The recently concluded US open was the last of the grand slams and it brought great excitement and a possible change of guard. The 2 week long mega event that took place between August 25 and September 8 had some quality tennis played all over. The tournament also had some major upsets, but the one that stands out was the exit of World #1 & #2, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the semifinals, Thanks to Japanese Ken Nishikori and Marin Cilic from Croatia. There were new champions while some players defended their title. Here is an overview of the five major events of the American Grand Slam.
MEN’S SINGLES: Classy Cilic outplays Nishikori
The most anticipated match of any tennis tournament is the men’s singles final. This year, none of the top 3 players featured in the final. It was Marin Cilic (14) from Croatia and Kei Nishikori (10) from Japan who qualified for the final after beating world #2 Roger Federer and World #1 Novak Djokovic respectively. In what may be called a one sided affair, the Croatian became the first US open champion outside the top 10 since #17 Pete Sampras had won it in 2002.
Cilic began the match serving well, which put a lot of pressure on Nishikori. After playing some very lengthy matches, the Japanese perhaps did not have enough in in tank to make more Cilic work more for this win. Though Nishikori engaged Cilic in long rallies, he was inconsistent with his shots. Throughout the game Cilic showed more aggression and covered the court with ease. He went on to finish the match strongly, with a scoreline of 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
A year ago, Cilic had missed the US open while serving a four month ban from the ITF after taking a prohibited supplement by mistake. The ban ended up doing him a world of good for him. Cilic took the time off to work hard towards improving himself physically and as the break seems to have helped him matured a bit more as a player. He had enough time to put some new parts in his game. He came back so well that he went on to win his maiden grand slam title in such dominating fashion.
WOMEN’S SINGLES: Serena completes hat-trick at home
Top seed Serena Williams was at her best as she defeated good friend Caroline Wozniacki (10) of Denmark 6-3, 6-3 in order to be crowned the US open champion for the third consecutive year.
In front of her home crowd, Serena played like a champion and she had good control throughout the game. The Dane managed to put up a tough fight but her efforts weren’t enough to defeat a determined Williams,who won her 6th US open title. She now has 18 grand slam titles, tying Chris Every and Martina Navratilova. Steffi Graf is the only player ahead of them with 22 titles.
This title helped close a mixed year for Serena , in which she had failed to win any of the Other Grand Slams
MEN’S DOUBLES: Crown number 100 for the Bryans
The most prolific pairing that tennis has ever seen, American siblings Mike and Bob Bryan defeated Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-3, 6-4 to win the US open men’s doubles title. This was also their 100th doubles title. Indian Tennis Star Leander Paes also participated in this category along with regular partner Radek Stepanek but was eliminated in Round 3 by the runners-up. Similarly Rohan Bopanna and partner Aisam Querishi suffered an early exit in Round 2.
WOMEN’S DOUBLES: Russian Duo gets The Better of Hingis and Pennetta
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia put up a solid fightback after going 2-6 down in the first set against Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta. They went on to win the next two sets 6-3 6-2 and lift their 2nd grand slam trophy.
The semi-finals of this event also featured Indian Tennis ace Sania Mirza, who paired with Cara Black of Zimbabwe. The Indo-Zimbawe pair lost to the finalists, Hingis and Pennetta 2-6, 4-6 in the semifinals.
MIXED DOUBLES: Sania does India Proud
Following her loss in the women’s doubles semifinal came a stronger Sania Mirza, this time with a different partner and in a different category. She teamed up with Bruno Soares of Brazil. This fresh pairing worked wonders for them as they defeated Abigail Spears of USA and Santiago Gonzalez 6-1, 2-6, 11-9 in the final and clinch their maiden grand slam title. For Sania, this was her third grand slam mixed doubles title.
And in this way , the last Grand Slam had redemption for Serena Williams, a comeback for Martin Cilic, a Japanese star in the making , an American doubles duo writing history and a Russian pair winning the Womens double. But Saving the Best for Last , we had an Indian in the Winners Circle – Welcome Back Sania – We have been waiting for you.