Tennis Prose




Sep/21

4

Is the US Open better without Federer, Nadal, Serena?

Though I’m not physically present at the US Open this year I can feel a different energy this year at the US Open.

Without the presences of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams at the final Grand Slam of 2021, there is now a stronger sense of transition in professional tennis, and several young players have emerged and seized the opportunity to thrive and excel.

Jenson Brooksby, Carlos Alcaraz, Leylah Annie Fernandez, Holger Rune have all produced tennis magic this week, showing no fear or psychological deference to the far more popular established players they played.

Brooksby battered Taylor Fritz with impunity and healthy arrogance. Carlos Alcaraz slapped around Stefanos Tsitsipas and repeatedly showed his Spanish youth power fist as if to rub it in, or declare to the world “I have arrived.” Leylah abused poor Naomi Osaka and celebrated with clenched fists and celebratory shouts every time she got the best of her. Rune won a thrilling set off Djokovic but he didn’t have enough gas in the tank to finish the job.

These four young players showed a defiance and disrespect to tennis authority that others would never dare to do against Federer, Nadal or Serena. Whoever played Federer, Nadal or Serena seemed to play with stifiled emotions and suppressed intensity, as if they were following some unwritten rule that they had to lose to these three legends.

Finally we have a Grand Slam that doesn’t have to patronize Federer, Nadal and Serena and the performances have been electrifying, sensational and super thrilling.

Do you think Alcaraz would have strutted around the court holding up a fist and nodding “I got this” to his box if he was playing “Genius at work” King Roger?

Would Leylah have been screaming Cmon! and raising up her teenage power fist if Serena was across the net glaring at her?

No chance.

So the absences of Federer, Nadal and Serena seems to actually be a blessing for the sport, not a curse. New, fresh, young talent is emerging, unafraid to express itself fully and flamboyantly. And the tennis has been spectacular, jaw-dropping, astounding. This is one of the best US Opens of this century. If not the most exciting and intriguing edition of my lifetime.

Federer, Nadal and Serena were fantastic for the sport but it’s high time for each to move on and let all these young lions and tigers – and the many more waiting in the wings – have their time on center stage.

Yes, it’s that time.

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4 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Brad Gilbert said this US Open is the best he’s seen in 40 years, confirming my point that this US Open is actually better without Fed, Rafa and Serena.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2021 at 7:35 am

    Shocking to see Tiafoe slap the leg of the chair umpire last night during the loss to Felix, and not get defaulted on the spot, what he did was worse than Djokovic last year, he intentionally slapped the chair umpire. Black privilege saved Tiafoe I guess.

  • Sam · September 6, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    If Djokovic had touched the umpire like that, what do you think would’ve happened?

    I’ll give you three guesses—and the first two don’t count. 😉

    It’s interesting the way so many are rationalizing what Tiafoe did, even in this era of Covid-phobia. I mean, what if he had spread “germs” on the umpire? 😷

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 6, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Sam, the anti white anti Djokovic mainstream media would have been on Djokovic like a pack of jackals. He would be crucified. Tiafoe will not even be criticized.

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