US Open 2010: Things That I Liked, And Things That I Didn't Like; Federer Done?
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The 2010 US Open is almost in the books, and it has been memorable and eventful. The toughest major threw a nice curve with all the wind as well, which tested the players poise and resolve. Let's get to it.
What I didn't like is the realization that Roger Federer is not the same dominant player that he was 2 years ago. He is still fit and can run down anything, but the unforced errors pile up, and he doesn't take advantage of big break point opportunities like he used to.
Federer used to excel in tight situations, and that is not happening as much anymore. We have been spoiled by his greatness, and it is hard to come to grips with the fact that he has taken a step back.
The tennis community has been dying for another Federer vs. Nadal final in a major, but they are both passing each other like ships in the night. Nadal is getting better, and adding more weapons to his arsenal, while Federer is slowly looking more like a mortal with each major.
It doesn't look like we will get that Wimbledon like final again, and I don't like it. I do like the fact that Nadal has left no stone unturned to be the best he can be. He has developed a first serve that is truly a weapon.
The final with Novak Djokavic was not that dramatic and there was really no doubt that Nadal would continue his date with destiny and complete the career grand slam. More of the players on the tour should take a page out of Nadal's book and add to their games instead of being content where they are.
If he stays healthy, Nadal will pass Federer in grand slam titles relatively quickly.
What I didn't like was the effort that Andy Roddick put forth in this years open. I want to qualify that by saying that he did have a slight case of mono earlier in the year, but Roddick's match play strategy is puzzling.
He was content to be a backboard against Tipsaravic and put the ball right in his wheel-house most of the time. Roddick was willingly playing way behind the baseline and never tried to take charge.
Roddick has done this too many times in the past as well. Instead of using his talent to be more aggressive, he continues to depend only on his serve and play passively. Roddick doesn't come in enough, and doesn't bang his backhand up the line enough.
He has the tools to be more aggressive but he stays too far behind the baseline on too many occasions. Early in his career I have seen him switch gears and come in with reckless abandon when things weren't going well for him on the baseline, and it was working.
If Roddick doesn't want to just be an afterthought as far as men's tennis goes, he is going to have to step his game up again .
I do not agree with many of the tennis pundits that critisized the American men because they didn't go as far as they thought they should have. On the whole I liked what I saw. Sam Querry and John Isner gained valuable experience that should propel them to do better in those situations next time out.
They are young, and the only way you get better unfortunately is to learn from your match play mistakes on big points. Querry had the best opportunity but let it get away. He will be heard from again, guaranteed.
There was even a James Blake sighting, and that was good to see. I like the fact that he is still trying to overcome his injuries and be a factor again. Time is not on his side, but winning a couple of matches in a major is still a good result.
I didn't like Andy Murray going out so early in a major, and I didn't like the rediculous question he was asked in the press conference afterwards, "does he ever think he will win a major?". What is he supposed to say?
Do you expect him to say that he doesn't have confidence in himself that he will never win one, and he is going to pack up his racquets and quit? The better question would have been if Murray was thinking about changing any part of his game to get him over the hump.
Murray is another top player that has the talent to win multiple grand slams, but his contentment with playing passive tennis isn't helping him to win grand slams. He likes to take his time and set his points up instead of going on the attack.
There are very few players top players that are playing serve and volley tennis and being aggressive. It has almost become a lost art, especially on the women's tour.
Speaking of the women, I didn't like the fact that Elena Dementieva once again fell apart in a big match against a top ten opponent. She was in control of the match against Stosur ans playing beautifully, until the match got tight and she blinked again.
I was rooting for her to get through because other than Venus Williams, I thought that Dementieva was the only one that could have given Clijsters a real run for her money. It has to be mental because there is no reason that a person who hits such beautiful and consistently powerful ground strokes can't come through in a major.
I actually liked the wind. It added a different dimension to the matches and tested the players mettle.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the situation with the tennis players and their towels during the matches. The players wipe themselves down after every point now (which is aggrevating in itself) and flip their dirty towels to the ball boy until they need them again.
That is completely unsanitary. Kids handling sweaty towels from strangers with their bare hands is a recipe for them to get sick and or get infections. At least have them wear gloves so the towels don't touch their bare hands.
I loved the stat they put up in one of Venus' matches that compared the amount of dress tugs that both of the women had up to that point. Needless to say that Venus was ahead 42 - 2 I believe. I won't say anything else on that issue.
It was good to see Youzhny break through and get to the semi's. He is not young anymore so this result was nice for him.
All in all there was some great tennis played, especially on the men's side. The women's draw lacked depth I thought, which led to a lot of lop sided matches. Now we wait for the year ending championships and the 2011 season when we will do this all over again.
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