bill_schubert

No more tennis

My season is done.  I have to say it was dramatic and really fulfilling.  I'm sorry Djokovic did not win the whole enchilada but even he thinks he won something near as good.  He won respect, something he has earned for years but never received.  He's always been the bad guy in the WWE of tennis.  He's a Serb and everyone knows they are all bad.  And he's got a serious demeanor even when he smiles.  Dark hair that never moves.  And he has made some in the moment bad decisions about displaying his anger (I used to have a multi piece racket too).  So he's an easy person to dislike.

But in first round he played an 18 year old Dane who was on fire.  Djokovic lost the first set and barely won the second.  By the third the Dane, whose name was Rune, was having cramping problems that continued to get worse.  The crowd was yelling 'rune' and it sounded like booing at Djokovic.  Djokovic did what he does best.  He just kept turning the screws slowly taking over the match until the fourth set when Rune could barely walk.  Rather than send Rune home humiliated with a 6-0 final set, Djokovic softened his game to the point that the final set was 6-1, a tribute to Rune's fortitude in staying to what was clearly a painful end.  And Djokovic spent some time after at the net talking to Rune encouraging him.  It was a real moment of grace.

At the end of the finals match Djokovic just ran out of gas, ran out of extra gears. Daniil Medvedev, opponent who beat him said to the cheers of a huge NYC crowd who had for years jeered both of them: "I'm sorry for you, fans, and Novak.  I know you wanted a different outcome [nodding to the crowd and to Djokovic].  I've never said this to anybody but I'll say this here to me you are the greatest tennis player in history."

It was a high point in tennis history.  Maybe as high as had Djokovic won.  

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