The story of the second week at the 2012 U.S. Open has been more about the weather than anything that has happened on the court. Mother Nature took center stage again on Saturday, washing out the Novak Djokovic vs. David Ferrer match that saw the latter dominating in the first set 5-2.
With a new lease on life, and much better weather expected in New York when play resumes at 11:00 a.m. ET, Djokovic has a decided advantage in this match that wasn't there on Saturday.
With wind gusts at nearly 20 miles per hour, Djokovic couldn't find his footing. Credit Ferrer for taking advantage of the situation, because he could just as easily have fallen apart under the circumstances.
But the worst thing that could have happened to Ferrer was the weather reaching a point where it caused a delay. Djokovic now has everything in his court. It is going to take a lot to salvage the first set, but because he is so good and never gets ahead of himself, he can storm right back.
Djokovic hasn't lost to Ferrer this season, winning both matches the two have played in straight sets. He has the psychological advantage, as well as just being the better overall player, so any small benefit Ferrer could get was critical.
The weather provided Ferrer that benefit on Saturday, but it will not be there today. You could say that because he has a sizable lead in the first set, the ball is still in his court.
However, Djokovic has been given a second life. He knows that with the way things were headed, odds were good he would not be around to see the final of the U.S. Open. It would be the third straight Grand Slam event he failed to win.
Now, with a semi-clean slate in front of him, Djokovic can focus on tennis. He doesn't have to worry about any external factors--it is just him and Ferrer, one-on-one, for the right to play Andy Murray on Monday.
None of this is to take away from Ferrer, who has shined this year and looking to make his first Grand Slam final in 2012, but a Djokovic loss in this match would be a monumental upset. His mental and physical advantage will take over as soon as play resumes.