Who says you need Roger Federer to have an epic Grand Slam final?
The Rafa Nadal-Novak Djokovic U.S. Open final was an endless highlight reel. And it proved that these two players will be the men to beat going forward.
And the U.S. Open final will go down as one of the top 10 matches in the open era.
There was this insane 54-shot rally that energized the crwod, and gave Djokovic his first break of the match.
Djokovic grabbed the second set 6-3 and it looked like he had just enough headwind to take the third. Momentum was still on his side.
John McEnroe and Mary Carillo seemed to agree that they were watching history — another one of the great matches in an era that is absolutely stocked with classic matches.
It was inevitable that this one would go the distance. Djokovic had a chance at a break at 4-all and couldn’t convert
Here’s Djokovic, serving at 4-5 at 30-0, cruising to a hold to bring it 5-all. And this would ultimately change the momentum and the match:
“I obviously could not recover after that loss,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic had to get an early break up in the fourth and he had a chance.
The crowd was decidedly in his favor throughout the match, probably the first final it has ever been this much in his favor (it’s an odd thing how ambivalent New York is with Djokovic).
And then Djokovic offered this, one of the most remarkable drop shots you’ll ever see in the first game of the fourth set:
You can hear ESPN commentator Johnny Mac infamously saying at the end, “What are we gonna see next?”
It was an action-packed final, charged with indefatiguable power on both sides, and enough ups and downs to make the heartiest Six Flags visitor weary.
Lets hope for more of this in 2014…