Excellent thoughts about the US Open this year.
The thing with draws is that they don’t give choices to a player. They may be easy as they could be difficult, but irrespective of how they have been laid out – a player has to play through them. The argument that Rafael Nadal won his 16th Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday without having to face any top-20 player, then, seems like sour grapes. More importantly, it’s also beside the point.
If we were to calculate the metrics of easiness and difficulty, by no means did Nadal have it all put together in the initial rounds in Flushing Meadows. He trailed by a set against Taro Daniel and Leonardo Mayer in the second and third rounds respectively, before winning in four sets. Collecting ample free points off Alexandr Dolgopolov and Andrey Rublev in the pre-quarters and quarters respectively ensured he reached the semi-finals…
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