Roger Federer has underlined yet again why he’s the world number one by seeing off America’s Andy Roddick in four sets, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to win the US Open final.

It was an entertaining final with the new improved version of the A-Rod taking it up to Federer, especially during the second and third sets, but ultimately class won out.

Roddick is now coached by Jimmy Connors, who still has crazy eyes, even now he’s stuck in the grandstand barracking, and is working on his net-rushing game. After the final, he was congratulated by the American version of Craig Willis, the on-court MC, for being back at the top of the mountain, to which Roddick pointed out: “Well, close to the top of the mountain, anyways.”

Federer became the first man in history to win three consecutive Wimbledons and US Opens. His only loss in Grand Slam finals this year was the French Open defeat to Rafael Nadal; Federer’s lone loss in ten grand slam finals.

So he’s going OK and if the frenzied A-Rod-crazy New York crowd wasn’t dismayed enough at watching their boy get dismantled, they were really put out at the trophy ceremony where it was pointed out that Federer has become firm friends with his closest rival, in terms of excellence, golf maestro Tiger Woods.

The cameras cut to a grandstand shot and there was Tiger, looking all shy yet “ghetto fabulous” in shiny white Nike gear and a reversed baseball cap, as Roger explained they had been trying to meet for ages and finally got their calendars to coincide at Flushing Meadows. We can only hope they weren’t both in New York at the same time as some part of an evil, secret Nike-based scientific project to mix and clone their sporting DNA. No sporting record would be safe.

One funny postscript was the post-final ceremony where gutted, beaten Roddick had to try and look excited as he was handed a $US500,000 cheque for winning the “US Open Series”, taking in the lead-up tournaments, as well as the main event. Then Federer, battling to contain his emotions as he always does when the job is done and he can drop his “game face”, tried to raise a smile about a cheque for $US1.2 million and the keys to some brand new car (his second in two years) when all he wanted was to get his hands on the trophy that has no real price value attached.

It was either nice to see where the players’ priority lay or a little galling that they could care so little about so many riches. I’m choosing the former.

Peter Fray

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