Late last night, after most of the east coast had already gone to bed, tennis fans were treated to one of those magical moments that can only happen at the U.S. Open. And, no, we're not talking about getting mugged on the No. 7 train on the way back from Queens.
After dispatching Radek Stepanek in a brisk 1:46, Novak Djokovic delighted the crowd with one of the patented impressions that made him a fan favorite in 2007 (the Nadal is priceless). His target this time was John McEnroe and Djokovic nailed the impersonation, hiking up his socks, contorting his body for the serve in the way that only McEnroe could and yelling at an empty umpire's chair all to howling laughter from the remaining crowd.
McEnroe watched the good-natured mimicking from the broadcast booth and was then summoned down to the court by the 2008 Australian Open champion. But before hitting with Djokovic, the four-time U.S Open champion gave it right back, doing a masterful impression of his own, complete with an elaborate pre-serve ball-bouncing routine:
That's great stuff.
Wimbledon may be the most important tennis tournament in the world, but the U.S. Open is easily the most fun. You don't think this would happen on Centre Court, do you?
In his Yahoo! Sports column today, Martin Rogers contends that the return of Djokovic's crowd-pleasing antics signal that he's ready to compete for Grand Slams again. In that case, maybe Novak will need to start working on his impression of the way former champs have been hoisted the U.S. Open trophy.