September 2011 | Page 15 of 22 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / May 21.


    NEW YORK — When Novak Djokovic smacked a forehand long to hand Roger Federer a break in the fifth set of their U.S. Open semifinal, the more than 23,000 fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium let loose a huge roar of applause.

    Once the undisputed King of the U.S. Open, Federer had been cast as the underdog against the world’s No. 1 player and the crowd was clearly in his corner.

    “That the crowd got into it was fantastic,” Federer said. “I think they were really hoping I was going to win today and I felt that. It definitely gave me a lift on top of that.”

    Federer held double-match point at 5-3, 40-15 in his ensuing service game and it appeared to everyone in the stadium that the five-time former champion would return to the U.S. Open final after a one-year absence.

    Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and former Blue Devils point guard Bobby Hurley were inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame Friday night.

    “When I heard I was in, I was wondering if (athletic director) Kevin White was trying to get me out of here,” Coach K joked, according to the Charlotte Observer.

    “It’s kind of neat to do it when you’re still coaching because you get to bring all the guys in,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s like a little bit of a renewal or revival …

    “When you’re in a hall of fame it’s kind of you’re immortalized. It’s forever. And to have that honor given to you from the place you love, Duke’s done a lot for me. People say we’ve done a lot for Duke, but Duke’s done more for us than we’ll ever do for Duke.”

    Perry Ellis hosted Kansas head coach Bill Self and assistant Danny Manning Friday for a home visit.

    “It went really well,” Fonda Ellis, Perry’s mom, told by phone.

    “They think that he could do so many things for them. He’s so versatile that they could use him in so many ways.

    “They said he reminded them of Marcus Morris and they showed us a video of his highlights. We saw a lot of similarities of how Perry plays. They said Perry could play all over. He could guard a guard. He could play on the perimeter. He could be a four. That’s what they’re excited about, he could be a mismatch for some teams.”

    NEW YORK — The last two American men were extinguished from the U.S. Open men’s draw Friday afternoon.

    John Isner and Andy Roddick were summarily dismissed by Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, respectively, leaving the game’s Big Four standing for Super Saturday’s semifinals.

    With men’s tennis at a critical and fascinating juncture in its history, either Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Nadal or Murray will win the 2011 championship.

    No Americans. A Serb, a Swiss, a Spaniard and a Scot.

    “I think they’re pretty firmly the best players in the world right now,” No. 21 Roddick said after his 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 quarterfinal loss to Nadal was marred by his left calf tightness. “I think they pretty firmly deserve the numbers next to their names right now. They’re playing great.”

    “One of the top four guys…is going to win this thing,” four-time U.S. Open champ John McEnroe said before the Open began.

    You think Memphis coach Josh Pastner wants to keep 6-foot-9, 245-pound power forward Jarnell Stokes at home?

    Pastner arrived at Stokes’ home at 12:01 a.m. and stayed until about 2, according to Jevonte Holmes of Memphis YOMCA.

    “Great midnight meeting w. Memphis coaching staff! Very productive!” Stokes tweeted.

    Friday is the first day college coaches can meet with 2012 prospects.

    “He [Pastner] concentrated on the city, the school and life after basketball here in Memphis as the kid is from Memphis,” Holmes said by text.

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