2019 US Open: Winners, losers, weirdos and whistleblowers

In case you missed a fab fortnight at Flushing Meadows.

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The Winners

Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer must be getting a little edgy in his Swiss chalet as Nadal creeps to just one behind his all-time record of 20 majors. While the final went on far longer than we thought it would, it still ended with a familiar champion. The 33-year-old is now 231-4 at grand slams when he takes the first set. It’s also his fourth US Open title, putting him level with John McEnroe in the all-time standings.

Pretty good for a claycourter!

Bianca Andreescu

The 19-year-old capped off her break-out season in spectacular style with a maiden major. In just her first US Open main draw and fourth tour level final, Andreescu was much too good for Serena Williams. Andreescu is the first Canadian to win a singles grand slam title and will surge into the WTA’s top five. At the start of the year, she was ranked outside the top 100. An absolutely superb talent.

Daniil Medvedev

He began the fortnight as the crowd’s pantomime villain but ended it as a Big Apple favourite. The Russian’s spectacular summer campaign came to a close with his fourth straight final. We’ve been waiting for the Next Gen to breakthrough but we didn’t expect this racquet-wielding daddy longlegs to go the closest. Medvedev showed incredible stamina, versatility and mental steel throughout the final and took Nadal to his limits.

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Grigor Dimitrov

The Bulgarian’s return to form in New York shocked practically everyone. Heading into the event, Dimitrov had won one match in his last six tournaments. Then out of nowhere, the current world no.78 found the form of old and surged to the semi-finals. It was some moment when the man once known as ‘Baby Fed’ finally beat the (somewhat injured) Swiss great in the quarters.

Belinda Bencic

A brilliant tournament for the Swiss who has finally recovered the excellent form of her teenage years. This semi-final showing sets the 22-year-old up nicely for the rest of the season.

Cursing

Befitting a loud city, players gave us plenty of spicy moments over the fortnight. Alex Zverev, Jelena Ostapenko and (of course) Nick Kyrgios each received ‘audible obscenity’ violations. Even the normally serene Roger Federer lost his cool when asked about whether he gets special treatment from tournament organisers:

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The Losers

Serena Williams

She’s made four grand slam finals since returning but finds herself stuck on 23 majors. In similar fashion to Wimbledon, Williams was outplayed in the final by a younger player who could handle her once fearsome power.

It’s starting to look like the great American will struggle to equal Margaret Court’s overall record, let alone beat it unless she can raise her level significantly in finals. At the moment, her aura has gone astray.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

It was a very poor outing for the uber-talented Greek as he crashed out in the first round to Thomas Fabbiano. However, he did provide a fantastic exchange with umpire Damian Dumusois during the loss. After receiving a point penalty for taking too long to serve, Tsitsipas lost it with Dumusois at a changeover:

“I don’t care. Do whatever you want because you’re the worst! For some reason you have something against me, I don’t know what you have…because you’re French, probably. And, and you’re all weirdos! You’re all weirdos!”

The Calendar

For the first time since 2006, Novak Djokovic wasn’t around for the last four in New York. Federer also limped out with a back problem. Four other top 10 male players crashed out in the first round. We know that the calendar is too long but are we starting to see the effect in the last major of the season? I wonder how many of the top eight will make the ATP finals in November.

Lucas-Pouille-2019-US-Open

Adidas Kits
It wasn’t a great event on the style front with the German apparel maker particularly shoddy. It looked like bleach ran through Lucas Pouille’s outfit by mistake.

Kyrgios Moment

In his third round loss to Andrey Rublev, Nick came out with a word that’s usually reserved for corporate scandals. After a line judge reported the Aussie to the umpire for foul language, Kyrgios complained before shouting “whistleblower” down the court.

Match of the Tournament

It’s clearly that extraordinary men’s final where Daniil Medvedev, on the cusp of losing at two sets and a break down, performed an extraordinary turnaround. Unlike the epic Wimbledon final earlier this summer, this match was dominated by brilliance from both men as they fought and outfoxed each other for almost five hours. Outstanding.

Shot of the Tournament

A round-the-post gem from the men’s champion sums up his unique combination of insatiable hunger and perfect execution. Bonus point for the passionate approval of Tiger Woods.

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