The US Open this year provided tennis fans with a good combination of everything you look for in a good tennis tournament. There were both key matchups that everyone wanted to see, and major upsets. No two matches sum each of these up better than the Men’s final between Federer and Djokovic, and the match in which Serena Williams was knocked out by Roberta Vinci.
The match between Federer and Djokovic is something just about everyone wanted to see. As the write up of the match on the US Open website stated, the match was “Not simply No. 1 vs. No. 2, but a head-of-state encounter between the best of now and the best ever.” In the end, the best now, No. 1 ranked Djokovic, took the crown. In an Open riddled with surprises, the men’s bracket came down to just the match everyone could have expected.
Going into the Open, Serena Williams was on everyone’s mind. She was really the player of the year, further establishing her dominance as one of the greatest athletes (not just tennis players) on the planet. And it’s not just that everyone was paying attention to her, everyone was rooting for her, too. So not only did her opponents have to worry about facing THE Serena Williams, they likely also felt the good will of most of the fans behind her. It was like playing the 1998 Yankees when they had home field advantage.
But even the Yankees during their big run in the late 90’s/early 2000’s lost some home games, which is what happened to Serena when she played Roberta Vinci – “the unseeded 32-year-old who’d never made a Slam semi before, never won as many as five games in a set against a dominant No. 1 Williams…” (see article here).
In short, the Open this year was great, and though they say that tennis fandom in the United States is dwindling a bit, with so many great players to watch, including a dominant American in Williams, it’s hard to think that there won’t be an upswing eventually.