The US Open finished this weekend and what a tournament it’s been once again.
There have been highs and lows, shock results and plenty of controversy at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre over the course of the tournament, with people still discussing the events now days later. Let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers of the US Open and what it potentially means for them going forward.
Novak Djokovic headed to the tournament looking to earn himself back-to-back Grand Slam victories, as well as looking to equal Pete Sampras’ record of major trophy wins. The 31-year-old Serb was seeded sixth and made it all the way to the final where he faced off against Argentine third seed Juan Martin del Potro. It was actually Del Potro’s first Grand Slam final since he won the US Open in 2009, but he was coming up against a rejuvenated Djokovic.
Djokovic looked unstoppable as he won the match 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, collecting his 14th Grand Slam title and climbing up to third in the world rankings behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. In many ways it’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Serb who was troubled by injury this time last year, with his future in the game undecided. Now, after a superb summer, the dominant force in men’s tennis looks like he’s getting back to his best and he could even end the year back in top spot in regard to the men’s world rankings.
The women’s final saw some of the most dramatic scenes in tennis history occur as Serena Williams accused the umpire of being a thief, with her penalised for her outburst with a game penalty. She also violated another code and smashed her racquet as she lost to Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4, with the Japanese star becoming the first from her country to win a Grand Slam title.
In many ways, Williams’ behaviour has overshadowed what was a remarkable win for 20-year-old Osaka, as the 20th seed put on a classy and performed display at Flushing Meadows, while her rival caused worldwide controversy with her actions on the court and after. Williams was in with a chance of equalling Margaret court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles heading into the final, but saw the opportunity disappear as she was adjudged to have been coached during the game by Patrick Mouratoglou, sparking the beginning of the end.
You could in many ways say that Osaka had her moment in the spotlight snatched away from her by the American and her antics, but her victory shouldn’t be underestimated as she now plots her path to become Japan’s first ever world number one. She’s moved up 12 places after her victory at Flushing Meadows into 7th, as she now looks set to battle against the likes of Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova as she makes her way further up the rankings.