Tennis Prose



Alcaraz and Leylah Observations

I tuned into the fifth set of Carlos Alcaraz vs Tsitsipas and noticed quickly Alcaraz was going to win. He was hitting the shots, and nodding to his box that he had this match totally under control. His box looked stoic and not fully convinced, nor surprised at the magical level of tennis the 18 year old was playing. Alcaraz kept hitting the key shots over and over and raising his fist or showing the index finger telling the stadium who was the no. 1 player on the court.

Tsitsipas was stunned the whole fifth set and a bit overwhelmed by how the kid was playing and all the pressure shots he kept making. In some kind of zone he probably never was in before, Alcaraz seemed to have a little more firepower, quickness and the extra variety in the drop shot. He emitted more confidence, swagger and better body language. This match reminded of the first Federer vs Nadal meeting at Miami Open when Rafa flew around the court and sensationally won 63 63.

Tsitsipas expected his veteran experience would be enough to get him through or eventually the kid would self-destruct but it didn’t happen that way. Alcaraz exploded with the best tennis of his life when it mattered most. Another new superstar was born. And Alcaraz isn’t finished yet. He can beat anyone left in the draw if he keeps playing like this. But you can’t rule out the possibility he may play even better this weekend and next week. This kid’s future is a wildcard. He could win this US Open, he could win 24 majors in his career. There isn’t a limit on what he can do.

Leylah Annie Fernandez also came out firing, surely inspired by seeing Alcaraz’s superhuman effort. Osaka looks too heavy now, not in top shape but her ball striking and movement are still superb. The only thing missing is the confidence and aura of being the best, she’s lost that by missing the last two majors and losing at the Olympics.

Leylah looked like a welterweight compared to heavyweight Osaka but she hung in there after losing a close first set and suddenly shocked Osaka at the end to steal the second set. Osaka didn’t expect this turn of events and mentally lost control, she threw her racquet several times and smacked a ball out of the court. Osaka was broken in the first game of the deciding set and couldn’t break back.

Fernandez played with an aura and energy that she absolutely also expected to win, with no respect or deference to the four time Grand Slam champ. She came to kick ass and she was doing it in style. For some reason like Alcaraz, Leylah had the crazy idea she was going to win and she backed it up with a brilliant third set performance, closing it out at love in the final 6-4 game.

Both Alcaraz and Leylah were far more passionate and intense and fully exploited their emotional adrenaline power source, while Tsitsipas and Osaka were subdued emotionally, they played like they were expected to win and that pressure/expectation affected and inhibited their level of play.

Two instant superstars were created in one evening. This day in history will be long remembered as the day when Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Annie Fernandez rose to superstar status on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2021 US Open.

1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 4, 2021 at 7:43 am

    Osaka has lost all the joy of playing tennis, sadly she is now a slave to all her sponsors and social justice BS and schemes for media attention. She has to play. The joy of tennis is totally gone. Her handlers made a lot of money and pimped her out everywhere to all these huge sponsors but the handlers don’t have the pressure to have to win now like Osaka does. Osaka was not smart enough to build the right team for her, it’s not all about money. “Show me a hero and I will show you a tragedy.” Osaka needs a long Barty break from the game but she’s a prisoner to her sponsors.



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