Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Final Four

by Savannah

Caroline Wozniacki photo 28f1af09-7479-44b7-9809-315732c2d890_zps3f75213e.jpg
Photo via Alex Goodlett Getty Images

Serena Williams photo aaff2148-ab0f-435b-95a5-c66e85f4c8b0_zpsc256f843.jpg
Photo via John G Mabanglo EPA

The WTA is trying, rather lamely, to make it seem as if Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are besties. Both women are loyal to the WTA and will go along with whatever PR their association wants. I mean the ATP had success with making us believe Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were besties until Rafa quit the Players Association because of differences with Federer.

But I digress.

As you all know I don't do picks. I don't play Suicide Pools or any of the games associated with tennis because I want to be free to enjoy the tennis without wondering if I'm going to finish second or third in a pool or game.

That said the obvious pick would be Serena Williams. I mean she's the top player. Her head to head vs Caroline Wozniacki, her "best friend", is 8-1. But this is the 2014 US Open where anything can happen. Serena has not played her best in this tournament. Most fans breathed a sigh of relief when she made the Quarter Finals, her first ever this year, and the Final. I want to say she'll romp but Wozniacki has had it with playing defensive, get every shot back, tennis. She's discovered the joys of aggression, of taking it to her opponent. Is she picturing her ex with every return she hits? Who knows? Whatever makes it easy for you girl. She'll still have to face Serena in a Final in a year that's been kind of "meh" for her. Whatever demons were tormenting her she seems to have them under control but I don't think this will be an easy match. I think Woz will win a set. I think they'll play each other tough. It shouldn't be a toss up but it could be. Woz has had a successful year and seems willing to take it to her opponents.

It should be a good match.

 photo KeiNishikoriviaArtSeitzSplashNewsCorbis_zpse616cf00.jpg
via Art Seitz/Splash News

Marin Cilic photo 01e7a61a-dd15-451d-910f-cbe444e6e80d_zpsb4ccca21.jpg
via Getty Images

If you follow me on Twitter you know how I feel about the so called tennis "journalists" who are saying the ATP Final at this years US Open is going to suck. I think it's disgusting that men and women who are paid for their expertise are upset that one player didn't make the Final and therefore no one is going to watch. That is why tennis is in trouble. The same people were whining that "it's always the same guys" in the Final of a major and "majors have become predictable. Handed a Final where both men have had to go through a Murderer's Row of opponents instead of doing what most sports writers would do they're whining because a player who had a cake walk to the Final, who never had to play a match in the debilitating heat of the BJK Center, didn't make it. When Nishikori Kei won his match I got the impression that fans of the cult of the FedGod were sipping champagne and celebrating what would have been a record setting Final victory. I guess they hadn't been paying attention to how Marin Cilic had played this tournament. They're only "journalists" and it's supposed to be their job to make note of such things but they went for the PR, for the ish to put it somewhat politely, and penciled in their idol. The Twitter silence was deafening. They had to wait to be told what to think. And that is pathetic.

What do I think? I expect a good match. I expect both men - one a big man who can move, the other a small man who plays with finesse - will play their hearts out. I expect at least four sets. I have no idea who will win. This match is a toss up. Unlike the Women's Final, where all will depend on Serena, this Final will depend on who plays better.

I read that not one journalist from Croatia made it to New York. Their editors must be kicking themselves.

I'm not going to get into how the story line became the coaches of the players who played the semifinals. I mean really? It seemed that the consensus was Edberg would out think them all. Ha! The coach can't play the match. And truth be told it was never about them. Commentators wanted to make it about their time in the sun and it really wasn't. Sad that this became the narrative.

I wonder how late interns will be up putting together the promo for Cilic vs Nishikori. Good times.


Randy Burgess said...

Men's side comment: Yeah, before Cilic-Federer, I was pretty sure Cilic would win. Fed is good but he is also old & tired And I saw some of Cilic's prior matches & the serve, which on olden days used to be weak (too high and badly-placed ball toss, too much hip turn, no pace) had now become monstrous - plus his movement & groundstrokes were crisp & scary. I was somewhat puzzled by why everyone else (e.g. Jon Wortheim's tweet) seemed to think that Nishikori beating Djokovic = Nish/Fed final.

You know I'm a Fed fan - and I know you're not - but this is certainly a more exciting men's GS final than we've had in years. Two fresh faces, both playing outstanding tennis. Having gotten on board the Nishikori bus a while back (yes it's had some flat tires and other stoppages of service, but even so), I'll be rooting for him. But if Cilic can serve as nerve-free and huge as he did vs. Fed, it's going to make it awfully tough on Kei. We'll see.

Savannah said...

I wasn't that puzzled by all the predictions of Kei/Fed. The fix was in or so they thought.

Some called me out for saying Fed had a cakewalk to the Final but like you I thought they were wrong. Cilic has been playing very well lately & I'm guessing he and Goran wanted to be ready for the US Open. Blame USTA officials and their navel gazing for not paying attention to what was going on in men's tennis outside of the States and their favorite.

You know what I say: A soft draw doesn't make a champion. It's happened to Federer twice on the North American swing. Still I expect to see him continue to get those kind of draws.

Fred66 said...

Savannah, why do you have so much trouble believing Serena and Caroline are friends? Are you one of those people who believes that females cannot possibly compete an be friendly like guys can be?