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Who, among the top four, is most desperate to win US Open title this year?

Posted by tennisplanet on August 29, 2010

Considering Murray is the only one without a Slam, this is considered his favorite surface, has reached two Slam finals already, is 23 and his country is about to give up on him – he could logically be the contender for the most desperate wife. But how many times have we witnessed this ‘logical’ dude get thrashed and annihilated by a host of intangibles over and over freaking again.

Didn’t logic just got beat at this year’s Wimbledon final? Not only had Berdych not won any titles there he had beaten Federer and Djokovic back to back before reaching the finals. One of them in straight sets. Contrast that to Nadal who was coming in with seven Slams and one Wimbledon title – over Federer. If someone was still in doubt as to who wanted it more, the scoreline settled that debate once and for all. Nadal won in straight sets.

Could that scenario be playing itself over again here? I mean, is Nadal the one wanting it more than anybody else including Murray? After all, Murray is just attempting to get on board with very little historical implications other than being a Brit. Nadal is fighting history if not attempting to recreate it. Title here will not only get him the career Slam but more importantly if will remove that ‘clay specialist’ billboard around his neck allowing him to play far more freely on surfaces not called red. Not to mention the very real possibility it will produce for Nadal to reach at least 10 Slams before turning 25 (Win @ FO 2011).

For Nadal personally, it also allows him to match another of Federer’s amazing records: Career Slam. With much of what he does measured against Federer’s esteemed numbers in his never-ending quest to validate the winning H2H he enjoys over Federer, Nadal winning here will go a long way towards that goal – other than winning another Slam Federer was ‘supposed’ to win.

Nadal is on a horse with a dangling carrot. The intriguing part? Once he destroys the first carrot the next one becomes even juicier producing an adrenalin rush even stronger than the one he got just done with.

Bottom line: Nadal is aiming for much bigger and larger picture than any of the other three clowns can achieve with a title here. The target transcends his personal goals. He has much bigger fish to fry than all the other three put together. Isn’t that the true measure of how desperate or compelling anything is to anybody anywhere?

Does all that mean that desperation equals results? Not necessarily. But it does guarantee one thing: Effort stemming from the best a human can produce under the conditions. Will that be enough to win is what we’ll all find out soon.

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14 Responses to “Who, among the top four, is most desperate to win US Open title this year?”

  1. Nelson Goodman said

    Compelling stuff. But why isn’t the necessary flipside that Roger will also want it badly: if Rafa wants it in order to up his chances vis-a-vis Fed in the GOAT competition, then why doesn’t Roger want it – equally intensely – for the flipside reason that it’ll stymie Rafa and, in addition, put some further distance b/t them, in three respects: (1) Adding to his major total/Nadal’s number deficit; (2) Winning, in a year he’s been written off, major no. 2, to equal Rafa’s count (I’m ignore quality for the moment) in his best year (and if you prefer 2008, he won 2 then as well) – when he’s 29 and clearly no longer in 2004-7 form, while Rafa is 24 and should be, if he wants to compete for GOAT status, trying to achieve such form; (3) Either (a) beating Rafa in the final, improving his h2h and, as importantly, reinforcing the point that Rafa’s edge is mainly on clay, which then got leveraged into a broader edge by getting into Roger’s head, which winning here can turn the tide on; or (b) winning without facing Rafa in the finals, which reinforces the point that, hey, Roger has won or finaled at the US open every year since Rafa came on tour – is it his fault Rafa never makes it far enough to face him and jeopardize the h2h lead?

  2. Manal Ismail said

    bottomline: would love to see Rafael Nadal win the USO 2010.

  3. BANTI said

    Roger answering fans questions tonight on facebook.

    Roger Federer Goreti Faria: If you could choose a tennis player (ever) to play against in a grand slam final, who would that player be?

    Here’s what I am thinking tonight..I would probably choose to play Borg @ Roland Garros, Laver @ the Australian Open, Edberg @ Wimbledon and McEnroe @ the US Open.

  4. Phil said

    Interesting stuff, but I think we must also consider how the relevant guys REACT to wanting it the most. Sometimes you can want something so much that it screws up your chances of getting it. In the case of Fed and Nadal, I think their desire inspires them to play their best tennis. In the case of Murray and Djokovic, I think their desire heightens their nerves, causing them to revert to bad habits and patterns of play which ultimately costs them the big matches.

    Murray in particular has shown this time and time again, and I’ve seen little to convince me that this year will be different. Last year was red-hot coming into the US Open, and lost very tamely indeed to Cilic. This year I think he’ll cruise to the quarters, where Berdych will take him out fairly easily. The Czech beat him so easily at RG it was almost embarrassing, and while hard courts might be Murray’s favourite surface, the same applies to Berdych.

    • Jenny said

      I so agree with you, Phil. [1at para]. Apart from Murray and Djokovic, I think this ‘affliction’ affects other fine players too, the list goes on and on. In other words, double faults and the famous choke. Sometimes I’ve sat here holding my breath while some of these guys attempt to serve it out, I’m sure you have too! Then there are the born artistic temperaments, the mercurial types prone to loss of focus, so one never knows what to expect from them, one day pure brilliance, next day they sink like a stone. Talking about Cilic, I’d like to know what’s happening with him right now.

      I would always rate Berdych on clay over Murray, so that result was no real surprise to me. Imo, if there is a weakness [anyone], clay will bring it to the surface so to speak, especially when meeting one of the elite hard men of clay.

      • Phil said

        Yeah Cilic is a mystery. He seems to have changed some technical things in his game, especially on his serve (his ball toss is much higher now). I think this might be bothering him.

        But yeah Djokovic and Murray are awful in tight situations. In Toronto Murray gave up a DOUBLE BREAK lead in the first set, and would surely have gone on to lose it had Federer not absolutely gifted him a third break at 5-5. Murray also has a knack for serving doubles on set and match points. I think in his loss to Fed in Cincy last year he served a double at match point. As for Djoko…I’m sure I don’t need to mention his serving struggles.

      • Jenny said

        Cilic had a great serve and ice cool demeanour when I first saw him in his teens, on grass at around 18. He was rock solid, confident, and of course a need to improve over time, but it was all there as I could see. My attitude, a winning formula should be left well alone to mature, nurtured. Imho, some coaches/advisors are guilty of too much tinkering with a young player, usually with serve, it gets confusing for them, and I’m not blaming Brett here. The kid needs to go back to basics and swing free. Nole’s serve has taken a retrograde step.

        Not forgetting Fernando ‘double faults’ Verdasco!

      • Phil said

        Yeah I think Cilic had a very solid game, but I do admit that I’ve always thought his serve needed a major overhaul. At 6’6″ he should be hitting the ball much, MUCH harder than he is. He tops out at about 120 miles an hour, which is ridiculous for a guy his size. He arches his back way too much, so he can’t push up into his serve as effectively as other guys. I know he’s been working with Goran Ivanisevic on his serve…I dunno maybe we just need to give him time and he’ll be back stronger than before.

  5. Growltiger said

    Rafa — if he wins this one he has four career slams.

    Murray is the sports media’s fair haired boy. They’ll keep ignoring his lack of a slam while slamming (pun intended) Djokovic for only winning one.

    Federer is concentrating now on all four in one year. He already has his four career slams. He’d like to win, but he’s not desperate. Next year he will be IF he wins Australia.

    • Jenny said

      Murray is the sports media’s fair haired boy. They’ll keep ignoring his lack of a slam while slamming (pun intended) Djokovic for only winning one.

      Very strange, I can’t disagree, Growltiger.

    • Phil said

      Yeah Brad Gilbert must feel like a total knob by now, seeing as he’s predicted a victory for Murray at just about every Slam going back two years. He has (surprise surprise) predicted that again this year.

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