US Open: Why is it so difficult to win a second grand slam?
I had to take a step back and look at my bracket again. It still wasn’t very good. While the French Open is the biggest and potentially the most competitive event in tennis, I still have another four major tournaments left to go.
I have yet to find a team that could beat the team I lost to in the tournament finals of the French Open. In the two semis, they were still better.
Of course, all this is relative.
It’s been 18 months since I was the No. 7 seed at the 2008 Western & Southern Open. I was supposed to be the one top seed to beat. I hit one backhand top-setter at the U.S. Open and came out with a hard-fought loss to the eventual champion, and then lost to the No. 4 seed, who was on his way to a second straight Wimbledon final.
For the first time ever, I lost to the third player seeded below me in the tournament.
It was bad enough. However, in comparison to the previous two losses, it was nothing, because this time I made the most of having a solid draw. I had to play three top seeds at best. One at the U.S. Open, and one at the French Open.
The U.S. Open was a completely different story.
There I was in the final, playing my first Grand Slam match at a major. I had played the top seeds at Wimbledon, where I had won the singles title. So this was a different type of challenge, but it was also different because it’s not something you can control. You can’t choose your opponents, and so now these matches are not being played on paper. Now they’re all being played in the flesh.
In the U.S. Open final, I faced the No. 3 seed, Mardy Fish. He was going for his second straight French Open title. It was also my last major final until