I tried it again, and nothing bad happened.
So here, for our third and final attempt at live-blogging the Open, I’ll be presenting a running account of the men’s final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic live from Arthur Ashe Stadium.
4:24: Liza Minnelli is seriously winded after performing “New York, New York” on a red carpet on center court. The crowd seemed entertained by her performance too.
4:46: Wow. Federer abandons his traditional Sunday blue in favor of the all-black “Darth Federer” look.
4:48: Maria Sharapova in Djokovic’s box. Really?
4:52: Jittery first game for Federer who makes two early errors, but holds his serve.
4:59: Celeb update: Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones.
5:02: No evidence of early nerves from Novak (at least to self-destruct) who holds again at 2-2. He’s definitely serving into that Fed backhand, as he and his coach said he’d do.
5:10: Novak: Please do not drop shot. It didn’t work yesterday, won’t work today. Thanks. Federer at 4-3, we’re on serve.
5:15: Djokovic holds again, at 4-4. Only dropped 5 points off his serve, 2 of which have come from double faults. Both are still a little tight.
5:18: Christie Brinkley, donald trump most recent sightings
5:25: Electric forehand winner for Novak puts it to 30-30 on Fed’s serve at 5-5.
5:26: Federer error — his ninth unforced — puts it to break point, the first of the match
5:26: Off an 85mph second serve, Novak hits an ugly back-hand error, deuce
5:26: Errors galore! Federer hits forehand long at the net. Ad Novak, second break chance
5:27: After another forehand error from Federer — his 11th unforced — Novak has a chance to serve for the first set. First test of his nerves
5:28: They just put Chevy Chase on the big screen. Does he qualify as a celeb?
5:32: Three set points saved by Federer. Novak looked very nervous on the 3rd set point. Tried to dunk it over with his forehands. Welcome to your first GS final
5:33: Another error off Djokovic forehand on his fourth set point
5:34: Backhand error by Djokovic. Fifth set point saved by Federer.
5:35: Another backhand error by Djokovic. Ad Federer. This is going to be a horrible way to go into a tiebreak for Novak.
5:36: Double Fault. Tiebreak! I have a feeling we’re not going to see a 7-2 Novak score like we did in Montreal
5:38: Novak just screamed a Serbian curse after a backhand error. I think that’ll be good for him. He plays well when he’s emotional.
5:44: Doubles, errors and five set points later, and Novak Djokovic just handed the first set over to Roger Federer. Totally self-imploded.
5:45: Scary thing is Federer hasn’t played his best tennis. The adage in sports is if you don’t take advantage of championship players when you have chances, there’s no way to win. The only thing going for Novak: He’s a grinder.
5:49: Some first set stats: Federer 10 winners, 15 unforced. Djokovic 10 winners, 18 unforced errors, 4 double faults. Tense stuff.
5:57: Djokovic’s first serve is still a mess — first serve percentage is at 47 percent — but he’s settling down. On serve, Novak 2-1.
6:00: Novak has two break chances now. He has yet to make an unforced error in the second set.
6:01: And a break! off a federer back-hand error. Roger still shaky, and Novak up 3-1 in the second
6:03: Momentum Novak! Holds serve at love, and now has a 4-1 lead in the second.
6:07: Novak brings it to 15-30 off a lob volley. We finally just saw that vintage Novak defense
6:09: Federer holds with an ace to get back to 2-4. Novak is starting to play looser, but when will Fed finally cut these errors?
6:11: Cleanest point for Federer who used his seductive, slicing backhand to its full potential. Has Novak at 0-30.
6:12: Uh oh. the giant might be awake. Roger screams “Come on!” and breaks Novak. We’re back on serve. That was the cleanest tennis he’s played the whole match
6:16: 10 straight points for Fed who holds at love. Here he comes.We’re at 4-4
6:20: Novak holds with dropping only one point and Fed holds at love. It’s at 5-5. Looks like we’re headed to another tiebreaker, but the momentum dial is definitely shifting toward an improving Fed.
6:22: Another love hold for Novak. He’s up 6-5. Time to check Novak’s guts again.
6:25: Novak keeps Federer on the run, forcing a backhand error from Fed. It’s 15-30. Two points from the set
6:26: It’s double break and two set points for Djo.
6:26: There’s an ace. There goes one. Oh, and there goes a sailing forehand (that Chase review says missed by like nothing). That’s now seven blown set points in the match.
6:28: Oy. There’s the save and it’s 6-6. This is so demoralizing for Novak who has to go with his head down in another tiebreak.
6:30: Long backhand and Fed goes up the mini-break at 3-2. And Fed is once again serving fantastically well.
6:33: There’s the pump fist and the set for Federer.
6:34: Is it a coincidence that Federer wins these tiebreaks at the Open? He did it to Roddick, he did it to Davydenko. We can say tiebreaks are luck, but not really. the best guy wins them. He has saved 7 set points in this match and now he’s one set from his fourth straight U.S. Open
6:36: Anyone wanna guess how quickly this match will go? I say under 40 minutes.
6:43: We’re on serve with Federer at 2-1. Federer’s serve is totally back. It’s only a matter of time before he gets a break.
6:45: Gut-check points: Federer is 2 for 2 on break point chances, Djo is 2 for 6. Fed is 2 for 3 on set point chances. Djo is 0 for 7.
6:48: I’m gonna have to update those stats. It’s 0-40 on Fed’s serve. 3 break chances for Djo
6:50: Sure enough. Blew 3 break points, the last an unforced error off an 88mph second serve.
6:51: Fed holds, he’s up 3-2 in the third.
6:58: Beautiful volleying and backhand winner for Djo who holds his serve. It’s the middle of the set and he’s playing loose again. He’s playing very nicely from the net
7:00: Federer hits two gorgeous winners and finishes off Djo with an ace. roger is up 4-3 in the second, on serve.
7:05: tight game from federer who suddenly returned to hitting some editors. Djo holds, we’re at 4-4. Fed might be feeling the pressure of winning. This is a chance for novak
7:08: fed holds, it’s 5-4. If he can break, he’ll win the u.s. open
7:08: hey, charlie rose is here!
7:13: Double fault for Djo. Ad Fed. It’s Championship Point
7:14: hey, there’s one saved! blistering forehand winner down the line for Djo. deuce
7:14: ugly backhand error for djo. Championship Point no. 2
7:15: falling to his knees, Roger Federer is the U.S. Open Champion
7:21: maria sharapova chanting novak’s name. Hmmm …
7:22: “he deserved to win today — the better player,” says novak.
7:23: Dick Enberg calls Novak Djokovic, “Novak Dokea –” before correcting himself. Sigh.
7:24: he’s human! cold hands, upset stomach, fed admits all!
7:25: that final set took 39 minutes, by the way