US Open 2012: Epic Grand Slam Final Missing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Dan KanekoCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05:  (L to R) Runner up Roger Federer of Switzerland and Champion Rafael Nadal of Spain pose following the men's singles final match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland on day fifteen of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 5, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Gritty, gutsy, epic.  The final of the 2012 U.S. Open between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic has been labeled by just about every adjective.

For Murray, it was Grand Slam euphoria that had eluded him for so long.  For Djokovic, it was the epitome of a 2012 season that brought him back down to earth after his unreal 2011 season.

Murray’s determination to win his first major was evident from the beginning of the match, when he broke Djokovic’s serve in the opening game and took the opening set 7-6 (10) after winning a tense tiebreak.  Murray claimed the second set 7-5 before Djokovic roared back and won the next two sets routinely.  Suddenly, it looked like Djokovic would be the one to lift the trophy in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

But Murray wouldn’t be denied his first Grand Slam this time.  Murray broke Djokovic twice in the final set on his way to lifting his first U.S. Open trophy.

But for all the grit Murray and Djokovic left out on the court at this year’s final, a Grand Slam final just isn’t the same without Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.

With all due respect to Murray and Djokovic, this year’s final lacked the flair and grace that Federer brings to the game.  Simultaneously, the pure effort and enthusiasm that Nadal brings to every match was also not evident.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are two of the game’s greatest champions, but they are not Federer and Nadal.  They don’t provide fans with the exciting tennis Federer and Nadal have spoiled us with for the last decade.

With that said, this year’s U.S. Open Final was still truly epic.  Murray and Djokovic braved miserable weather conditions and immense pressure to deliver a U.S. Open Final that is being talked about as the greatest U.S. Open Final ever.

But tennis fans aren’t quite ready to dub this one the best U.S. Open Final ever.  According to ESPN’s SportsNation, most tennis fans aren’t convinced that this year’s U.S. Open Final is the best yet.

This year’s U.S. Open Final was the first final since 2003 that didn’t feature either Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Could that be the reason why fans aren’t ready to call this one the best U.S. Open Final ever?

The Federer-Nadal era appears to be ending soon, if it hasn’t done so already.  The beautiful tennis brought to us by Federer and Nadal won’t be around for too much longer, so enjoy these two tennis greats for the short while they are still around.