The US Open at Flushing Meadows delivered on many levels as history was made by players at the opposite ends of of their careers. We look back at some highlights from an enthralling New York fortnight….
The emergence of Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff scripted her own fairytale of New York by claiming her first Grand Slam title after recovering from a set down to beat Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
It’s a victory that left her father in tears as home fans rose to their feet at Flushing Meadows to celebrate the American teenager.
Gauff’s post-match interview was an example of her maturity as she pointedly thanked all the people who she felt did not believe in her.
“I’ve tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best so honestly, to those who thought you were putting water on my fire, you’re really adding gas to it. And now I’m really burning so bright right now,” Gauff said.
Gauff became the third American teenager to win the US Open women’s single title, inscribing her name next to Serena Williams (1999) and Tracy Austin (1979, 1981).
The brilliance of Novak Djokovic
It’s a scene we’ve seen plenty of times prior: Novak Djokovic falling to his knees after winning major titles, and the last night of the tournament was no different.
The Serbian star beat Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to record his 24th Grand Slam title and become the oldest US Open champion.
The victory led an exasperated Medvedev to ask: “What are you still doing here? I mean, come on.”
But Djokovic, who has now levelled Margaret Court’s 50-year-old record for most major singles titles, shows no signs of retiring from the game he loves.
“I’m going to keep going. You know, I feel good in my own body. I still feel I’ve got the support of my environment, of my team, of my family,” he insisted.
After his victory, Djokovic wore a white jumper with the number 24 embroidered on it, leaving the Flushing Meadows crowd to question whether the star is so great he knew the outcome of the match before the very first serve.
When Djokovic lost to 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final, it felt like the time had come for a new name to reign the tennis world.
However, his coach, Goran Ivanisevic has insisted that Djokovic has plans to play at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles – an ominous thought for his rivals.
Brits at the US Open
With the tournament in full swing, it was 14-year-old Hannah Klugman making the headlines after impressing in the US Open junior event.
The youngster booked her place in the quarter-finals after beating Japanese third seed Sakaya Ishii in straight sets in New York.
Extreme heat forced Klugman to retire, but her journey showed the promise of Britain’s young female players.
It was then left to Alfie Hewett to keep Britain’s flag waving as he won the all-British wheelchair singles final against his doubles partner Gordon Reid in straight sets – the fourth time he has triumphed at the event.
The victory marks Hewett’s second Grand Slam singles success of the year after winning the Australian Open in January, but the star was coming off the back of a loss in the French Open and Wimbledon finals.
“It’s not easy playing your doubles partner in a Grand Slam final, but it’s nice to see him back where he belongs,” said Hewett.
“It’s the stuff of dreams to come here and play on a stadium court, and to hold the trophy for a fourth time is something I’m very proud of.”
Ben Shelton kept American interest in the men’s draw burning long into the tournament with his incredible run to the semi-finals before the might of Novak Djokovic stopped the 20-year-old in his tracks.
In only his fourth Grand Slam appearance, Shelton wowed the New Yorkers with his brand of tennis and had them dreaming of a first American winner at Flushing Meadows since 2003 when Andy Roddick won his sole major.
Shelton had already knocked out compatriot and another fans’ favourite in Frances Tiafoe en route to the last four and celebrated with his ‘hang up the phone’ celebration. Djokovic would create an iconic and much-talked-about moment when he celebrated his win over Shelton by mimicking the American youngster’s celebration.
Shelton’ verdict on that gesture? “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Much was expected of Christopher Eubanks following his stunning run to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. While he didn’t quite rise to the occasion, following a second-round exit, his exuberant personality shone through once again, giving Americans hope he could yet deliver on the biggest stage after a standout year for the 27-year-old.