US Open Tennis Finals
Now from his ethereal place he no doubt has a front row ticket at the slams. I am sure that he is very disappointed that his favorite – Roger Federer – is not facing Nadal in the final (as am I). In my mind this would be the anti-expected but desired final. Everyone keeps talking about Federer losing his game, and at 32 there is no doubt that he has lost a few steps, but I bet there wouldn’t be one disappointed fan in Arthur Ashe Stadium if it was Federer facing off against Nadal. That is the match that should have been, the one that would have compelled me to watch every second even if it went five sets.
Now, I will watch the women and men’s finals because this is the U.S. Open, and one never knows when greatest moments will happen. But my father is probably grumbling on the other side, and I will be as I sit in front of the TV. The excitement that used to be found in early September in New York doesn’t feel the same anymore. Maybe watching the matches without Dad is part of it, and maybe I long for the days of Ashe, McEnroe, Connors, Sampras, Agassi, Graf, Seles, Goolagong, Navratilova, and Everet. It seemed back then it was less robotic, less of the expected, or perhaps I just saw the matches I wanted to see.
I’ll never forget watching the famous match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs with Dad. This wasn’t great tennis, and my father almost didn’t say a word through the whole thing. In the end – when King beat Riggs – my father got up from his chair and said, “The fix was in on that one.” We never discussed the match any further, but that was how Dad thought. All these years later, “the fix” seems to be that number one faces number two in the finals.
While I doubt anything nefarious is going on here, the bottom line is that we get what we expected in the finals – not perhaps what we wanted. By getting the expected we get less of what great tennis can and should be. So I will watch and hope to be dazzled, but I have a feeling that Williams and Djokovic will be taking pictures together at the end of play on Monday. Fee-fi-ho-hum indeed.
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