Surprise, surprise! Or was it, really?
British tennis finally enters the 21st century: With Andy Murray's triumphant roar heard all over the tennis world, he outruns, outguns, out hustles the all-court hustler king himself, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, and storms to the finals of the 2008 US Open to meet King Federer head on.
It was a sight to behold; it was a sight that was almost unbelievable. But there he was, beating Nadal in four, in dramatic fashion, no less.
Murray has been coming along nicely since the U.S. Open series leading up to this final slam of the year, showing ever-increasing speed, power, and consistency. The will to win and to improve was seemingly always present.
By the Scot's show of intensity from the very first time he set foot onto the world stage of tennis, the will to create wins was always there. Now he has the muscle to back it up as well!
Coach Brad Gilbert had been trying to work another of his miracles. Whoever Gilbert or Alex Corretja or Miles Maclagan hired as Murray's trainers should be given a hefty bonus. Not only has Murray gotten so much stronger and faster, he also has gotten admirably calmer, confident, and self-assured.
The strokes cannot get any smoother. When you are hitting like Murray, it isn't that you are in the so-called "zone," it's just that you are playing well and playing well consistently.
Not even category three hurricanes could dampen mighty Murray's momentum. Can world No. 2 Federer hold him off? Federer seems back to his old self. But if today's Federer could not get past Nadal, doesn't it follow that the raging bull's conqueror, Murray, would be too hot to handle for Federer?
Maybe so. But Federer surely has other plans. This U.S. Open is his coming back party for sure and with Nadal out of the way, we can all surmise that for him this will be as good a chance as any to get back on track and back on top of the heap.
We will have to wait and see. For me, this will be one of the most anticipated, exciting, and dramatic finals we will see for some time. Let's all just hope that Federer wants it badly, because I'm sure Andy does.
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