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History made at the US Open, but not without surprises

The 135th edition of the US Open came to a close in Flushing, New York. Two separate tournaments, the womens and the mens, but the anticipation was equally big and tickets sold out rapidly. Photo attributions to Paul Williams.
The 135th edition of the US Open came to a close in Flushing, New York. Two separate tournaments, the women’s and the men’s, but the anticipation was equally big and tickets sold out rapidly. Photo attributions to Paul Williams.
The 135th edition of the US Open came to a close in Flushing, New York. Two separate tournaments, the women's and the men's, but the anticipation was equally big and tickets sold out rapidly. Photo attributions to Paul Williams.
The 135th edition of the US Open came to a close in Flushing, New York. Two separate tournaments, the women’s and the men’s, but the anticipation was equally big and tickets sold out rapidly. Photo attributions to Paul Williams.

by Martin Vrankovic, staff reporter

The 135th edition of the US Open came to a close in Flushing, New York, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and, just like last year, fans were able to see the impossible become reality.

Much of the anticipation leading up to the tournament was focused on Serena Williams and her bid for a Grand Slam. If Williams did so, she would have been the first person since Steffi Graf did so in 1988. In anticipation for such an event, all available tickets for the women’s final rapidly sold out.

In the men’s singles tournament, Marin Cilic, who won last year’s tournament, was seeded 9th, while Novak Djokovic was considered to be the favorite to win the tournament.

The men’s singles tournament bore few surprises, with most of the higher seeded players making it far into the tournament. There were a few exceptions to this, one being 4th seeded Kei Nishikori, last year’s runner up, who lost in the first round to unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire. Another shock was former world number one Rafael Nadal’s loss in to 32nd seed Fabio Fognini in the third round. Despite some of the stars of the tournament falling in the early stages of the tournament, the final was contested by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, the top two seeds of the tournament.

The two men, facing off against each other for the 42nd time in their careers, played out the final in front of a capacity crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, who were eagerly waiting for play to start following a three hour rain delay. Djokovic was looking to win his third major title of the year, and looked up to it as he won the first set 6-4. Federer was able to recover from a sloppy performance in the first set to win the second set 5-7. Djokovic never looked back after the second set, however, as the Serb won the next two sets 6-4 and, as a result, the tenth major title of his career.

Unlike the men’s tournament, the women’s singles tournament was much more unpredictable. Maria Sharapova, seeded 3rd prior to the beginning of the tournament, withdrew before play began because of an injury to her right leg. Most of the top seeds were knocked out of the running early, with just 3 of the top 12 seeds advancing past the third round. Most of the attention throughout the tournament was focused on Serena Williams, who was in with a chance to win a record-equalling 22nd major title. She showed exactly why she was in such a position by dominating every match she had appeared in, including a quarter-final victory against her sister, Venus.

However, the dream was not to become reality, as she was defeated by unseeded Roberta Vinci in the semifinal. The Italian, who by this time had already been farther in a major than ever before, came back from losing the first set 2-6 to win the match against Williams. In the other semifinal, 2nd seed Simona Halep was routed by another Italian, Flavia Pennetta. After losing the first set 6-1, Halep looked as if she’d be able to bounce back from a disappointing first set, but Pennetta made a comeback of her own and managed to win the second set 6 games to 3.

As a result, the first ever all-Italian final took place on September 12th, and it was to be a final hurrah for Vinci, who, in the final match of her career, won the final in straight sets to become the oldest woman to win a major title for the first time. Vinci’s triumph was also her first title win since March 2014.

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