2021 US Open

Happiness is a function of realistic expectations.
After the 2021 US Open Emma Raducanu, Leylah Fernandez and Daniil Medvedev are happy. Novak Djokovic is not.

Emma and Layla’s run to the final reminds me of that cool new restaurant that pops up around the corner from your new house. You’ve heard good things, and you decide to check it out. The vibe is super dope, the staff are all cool, and that short rib special that you ordered is Top 5. You can’t call it the greatest restaurant of all time, but you know you want it in your life and you really hope it’s still around in 3 years.

Novak by contrast is a Ruth’s Chris. Do yourself aa favor and check out the history of that name, BTW. Expectations are high. Everyone has heard of it, and you know that when you order your porterhouse medium rare that you’re getting that nice brown outside and reddish pink inside. And some oversized but well thought out sides of potatoes au gratin or grilled asparagus.

RC’s is established and has a history behind it. The restaurant around the corner doesn’t. It just a cool spot with a lot of potential. Our expectations for either establishment will be clearly different based on their respective histories.

Let’s pump the brakes on crowning either of these two young ladies or Medvedev the future of tennis after one amazing result in one amazing tournament. Daniil and Emma obviously have drastically different careers so far. For the sake of argument we will lump them together because it is the first grand slam for both of them. Medvedev obviously has better results because he’s been on tour longer and is has a more established career.
The realistic expectation for Novak was to win the Open and make history. He didn’t. He’s not happy.

The realistic expectation for the teenagers was to win a round or two (or in the champ’s case, get out of the qualifying tournament), gain some experience and take advantage of that bigger paycheck for the early rounds. They both well exceeded expectations, while gaining a new fan base and probably future sponsors in the process. They’re happy.
Let’s enjoy the 2021 US Open for what it was. A history making, fun and crown packed two weeks. Let’s give the players the same amount of time that we would give the new upstart restaurant around the corner to grown, mature, figure out their menu and continue to get better. You can love the new upstart without immediately trying to turn it into a blue chip. And Vice versa.

I saw an article earlier today about ‘Emma Raducanu, on the path to be the next Billionaire Sportswoman’. I hope she does, but that’s like saying the Steelers are on the path to the Super Bowl after beating the Bills and going 1-0. Technically on the path, but a lot of things are going to happen between now and Super Bowl Sunday.
Let’s celebrate what they all bring to the table and keep expectations realistic.

Let’s also remember that once Australia rolls around, that every meal you have can’t be great. Even from your favorite restaurants.
See ya next year, New York. Maybe the’ll be something new on the menu…

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