The US Open has finished for another year and with this being the last of the major tournaments to be played during the tennis calendar; it also marked the end of the season. As usual it produced plenty of thrills and surprises however and this article will take a look back at it.
The favourites prior to the start were Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, but both were handed tough draws in the early rounds. Djokovic was defending his crown, and went into the tournament suffering from niggling injuries, but still made it through those early stages. One of his biggest challengers was expected to be Britain’s Andy Murray, who had enjoyed an excellent summer going into the tournament and had a comparatively easy route to the latter stages. However the Scot fell unexpectedly at the quarter final stage, where he was defeated in five sets by Kei Nishikori. The number six ranked Japanese player is no slouch, but this was still a surprise as Murray had won 22 from 23 prior to this and tiredness was considered a factor by many. Djokovic was helped on his way by an injury to tricky quarter final opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was forced to quit mid-way through their match. The final saw an exciting match up between Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, but it was the latter who was to emerge triumphant with a win in four sets – despite losing the first of these. Wawrinka is flowering comparatively late in his career, but continuing injury problems leave question marks over the future of Djokovic.
In the women’s singles tournament, last year’s winner Flavia Pennetta was nowhere to be seen having retired after winning it. World number one Serena Williams was the hot favourite, and it appeared to be business as usual for her as she reached the semi finals. However, the player who has dominated the women’s game for years had no answer to the powerful groundstrokes and serve of Karolina Pliskova, losing in two sets. This surely marked Pliskova’s arrival as a force, having been ranked number 10 prior to it. However it was the player rivalling Williams for the top spot – Angelique Kerber – who held her nerve to win the final; overcoming Pliskova in three sets. Kerber is now the world number one and with age not on Williams’ side she could retain it for some time. Thus the tournament will have confounded many of those who placed bets on it, although those who opted for playing the Centre Court slot game at online casino in New Zealand would not have been complaining. This has similarities to betting on the tennis, but perhaps a better chance of winning, so why not give it a go.
It will be interesting to see how the players who did so well in the US Open do when the Australian Open starts in January.