Still no Rafa vs Roger at US Open

Cebu Libre - - SHOWBIZ -

NEW YORK — So much for the first U.S. Open matchup be­tween Roger Fed­erer and Rafael Nadal.

Fed­erer failed to live up to his end of the bar­gain.

Hours af­ter Nadal did his part with an easy-as-can-be vic­tory to get to the semi­fi­nals at Flush­ing Mead­ows, Fed­erer was un­able to join him for what would have been the most-an­tic­i­pated show­down of the en­tire two weeks, wast­ing chances to take con­trol and miss­ing shots he nor­mally makes in a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 loss to 2009 cham­pion Juan Martin del Potro on Wed­nes­day night.

“He came up with the goods when he needed to,” Fed­erer said, “and I helped him a lit­tle bit some­times, too, maybe.”

Fed­erer de­scribed him­self as too “edgy” and said “that lit­tle magic was miss­ing.”

He also in­sisted that, un­like just about ev­ery­one else, he did not spend any time at all pon­der­ing a pos­si­ble matchup with Nadal at the only Grand Slam tour­na­ment where they’ve never met. Their won­der­ful ri­valry has in­cluded 37 matches, and at least two fi­nals at each of the other ma­jors.

Given that he is 36, and Nadal is 31, per­haps it is time for the ten­nis world to con­cede that Roger vs. Rafa at the U.S. Open just will never hap­pen.

This is the sixth oc­ca­sion when they were a round away from play­ing in New York, but one or the other lost — in­clud­ing eight years ago, when del Potro beat Nadal in the semi­fi­nals, then Fed­erer in the fi­nal to end the Swiss star’s run of five con­sec­u­tive ti­tles at the tour­na­ment. All-US women’s semi­fi­nals The women’s semi­fi­nals are both all-Amer­i­can matchups, the first time that’s hap­pened at the U. S. Open in 36 years : No. 9 Venus Wil­liams vs. un­seeded Sloane Stephens, and No. 15 Madi­son Keys vs. No. 20 CoCo Van­deweghe.

Nadal, who won two of his 15 Grand Slam tro­phies in New York, over­whelmed 19-year-old Rus­sian An­drey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the quar­ter­fi­nals, then had to wait hours to see what Fed­erer would do un­der the lights against del Potro.

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