Yup, it’s official. There is way more talk here about a potential Roger-Rafa men’s final than there has been at any other point in the four years that I’ve covered this event, and it’s building by the day. Keep in mind, we won’t even know who’s in the Men’s Final until six days from now. But with Rafa healthy and seemingly happy, he’s getting barraged with questions in his press conferences about his place in history and what winning in New York would mean to him (he has so far ducked nearly every question thrown his way).
Yesterday, Roger got fired with four consecutive questions about Rafa to open up his press conference: Does Rafa’s Run at New York compare to your pursuit in Paris? Is Rafa better than you? Are you better because of Rafa? What have you worked into your game because of Rafa?
(When he answered the first question about his hunt for a French Open versus Rafa’s hunt for the Open, Federer said, “The only difference so far is that I lost, what? Two finals before? Plus a semis before. Whereas he’s never been in a finals here.” Yeep! Understood, Roger)
When you compare this opening week to the last few years at the Open, it’s night and day. Last year, for instance, even though Nadal made it all the way to the semis, he wasn’t asked once about Roger at a presser until after he was eliminated.
The press corps is hungry, and we don’t disagree with them. Whatever it takes. Let’s get these two in the Finals.