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September 15, 2009

US Open '09: Viva Juan Martin!

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Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new man in the tennis town and he's a 20 year old Argentine named Juan Martin del Potro.  Juan Martin did the near impossible by beating world No. 1 Roger Federer in the US Open men's final 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

And it wasn't easy.  He was two points from losing to Federer in the 4th set at 4-5, 30-30, but an ace and a smokin' forehand kept him in the match. 

As the match wore on, Federer's crappy serving got worse and worse.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him serve so badly in such an important match.  It could have had something to do with del Potro's crushing returns and his devastating forehand.

Though Federer always looks like a Baryshnikov on the court, all balletic moves and power, del Potro was more like an overgrown little leaguer:  all arms and legs and unharnessed power, that in this match at least, he learned to channel very quickly.

In the post match press conference, del Potro said:

Well, when I lay down to the floor, many things come to my mind. First my family and my friends and everything. I don't know how I can explain, because it's my dream. My dream done. It's over. I will go home with a trophy, and it's my best sensation ever in my life.

It's too early to explain. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week I will be believing in this. But now, I don't know. I don't understand nothing.

Federer's battle with the Hawkeye challenge system continued as he railed against its accuracy and then got understandably pissed at the umpire when he allowed del Potro an excessive amount of time to decide to challenge.

The umpire made the mistake of telling Federer to stop complaining and even the usually calm Federer let fly with some expletives.

Roger however has nothing to be ashamed of.  He's had an incredible year personally--getting married, having twins; and professionally--finally winning the French, winning another Wimbledon and surpassing the men's all time number of Grand Slam titles, so don't weep for him.  He'll be back.

I do have some regrets however for Rafael Nadal because I really, really want to see him win a US Open title.  Hopefully he'll be able to keep himself healthy enough next year to get to the final and then take it all.

Meanwhile, Viva del Potro!




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