Two young girls in the United States Championship final, one 18 years old, the other celebrated this week 19. Two girls in the final of the United States Championship, teenagers, in a title game, in which the winner will win about $ 2.5 million in addition to the prestigious Grand Slam title. Leila Fernandez in front of Emma Redcano, both militant and determined, smiling and light-hearted, everything smells like youthful chips. As the years go by, the younger ones get younger.
The gaps are widening. You look at them and wonder if they know or are able to appreciate it. Do they understand the magnitude of the achievement, the magnitude of the opportunity, the magnitude of the class. On the face of it, one might suspect so. “It’s surprising,” said Redcano, the first ever to reach the final after qualifying. “It’s a market, I still can’t believe it, it’s crazy. It’s all together,” she said, but it’s hard not to wonder what she knows about surprises, about madness, about an amazing journey, given the fact that this is only her second appearance in a Grand Slam tournament.
“It’s definitely a career high point,” said the excited Fernandez, but what a career, what a career, you’re 19. They talk about a satisfying moment and the journey, but Reducano just finished high school this year. She says that until two years ago she did not know if a professional career was a viable option at all. She almost gave up but decided to give it another try, and we should be impressed by the “hard way” the girl went through.
The older the viewer, the more he realizes that at his age he is already closer to the age of the tennis players’ parents, the more he looks at the events and the young athletes. Redcano for example came in this tournament as the tenth ranked among the British tennis players, and will finish it as ranked first. If you win and become the first Briton to win a tournament since 1977, you will already be a millionaire star. Her life will change. Expectations will be different. The burden will be heavier. You are happy for these girls, but also a little apprehensive about their fate. Wondering if success is not coming too fast, fearing how they will deal with it.
It will be the first final between two teenagers since Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis in 1999. Some of us remember the event well, but of course Fernandez and Reducano were not yet born when it happened. The difference is that for 19-year-old Serena this was a first win, en route to 23 Grand Slam titles. Hingis was already a star, too. This time it’s two anonymity. True, it is not uncommon in women’s tennis that young girls become stars. Sometimes youth gives special energy, unique confidence, audacity and daring. Fernandez, for example, not only knocked out three of the top 5, she also won all of her tie-breakers in the tournament. They play without fear, are not paralyzed by the size of the class, attack, know they have nothing to lose.
But there is something to lose. The women’s round of recent years allows for these successes. Since 2015, there have been 13 Grand Slam winners doing so for the first time. Fernandez or Redcano will be the 14th. Some of them faded. Tennis players like Sloane Stevens or Yelena Ostapenko even dived. Osaka developed mental problems. At the moment Reducano and Fernandez look light and relaxed, carefree, everything is done with a smile, with great hope. From the side you recognize the innocence, but also know how fragile, momentary everything is. You wish them success, and a heartfelt prayer that they will enjoy the moment – as long as it lasts.
Caution, Novak Djokovic will take your soul
“First he will take your feet, then he will take your soul,” Andy Roddick tweeted this week about Novak Djokovic, in an attempt to illustrate not only the power of the Serb in the mental and physical realm, but especially the effect of this dominance on his opponents . This morning (Saturday) in front of Sasha Zebrav it was felt precisely: it was another demonstration of systematic elimination, which brought him one step closer to the new heights.
Zebra was not bad. At times he was even excellent. Thus, for example, the most amazing point in the game, which included 53 strokes, the German took. But what does it really matter – because at the end of the game itself Djokovic took, and in this campaign Djokovic won, and in general, for him it is quite simple: you can take him any campaign you want, but he will win recently.
He takes your soul not only with the long balls before each serving (in the past he also liked to take a medical time-out at crucial moments), not only with a mighty refusal whenever he needs it, not only with the demonstrations and self-agitation, not only with the fact that he Found everywhere on the court, not only thanks to the famous “wall” that returns every ball (since when does a wall return so deep, strong and accurate, with a combination of delicate drop-shots?); This is the feeling that he is cruel, that he is lurking for you, that he must not dream for a moment, to downshift. This is the understanding that you can not give up any game, no point, that in a game of three to four hours you can not afford even a small respite because it will attack you. He just smells a little slack, and straight up pounces. Zebra wins in the fourth act and comes full of faith to the fifth? Without noticing he is 5: 0 behind, losing 19 of the first 25 points. In fact, it is not that Djokovic first takes your legs and then your soul – because everything is done in parallel. He manages to empty you, to blackmail you, in every possible field, systematically.
Djokovic did not like this tweet from Roddick, and recognized the negativity derived from it. “Thank you Andy, I will take this as a compliment, but only the first part,” Djokovic said, “I do not take anyone’s soul, we are all beautiful souls.” But this is no coincidence, these are a large part of the compliments that Djokovic receives from many in the tennis world. It is impossible not to praise those who may break the Grand Slam record tomorrow and complete a year with a perfect balance in Grand Slams, but it is also impossible to deny the fact that for many he will never be loved and appreciated like Federer Vandal, and will not be remembered for his attractive or aesthetic style. The militancy and character of a demon. And so many have found themselves cheering for a tennis player like Zebrav, a few days after reports of his mental and physical abuse of his ex-partner, and tomorrow will encourage Danil Medvedev, who is probably much more boring than the Serb.
But Djokovic is not all that interested. He is storming the 21st Grand Slam and the perfect year with winning all four slams, something that has not been done since Rod Labor 52 years ago, and even before the game begins, he is already storming Medvedev’s soul, with quotes from Kobe Bryant’s seminary. “Why should I be happy? The task is not complete,” said Nola, with a tribute to the former basketball player, “there is excitement, there is motivation, but I did not complete the task, there is one more game left.” And if anyone had any doubts, Djokovic clarifies: “It’s a game on the whole pot, with all the power, let’s do it! I’m going to give my whole heart and soul, my head and my body in this game. I’m going to treat this game as if He’s the last of my career. ” Medvedev hears things, and already feels how part of his soul is already gnawed at these very moments. He will be behind in the final.