Monday, September 08, 2008

US OPEN 2008: Men's Final Preview

Roger Federer (SUI) [2]

Andy Murray (GBR) [6]

The 4-time defending champion Roger Federer has not lost here since the fourth round in 2002 (to his former arch-nemesis David Nalbandian) and has been in 16 previous finals (12-4) while the 21-year-old Scot Andy Murray is in his first major final, one day after winning his first major semi-final against the World #1. Almost no one wins their first major final, except the truly great (Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams) but Murray may just be able to break that jinx.

As Matt Cronin puts it, today's rain-delayed men's final (at 2pm PDT, streamed live at and on CBS) will come down to "Federer's wile versus Murray's guile." On paper, you would have to give the edge to Murray. He loves hard-courts, all of his titles coming on that surface and he has won three titles this year on that surface while Federer has none. He is even one of the three players on the ATP tour who own a career advantage over Federer, having beaten him two of the three times they played, including in January this year when Federer was coming off a shocking (at the time) straight set loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.

However, I really think the correct lens to view this match is as a rematch of last year's final: the skillful experienced defending champion facing a challenge from a very talented youg upstart with an all-court game. Federer won that showdown by escaping with the first two sets in two tiebreak sets despite being set point down repeatedly in the first two sets. Djokovic folded soon afterwards and Federer celebrated with his 12th title. This year I believe, will be similar, but I do believe that Murray will be able to convert at least one of those set points, but Federer will still prevail in four sets.

I have previously correctly predicted the results of five of the seven final matches on the women's side at this year's open, and five of six final matches on the men's side.

PREDICTION: Federer in 4 sets.


golfer said...

Yea dude...

I am not a Murray fan but slowing turning around.

We're taking submissions on ( find out what people love or hate about Andy Murray.

Be interesting to see if he wins though, that's fur sure.


oddman said...

Mad, you are on a roll! Congrats on your predictions.
How confident are you that Fed's going to get what he wants? Has he totally found the game he once had? I dunno, I've seen some pretty scratchy stuff from him this USO.
Go, Andy!

davesachs said...

Good call, I'm with you. Murray looked great yesterday, but it sure helped that Nadal looked very average. Fed wants this bad. I think that in 3 Slam finals, he's going to take one. BTW, golfer, on what people hate about Murray: I saw him v Nadal in Toronto, and was he ever whiney and mopey. Of course, he was getting his clock cleaned, but it was unattractive.

In the downtime after the US Open, I invite you to get your tennis fix with the podcast and videos of fictitious underground tennis legend Bacon O'ROurke:

The first video is here:

Mad Professah said...

ouch is federer really gonna stuff a bagel down Murray's mouth?

davesachs said...

Fed, without the serve, knocks the boy silly. Ouch. Not quite the level of play at Wimbledon, but 13 Grand Slams is 13 Grand Slams! That lob at 5-0 third set was something else!

Karen said...

I am one happy woman and Fedrinkas all around to everybody. Roger you have made me a very happy woman. LOL