On 27th August 2019 US Open has started. The US Open is the last of the four Grand Slams played during a calendar year.
Each of these four Grand Slams has some aura or importance attached to it. Undoubtedly Wimbledon and French Open lead the pack because of that rare blend of antiquity and modernity they carry. The clay court of French Open and grass court of Wimbledon, coupled with the traditional French and British touch, make these two Grand Slams special. Australian Open is the first Slam of the year, and it sets the tone for the year at the ATP.
US Open is the last slam of the year and had a typical stamp of American opulence on it. Regarding the total prize money, US Open always has been a notch above the remaining three slams and this year is no exception.
The tournament has its moments and amusing anecdotes from the past. However, this event has not been pleasant for everybody. Ask Bjorn Borg. One of the most celebrated players of the history and winner of 11 Grand Slams, Borg could never win a US Open title despite four appearances in the final.
In 1988, Steffi Graf won first three Grand Slams, and all eyes were on the US Open in 1988 to see whether she would complete the historic Year Grand Slam. Graf won the US Open and achieved the rare Grand Slam. This feat of Graf has been the last calendar year Grand Slam even after three decades have gone past since 1988.
Next year’s (1989) men single at US Open was unique in a sense that Boris Becker won the men’s singles title after saving two match points in the second round match against Derrick Rostagno. It was a nail-biting moment when at the match point Rostango was on the net to play an easy winner, but ball veered its path after hitting the top net wire, and Rostango missed it. Becker didn’t look back after this lifeline and ultimately won the title.
Next year in 1990, US Open launched one of Tennis’s biggest star – Pete Sampras. 19 years old Sampras won his first Grand Slam here in 1990, and 12 years later in 2002, he earned his last and a whopping 14th Grand Slam here at US Open. Nine years later in 1999, it was again US Open where one of the all-time greatest of the game Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam. For Serena, an incredible journey started in the 1999 US Open, which continues till date after 19 years.
In 1994, Andre Agassi won US Open and proved that his victory in 1992 Wimbledon was not a flash in the pan.
In the 2009 US Open, Kim Clijsters achieved an incredible feat. She won the women’s title after coming back from the retirement and after given birth to a baby a year back. She won the title again in 2010.
In 2018, all eyes are on men’s singles. The rejuvenated and repackaged veterans Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, have spiced up the men’s Tennis incredibly over the past 20 months. All seven Grand Slams during 2017 and 2018 have been lifted by these three true legends of the game. Therefore men’s single title of US Open is going to be a live wire during the second week when they will clash with each other.
Many players of equal stature rule Women’s tennis these days and thus predicting a winner is a risky affair. Eyes are though on Serene Williams as she has the potential to repeat the incredible feat of Kim Clijsters in 2009.
So fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the incredible top class tennis till 9th September. 2018 can surely add few more incredible tales to the rich tradition and history of this tournament.
(The author is NewsMobile iJourno. The views expressed are personal)