Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams Win Big on Wild Wednesday

josh millarSenior Analyst ISeptember 4, 2008

The second Wednesday at the US Open started slowly, but when things got rolling, it was fast and furious!

Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro took the court just before 3 p.m. EST. What followed can best be described as a sluggish, four-hour slugfest.

Murray took the first set 7-6 in a tie breaker set lasting over the 60-minute mark.

The second set also went to Murray in a breaker.

This was a first opportunity for both men to advance to a Grand Slam semi, and frankly, it showed.

The first two sets-plus were error-filled and sometimes unentertaining but, as day became night at Flushing Meadows, the crowd got into the match. It was as if this gave both men a little relief from the tension of the moment.

Murray would break early in the third set of this match but failed to serve it out, eventually forcing a fourth set, which he won.

Most importantly, this match showed the potential of Murray and Del Potro. They’ll meet again, and when they do, they may just steal the show.

That match lasted four hours, delaying the night session by almost an hour.

The much anticipated “sister act,” however, did not disappoint New York’s rabid tennis fans.

The first four games or so started as sluggishly as can be expected when the sisters play one another.

By the middle of the first set, both sisters had worked out the jitters and were ready to do what they do best: play tennis.

It was a hard-hitting match as always, but it was Serena who looked slightly better on this night.

The sisters traded breaks in the first set, and it would ultimately end 7-6 for Serena.

In set two, Venus broke early and served for the set but was broken at 5-4. It would go to a tiebreaker and by set's end, Venus had 10 sets points. She converted none. Game set, Match, 7-6 7-6.

This was as physically tough of a match as I thought it would be. What will Venus have left come Friday?

That match ended just after 11 p.m. but we weren’t done yet, folks, for it was time for Arthur Ashe stadium to become “The world's largest Fish bowl” as over 20,000 “fisherman” looked on in anticipation of American Mardy Fish and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

Fish had the best start he could possibly ask for. He broke Nadal in his first service game and took the first set, 6-3. Fish served tremendously in that set, but he couldn’t keep it up.

Perhaps the late start time offset Nadal, and the first set loss was his wake-up call. He took the second 6-1 and was in cruise control for the remainder of this match.

Watching this, Ii was reminded of Andre Agassi. Agassi made every match a physical encounter. He wears his opponent down, even if he loses points. Nadal loses some battles, but he wins most of the wars, as Mardy Fish can attest.

The toughest combatants on this night were the fans, many of whom hung in past the 2 a.m. hour.


See you after the action on Tremendous Thursday (we hope it’s tremendous anyway).