#1 Victory

Federer def Murray  6-2, 7-5, 6-2  US Open Championship 9/8/08

It had been a tough year for Roger Federer and his millions of fans. Despite suffering from mono, Federer had reached the semis of the Australian Open (losing to Djokovic) and the final of the French Open (winning only 4 games against Nadal). A month later at Wimbledon, Federer and Nadal played a historic match with the 5 time consecutive champion suffering a heart-breaking loss and surrendering his #1 ranking. Many in the media had written him off but Roger was far from done.

After a nerve-wracking match against Andreev in the 4th round that went 5 sets, Federer beat Muller and Djokovic to reach the final against Andy Murray. Murray was having a very successful summer, winning a 5 set match over Gasquet at Wimbledon and beating Nadal in the US Open semifinals. In fact, Murray had also beaten Federer the last 2 times they played, however these were not grand slams.

Due to rain delays from hurricane Hannah, the final was postponed to Monday afternoon. Fortunately, I was able to leave work early and I headed out to the Open feeling hopeful but nervous. The match had some nerve-wracking moments but Federer was dominant, winning in straight sets!

Just seeing Roger’s reaction to winning the tournament showed how much this meant to him and the fact that now the media would have to stop proclaiming his swift demise. The trophy ceremony was fantastic but I was so busy taking pictures that I didn’t realize that some of the fans had crowded down by the court waiting for Roger to finish his interviews so they could get his autograph. I figured it was too late since if you’ve ever been to the Open, you know how time consuming it is to maneuver through the levels of Ashe stadium. As I was kicking myself for waiting so long, I noticed that Roger was still on the court, giving interviews to various press outlets. I think he was just so happy that he wouldn’t say no to any journalist. At this point I figured, what the hell and I headed down courtside and tried to get as close as possible to the front. There were already hundreds of people clamoring for an autograph. I somehow squeezed through the crowd holding my US Open ’08 hat, hoping that I could reach far enough so that Roger would be able to sign it. Fortunately, he signed autographs for quite a while, again I think because he was just so ecstatic to have won. By some miracle, he autographed my hat! I could not believe my luck! What a prized possession to treasure forever. I headed out of the stadium unable to contain my excitement and the next day I came into work, wearing my cap for everyone to see. I wouldn’t even let anyone touch it. My co-workers thought it was ridiculous but I didn’t care. Federer had won his 5th US Open in a row and I had the honor of getting his autograph right afterwards. My favorite US Open memory and something I will never forget.  

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