Despite his loss, Isner believed he did well as a finalist.
“I knew I had to come to this match today and play well, and I thought I actually played very well,” Isner said. “Unfortunately for me, I ran up against…one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Rafael Nadal. He’s an incredible champion. Many congrats and good luck in New York Rafa.”
Isner had an amazing streak going through the week, beating Djokovic, del Potro, and Raonic.
“I beat three top 10 guys, couldn’t beat four, but I can certainly hold my head up high when I sit back and reflect,” Isner said.
Nadal recognized that fact and applauded his opponent’s previous wins.
“Congratulations to John. He had an amazing week winning against…tough opponents. Sorry for today, but I’m really sure if you continue serving like this and playing forehands like this, you will have a lot of chances to win tournaments like this.”
Along with battling Isner’s tough serves and forehands, Nadal said his patience and focus were important in getting victory.
“I tried in every moment to [play] with my best…and active concentration, but I have to be patient and wait for my moment in these kind of matches. And I waited, I was very focused.”
After the first set, the match wasn’t as one-sided as before. Azarenka seemed to be gaining momentum, whereas Williams did quite the opposite. Williams was really struggling in the second set, but she fought hard. During one of the games, the point kept going back and forth between deuce and advantage…12 times! Finally, Williams won the game, making it 2-4, but Azarenka eventually went on to win the set, 6-2.
Once again Williams seemed to be lagging in the third set. Things weren’t looking too good for her when Azarenka was leading with 4-2, but Serena made an amazing comeback and equalized it to 4-4. Both ladies made it to tiebreak, which Azarenka won, 7-6, (6). Azarenka won the match, with a final score of: 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6).
Williams showed great sportsmanship after the match. “I would like to…congratulate Ms. Vika for doing so well this week,” Williams said. “Congratulations on this title, I’m happy for you.”
Azarenka was most-definitely thrilled with her new title, after dealing with a knee injury that forced her out of Wimbledon. “I’m really excited to be back playing, last couple of weeks…was really tough,” Azarenka said. “But whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I truly believe in that from now on. But it’s been an incredible week here and thanks to Serena for [an] incredible match.”
Men’s: Mike/Bob Bryan won against Marcel Granollers/ Marc Lopez: 6-4, 4-6 (10-4)
Women’s: Su-Wei Hsieh/ Shuai Peng won against Anna-Lena Groenefeld/ Kveta Peschke: 2-6, 6-3 (12-10)
A few more things…
1) One of my favorite things about watching tennis live (besides actually being able to hear how hard the ball is hit) is observing the behaviors of the players. Most of them have so many interesting rituals and superstitions!
- Nadal: seems to be the most superstitious of them all. He has a very interesting serving ritual. He fixes his shirt, twitches his nose, fixes his hair, twitches his nose, fixes his hair all before serving…even though it cost him a time warning violation, it seems to be working! He also always jogs to position on the baseline after umpire calls time, and he brings 2 towels for each side.
- Isner: Not sure if this is his set ritual, but I saw him dribble the tennis ball between his legs like a basketball.
- Azarenka: I’ve noticed her always bringing her ponytail braid to the front before serving.
- Williams: She dribbles the ball left and right with her racquet also like a basketball.
2) Next year will be the tournament’s 115th anniversary. Save the dates for August 9th through 17th!