I love tennis. When I was a kid (age 10 – 14) I was a serious junior player until I burned out from too many 10 hour, 100 degree plus days of banging my racquet against the ball (and the fence, and the ground, and my head) in the Texas heat. I still love to play and – instead of fighting to win – I’m delighted to go for every shot and see my old amazing strokes and ball placement every one out of ten shots.
I came home late tonight after a long day. Amy had Tivoed the Johansson vs. Roddick US Open Match. She told me I had to see it (she’d watched the first two sets but was happy to rewind and watch again with me.) I settled into the couch and within 15 minutes the stresses and challenges of the day were gone. Johansson’s first two sets were absolutely unbelievable. Roddick played like the US Open champion that he is, but Johansson just creamed him.
In the third set, Roddick caught fire and crushed Johansson’s spirit. You could see Johansson lose it – all the momentum shifted to Roddick. The NY crowd – which is always great at night – came alive. The fourth set was more of the same – Roddick won something like 20 service points in a row. Johansson started making him work for points again, but Roddick looked invincible.
Johansson had never played a fifth set in a major tournament, but he came alive again in the first game of the fifth set. Suddenly, the damn Tivo recording ended (based on the pre-set time) and we were done. Grrrrr. We wandered downstairs to look up the results on the web – both of us were sure that Roddick had won.
We were greeted with the headline “Johansson Stuns Roddick.” 6-4 in the last set. Outrageous. Delicious tennis – Federer vs. Henman and Johansson vs. Hewitt for the mens semis. Even if you aren’t into tennis, it’s worth a look tomorrow and over the weekend as these guys are incredible athletes. Oh – and the women are awesome as well – I’d love to see Capriati win this one.