2015 US Open – Day 14

Day-14 Eye Openers:

  • Novak Djokovic. With his opponent clearly the crowd favorite, Novak overcame his role as “villain” to earn his third Grand Slam title of 2015. 10th of his career
  • Roger Federer. Great Open for the GOAT. Novak was simply too good, specifically in the 10th games of each set (see the break-down of the Championship match below)
  • Martina Hingis. She just won 2 Grand Slam titles in 14-days: 2015 US Open Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion. That said, she’s won 5 Grand Slam titles this year alone
  • Yaroslava Shvedova’s commitment to tennis. She was supposed to get married today, but with her success over the fortnight, the wedding had to be put on hold. She’ll fly out to Kazakhstan tonight, get married Tuesday, then head-on to Tokyo for her next engagement at the Japan Women’s Open
  • Rain. 3-hours worth. The Mens Singles Championship match was delayed until 7:00p thanks to intermittent showers

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Finals here in Arthur Ashe Stadium:

[1] Martina Hingis (SUI) / Sania Mirza (IND) def. [4] Casey Dellacqua (AUS) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)

Martina Hingis is a boss. Today, she won her 5th Grand Slam title of 2015:

  • Australian Open Mixed Doubles Champion
  • Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Champion
  • Wimbledon Doubles Champion
  • US Open Mixed Doubles Champion
  • US Open Doubles Champion.

Back in July, Martina and Sania Mirza won the Wimbledon Championship, Sania’s first Grand Slam title. Shortly after they joined forces in March, winning their first event together at Indian Wells, Sania became the first player from India to hold the World #1 ranking – an apex she’s maintained throughout the Summer.

Yaroslava Shvedova and Casey Dellacqua first started playing together just four months ago. A Grand Slam Finals appearance is no doubt a sign of good things to come. Yaroslava, however, didn’t have much faith in their partnership prior to the Open. She scheduled her wedding in Kazakhstan for today, and had to reschedule after their Semifinal win over Groenefeld and Vandeweghe late last week.

In the Championship match, Mirza and Hingis were simply too good. The top seeds broke Dellacqua in game-4, but Shvedova and Dellacqua answered with a break of their own game-5. After the sit-down, Hingis and Mirza played a brilliant return game on Shvedova’s serve, then served out the set 6-3.

In the second, the Wimbledon champs started with a break and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Up 4-2, they broke Dellacqua at love to go up 5-2 and guarantee the win. Dellacqua and Shvedova would earn a break back to stay alive, but Mirza and Hingis wouldn’t be denied, winning the title on their return game.

The final game:

  • Shvedova double-fault (0-15)
  • (0-30)
  • Dellacqua net winner (15-30)
  • Shvedova net winner (30-30)
  • Mirza forehand into the net (40-30)
  • Shvedova forehand long (Deuce)
  • Dellacqua net winner (Ad-Shvedova/Dellacqua)
  • Mirza lob winner (Deuce)
  • Shvedova double-fault #2 (Ad-Hingis/Mirza)
  • Hingis net winner (WIN)

Martina Hingis / Sania Mirza – Road to the US Open Title
F – def. [4] Casey Dellacqua (AUS) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-3, 6-3
SF – def. [11] Sara Errani (ITA) / Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 6-4, 6-1
QF – def. [9] Yung-Jan Chan (TPE) / Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) 7-6(5), 6-1
3R – def. [13] Michaella Krajicek (NED) / Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 6-3, 6-0
2R – def. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) / Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE) 6-1, 6-1
1R – def. Kaitlyn Chirstian (USA) / Sabrina Santamaria (USA) 6-1,6-2

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[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. [2] Roger Federer (SUI) – This was the 42nd meeting between these two dominant champions. Roger won their most-recent match just a few weeks back in the Cincinnati Final. Here in New York, they had battled five times before:

  • 2011 Semifinal: Djokovic def. Federer 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
  • 2010 Semifinal: Djokovic def. Federer 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5
  • 2009 Semifinal: Federer def. Djokovic 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5
  • 2008 Semifinal: Federer def. Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
  • 2007 Final: Federer def. Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4

Tonight…despite the crowd clearly favoring Roger, Novak powered-through, capitalizing on rare break opportunities to earn his second US Open Championship, third Grand Slam title of 2015 and 10th Slam of his career.

  • 2015 Final: Djokovic def. Federer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Here’s how it happened…

Set-1: Roger Federer held after a 7-minute deuce battle to start the match. Novak would then level it at 1-all in just 2-minutes. In game-3, Novak jumped out to a love-40 lead and broke the 5-time US Open Champ at 30-40. Roger would then break right back, while Novak took an ugly tumble on the court – tearing up his forearm. The two champions would hold the next two games. At 3-all, Novak broke again, passing Roger at the net to go up 4-3. Up 5-3, Djokovic managed a set-point on Federer, but Roger held to – momentarily – keep the set alive. In the set’s 10th game, Djokovic earned set-1 at love, 6-4 in just 41-minutes.

Set-2: Federer held to start the second, then put the pressure on the 2011 champion. Down 0-40 in game-2, Novak would battle back to deuce, fight-off the SABR and level the match at 1-all. Serve and volley, Roger aggressively earned game-3 at love to go-up 2-1, on serve. With two winning lobs and a passing shot, Novak would effortlessly level the match against the “overly offensive” GOAT. Roger then powered through a quick hold to keep the set on-serve. Novak hold (3-all). Roger hold (4-3). Djokovic hold (4-all). Federer hold (5-4).

In another pivotal game-10 (Djokovic on serve), Roger got it to 30-all and set up a brilliant play at the net. Djokovic was even “brilliant-er,” passing Federer and fist-pumping back to the service line. Knowing that he wasn’t the crowd favorite, perhaps he thought it best to rub their noses in it? Federer got it to deuce and deposited an amazing drop-shot that Novak sent long, earning set point. Arthur Ashe Stadium went nuts. An “on-the-money” first serve got it back to deuce. Insert a “Roger Federer perfect backhand pass,” and the GOAT earned the advantage for his second set-point…but sent a forehand long, taking it back to deuce. Several deuce/ad-Djokovic exchanges later, Novak would hold to level the set at 5-all.

Moving on. Punishing first-serves put Roger up 6-5…and put the pressure on Novak to deliver the tie-beak. At 15-all, Novak got his first taste of New York love as fans chanted “Novak, Novak, Novak…” He’d lose the next two points and face double set point. A Federer mishit took it to 30-40, set point. Trading serious pace, Arthur Ashe Stadium ERUPTED as Roger smoked an unreturnable backhand to capture the set 7-5. All even. One set apiece.

Set-3: Federer would start set-3 with an easy hold as fans launched into a “Let’s go Roger” chant. Up 15-30, Roger unleashed the SABR, then gambled at the the net, losing both points…and ultimately the game. 1-all. Competing chants: “Novak!” “Roger!” With his fourth and fifth double faults of the match, Roger would hand game-3 to Djokovic, dangerously falling a break behind the relentless Serbian. After another exhausting deuce exchange, Novak unleashed two doubles-faults of his own, and gave-back the break. 2-all. 2-hours and 4-minutes. Nailbiter.

In game-5, Roger easily held at love to go up 3-2. Then, despite jumping out to a 0-30 lead in the 6th game, Federer couldn’t convert the break…3-all. In the zone, it became increasingly clear that Roger was far more dominant on serve. He’d jump ahead 4-3 by blanking Djokovic again. In response, Novak pounded serves deep into the corner, jumping out to a 40-love lead. Unimpressed, Roger fought back to deuce, conjured 2 break points…but couldn’t convert. 4-all. Attrition: One of Roger’s timeless strategies. Return well enough to force the opponent to burn-out while serving, then breeze through his own service games. It was working well in set-3…until a backhand-wide handed Novak his second break of the set. Djokovic up 5-4, serving for the set.

In a third crucial 10th game, Federer earned double break point (15-40)…which Novak erased with a first-serve and a hell of a rally. After a weak slice backhand to the bottom of the net, Novak captured set-3 with a forehand drive set-up by a sternly confident, deeply placed first-serve to Roger’s backhand. Attrition? Who are we fooling? This is Novak Freakin’ Djokovic…

Set-4: Despite some remarkable backhand winners from the GOAT, Novak would go up 30-40 in game-1. Then at deuce, two flubbed Federer unforced errors put the Championship on Novak’s racquet – up a break, 1-0 in the fourth. Novak held to go up 2-0, as did Roger 2-1. Despite an artistic backhand clinic from Federer, Novak negotiated an easy hold to maintain the break 3-1. Up 40-15, Roger then held with an ace to keep it close 3-2. Game-6 showcased more perfect placement and graceful court coverage from the GOAT, enough to earn him an Ashe ovation and a break point at 30-40…but a forehand-long took it to deuce. With an ace, Djokovic would maintain his lead and go up 4-2 at the 3-hour mark. In game-7, a botched overhead, errant Federer forehand and UNREAL forehand pass earned Novak his second break of the set…and a chance to serve for the 2015 US Open title.

Forget the 10th-game. In set-4, game-8 would be the pivotal dual, Djokovic serving: 15-0. 15-all. SABR 15-30 (take that, Becker). 15-40. ACE 30-40 (clutch). Federer then secured the break with a “clutchier” drop while charging the net. No guts, no glory. Hell of a risk. Hell of a match. Now 5-3, Novak.

His back still up against the wall, Roger held-on and held-serve 5-4. Chants of “Let’s go Roger! (clap clap)” completely drenched the stadium on the 90-second sit down. Arthur Ashe Stadium had the feel of Wembly with England and Spain on the pitch. Game-10 would prove crucial again. Roger earned double break point. Fans applauded Novak’s first-serve faults. Novak erased both break opportunities from Roger and took it to deuce. Roger had a third chance, but Djokovic wouldn’t be denied. At 3-hours and 20-minutes, Novak earned match point and served it out to win his second career US Open Mens Singles Championship.

Novak Djokovic – Road to the US Open Title
F – def. [2] Roger Federer (SUI) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
SF – def. [9] Marin Cilic (CRO) 6-0, 6-1, 6-2
QF – def. [18] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2)
4R – def. [23] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
3R – def. [25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3, 7-5, 7-5
2R – def. Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
1R – def. Joao Souza (BRA) 6-1, 6-1, 6-1

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