Is the first winning season in 20 years for the Pittsburgh Pirates slipping away? Well, considering they are 14-29 since August 4, the answer has to be-- YES! On August 3rd the Pirates were a lofty 60-45 and a winning season seemed inevitable. It seemed like their North American sport's record, 19-season losing streak, was coming to an end. BUT STOP THE PRESSES! Let's remember these are the Pittsburgh Pirates and they are doing everything in their power to keep their ineptness alive and well. A winning season is blasphemy in those necks of the woods. How dare we think that they can have a winning season?!
JUST GO 8-6 THE REST OF THE WAY AND END IT ALREADY, PITT!
The Final: No. 3 Andy Murray defeats No. 2 Novak Djokovic (7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2)
AND WITH THAT-- Murray FINALLY wins his first-ever Grand Slam singles title. He had been 0-4 in major finals prior to this HISTORIC win.
AND WITH THAT-- Murray wins Great Britain's first major title in 76 years. England's long and agonizing drought is over!
AND WITH THAT-- The Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal brick wall on major titles has been broken. The "Big 3" are now the "Big 4".
Since the 2005 French Open-- Murray (2012 U.S. Open) and World No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro (2009 U.S. Open) are the ONLY men NOT named Federer, Djokovic and Nadal to win major titles. Del Potro's career was severely set back by a devastating wrist injury in 2010 but he is back on the prowl and pretty soon we shall have the "Big 5" in tennis.
As for Andy Murray-- it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!
For Andy Murray, this is his second consecutive (2011, 2012) semifinals appearance at the U.S. Open. He also reached the final in 2008, losing to Roger Federer. Since the 2008 U.S. Open, Murray has been a fixture in Grand Slam semifinals, reaching the semis in 11 of 17 majors. He's reached 4 finals (0-4). Will Murray finally win his first major? Has his time come?
For Tomas Berdych, he won the biggest match of his career in the quarterfinals against World No. 1 Roger Federer. A stunner, to say the least. Never before had he advanced past the 4th round at the U.S. Open, until this year. Prior to this the highlight of his career was reaching the Wimbledon final in 2010, where he also upset World No. 1 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. He wound up losing in the final to then-World No. 2 Rafael Nadal.
The other semifinals match will feature the winners of No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro and No. 4 David Ferrer vs. No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic other quarterfinals matches.
As for World No. 1 Roger Federer and his shocking defeat--
He will hold on to the No. 1 ranking regardless of who wins the tournament.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 70-64 (.522)
Streak: Lost 4
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Just when we thought it was a forgone conclusion that the Pittsburgh Pirates would have their first winning season since 1992, they are doing everything in their power to extend their North American professional sports record to 20 CONSECUTIVE LOSING SEASONS. Yes, 20 losing seasons in a row.
Just a month ago today the Pirates were 60-45 (15 games over .500) and cruising to a winning record, a playoff spot and the whole enchiladas. It seemed inevitable that they'll have a winning season. But since then they've gone 10-19 and are now only 6 games over .500 and everything, including the whole enchiladas, is in jeopardy.
But have no fear Pirates fans, if they go 12-16 the rest of the way, they'll finish at 82-80 and FINALLY have that elusive winning season. 12-16? Even they can do that!
For current World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, No. 10 Sara Errani, No. 11 Marion Bartoli and No. 20 Roberta Vinci, this is their first-ever quarterfinals appearances at the U.S. Open.
No. 7 Samantha Stosur is the defending champion. No. 3 Maria Sharapova is the 2006 champion and No. 4 Serena Williams is the 1999, 2002 and 2008 champion.
For Errani and Vinci, it will be an all-Italian quarterfinals between the second-seeded doubles partners from Italy.