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Andy Roddick nearly came to blows with Novak Djokovic after ’08 U.S. Open loss

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Andy Roddick at the 2008 U.S. Open. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Andy Roddick revealed on Fox Sports Live that he almost fought Novak Djokovic in the locker room after their match in the 2008 U.S. Open quarterfinals.

The match was filled with tension after Roddick accused Djokovic of faking injuries, and Djokovic exacerbated things by poking back at Roddick during an on-court interview after his four-set victory. The New York crowd even booed Djokovic off the court.

On Fox Sports Live, Roddick began recounting the confrontation with “this tennis player.” After the other panelists, including former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, encouraged him to name the player, Roddick said it rhymes with “Schmovak Schmokovic.”

“I was talking trash, and he came out and beat the pants off me [in the match], as he would, but then kind of chirped afterward,” Roddick said. “So he comes straight [into the locker room], I went right up to him, had him up against the locker. But then I realized his trainer was a little bit bigger than Donovan and I kind of checked myself.”

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  • Published On Oct 03, 2013
  • Roundtable: U.S. Open takeaways

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    Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams

    Victoria Azarenka (left) and Serena Williams played a strong final at the U.S. Open. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

    What were the best moments from the U.S. Open? What is the outlook for Roger Federer after a rough summer that included back-to-back early exits at Grand Slam tournaments? Which U.S. Open champion has a better chance to break the Open era record for major titles? A panel of tennis writers — Ricky Dimon of The GrandstandAmy Fetherolf of The Changeover and Erik Gudris of Adjusting the Net and Tennis Now — joined me to discuss these topics and more from the final Slam of the year.

    U.S. Open: Thumbs up or down?

    Courtney Nguyen: I have to say, that was one underwhelming Grand Slam tournament.

    Erik Gudris: I agree with you, Courtney. Thank goodness for the finals or this U.S. Open would definitely have earned an “incomplete.”

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  • Published On Sep 12, 2013
  • Report Card: U.S. Open grades

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    Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams

    Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have each won two majors this year. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images; Al Bello/Getty Images)

    The Report Card hands out grades for the week in tennis. Here’s our review of the U.S. Open.

    Rafael Nadal: A-plus. Remember when a fresh-off-his-injury-break Nadal lost to Horacio Zeballos in the VTR Open final in Chile? That February tournament sure does seem like a lifetime ago. It’s hard to say which of Nadal’s jaw-dropping stats best encapsulates his incredible season. Is it his 22-0 record on his worst surface, hard courts? His tour-leading 10 titles, including two majors and five ATP Masters 1000s? Or the fact that he trails Novak Djokovic by only 120 points for the No. 1 ranking despite missing the Australian Open? No, I’m actually going with this: He’s made the final in 12 of 13 tournaments. Unstoppable.

    PRICE: U.S. Open the pinnacle of Nadal’s incredible comeback year

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  • Published On Sep 11, 2013
  • Video: U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal stars in new SportsCenter commercial

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    What exactly does Rafael Nadal have that makes him so popular? ESPN tries to get to the bottom of it.

    Here are some other SportsCenter commercials featuring the biggest names in tennis.

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  • Published On Sep 10, 2013
  • Photos: U.S. Open offbeat moments

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    Svetlana Kuznetsova attempts to remove a squirrel from the court during her third-round match. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    The 2013 U.S. Open didn’t give us a nutty two weeks filled with consistently wacky results. But it did give us Svetlana Kuznetsova’s unfortunate squirrel-chasing uniform.

    Here are some more of our favorite photos from the zanier moments of the last Grand Slam tournament of the year. (Click here and here for more photos from the U.S. Open, and check out our fashion hits and misses — sorry, Sveta — from the first week.)

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  • Published On Sep 10, 2013
  • Best quotes from the U.S. Open, Part III

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    Serena Williams

    Serena Williams on on-court coaching: “I don’t want anyone out there on the court with me. It’s my moment.” (Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

    Here are our favorite quotes from the final three days of the U.S. Open (click here for Part I and Part II):

    Serena Williams scoffed at the idea of having on-court coaching at Grand Slam tournaments, like there is at WTA events. “I don’t want anyone out there on the court with me. It’s my moment. I grew up when tennis was just about you. I’m going to leave the sport with it just being about me.”

    Williams made nearly $3.6 million at the U.S. Open. But she says she’s never actually picked up a prize money check. “I don’t play tennis for the money. I honestly love to play. I love Grand Slams. When I grew up playing tennis in Compton, I just never thought about any of this. I didn’t think about the press. I didn’t even know all this came with everything. I think my dad got me into tennis because of the money, but me being naive and silly, I never thought about it. I just thought, I want to win. I wanted to do what Venus does. I want to win and I want to do more and I want to do more.”

    Williams makes the media rounds after U.S. Open title

    • Well, you can’t say Williams is skipping out on her taxes: “Someone told me today I passed $50 million [in career earnings], but half of that goes to my Uncle Sam [laughter]. I love him. I’m always giving him half my money.”

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  • Published On Sep 10, 2013
  • Celebrities tweet Serena Williams congratulations after U.S. Open win

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    President Bill Clinton watched the women's final and then offered his congratulations afterwards. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

    Former President Bill Clinton watched the women’s final and then offered his congratulations after the match. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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  • Published On Sep 10, 2013
  • Photos: U.S. Open men’s final

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    Rafael Nadal collapses to the ground on match point. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    Rafael Nadal collapses to the ground after clinching the U.S. Open title. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    What more is there to say about Rafael Nadal’s incredible 2013? The season isn’t finished yet and he’s already won 10 titles, including the French Open and now the U.S. Open, made the final at 12 of the 13 tournaments he’s played and compiled a 60-3 record. And he didn’t start his season until February.

    In defeating Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a tense U.S. Open final on Monday, Nadal seems to have finally flipped the script on the Serb’s temporary domination of their rivarly. Just two years ago, Djokovic went 6-0 against Nadal, and by the end of the season the Spaniard looked completely out of answers.

    When the rivalry resumed a few months later in the 2012 Australian Open final, they battled for five sets across nearly six hours and Nadal still lost. Nadal took positives from the crushing loss and said he had learned how he needs to play the man who is, at least by numbers, his chief rival. (The two have played each other 37 times, most in the Open era.)

    Nadal was right. Since that loss at the Australian Open, he’s gone 6-1 against Djokovic, including three victories at Grand Slam tournaments. Two of those came over Djokovic on Nadal’s dominant surface, the clay of Roland Garros. But Monday’s four-set win over Djokovic on his favorite surface was a statement win, one that established without a doubt that Nadal is the best player in the world right now.

    Some of our favorite photos from the men’s final after the jump.

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  • Published On Sep 09, 2013
  • Rafael Nadal conquers Novak Djokovic to win U.S. Open

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    Rafael Nadal won his second U.S. Open title and 13th major title. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    Rafael Nadal won his second U.S. Open title and 13th major title. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    No. 2 Rafael Nadal beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday to win his second U.S. Open title, 13th major overall and 10th title of the year. The Spaniard’s win, his 22nd straight on hard courts in 2013, moves him into sole possession of third place for Grand Slam titles, behind Roger Federer (17) and Pete Sampras (14).

    Nadal, 27, skipped the tournament a year ago because of a knee injury. He took seven months off to rest and rehabilitate before returning to the tour in February. Since then, he’s gone 60-3.

    “Probably only my team knows how much [the win] means for me,” Nadal said during the trophy presentation.

    The final, which was highlighted by some incredible shot-making given the windy conditions, turned in the crucial third set. Djokovic looked firmly in control after securing an early break, but played a loose game at 3-2 to let Nadal back into the set. Despite being outplayed for most of the set, Nadal converted on his only two break chances to steal the set, and the 26-year-old Serb couldn’t recover.

    “Playing against Novak always is a very special feeling,” Nadal said. “Probably nobody brings my game to the limit like Novak.”

    Nadal hit 27 winners to 20 unforced errors, while Djokovic, who played the aggressor through much of the last three sets, pounded 46 winners to 53 unforced errors.

    Djokovic has now lost in four of his last five Grand Slam finals, and fell to 1-3 against No. 2 Nadal this season. His No. 1 ranking, which he has held for the better part of the last two years, is now under immediate threat. Nadal has closed the point gap considerably on Djokovic during his incredible hard-court summer run, in which he won two ATP Masters 1000s and now the U.S. Open. With no points to defend through the remainder of the season, it’s only a matter of time before Nadal returns to the top spot.

    Game-by-game analysis of Nadal’s win after the jump.

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  • Published On Sep 09, 2013
  • Serena Williams makes media rounds after winning fifth U.S. Open title

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    Serena Williams

    Serena Williams poses with the U.S. Open trophy in Central Park. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

    It’s one of the cruel realities of winning a Grand Slam title: the post-victory media blitz. There is no going out to celebrate with your team until 6 a.m. or, for the introverts of the world, crawling under your covers and opening the hotel room door for no one but room service. Last year, Andy Murray drank nothing but a lemon soda as his team racked up a $6,400 bill at a fancy New York restaurant after he won his first major title, and then tried to get to bed before rousing early for his media engagements.

    This year, Serena Williams, who beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in the U.S. Open final Sunday, tweeted just after midnight that she was hitting the sack and, sure enough, she was up early to make the morning-show rounds and pose for the traditional champion’s photo shoot.

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  • Published On Sep 09, 2013


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