US Open Review
This was probably one of the most wide open Grand Slams I have watched. With Djokovic, Wawrinka, Serena, and many more out of the tournament, a lot of break out stars took advantage of this opportunity and stepped into the spotlight. With Nadal winning his 16th Grand Slam title and Sloane Stephens winning her first ever Grand Slam title, there is quite a bit to talk about for this years American Grand Slam.
What can we say about the women's draw. Well for one thing, without Serena Williams it is a toss up to see who the favorite is for winning the tournament. We always start with the one-seeded player to see if they can win the tournament then trickle down. For the women's standings, it is always hard to judge because the top 5 players are only separated by such little points that seeding does not really matter. Pliskova had to make the semifinals or finals in order to maintain her number 1 spot in the world. Now, at the end of the tournament, Muguruza will take over the spot as well and Svitolina moves up to 3 in the rankings.
Let us take a quick look at the Women's Champion, Sloane Stephens. Before the month of August, Stephens did not even win a single WTA match in 2017. After coming back from her foot injury, she had a struggling start to the year but proved people wrong after this very impressive win. When she first came onto the scene, I had a feeling that she would become the next Serena Williams. She has the power and track down ability that Serena is known for when it comes to winning matches. Her injury didn't help my case but maybe this win will help her get the ball rolling once again to prove my theory.
Another headline that stood out was the All-American semi-finals. Besides the Williams sisters, we have had a lot of young talent that has popped up and created headlines over time. Taylor Townsend, Christina McHale, Lauren Davis, Cici Bellis for some example. Yet, this tournament was finally reliving the glory days of Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert, and Monica Seles. As fans, we hope to continually see improvement and great showings for American tennis within bigger tournaments such as the Grand Slams. Madison Keys is one these Americans that shows a great amount of promise. She won a title at Stanford against fellow American, Coco Vandeweghe, and was able to beat her again at this years US Open semifinals. I feel like she has been around for a really long time but in reality, she is only 22. 22!! I am almost 22...
After the announcement of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka were out of the tournament, immediately I thought to myself that this would come down to Nadal vs. Federer for who can pull it out and win another major this year. Yet, after Federers tough first round win against young gun Francis Tiafoe, I knew something was up. I'm saying that Tiafoe did not play well, he played unreal tennis, but Federer did not look like he was playing up to par.
Players that really stood out on the mens side were mostly the young talent from the ATP Next Gen like Francis Tiafoe, Andrei Rublev, and Denis Shapovalov. Andrei Rublev was the first out of all the NextGen stars to make the quarter finals of any major tournament. Even though he lost to the 2017 Champion, he showed promise when he beat Dimitrov and a recovering David Goffin. Denis Shapovalov defeated Tsonga and Kyle Edmund before losing a tough 3 set battle against Carreno Busta. Using his momentum from his amazing run at Montreal, he was knock out good players and hopefully he can use it to finish out the year strong.
Now, let us focus on the big men; Juan Martin del Potro and Kevin Anderson. First off, Del Potro is a monster. After his comeback, upset win against Dominic Thiem, the Argentine became the new crowd favorite for the tournament. His energy, humbleness, and ginormous forehand proved that he was one to watch for going far in the tournament from an early stage. I had a feeling he would beat Federer, as painful that is to say. He is the giant slayer when it comes to playing Top 10 players. He had been fighting the flu for the entire tournament and he still was able to pull through and beat some of the best players in the world.
As far as Kevin Anderson goes, he is 31 and made his first major final. His big serve and consistent play really helped him get to the finals. His match against Sam Querrey was the turning point for him. That is when I knew he was determined and motivated to get farther into the tournament. I have never seen someone get so pumped up just within the first game of the match.
There's a lot to takeaway from the last Grand Slam of the year. America is back for women's tennis, the young guns are on the verge of taking over the game, and no one is ever too old to make their first grand slam final. A.k.a Kevin Anderson.