Thursday, September 4, 2008
Meanwhile, Back in the Baseball and Tennis Worlds...
For most of the other writers on this blog (read: Yankees fans), this September means the start of football. You can tell that they're getting excited from all of their posts about who's gonna win the most games and who's gonna continue to suck. While I know that the Giants open their season tonight and the rest of the league will follow this Sunday, I am more concerned with the fact that the Mets are 3 games up on the Phillies with 22 games to be played. This includes a HUGE three-game set at Shea v. the Phillies that starts tomorrow and will end the regular-season series for the NL rivals. After two nail-biting wins against the Brewers, the Mets had a rare easy victory yesterday afternoon for the sweep. This along with the Phillies losing 2 of 3 to the Nats, helped to open up said 3 game lead. This lead makes me hopeful, but not sure, that the Mets can make the playoffs. After all, the Phillies could come in and sweep, changing everything. Looking at things positively, the bullpen has done very well with its new September call-ups, the defense has continued to be exceptional and Senor Beltran has remembered how to hit. I'm still nervous about Wagner's availability (even though he has been shaky at times this year and things are going okay, for now, without him), Maine's injury, Martinez's lack of quality starts and the teams' inability to score runs late in games. Either way, you know I will be watching this weekend as the rivals go at it three more times...
The other sport that has had my attention in the past 10 days is tennis. Using the phenomenal Wimbledon men's final as a spring board, I believe that tennis gained some popularity. The US Open always draws a huge amount of spectators and New Yorkers love their night matches. Last night-er this morning- American Mardy Fish, in his best US Open showing, lost to #1 Rafael Nadal in 4 sets at 2:10 in front of a considerably large crowd. How did these guys end up playing into all hours of the morning? Well, Arthur Ashe Stadium, the tournament's Center Court, got a little backed up when a women's doubles quarterfinal match lasted about three hours. Then, the men's quarterfinal between Scotsman Andy Murray and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro took almost four and a half hours. Next, the day session attendees had to spill out of the stadium, so that the night session could file in. An epic battle between Venus and Serena Williams was then played in two and a half hours. That match was in two very competitive sets, won by Serena, so imagine what would have happened if Venus had won the second set to force a third. Therefore, it was 11:30 when the men took the court for the final match of the day. I'm not telling you all of this because I want you to continue to think that tennis is a boring, slow sport. I'm trying to say that longer matches make for some high-quality tennis. The Wimbledon final took about seven hours with rain delays, and it was arguably the greatest match ever played.
For the women, I'm going to have to pick Serena Williams over Elena Dementieva in the final. Serena has been playing better than anyone else (except for Venus) throughout the tournament. On the men's side, I think Roger Federer will beat upstart Gilles Muller and Andy Roddick will beat Novak Djokovic in today's quarters. The final will again be between Rafa and Roger, and I'm going to pick Federer to win his first Grand Slam title this year and his fifth straight US Open title.
Saturday is set to be a big sports day, but it looks like Hurricane Hannah could ruin it all. Three important matches- 2 men's semifinals and the women's final- are supposed to be played on Saturday, which could be a washout. Maybe the US Open men's final will have to be played on Monday, just like the Wimbledon men's final in 2002.
Enjoy your football!