It never seemed likely that Federer would lose to del Potro, but somehow he managed it. Actually, I phrased that wrong. It never seemed likely that del Potro would win, but he did. Because he won this match. Federer didn't lose it. Federer's serve didn't exactly show up, and the match was won and lost on the conversion of break points - but Federer played well enough to win the match against most anyone else.
Del Potro won it.
And congratulations to him. No one would ever have picked the towering Argentine to beat Andy Murray to his first Slam. I'd really like to focus on Juan's achievement here instead of weeping over Roger's spilt milk, because even though I'm very sad, this is a momentous moment for JMDP. Not just anyone can win a Slam. In the Hispano-Suisse era, if we say it started at Wimbledon '04, only two other men have won Slams - Safin and Djokovic. That's pretty exalted company Juan is in. And he fought for this and he wanted this and he thoroughly deserves it.
Well done, Juan.
Now, onto the women's final, before I start sobbing.
Could you have a more likeable, lovely winner than Kim Clijsters? Before I forget, Caroline Wozniacki was also a gracious, lovely runner up, but today was really all about Clijsters. Has there ever been a tennis ceremony with a more lovely image than that of little Jada running about on the court? For Clijsters to have done what she has done - to take two years out, get married, have a baby - and then to come back... the enormity of that cannot be overstated.
This was the ultimate feel good story - and I hope that it proves inspiring to women's tennis and especially to mums everywhere. I do not, as some people do, think that this shows that women's tennis is in a bad bad place. Women's tennis is not at its strongest, yes - but this is testament to nothing more than the amazing Zen calmness, steel and phenomenal talent of Kim Clijsters. To suggest that the win was a product of the times is insulting. Kim did this all by herself.
And for that I salute her. May her (second) career be long and glorious, and I hope Jada gets to see her win a few more Slams yet!
US Open (Flushing Meadows)
Juan Martin del Potro def. Roger Federer, 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2
Kim Clijsters def. Caroline Wozniacki, 7-5 6-3