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By Joe McDonald

(August 30, 2012) --  This was, by far, the best match of the night session this Open.

In fact, before tonight, the night matches were so lopsided, no set got past 6-2.

You had to start wondering if the Arthur Ashe crowd would start chanting refund, because if they wanted to see lopsided games, they could always cross the street and see the New York Mets lose at Citi Field.

But tonight was different. Not only did Bjorn Phau get three games in the second set off Roger Federer (we guess the Swiss Master was sad about Andy Roddick or something there), the nightcap between the No. 6 seed Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams proved to be a classic with Kerber prevailing in 2 hour, 45 minute match, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.

“You know, obviously being on the losing end of a match like this isn’t a lot of fun,” Williams said. “But what can I say?”

Not much when Williams made 60 unforced errors in the match but still had a fighting chance to win. Kerber, though, seems to be on a streak, where she is 19-2 when the match goes to the third set. She has no explanation for the Joe Montana fourth quarter comebacks.

“I’m very happy that I won so many third sets in this year, but the secret, I don’t know,” she said. “Just fighting to the last point.”

It was a pretty sloppy too with Kerber and Venus breaking each other the first five games. And the crowd was decidedly on Venus’s side, maybe for the first time according to Williams.

“It was great,” Williams said. “It was like winning gold. Today I felt American for the first time at the US Open. So I waited my whole career to have this moment and here it is.”

So maybe, as the old adage says, you wait around long enough, they will love you. And Venus was feeling the love. The New York crowd was chanting, “Let’s Go Venus!” throughout the second and third sets, while Kerber fought it and played her game.

“I knew before the match the crowd was going to be for her,” Kerber said. “I just needed to focus on me and not to think about the crowd.”

As the game got into the third set, Kerber took advantage, she admitted she was nervous at the end of the second, but things changed during the third or as the record dictates we should call it, “Kerber Time.”

“I was too defensive at the end of the second,” Kerber said. “But then in the third, I was 2-4 up and I just said, I had nothing to lose right now, just play your game and see what happens. I, yeah, I won the match.

“It’s amazing that I won.”

And as you can see the crowd got it money’s worth.

Let’s hope there will be more night matches like this one.


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