Monday, September 12, 2011

Novak Djokovic Is A Tennis God

Ordinarily I would start my Monday blog with weekend observations, fantasy football updates, or rubbing Notre Dame's face in manure, but this time I have to talk about the US Open. Even with the men's final still up for grabs today the drama over the weekend was sensational.

Let's start with Novak Djokovic shall we? As a former tennis player I've never seen anything quite like the Federer/Djokovic match on Saturday. The first set was so evenly matched Federer won the tie breaker 9-7 while the 2nd set featured only one break. When Federer took a commanding 2 set to love lead I thought the match was over.

To my surprise Djokovic fought back to win the next two sets and pull even in the match. With a spot in the US Open final on the line Federer went up 5-3, 40-15 serving for the match. The crowd was behind him and it looked like a foregone conclusion he would be playing for his 17th grand slam title until the unthinkable happened.

Novak Djokovic calmly walked to the deuce court shaking his head as if it were no big deal he was down two match points against arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. He took a deep breath, smashed a cross court winner, and turned to the crowd as if to say "give me some love too!" The crowd responded with a raucous ovation and suddenly the momentum shifted.

Roger Federer lost his serve, lost his composure, lost his nerve, and lost the match. His shots were tentative and his body language reflected a competitor that knew he couldn't win. Federer showed us his vulnerable side and succumbed to the pressure of must win points.

The 2011 US Open men's semi finals is what sports is all about. Watching Novak Djokovic do the impossible is something all sports fans can appreciate. Never give up, always believe in yourself, and leave it all on the court. That is the message everyone should be taking away from Novak's improbable victory. Novak Djokovic has ascended to the tennis equivalent of Mt. Olympus with one match. Simply awesome.

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