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Nadal Balks Federer for Record Sixth French Open Title

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Nadal Balks Federer for Record Sixth French Open Title

For the second consecutive day, the French Open became a part of history as Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-5,7-6,5-7,6-1 to equal Bjorn Borg with six French Open titles. Nadal also became the seventh man in the exclusive club of those with 10 or more major trophies.

The last time the two clashed in a final at a major was the 2009 Australian Open. This was the twenty-fifth meeting between Nadal and Federer, their fifth at Roland Garros and their fourth final.

In 2008, Nadal blew Federer off the court 6-1,6-3,6-0. After ending Novak Djokovic’s 2011 unbeaten run at 41 matches, Federer came in rejuvenated and relaxed, it was evident in the first set.

Subsequent to guarding serve, on a backhand error by Nadal, Federer had double break point. Despite Nadal getting to deuce, on his fourth opportunity, Federer seized the break and consolidated for 3-0.

After constructing a 5-2 advantage, as Nadal’s forehand sailed long, Federer had set point. However, with the dropshot missing its mark, Nadal was at deuce and later captured the game.

Serving for the initial set, Federer’s first serve which was instrumental in building his lead deserted him. Federer netted a backhand to hand Nadal break point. When the Swiss misfired on a volley after a passing shot, the players were back on serve.

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Del Potro Foils Federer’s Bid At Six Successive U.S. Open Titles

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Del Potro Foils Federer’s Bid At Six Successive U.S. Open Titles

img_9948Taking into account, the veil of lunacy and unpredictability that has shrouded the 2009 U.S. Open, one might have believed there was no further room for shock.  Yet, today, in the finals, 20 year old Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro pulled off the element of surprise by vanquishing world number one and five time defending champion Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in order to seize his first major.

For the sixth year in a row facing a fresh rival at the tournament’s ultimate dance, Federer was regarded as the overwhelming favorite. Subsequent to a love game, on his fifth break point, Federer used a forehand crosscourt winner to jump to a 2-0 lead. Then, Roger consolidated with a comfortable hold. With Del Potro’s newbie status at the final of a major, he had difficulty encountering his footing the opening set. But, Juan Martin finally got on the board with ease for 1-3.  While Federer never dealt with a break point, Del Potro’s treacherous adventure on serve continued.  Serving at 2-5, Juan Martin’s forehand error gave Roger three set points.  However, with his big serve, Del Potro salvaged the game. Nevertheless, Federer went on to close out the set.

Del Potro started the second with four unforced errors, including two double faults, to hand Federer a break.  By maintaining his near perfect play at net, Federer connected on a forehand volley for 2-0.  After an untroubled hold by his opponent, Federer’s forehand miscues resulted in Del Potro’s initial break opportunities.  With Juan Martin unable to capitalize, Roger stretched his lead to 3-1. Consequently, Roger appeared to be securing a choke hold on another title. Yet, despite multiple chances, Federer failed to capture a potential insurance break.  After Del Potro kept the set alive with a love hold at 4-5, in front 30-0, Federer made a couple of errors for 30-30.  The next point, Del Potro called on the tech review after a forehand up the line was presumed out. By a hair, Juan Martin was found to be correct. Now, an incredulous Federer stared at break point.  Immediately, Juan Martin passed Roger at net with a forehand up the line to square the set at 5-5. Roger’s failure at sealing the set preyed on his mind into a tiebreaker. A forehand error was all Del Potro required for a mini-break and to finish off the set.

An abominable first serve percentage, a rival unwilling to capitulate, a perceived flawed challenge system contributed to Federer’s petulant mood the rest of the way. Roger even had an acerbic exchange with the chair umpire in the third set. To the contrary, Del Potro settled into a comfortable service rhythm.  At 3 all and 30 all, Federer floated two straight forehands long to give Del Potro his first lead.  But, the next game, Federer blotted out his mistake by making it 4 all.  After dismissing another break point and holding, Federer ticked off that Del Potro took a little long to dispute a call utilized his displeasure to get to 0-30. As a result of Del Potro double faulting twice, Federer carried the set 6-4.

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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.

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