Rafa Soaks Up the New York Night

Who needs to play at 7?

Rafael Nadal finished his match off tonight at a little after 11:30 tonight and he seemed to be loving it. In a spirited, high energy match, Rafael Nadal defeated Denis Istomin 6-2, 7-6, 7-5. With Labor Day Weekend beginning officially tonight, the Ashe crowd stayed late into the night and loved every second of tonight’s match. Nadal seemed to soak up the energy of the New York crowd, and you’re beginning to feel something click. He’s healthy and he seems to be having fun. We’re not hearing complaints about a knee injury or exhaustion. We’re not even hearing complaints about a late schedule. Nope, just having a good time out there, and it’s beginning to feel–as we thought he might–that Nadal is emerging here in New York. We’re eight days away from knowing the lineup for the Men’s Final, but it’s getting more and more tempting to think about a Roger-Rafa Final.

In other mathes, Venus Williams obliterated Mandy Minella 6-2, 6-1 tonight. Serena Williams was in attendance rooting on her big sister, and they did a joint interview together on ESPN2. It seemed like old times. Both had fun on the air, and it was a pleasure to watch.

In other matches this evening, John Isner and Sam Querrey both quietly advanced. Isner admitted that he’s hurting a little bit, and isn’t at 100 percent. Querrey complained in his post-match press conference that Americans–like himself, or Isner–aren’t getting any play time on Ashe. Let’s see if they throw him a bone and let him play on Sunday afternoon, but somehow I doubt it.