second set converting a break point with a beautiful angled forehand winner 2-0. Murray’s initial majors final seemed to be destined for a quick finish. But, the Brit broke right back at love when Federer strung three straight unforced errors and offered a weak second serve for which Murray made him pay. Uncharacteristically, Federer made two forehand miscues and netted a volley to go down triple break point again. After erasing the first break point, Federer hit a stroke which appeared long but was erroneously called in by the line judge. Murray continued to play and ultimately lost the point and the game. Nevertheless, Murray overcame his misfortune and held easily for 3-3. Murray had another 15-30 opening on Federer’s serve but despite hitting only 48% of his first serves in the set, Federer escaped 4-3. As Federer’s unforced errors stacked up, Murray managed to hold serve comfortably. Yet, with Murray serving at 5-6, Federer produced three consecutive winners for triple set point, then guided a forehand down the line for a winner 7-5.

Amped up, Federer took charge in the third set, breaking Murray at love twice for 4-0. After getting on the board at 1-5, Murray produced a crosscourt forehand winner for a break point which he then converted 5-2. However, Federer flicked a backhand crosscourt which drew the error from Murray giving Roger his second match point. After getting back in play two overhead smashes, a resistant Murray finally conceded when his forehand hit the net. Federer becomes the first player since Bill Tilden in 1924 to win five straight U.S. Open titles.

Murray, a former juniors’ champion, seems to be a natural on hardcourt. His ranking will be bolstered from 6 to 4. Murray’s sluggish start may have been attributable to his being a novice at a majors’ final and having played a mentally grueling match in semifinals against world number one, Rafael Nadal. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Open, there was a parade of champions on opening night. As Federer crossed the stage, the song “Your Still The One” was performed. Maybe, it was kismet.

Comments are closed.