Surprises, packed arena, sweltering conditions, teenage dreams and dreams shattered, that was the story of the last major of the year.
The final grand slam of the year- the US Open- finally came to an end on Sunday night following two weeks of exhilarating tennis.
This year’s tournament had a different feeling to it as there was no Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the Williams sisters- the four most popular players of the modern era.
But despite their absence, it was still a tournament to remember. As a result, All Ballerz Zone looks at some of the talking points.
Medvedev finally delivers for Next Gen: For many years, questions have been asked about the Next Generation’s ability to finally win a grand slam.
The big three of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have dominated the slams over the last 16 years.
Although the next generation have come close in recent years, they’ve always fallen short when it matters most. This year, Daniil Medvedev lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final, while Stefanos Tsitsipas lost a two-sets lead against Djokovic in the French Open final.
However, it all changed at the US Open as Medvedev finally delivered for the next gen as he beat Djokovic in straight set to win the men’s title and his first major.
Although Dominic Thiem won the title last year, he did not face any of the big three on his way. However, Medvedev’s win against Djokovic has finally put an end to the doubts over their ability to beat the big three in a best of five.
Medvedev’s win is even more remarkable, given it was in straight sets against the World No 1, who was chasing history at Flushing Meadows.
It’s a satisfying win for the Russian, who had lost in two finals previously before triumphing finally on Sunday. The 25-year-old has now won a title in each category on the ATP tour.
Teenage Dreams: The result in the Women’s section is arguably the craziest and unexpected in the competition’s history. It was indeed a stuff of dreams.
18-year-old Briton Emma Raducanu won the title in what was just her second appearance in the main draw of a grand slam event.
The 18-year-old had been the breakout star at Wimbledon, but no single person expected her to go all the way at the Big Apple.
Raducanu went through three rounds of qualifying and seven games to upset the odds and win the title. It’s a feat that will never be forgotten.
Meanwhile, Raducanu was not the only teenager that went on a historic run. Her opponent in the final was Candian 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez.
Fernandez beat top ten players, including defending champion Naomi Osaka, fifth seed Elina Svitolina and second seed Aryna Sabalenka.
While she would be disappointed not to end up with the title, it was still an amazing run from the Canadian. It’s fair to say this was a tournament of teenage dreams.
WTA Inconsistency: Raducanu’s win may be a feel good underdog story, but it also highlights the inconsistency in the Women’s game.
Unlike the men’s game, the WTA is full of inconsistent players, where anybody can beat anyone. While fans may say it’s good competition, it only means the players are almost at the same level, which is not a true judge of good competition.
There were four different winners in the Grand Slams this year, two of which were unexpected winners. Aside from Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty, the WTA have lacked a consistent player since Serena dominated.
Djokovic fails in his mission: Going into the tournament, Djokovic was bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver to win a calendar slam.
The Serbian World No 1 had won the Australian Open, the French Open, beating Nadal on the way, and the Wimbledon.
History was waiting for Djokovic. But there was the writing on the wall when he lost to Alexander Zverev at the Olympics, ending his dream of completing a golden slam.
Still, it was his title to lose, heading into the US Open. Not only was he chasing a calendar grand slam, he was also chasing the most grand slam titles, having levelled with Federer and Nadal after winning Wimbledon.
However, while he did reach the final, it wasn’t meant to be for him as he was totally outclassed by Medvedev, who won 6-4 6-4 6-4.
He is likely to end up with most grand slam titles, but this loss will definitely hurt as it was an opportunity missed.