Saturday, August 17, 2013

Isner and Nadal, our two elevator friends, to meet in the finals

It's John Isner versus Rafael Nadal, the United States versus Spain, in the finals of the 2013 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati Mason, Ohio. Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych in the second semifinal on Saturday to set the matchup. 

The showdown is the Spanish-American war all over again, only this time it will go down in the friendly confines of the Lindner Family Tennis Center and control of Cuba isn't on the line, to my knowledge. It would be a really weird scenario if that were the case.

Nadal is undefeated against Isner in their three previous meetings, although it has been over two years since they last competed and a lot has changed since that opening round match in Roland Garros. For instance, John Isner now wears Lacoste instead of Nike; Nadal has battled knee injuries; and McDonald's offers an egg white substitute on all of its breakfast items. I encourage you to give it a try.

The Spaniard is the favorite entering the match and he's riding a 14-match win streak on hard courts, but don't think for one second that Isner is intimidated by his opponent. Isner has already defeated four top 11 players this week, including top seed Novak Djokovic, to get to the finals. Nadal is just another guy with a racket and a headband in his way.

Nadal and Isner will play in the first match of the day before the women compete for the WTA trophy in the tournament's grand finale. That matchup will be determined tonight with Serena Williams and Na Li, and Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka competing for spots.

It all ends tomorrow, friends.