Winning and losing at the highest level in tennis can sometimes result from cashing in on or squandering opportunities. That was pretty much the case yesterday in the final of the U.S. Open, when Roger Federer won his 12th Grand Slam title 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 over No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Djokovic had five set points in the first set, all on his serve, and two more in the second set on Federer’s serve. The Serb also had three break points on the Swiss star in the third set at 2-2. Not once did Djokovic cash in on these golden opportunities. Granted, Federer came up with winners on some of these points, but it was Djokovic’s unforced errors that turned the tide. The Serb became unnerved by the moment and played with unnecessary desperation at the critical junctures in the match. Federer, while not playing spectacularly, remained rock solid throughout and certainly deserved to win his 4th consecutive U.S. Open crown. Champions always survive in the face of adversity, and without a doubt, Federer is a champion – perhaps the greatest tennis player ever.“My next book is going to be called ‘Seven Set Points,'” Djokovic joked afterward. Still, the Serb offered no excuses and complemented his rival. “Once again, he showed he’s the best.” With the success he’s achieved in 2007 and the experience he gained in yesterday’s final, Djokovic is becoming a real force. Dark horse is a tag that no longer fits the Surging Serb. Federer’s got to know that his reign is now being challenged on the hard courts, too, not just the red clay at Roland Garros. “This guy Djokovic can do it all,” said former great John McEnroe. Soon, he will.
King Roger XII Reigns at U.S. Open
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