Tommy Haas needed four hours and 37 minutes and a Grand Slam record 13 match points to thwart a stern challenge from John Isner in the third round at Roland Garros. The Bullring was electric as Isner steadily began plotting a comeback from down two sets to none, seeking his second such win in three days. The American was sensationally clutch in the big moments, aggressively attacking Haas’s serve to deny match point after match point. He also turned in an impressive serving display of his own, firing 27 aces and 92 winners while powering through 20 of 23 break points faced.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal met for an Open Era record 37th time as they squared off for the US Open crown. Djokovic entered Arthur Ashe Stadium on a chilly Monday evening with a point to prove, having dropped five of the previous six meetings with his Spanish rival. Nadal had claimed their two most recent encounters by the slimmest of margins, defeating Djokovic 9-7 in a fifth set at Roland Garros earlier in the year, and ousting the Serb in a third set tie-break in the Coupe Rogers semi-finals.
The Spaniard was two points from victory when he led 6-5, 30/15 in the fourth set, but he tightened up and Djokovic fought back into contention. The most crucial moment of the match, and perhaps the year, came with Djokovic serving up 4-3 in the deciding set. After saving a break point at 30/40, the Serb lost his balance on a routine smash, falling into the net and thus forfeiting the point. Nadal would secure the break three points later and the entire complexion of the match would shift thereafter, with Djokovic failing to make any inroads in Nadal’s service games before eventually succumbing 9-7. “You need to love the game,” Nadal exclaimed after the match. “You [need to] appreciate what you are doing in every moment. These kinds of matches are very special. You don’t get to have the chance to play them every day.”
Andy Roddick has faced the full weight of