McHale and Falcone Will Fare Better Than Oudin

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The Cinderella stories are over for the two young American girls who made so much noise two days ago.

Both Christina McHale and Irina Falconi lost their matches today – McHale to Maria Kirilenko, 2-6 3-6 and Falconi to Sabine Lisicki 0-6 1-6 – but there first few matches give hope for the future of American tennis.

“I had two really good wins my first two matches,” said McHale after her match today.  “This one, it’s disappointing.  But, yeah, I think I just kind of have to take the positives from it and keep working hard and, yeah, keep going.”

Added Falconi: “I am just going to take this week and the next week as a huge stage on my career, hopefully what can translate into a follow-up fall season. Next week I go to Quebec City for a tour event and hopefully do some damage there as well. There is nothing but positives to take out of this week.”

Both girls showed their inexperience today. Neither of them was attacking the ball like they did on Wednesday and even admitted to playing tentative.

“I was too passive today,” McHale said.  “I think the other day I took my chances when I had them.  But [Kirilenko] was playing well, too, so it made it difficult today.”

And then there were the bright lights of Ashe, where she admitted she was a little nervous playing under the lights in front of the sold out crowd.

“I think it didn’t really help me, my nerves, tonight,” McHale added.  “I never really felt as comfortable as I wanted to feel on the court.”

Yet, it will be interesting to see how both girls handle their first success of the Open.  Melanie Oudin melted under the pressure after her run two years ago and hasn’t made any noise since.

But Oudin could be considered a special situation. Both McHale and Falconi didn’t get the celebrity treatment like Ouidin did and the press didn’t start look into their personal lives.

Plus Oudin seemed to enjoy the celebrity spotlight, whereas both of these girls seems to care more about winning than stardom.

So it will be interesting to see how both do in the fall and then at the Australian Open come 2012. But it also important to remember they are both very young with McHale only 19 while Falconi can get a drink in bar…well barely. And it will take time for both players, so don’t get excited if one or both makes a quarterfinals and expect to see the second coming on Chris Everett.

Rather this is more like the baseball minor leagues where the two girls are honing their skills. Some success here will help them, but until they learn to be winning at a consistent level in high profile tournaments, they will remain prospects.

But all prospects have upside and this past week we may have just seen the future.

Federer Still Shows Class In Defeat

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Not much bad can be said about Roger Federer. Even in defeat, he was as gracious as ever and that’s even after the tough five-set loss in the US Open Finals in the Juan Martin Del Potro, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

“I thought it was a tough match from the start,” Federer said. I think even the first set was, you know, pretty close. I think both getting used to the conditions. It was kind of tough starting around the 4:00 time because the shadows moving in and stuff.

“I got off to a pretty good start, and had things under control as well in the second set. I think that one cost me the match eventually. But I had many chances before that to make the difference. So it was tough luck today, but I you thought Juan Martin played great. I thought he hung in there and gave himself chances, and in the end was the better man.”

Federer just had a bad day. His serve was off and he had an uncharacteristic 62 unforced errors in the match as well as 11 double faults. Del Potro admitted his first set was nothing but nerves, and he caught himself in the second, which means the Maestro was having even a harder day than the score indicated.

“I thought I had him under control for the first two sets,” Federer said. “I should never have lost so many chances. It was just a pity. I think if I win the second set, I’m in a great position to come through. Unfortunately, I didn’t win that and that was it.”

Although he composed himself after the match was over, you have to believe Federer was frustrated. In the third after holding to make the score 5-4, he was caught by the television cameras cursing at the chair umpire about the allowance of Del Potro’s challenge. The five-time champion makes no bones about his disdain for the “Hawk-Eye” system used in replays. And this time was no different.

“You know, what I think about Hawk-Eye,” he said. “Shouldn’t be there in the first place. So then second question shouldn’t happen. It is what it is.”

As is Federer who is the same classy player win or lose. And this loss will mean nothing for his legacy. Federer is still the best ever, even with the 2009 record of 2-2 in Grand Slam finals.

“Unbelievable,” he said. “Unbelievable run. Being in all major finals and winning two of those, I’m losing the other two in five sets. Sure, I would have loved to win those two as well. Being so close, I think was two points from the match today. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

“But year has been amazing already and it’s not over yet. Got married and had kids, don’t know how much more I want.”