One only had to look to Canada, specifically the Canadian Open, in determining who would enjoy success at this year’s US Open. That, and also pay attention to the summer hard court swing that featured one player showing up in every single final. This year’s final major in New York saw several breakthrough performances, but it also highlighted that the pro game on both tours is undergoing a major shift from the current hierarchy of stars to the future.
The 2018 US Open is in the history books now. Though the 50th version of the event since the Open era began touted the word history a lot, this event will certainly be remembered, but likely for all the wrong reasons.
Before digging into the controversy of last night’s US Open Women’s Singles final, once again, let’s focus first on Naomi Osaka. The 20-year-old Osaka not only played a superlative match in her first ever major final, but also endured an unexpected storm, and did not allow it to distract her from eventually winning the title. Osaka is a great champion and many feel this is will be the first of many major titles for her.
Yet, once again, Serena Williams finds herself in the middle of controversy at the US Open, and once again with an umpire. In this case Carlos Ramos.
There’s a saying sometimes used during the Olympic Games when one athlete is expected to win the gold medal even before their event begins. Commentators have been known to say that everyone else in the field is just “playing for silver”. On the tennis tour, there is no silver medal at the end of each event. One player gets the trophy and that’s it.
The expectation, even before this year’s clay court season started, was that Rafael Nadal would win a record eleventh French Open title and raise the La Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy. Now that the Paris Grand Slam is here, the expectation is still the same.
At the start of the year, many wondered if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were, perhaps, past their glory days. But Federer, coming back from a long injury recovery, and Nadal, almost out of the top ten, then delighted tennis fans by reaching the Australian Open final that Federer won. Now both find themselves the most talked about players entering this year’s US Open. Despite their long history together, neither man has faced the other across the net in New York. If they do in the semifinals, it will cap off what has been the biggest, yet most welcomed surprise this year.
Serena Williams, who won in Melbourne before revealing her pregnancy soon after, will not be in New York. But her absence on the women’s tour is still very much felt. Especially with an ongoing race to the top WTA ranking that now includes eight women in the hunt. One being her elder sister Venus Williams, herself enjoying the best season of her career in some time having reached two major finals. Yet, the open-ended, unpredictable women’s tour these days has many, including one of the all-time greats, longing for the rivalries of the past.
Serena Williams can declare “Game, Set, Match” over John McEnroe.
Williams, the reigning Wimbledon champion and recent Australian Open winner, who is taking time off to have her first baby, took to Twitter in response to a recent quote from John McEnroe during an interview with NPR.
2016 in the tennis world was a year full of change and surprise. Here’s a quick look back at those players and highlights that stood out the most in this most memorable of years.
Top of the Charts
2016 was indeed a year of change including at the top of the tennis rankings. With breakthough, and career changing seasons, Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray closed out the year both as year-end No.1s.