Roger Federer & Serena Williams were victorious singles champions at the 2008 US Open. Federer won his fifth consecutive title, just one shy of tying Bill Tilden, who won six straight titles in the early 1920's. Williams, who upset #1 Martina Hingis as a teenager in 1999 for her first Grand Slam title here, won her third title at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set. Williams also claims the number ranking as a result of her win. Federer remains the #2 player on tour.
The men's draw promised to be a showdown between newly ranked #1 Rafael Nadal of Spain & Federer, who lost to Nadal in the finals of the French Open & Wimbledon this year. In fact, prior to this tournament Federer had not won a major; he lost to world #3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Federer avenged his loss to Djokovic by defeating him soundly in the semis in four sets. Nadal lost in the semis to world #6 Andy Murray of Britian - in a match delayed by rain & continued the next day - in four tough sets.
Federer played Murray on a beautiful Monday afternoon. Murray was coming off a hot summer & clearly the underdog, this being his first Grand Slam final, yet he has a career 2-1 match edge over Federer. Murray has worked hard over the last 18 months on his fitness & mental toughness, also changing coaches a few times to spearhead his rise to the top. Both players are brilliant shot makers & excited the crowd with their talent, but Federer was his usual charismatic self as he won 6-2, 7-5, 6-2. As a result of his fine efforts here, Murray will become the #4 player in the world.
Williams came into the tournament seeded #4. Like Federer, she had not won a major this year. Williams played her sister Venus, the defending Wimbledon champion in the quarterfinals during prime time. Serena saved 10 set points in her thrilling 7-6, 7-6 win. In the semis she soundly beat the hottest player on the tour, Dinara Safina of Russia in straight sets. Safina had an opportunity to become world #1 with a US Open victory. In the other semi-final match, world #2 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia defeated Olympic Gold medal winner Elena Dementieva of Russia. Like Safina, both women had a shot at being #1 with a US Open victory.
The women's final was moved to Sunday night because of the rain. Hurricane Gustav swept through New York Saturday afternoon, postponing all matches until the following day. While Jankovic & Williams have a career 3-3 record, the feisty Serbian (like Murray) has never been in a Grand Slam Final. Under difficult conditions & lasting nearly two & half hours they played one of the most competitive women's singles matches in recent history. Jankovic is known for her defensive prowess & Williams for her offensive firepower. Both players had trouble holding serve in each set, though Williams finally prevailed 6-4, 7-5.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.