The story is Novak Djokovic. Yesterday the story was Nadal lost, but it really was an injury issue. This was just Djokovic playing, probably, the match of his life.
Last time he played Federer in a Grand Slam -- in the semifinals of last September's U.S. Open -- it was a great match and also a great fight. He saved match points and ended up winning the match in five sets. But this was just a tremendous performance to eliminate Federer in straight sets.
I think big, but not huge. We're talking about the third-best player in the world, so the headline FEDERER UPSET is a little funny; we're not talking about some journeyman. He's beaten Federer not only at the last major, but also at
Now for the first time in eight years, Federer doesn't hold a single Grand Slam title. The inevitable story is going to be: the luster is fading, he's closing in on 30, etc. But this was really less about him than Djokovic today. Federer didn't even play that badly.
It felt a little bit like 2010. He wasn't losing in the first round and he wasn't losing to some guy you've scarcely heard of, but he just didn't quite have the usual Federer stuff in the latter rounds of a Slam. It had the same sort of rythym I saw in the Tomas Berdych loss at Wimbledon last year, where you really couldn't fault his play that much and he didn't lose to a slouch of a player, but these were matches he wasn't losing in the prime of his career.
He's the highest seed and he's the only one that's ever won a Slam. I don't give Ferrer much of a chance to win two more matches. A Murray-Djokovic final could be fun, but I've got to think Djokovic is the favorite of the remaining three.
That said, if Federer had lost to Gilles Simon in the second round, we've got issues. I don't think he's shedding too many tears -- maybe a few because it's Federer -- over a semifinal loss to the third-ranked player in the world.
This is the first Slam in years that doesn't involve Federer or Nadal in the final, but the changing-of-the-guard theme is probably a little bit faint because of Nadal's injury.
On the women's side, how about Li Na beating Caroline Wozniacki to reach the final? Even if she loses on Saturday, this is the first Slam in a long, long time where I think the women may ultimately outstrip the men. The post-match interview was absolutely classic. And I saw a tweet today from Daniel Kaplan of