Quite frankly, I haven’t had much interest in the sport lately. Since the U.S. Open, to be clear. Nadal winning his 4th USO crown is quite impressive for the clay courter. Does that last sentence even make sense? Find my thought-process a bit tied-up in conflict, perhaps even denial? 😀
The Spaniard got another easy route to the final and then met a kid there who some thought had the balls to play Nadal (even though the Russian got smoked by Nadal in the Montreal final a couple of months earlier 3 and 0).
Lo and behold the kid got this match to a fifth set. Unfortunately he didn’t quite have the balls (literally, literally and figuratively) to get that first major, to steal one from the Big 3, to change the narrative of men’s tennis, to put earth back on its axis, to deny the Spaniard’s claim of tennis superiority.
The U.S. Open was a disaster. I’m actually not very critical of Nadal. Even if I buy into the conspiracy that he keeps getting granted from the clouds this immunity from competition in these grand slam draws (and beyond), he still has to beat the players they put across the net. He still wins. He still collects the hardware. One can only deny Nadal’s tennis for so long. After a while, you start to sound like a fanboy.
Good for Nadal. And, again, a 4th is supreme.
Medvedev, on the other hand, continues this collective collapse of the men’s game. He’s becoming a top player, set to win multiple majors? I’ll go ahead and call bullshit on this one. He’ll probably win one or two majors, perchance a few more. But I’m certainly not going to talk about this kid’s greatness for one key stroke of the key pad. He blew that match.
We still have a virtual tennis camp within the ATP. Get this: the tour is a fun (and well funded) tennis experience for the kids to run around and attend “clinics,” held throughout the world, actually, staffed by the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
Folks, that’s literally what’s going-on here.
The ATP is a tennis camp run by the Big 3. Medvedev got a neat medal for his participation at the U.S. Open. He’s actually a “winner” in most people’s eyes.
Not mine. He may never win a major. Or he’ll win one.
Perhaps he’s a Del Potro or Cilic type. Who knows. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Having these youngsters “step-up” once the Big 3 are retired, officially, will have as much meaning as an author getting that prestigious literary distinction posthumously.
Look at the rise of Sampras, for instance, centered around that 1990 U.S. Open. He claimed his first major at that year’s final major championship. He was 19 years old.
He was the 12-seed. Here’s a glance at the top seeds at that tournament:
5. Gómez (Andrés)
Pete’s route to the final where he spanked Agassi 4 3 and 2?
He beat Muster in the R16, Lendl in the QF, and a resurgent Johnny Mac (unseeded) in the SF.
If you recall the SF match there, 99.9% of you do not, you were witness to a serve and volley clinic that the American teen gave to one of the sport’s S&V greats. Masterful stuff from a youngster (joining Agassi, of course) crashing the proverbial party.
Thiem beating Federer in Indian Wells, or Medvedev beating Novak in Cincy (Zvererv has had some nice wins in Masters play, as well) are crumbs for the neglected peasantry.
Feed the people!
This inequality (in more ways than one) is evidence of a sick planet.
And in just the last few days:
Rublev falls to Tsonga
Cilic downs Hurkacz
Coric embarrassed by Verdasco
Federer spanking De Minaur
to round-out the immemorable U.S. Open final, site of the Nadal def. Medvedev clinic.
Medvedev just lost to Chardy in Paris, for what it’s worth.
And Federer stepped-out to get dialed-in for London (so much for my Fed v Med final 🙂
Which leaves us with the only logical Paris final this weekend between Djokovic and Nadal.
Maybe my interest in this God-forsaken sport has returned.
Talk to you soon.