Tennis: Federer falls in Open final
NEW YORK ó Always so cool, so consistent, Roger Federer amazingly let the U.S. Open championship slip from his grasp.
Two points from victory against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, two points from a sixth straight title at Flushing Meadows and a record-extending 16th Grand Slam title overall, Federer fell apart Monday.
He railed at the chair umpire. His legs grew weary. His double-faults mounted. He could not figure out a way to stop the 6-foot-6 del Potro from pounding forehand after forehand past him. In a result as shocking for who lost as how it happened, the sixth-seeded del Potro came back to win his first Grand Slam title by upsetting the No. 1-seeded Federer 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2.
“Maybe I look back and have some regrets about it,” said Federer, never before beaten by anyone other than Rafael Nadal in a major final. “But, you know, you can’t have them all and can’t always play your best.”
This was the 20-year-old del Potro’s first Grand Slam final, and he was 0-6 against Federer until now. But after handing Nadal the most lopsided loss of his Grand Slam career in the semifinals Sunday, del Potro came back the next day and rattled Federer.
“When I would have a dream, it was to win the U.S. Open, and the other one is to be like Roger. One is done,” del Potro said.
The 4-hour, 6-minute match was the first U.S. Open final to go five sets since 1999.
NEW YORK ó Her doubles championship brought some closure Monday to what has been an awkward, tumultuous U.S. Open for Serena Williams.
Time to celebrate. Time to move on. Maybe even time to make amends with the line judge she unloaded on during that ugly finish to her singles loss two nights ago.
“I would like to give her a big ol’ hug,” Williams said.
Williams and sister Venus teamed up for a 6-2, 6-2 victory over defending champions Cara Black and Liezel Huber to win their 10th Grand Slam doubles title and first at Flushing Meadows since 1999.