Last night, I watched the replay of the ladies final between former champion but now unseeded Kim Clijster and Danish teen sensation and 9th seeded Caroline Wozniacki. The former is trying a comeback after more than 2 years of leaving the tennis scene in favor of marriage and motherhood. The latter, fresh and good looking, trying to enter into big time and make a name despite her already top ten ranking. Who would have thought that these two ladies would make it to the finals, particularly kim who admitted that she was just trying to feel again the big scene therefore not expecting much. But as the tourney progress, and her march also progressed, it was evident she still has what it takes to be a champion. And who else could beat the Williams sisters in the same tournament? And this is the story of the US open, unpredictability as in making history. With her victory, Kim became the ist mother champion since Evonne Goolagong of Australia in 1980. And Caroline made Denmark in the world map of tennis by becoming the first Dane to reach a final in any major.
Clijster may not really be an unseeded player to win this Open. She was a wild card but her seeding defied her true stature. Remember Goran Ivanosevic of Croatia? Also a top player in his time but never won big until Wimbledon of , was it 2002? He was also unseeded, barged into the tourney proper as a wild card. But he went on to win that tournament in a historic marathon 5 set match that left him and his opponent ( just forgot who was it) truly exhausted after rthe match.
The unpredictable again happened this morning. I woke up past 6 in time to see del Porto taking the tie break in the 2nd set with Federer, a hands down favorite to win a record 6 consecutive Open, taking the upper hand in the ist. Then the crucial 3rd set, close as it is, but with del Porto serving and giving the set to Federer through 2 successive double faults. I thought that was the sign and soon it will be over and the usual face raising the champions cup. From 2-4, Federer came back to take the lead at 5-4. At del Porto's serve, it came to 15-30 and the suspense was seemingly coming to a climax. Two points more and it will be over. But even at that moment, del Potro still appeared dangerous with his power serves and crosscourt passes and Federer appearing vulnerable. And it indeed came to another tie break which the young Argentine also won. T'was already 8 and time to go to office. By the time I arrived at the office at 9, came my wife's message: del Potro dethrones Federer. Oh no! But yes. Finally, the inexperienced but talented big man from Argentina won his first ever major title and also the first for Argentina since their great Guillermo Vilas won in 1977. Fittingly, Vilas was in the stands, witnessing history in the making. For this moment, Argentina will cry for them no more.
Drama, controversy, history... well that just make the US Open great. How I wish in the near future, I could watch it live at Flushing Meadows.