Five takeaways from the W&S Open
- The kids are alright
While Serena Williams continues her dominance of the women’s tennis, plenty of young stars are becoming ready to compete. Namely players like Belinda Bencic, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens. The trio had some impressive early wins in the tournament, despite not making it to the weekend.
Bencic had an incredible run last week at the Rogers Cup, defeating Williams in the semifinals. The unfortunate part for Bencic was she had to retire from her round-of-16 match on Thursday.
All three players beat ranked opponents in their first-round matchups.Federer the favorite going into US Open?
- Federer the favorite going into US Open?
While Novak Djokovic will remain ranked No. 1 in the world, Federer advances to No. 2, flipping spots with Andy Murray. Federer played a flawless week of tennis in Cincinnati not losing a single set. Both his serve and return was spot on this week.
Djokovic said he is not happy with where his game is going into the final Grand Slam event of the year. Meanwhile, Sunday’s win clinches the No. 2 seed for Federer in the US Open.
“I got my work cut out,” Federer said. “A lot of guys are eager to do well at the Open as well, and usually everybody does play well in New York.”
- Attendance at an all-time high
Despite no Americans advancing past the second round of the tournament on the men’s side, attendance at America’s second-largest tennis tournament was at an all-time high.
The official attendance for the nine-day event was 199,217. This year’s tournament also marked single session records. Of the 16 sessions for this year’s event, 14 were sold out.
“It’s amazing to watch record-breaking crowds come in each day,” said Tournament Director and COO Vince Cicero. “The event grows each year as more casual fans are attracted by the variety of entertainment we offer around the grounds to complement the world class tennis on the court.
- Is the big four no more?
Rafael Nadal continues his worst season in years as he was knocked out in Thursday’s third round. Nadal struggled in his opening match on Wednesday, going three sets to Jeremy Chardy before losing in three sets to unseeded Feliciano Lopez. He has fallen well behind Federer, Djokovic and Murray.
“I am having a tough year, yes,” Nadal said. “Not terrible year, bad year. But 14 Grand Slams, 27 Masters 1,000, so many tournaments in my bedroom. I cannot make a drama about these kind of things, no, losing matches. That’s part of my career, too… So still a good chance for me to compete well in the next couple of years and seriously I think I gonna keep doing and I gonna be back again.”
- Dolgopolov a US Open dark horse?
The biggest surprise of the week was the play of Alexandr Dolgopolov, who nearly upset finalist Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Saturday. Dolgopolov took the first set, and had Djokovic on the brink of in the second set before Djokovic finally pulled away in the third.
Dolgopolov became just the third player to go from the Western and Southern Open qualifiers to the semifinals.
“It gives you confidence to play a semifinal from quallies at a Masters event,” Dolgopolov said. “And playing a match like this for sure is going to be nice. On the other hand, I have Winston‑Salem and I’m not seeded in New York. You never know what’s going to happen, which draw you get, are you going to stay health.”