“You just can’t speak to umpires like that” – Rusedski on Serena

September 12, 2011

Week two of the U.S. Open had many stories. Would the weather destroy the momentum of the event? How would the courts hold up? Will the U.S. Open finally make plans to build a roof? Who would be the men’s and woman’s U.S. Open champions?

On the woman’s side Serena Williams made the finals easily and was the big favorite to win the title against Sam Stosur. Stosur had the longest match in US Open history and played the longest tie breaker in U.S. open history as well, to make the finals. Nobody except Sam Stosur thought she would win. If she won, she would become the first Australian woman to win a major since 1980. She played the match of her life and won 6-2 6-3.

But playing Serena is never dull. At 6-2 30/40 break point down Serena, shouted ”come on” during the point which you are not allowed to do because the rules say you are not allowed to distract your opponent during the point, which she did.

The chair umpire rewarded the point immediately to Stosur to give her a set and a break lead. Serena blew up and lost it. Unfortunately for Serena she let herself down and showed poor sportsmanship. It is easy to be gracious when you win, but when you are losing we see a players true sportsmanship.

This is now the second time in three years that she has lost it with the umpires when she has been losing at the U.S. Open. You just can’t speak to umpires like that and it will be interesting to see if there will be any repercussions. Sam Stosur is great for the woman’s game and I hope she can win multiple slams because that’s what the woman’s game needs, a new star.

The main talking points on the men’s side during week two were the top players being upset at organizers for trying to have them play on wet courts and also the unfair scheduling at the U.S. Open. The players do not like how the first rounds are played over three days of the event in week one, rather than in the first two days as they do at all the other slams. Lastly in all the other slams they play the semi-finals on a Thursday or Friday, they then have at least a day off and then the finals are played on a Sunday.

At the U.S. Open however, they play the semi-finals on Saturday and then the finals Sunday which the players do not like because they do not have enough time to recover and it gives the winner in the first semi-final a huge advantage in recovery time. Nadal, Murray and Roddick got their way, rightly so, when it came down to the weather and they canceled play on Wednesday because they did not have a window to fit the matches in. They also did not want to put the players on damp courts as they did early in the day which upset the players. The USTA made a change in schedule to allow the men to have a day off before the finals, rather than having one player having to play four matches in a row.

On the men’s side there have been no real surprises with the top four easily making it into the semi-finals. What a line up. Federer versus Djokovic and Nadal versus Murray. Federer started like a house on fire and played the first two sets as well as I have ever seen him play, but Novak Djokovic is number one for a reason now and turned the match around to win in five sets, having saved two match points in the fifth set on Federer’s serve.

This loss will hurt Federer no end because to lose now in consecutive slams up two sets to love will only continue to hurt his confidence and belief. This has happened twice now and never before this year has Federer ever lost a two sets to love lead at any slam. Even with 23,000 people all supporting Roger he couldn’t get it done and it just showed how mentally tough Djokovic was in that match.

In the other semi-finals Nadal won a hard fought match against Murray. Murray played the right way in the third and fourth sets being more aggressive and choosing the right times to come in at. At the moment Nadal is just the better player and plays his best tennis when it matters.

This set up a rematch of the Wimbledon finals with world number 1 and number 2 going head to head. I am sticking with my pick Novak Djokovic today to win in four or five sets; another great day of tennis about to happen.

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