Ferrer def Nadal: 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
The tennis world (at least in the US) woke up today, checked the scores from the Ferrer vs Nadal match, and promptly went into shock. I’m still in shock. I’ve come to terms with it, but it’s still shocking. Nadal looked to be unbeatable. He looked utterly dominant. He was three wins from raising the bar just a bit further, and muddying the waters a bit more on the whole GOAT debate. Three wins away from the “Rafa Slam”.Not this year.
He might still pull it off someday, but I personally think the longer it takes, the harder it will be. His body is obviously taking a beating. He’s not getting any younger, but the rest of the men’s field is getting bigger/stronger/faster. He and Roger have been so dominant for so long that the entire men’s game has had to step up or shut up. Djokovic is playing great. Murray is playing great. Berdych is playing great.
More troubling for Nadal, in my opinion, is the true extent of his injury. Since he went undefeated during the clay court season in 2010, he has a whole bunch of points to defend, and those tournaments aren’t that far away. It’s unlikely he could repeat that incredible performance even if he were healthy (though I wouldn’t bet against him), but if he’s injured there’s no way. So injury or no, his lead in the points will almost certainly take a hit. And if the injury is significant, his ranking will take a hit as well.
And to what extent does Nadal being out open up things for Federer? That’s tough to say; it’s not like Djokovic/Murray/Berdych/etc are pushovers, but the fact is, with Rafa being out of the tournament, everyone who’s still left saw their chances of winning increase. That’s just a fact.
Consider how difficult a proposition it must be to win all four majors consecutively. Neither Federer (who’s had a couple chances) nor Nadal (who just saw his first opportunity slip away) could pull it off, and they are arguably the two greatest tennis players who have ever lived. I mean no disrespect to Rod Laver, but ‘cmon…Rod Laver in his prime would have found beating today’s top pro’s a tall order indeed.
Oh well…coulda/woulda/shoulda…it doesn’t matter now. All that’s left for Nadal to do is put his nose to the grindstone and try again. And we know he will.
Wozniacki vs Li Na
As I type this it’s Wozniacki’s serve at 3-4. She just blew her last challenge on a Li Na forehand that just clipped the line, and then was broken on the very next point.
Li Na is serving at 5-3, and scores first; 15-0. Wozniacki sends a forehand long; 30-0. Li Na dumps a routine backhand into the net. 30-15. She sends a forehand long that missed by probably a millimeter or two, according to Hawkeye. 30-30. Wozniacki sends a high ball deep, it’s Match Point Li Na!
She’s done it! Li Na takes out the #1 seed! She’s through to the finals! 6-3, 5-7, 6-3