Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic I had a moment, a hallucination. I was looking for the stereotypic old fat guy who is always in the boxers corner to throw out the white towel. I shook my head and the moment passed but the idea stayed with me. If the Men's Final of the United States Open had been a boxing match Djokovic wouldn't have answered the bell for the fifteenth round. That's right. I'm going back to the days when men were men, when a championship fight meant fifteen rounds in the ring not this wussy twelve round bullshit. It meant that two men stood against each other valiantly and in the end one was still standing.
Last night it was Rafael Nadal in the role of Muhammad Ali. It wasn't the quick surgical destruction of the first Ali/Sonny Liston fight but the more mature Ali of the Rumble in the Jungle, the man who invented the rope-a-dope who absorbed all the blows and patiently waited for his opponent to realize he was the one going down.
Djokovic staggered into the fourth set punch drunk on rubbery legs. Rafa wasn't mean. He wasn't fist pumping in his opponents face or wildly celebrating each point won. Instead we saw a mature Rafa, a man who was in it to win it. And win it he was.
For those of us who have been fans of Rafa from the beginning last night justified all of our hopes. We knew Rafa had it in him. We knew that with the strength of his will he would win the US Open. Hell, he made the semi finals two years in a row and he was injured both times.
Carlos Moya that he could have a career just like his politely but firmly responded that he wanted more. He's got it. Vamos!