Blog from Dave Vatz—09 Terrapin Graduate
Even though today is football weekend and I was proudly wearing my Flacco jersey and rooting on the Ravens, I made sure to catch the action from the U.S. Open on Sunday, and what a bunch of stories have turned up in this tournament.
-The biggest story is that of Serena Williams getting fined $10,000 by the U.S. Open after her tirade on the court to a line official during her semifinal match with Kim Clijsters. She had gone into a profanity-filled argument with the line judge after being called for a foot fault, which lost her a point via penalty on 15-40, giving the second set and match to Clijsters. What she said cannot be repeated on this blog. While the foot fault call was a tough and possibly wrong call to make, Serena’s tirade is unacceptable, and frankly not what you would expect from a player of her caliber. But worst of all, her only attempt at an apology was saying that “she handled the situation poorly.” She is being allowed to play the doubles championship tomorrow with her sister Venus, but I hope the committee raises that fine some; taking $10,000 from a $250,000 purse that she won is not enough, though I do not feel a suspension is necessary, since she has not done something like this before this tournament.
-Kim Clijsters winning the U.S. Open on Sunday is one of the greatest sports stories of the year, not just in tennis. A player returning from nearly two years in retirement to have a child gets through three top-10 players in just her third tournament back. When Clijsters was in her prime, the world of women’s tennis had many great players, including the Williams sisters, fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardanne (now Justine Henin), Amelie Mauresmo among others, and Clijsters though good only got the 2005 U.S. Open title. I hope she decides to continue the comeback, because she is a great player with a lot of play left in her. The fact that she could return to professional tennis so quickly and win a Grand Slam after having a child is incredible.
-Roger Federer is going for his 16th Grand Slam singles title and 6th-straight U.S. Open title against 6-seed Juan Martin Del Potro. Obviously most of us wanted to see the next chapter of the Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal rivalry, but Nadal’s semifinal performance and subsequent withdrawal from the upcoming Davis Cup tells us he was not physically performing at his best. But the story is about Federer. He is already the record holder in Grand Slam men’s singles titles and is arguably the greatest men’s player ever. He has won in every Grand Slam tournament plus has one of the best backhands I’ve ever seen. Obviously it is hard to compare current and former players due to the changes in racket technology, but I believe Roger Federer is the greatest men’s tennis player of all-time. If nothing else, wasn’t that between the legs shot amazing?