Tennis Server ATP/WTA Pro Tennis Showcase - US Open 2010 - Super Duper Saturday - Nadal, Youzhny, Federer, Djjokovic, Clijsters, Zvonareva
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September 11, 2010

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US Open 2010, Flushing Meadows, NY, USA
September 11, 2010
Editorial by Jane Voigt.

Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Super Duper Saturday
 
September 11, 2010 -- The very first Super Saturday was a twelve-hour extravaganza on September 8, 1984. The finalists took center stage, which at that time was Louis Armstrong Arena, to compete for victory, fame, history, and prize money.
 
Super Saturday hasn't changed much in twenty-five years, except matches are now played on the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium court that seats upward to 23,000 fans. There is no seniors' championship, either, and the women's final isn't stuffed between the men's semifinals.
 
Yet, the thrills are still here. The best players are still here. And fans flock to watch and cheer their favorites. What's not to like, especially when three of the top four seeded and ranked male players competed today and the defending women's champion could claim her third Open crown?
 
Rafael Nadal became the newest fan of Super Saturday, after thumping a visibly tired Mikhail Youzhny 62 63 64 today. The Spaniard now plays his first-ever U. S. Open final as the second youngest man to reach all four major finals, Jim Courier being the youngest.
 
Initially, both men stayed close, beginning with love holds. In the fifth game Nadal took a commanding 40/0 lead, but soon found himself in a battle with the Russian. The last shot of a 27-shot rally ended in Youzhny's favor off a deft drop shot. But it left him drained and vulnerable.
 
Youzhny had shown precise strategic sense in previous rounds. Today, though, that asset wasn't as keen. He was tired and the spin off Nadal's shots forced the Russian to hit them late and sent them wide.
 
Nadal broke immediately in the third set. The self-proclaimed spoiler Youzhny wouldn't live up to his assertion if he didn't start to play out of his mind. Although he came back to tie the score at 4-all, Nadal struck immediately to squash the threat and serve out the win when Youzhny missed a rather routine backhand volley.
 
Youzhny leaves New York with more fans in his corner. Who doesn't like a pro that skips from the baseline to his chair and then from his chair to the baseline to start a new game? He may be 28, but he is lighthearted... an endearing quality. Plus, the man is a tennis warrior that salutes his audience in remembrance of his father who died when he was ten.
 
The tennis world seemed to jump right past the next final semifinal, talking amongst themselves as if it were a foregone conclusion... Federer would win it, thereby setting the stage for the dream final: Federer versus Nadal. Of course, reality sunk in quickly.
 
Federer held a head-to-head 10-5 lead and defeated Djokovic in the 2007 Open final and the 2008 and 2009 semifinals. But the Serbian #3 seed had nothing to lose today. Nothing. He'd pulled through five prior matches, skirting elimination in the first round against compatriot Victor Troicki after five sets.
 
Neither dragon would be easy to slay in this match. And the more obstinate and tenacious proved to be the better player.
 
Saving two match points in the fifth, and longest, set by a threatening Federer, Djokovic hit laser precise forehand winners that brought everyone to their feet. Within a couple minutes he'd broken Federer and stood poised to serve out the match. Federer challenged him, but on his first match point Djokovic was victorious.
 
He won in five: 57 61 57 62 75, coming from two sets down as he had done against Victor Troicki.
 
Djokovic was magnificent off the ground. He moved the ball around with grace and ease of motion. He pinned his opponent to the baseline, putting a serious dent in Federer's intentions to approach the net more than he did, which was 55 times... of which he won 40 points.
 
The scoreline tells a story of ups and downs, but the key came down to the two most important shots in tennis: serves, and returns of serves.
 
The second set was probably the most crucial.
 
Federer's first-serve percentage tumbled to 40%. Djokovic jumped all over second serves, which put more pressure on Federer to get his first serve in gear. Djokovic came his opponent's ground game with lightning quick returns. Federer couldn't get out of the way.
 
His quality and quantity of winning shots fell precipitously. He couldn't assert himself at the net, either. He came in four times and lost every point.
 
Federer never got his serve going; therefore, he didn't keep up a more concerted effort to gain control at the net. It was too risky against a man who passed well and created angles out of nothing.
 
As the match wore on, Federer slipped into his baseline game of old, which had been sharp as nails of recent. But it wasn't good enough against Djokovic. Federer shanked balls left and right. When long rallies ensued, he lost the points. His timing was off.
 
Federer committed 68 unforced errors today, with only 48 winners. That's not good enough.
 
"He [Djokovic] can have winners from every part of the court," Nadal said in his press conference. "I've had lots of losses against him in this kind of surface. His mentality is always very positive. If I play against him, gonna be very difficult."
 
Indeed.
 
Women's Final...
 
This was their second meeting at The U. S. Open. Kim Clijsters defeated Vera Zvonareva first in 2002, when neither had made much noise on the WTA Tour. Today, Clijsters again beat the Russian, seeded #7, in a spectacle of solid shot making and athleticism from the newly crowned 3-time U. S. Open Women's Champion.
 
Zvonareva had no chance to get ahead or anywhere tonight, really. Clijsters hit better, served better, and retrieved balls that were supposed to have been sure-shot winners off Zvonareva's racquet yet continued to come back over the net, frustrating the struggling Vera.
 
Clijsters reward was a payout of $1.8 million for tonight's champion win and another $500,000 for placing second in The U. S. Open Series.
 
Clijsters pulled away from Zvonareva early in the first set with a level of play that kept normally rowdy fans quiet. Zvonareva had to raise her game to remain at all competitive, but she accumulated errors instead. Her frustration boiled over following another of several extended rallies. She slid and split to a shot, but couldn't reach it. She stood up and whacked her shiny black Prince racquet into oblivion.
 
Instead of earning a game point, Chair Umpire Lynn Welch threw a racquet abuse warning in her direction. Once the slide started and Clijsters remained focused on her steady course of action, Zvonareva was cooked.
 
This was the first time in their last three meetings that Clijsters defeated Zvonareva. They met at Wimbledon and in Montreal. They went three sets, with Vera winning 62 in the third in both matches. Those have been the only two victories Zvonareva has had against Clijsters in the 11 tour encounters.
 

 
[1] Rafael Nadal d [12] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) {blue shirt} 62 63 64
 
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Mikhail Youzhny US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis
Rafael Nadal US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[2] Kim Clijsters (BEL) {blue shirt} d [7] Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 62 61
 
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Vera Zvonareva US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis
Kim Clijsters US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[3] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d [2] Roger Federer (SUI) {blue shirt} 57 61 57 62 75
 
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Team Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis
Novak Djokovic US Open 2010 Tennis

 
Earlier Coverage from this Event:
 
September 10, 2010 US Open: Zvonareva Shocks Wozniacki, Clijsters Scrapes by Williams - Vera Zvonareva, Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams
September 9, 2010 US Open: Them - Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco, Mikhail Youzhny, Stanislas Wawrinka
September 8, 2010 US Open: Below Par - Novak Djokovic, Gael Monfils, Caroline Wozniacki, Dominika Cibulkova, Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Vera Zvonareva, Kaia Kanepi
September 7, 2010 US Open: A Precious Win - Stanislas Wawrinka, Sam Querrey, Venus Williams, Francesca Schiavone
September 6, 2010 US Open: The Important Stuff - Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Robin Soderling, Albert Montanes
September 5, 2010 US Open: Seeing The Light - Rafael Nadal, Gilles Simone, Fernando Verdasco, David Nalbandian, Francesca Schiavone, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
September 4, 2010 US Open: Favorites - Mardy Fish, Arnaud Clement, Maria Sharapova, Beatrice Capra, Jurgen Melzer, Juan Carlos Ferrero
September 3, 2010 US Open: The Virtual U.S. Open - Ryan Harrison, Sergiy Stakhovsky, John Isner, Marco Chiudinelli
September 2, 2010 US Open: Way Below The Radar - Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki, Kai-Chen Chang, Andreas Beck, Robin Soderling, Taylor Dent
September 1, 2010 US Open: The Word - Andy Murray, Lukas Lacko, Venus Williams, Rebecca Marino, Gael Monfils, Igor Andreev
August 31, 2010 US Open: What's Age Got To Do With It? Arnaud Clement, Marcos Baghdatis, Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Jan Hajek, Viktor Troicki
August 30, 2010 US Open: And Away We Go - Melanie Oudin, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, Olga Savchuk, Greta Arn, Stephane Robert
August 29, 2010 US Open: Who's In, Who's Out
 

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