Monday, September 8, 2014

Ridiculously improbable U.S. Open final tonight

Defending U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal (ranked No. 2 in the world) pulled out of the tournament a week before it started due to a wrist injury.  World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost in one semifinal to 10th seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan.  No. 3 Roger Federer fell to Croatia's Marin Cilic (seeded 14th) in the other.

It's first time in nearly 10 years, since January of 2005 when Marat Safin defeated Lleyton Hewitt to win the Australian Open, that a final of one of the four Grand Slam events doesn't include Nadal, Djokovic or Federer (during a stretch from 2005-2012, one of those three guys won 29 of the 30 Grand Slams played).

The matchup of double-digit seeds or higher in a major final is also happening for the first time since the French Open in 2002, when unseeded Albert Costa knocked off 11th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero.  Not only that, but Nishikori is the first ever Asian-born player to reach a Grand Slam final.

According to ESPN, a prominent tennis betting outlet said it didn't even post odds for a Nishikori-Cilic final, but were it listed it would have been around 5000-1.

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