20 year-old juan martin del potro of argentina stunned world #1 roger federer of switzerland 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 to win his first grand slam singles title at the us open in flushing meadow last monday. the thrilling match lasted well over four hours, starting in the early afternoon and climaxing at nite with one of del potro's many powerful forehand winners. del potro became the second south american (guillermo vilas '77) to claim the heralded crown. surprisingly, for a non-american, he admitted, "this was my dream, my favorite tournament, i've always wanted to win here and i can't believe this moment."
del potro crushed world #2 rafael nadal of spain in the semi-finals 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in less than two hours. his booming serve and flat, hard ground strokes were too much for nadal, who, despite a sore abdominal strain, played better as the tournament progressed. del potro is now the only man to beat both federer and nadal in a grand slam tournament. del potro was in tears after he shook hands with federer, who set the record of 15 grand slam men's singles titles upon beating american andy roddick in a five-set epic at wimbledon this summer.
clearly the hands-down favorite - he'd never lost to del potro - federer was primed for a record-tying sixth us open crown. the elegant swiss was up a set and a break at 5-4 in the second set before del potro broke his serve with an incredible running down-the-line forehand winner. in the third set del potro double faulted on set point yet showed maturity and poise beyond his years to come from two sets to one down for his unforgettable triumph. federer was 50 percent on his first serves and converted only five of 22 break points, conceding in the post-match press conference, "i had my chances...he played well...its not the end of the world."
kim clisters of belgium handily defeated surprising first time finalist 19 year-old caroline wozniacki of denmark 7-5, 6-3 to win her second us open singles title. clisters won in 2005 and abruptly retired to get married and have a baby. she returned to the tour this summer and played well in three tournaments. clisters became the first mother since evonne goolagong in 1980 to win at flushing meadow. after delivering a forehand winner at the net on match point she dropped to her knees and cried tears of joy.
clisters admitted after the match, "this wasn't our plan...i just wanted to play some matches and get used to the environment again." her 18-month old daughter jada joined her on court later to the delight of the record-setting crowd. the beaming clisters, popular and well-liked by all, was gracious in congratulating the young dane for her impressive run to the finals. the ninth-seeded wozniacki, who showed a steady calm in each of her matches, survived the onslaught of upsets as 16 of the top 32 seeds lost in the first two rounds.
the unseeded clisters was given a wild card this year and used it wisely. she didn't lose a set the entire tournament, playing hard each match with nothing to lose. clisters defeated venus williams in the fourth round & her sistah serena williams in a controversial semi-final match. williams was fined $10,000 (as well as $500 fine for racket abuse) by the usta for shouting verbal obscenities at a lines woman who called a foot fault on williams as she served 5-6, 15-40 in the second set. though contrite during her post-match press conference, the following day williams issued an amended apology to the lines woman, the usta, clisters and her fans for her, "inappropriate outburst."
- 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.