— There was no stopping the brute force of Nadal, though his Russian opponent gave him a major league, five-set fight. Midway through the third set, with Nadal up a break and looking to consolidate his advantage, he missed a set up, put away volley, which opened the door for a comeback. Most amazingly, Daniil obliged and had Rafa on his heels for the next two and a half sets, with strong serving, sharp ground strokes and some great net play. But in the end, as is usually the case, expecting a mere mortal to withstand five sets of body punches from the spirited Spaniard was just not realistic. It’s over, and congratulations to the holder of 19 majors … now just one behind Roger.
— Regarding today’s US Open final … anybody who thinks this was not an amazing final is sadly mistaken. Incredible shot making, blood and guts, abrupt changes in momentum, and a crowd on the edge of its seat for nearly five hours. Tennis needed what it got today very badly. I found this immensely more interesting than the ever-sluggish Wimbledon final. — The power of sports — working to transform a rather gruff Russian into a beloved crowd favorite in the blink of a Hawkeye.
— Bencic bears down impressively on Osaka, coercing the top seed into a continuous stream of errors. You could see it written all over Naomi’s face, as well as with the sluggish, negative body language — she simply didn’t have the will … or apparently the wheels … to stay with her eager and aggressive Swiss opponent. The knee should heal, but is that needs to improve here? — Goerges was in cruise control mode, until she was undone by some very nervous serving late in the 2nd; she could never really recover, and resilient Donna Vekic was there to clean up in the ensuing wreckage. — Elise unceremoniously releases American Ahn 1 and 1 on her own recognizance. — Canada’s Andreescu keeps her cool against heroine Townsend, relying on her superior groundies, as well plenty of naked aggression.
— You’re only as good as your second serve, and that meant big problems for big favorite Zverev; tennis’ new bulldog, Schwartman, makes short work of the long, lanky German, who folded like a house cards on numerous, pathetic second offerings. Where this problem came from … who knows, but he needs to toughen up if he’s to have any real prospects of busting into the upper echelon.
— Matteo drubs Rublev by keeping his flustered opponent off balance, with a most impressive mixture of spins and changing of speeds. This guy is in super shape, and has major court presence (along with an excellent forehand). And great choice of garb (gotta love the Steeler colors).
— Monfils pounds Pablo Andujar, who mistakenly thought he had the door ajar to the quarters.
— At the time of this writing, Cilic was dead palindrome bouncing a tennis ball in his 4th set against Nadal. Who can blame him? Only a select few can must the energy and firepower to take even one set off this guy on hard courts … and that’s exactly what Marin was able to manufacture tonight … just that.
— Maddening Keys takes her attention deficit disorder act to new heights tonight will a bad loss to an opponent who really pushed her to new lows of inconsistency. And if Monfils achieves his goals tomorrow, could we be treated to lover titleists at a tennis major for the first time since Jimmy and Chrissie in ’74. — Everybody. Have fun tonight. Everybody Qiang Wang tonight. — To the chagrin of Pliskova, Konta just con’t be stopped. — It’s gonna take a heap more than a little turned ankle to turn Serena away from this year’s title. No such presents today for Petra.
2019 US Open Update: Day 7, Round 4 (Men’s Singles)
— No more Novak, who can’t shoulder the burden of a bare knuckles brawl with Switzerland’s barrel-chested Bavarian. Sebby has his first serve and power groundies working tonight, and that was certainly a beautiful sight to behold. Look for him to use this upset as fuel for thrashing Daniil “The Heel” in the next round! — In a match that was largely overlooked, an all grow’sed up Baby Fed moved like a dream in navigating the mine field that is little Alex De Minaur. Grigor looks primed to put up a huge fight in what looks like a primo opportunity to land in this year’s semis. Much credit to his team for getting him into superb shape. — Tennis’ original, salty Soviet scarecrow, Medvedev, used his superior firepower to subdue qualifier Koepfer, but not without the underdog from Tulane, by way of Germany, keeping this uncomfortably tight for his crankiness from the former Communist Block. Daniil will definitely to clean things up if he hopes to survive Wawrinka in the quarters. And one thing’s for sure, a raucous crowd will be all over him like flies at a late Summer picnic. — A masterful Fed puts Goffin to sleep in his coffin; who can fault him for trying, but the Belgians belly flops in the mid-to-late rounds of Majors is really becoming tiresome.