While people – a few anyway – were watching some pretty tedious political speeches Thursday evening, they missed some sensational tennis at the US Open. The quarter final between Novak Djokovic and Juan del Potro was a classic, particularly the second set when the six-foot-six inch Argentinian del Porto battled the Serbian world number two almost dead even until Djokovic, as he so often does, slipped through and won the tie breaker – and eventually the match. Both men were playing at their best, which is very good indeed, with several remarkable points going on for twenty or more strokes, leaving commentator John McEnroe (who should know) breathless.
Del Potro is returning to the form that won him the US Open in 2009 and Djokovic is playing at or near his 2011 level when he was virtually unbeatable. The Serbian – who at his best is almost otherworldly – seems destined to take his place in the Top Five all time pantheon of tennis players with Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Rod Laver and, of course, Roger Federer. It’s interesting that three of these guys, assuming Nadal comes back from his knee injury, are currently active. This is an incredible time for men’s tennis, which is being played at a higher level than ever. The raw, non-stop athleticism of Nadal and Djokovic has never been seen before in tennis. And Andy Murray is no slouch either. He may be headed for a collision with Djokovic in the US Open final next week. Don’t miss it.