US Open

Nadal Continues Capturing Slams

Rafael Nadal won his 16th Grand Slam singles title, and third US Open, in today’s well-fought but straight-sets win over first-time Slam finalist Kevin Anderson, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal’s long career shows no signs of slowing down. He won two major titles this year (including his 10th Roland-Garros championship). “I wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and to try to improve things. That’s why I still have chances to compete in this sport,” he says. “I still feel the nerves every time that I go on court. When some day arrives that I don’t feel those nerves or that extra passion for the game that I feel, it will be the day to say, ‘OK, I’ll do another thing.’ ”

Photo by Chris Nicholson, author of ‘Photographing Tennis.’ Follow Chris’ US Open photos on Instagram (@ShootingTennis).

Sloane Secures Her First Slam

Of the final four Americans in the women’s main draw of the US Open, Sloane Stephens was the last standing after defeating her good friend Madison Keys in the final 6-3, 6-0.

Both players came back from injuries in 2017, faced each other for the first time in a Grand Slam event, and were only the seventh pair of singles finalists in the Open Era to be appearing in their first Grand Slam championship match simultaneously. It was the 94th time an American woman has won the US Open singles trophy.

“I should just retire now,” Stephens said afterward. “I told Maddie I’m never going to be able to top this.”

Photo by Chris Nicholson, author of ‘Photographing Tennis.’ Follow Chris’ US Open photos on Instagram (@ShootingTennis).

Men’s Semis Set

Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta didn’t take his first career Grand Slam semifinal laying down—not most of it, anyway. But opponent and eventual winner Kevin Anderson did run Busta around enough so that the Spaniard, exasperated, took a breather right on court after slipping to the ground.

Anderson, of South Africa, advanced to his first Grand Slam singles final with the 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 upset. That final will be against Rafael Nadal, winner of 15 Grand Slam singles titles. “I’m sure there will be different emotions when I walk out onto the court on Sunday. But it will be very important for me as quickly as possible to really try, as much as I can, to block that out,” Anderson says. “Any match you face, you can be nervous. It’s just a larger scale. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I have worked really hard to get here. It’s great I have given myself a spot.”

Photo by Chris Nicholson, author of ‘Photographing Tennis.’ Follow Chris’ US Open photos on Instagram (@ShootingTennis).

Wheelchair Tennis on Arthur Ashe Stadium For First Time

US Open wheelchair tennis was played for the first time ever today in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, seeded No. 2, defeated Japan’s Shingo Kunedia and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez in the first match, 6-3, 6-2.

“We knew a few days ago that some matches would be played on Ashe,” said Hewett, 19. “I found out at 8 pm last night – it was a nice surprise.”

“It was incredible to have that opportunity as wheelchair players,” said Reid, 25. “It’s showing the respect that wheelchair tennis is gaining, a great first match here. It’s probably the nicest court I played on, so for me, it really is the stuff that dreams are made of, to play on Ashe. Hopefully, it’s not the last time.”

Following the men’s doubles match, American Dana Mathewson and Aniek van Koot, of the Netherlands, upset No. 2 seeds Yui Kamiji, of Japan, and Lucy Shuker, of Great Britain, in a tight 0-6, 6-4, [10-5], match.

The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition continues through Sunday across the men’s, women’s and quad divisions. It follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis except that the ball can bounce twice.

Wheelchair Tennis Debuts in Ashe Stadium

Arthur Ashe Stadium is celebrating its 20th year hosting US Open matches, yet none of those contests involved wheelchair tennis—until today. In the first stadium match of Day 11, Alfie Hewett (pictured) and Gordon Reid defeated Shingo Kunedia and Gustavo Fernandez, 6-3, 6-2, in the first wheelchair tennis match ever played on American tennis’ grandest stage. They were followed by women’s semifinalists Dana Mathewson and Aniek van Koot, who defeated Yui Kamiji and Lucy Shuker 0-6, 6-4, [10-5].

“It was incredible to have that opportunity as wheelchair players,” Reid says. “It’s showing the respect that wheelchair tennis is gaining, a great first match here. It’s probably the nicest court I played on, so for me, it really is the stuff that dreams are made of. Hopefully, it’s not the last time.”

Photo by Chris Nicholson, author of ‘Photographing Tennis.’ Follow Chris’ US Open photos on Instagram (@ShootingTennis).

US Open Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of Being Green

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Green Initiative program at the 2017 US Open. Since its inception in 2008, the US Open Green Initiative has expanded each year to continuously make environmentally-sustainable choices that reduce the impact the US Open has on the environment.

In this, the 10th year of the program, 90 percent of US Open waste will be diverted from landfills, 12,000 gallons of kitchen grease will be recycled into biodiesel fuel, and more than 60 tons of organic waste from US Open kitchens will be composted.

Since 2008, the US Open has reduced its greenhouse emissions by 94,000 metric tons through waste diversion, recycled paper use, carbon offsets, and renewable energy certificates. This includes the diversion of more than 3,400 tons of waste and the recycling of nearly 2.6 million plastic bottles. The US Open has obtained enough renewable energy credits to provide electricity to 1,600 homes for an entire year and has donated more than 100 tons of food to local communities.

In addition, as the USTA continues its strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, green building choices are incorporated into each step of the process, demonstrated by the LEED certification of the Grandstand Stadium and Transportation Building. The new Louis Armstrong Stadium, set to debut in 2018, is on track to be LEED certified for the 2018 US Open.

More than 95 percent of the waste from the demolition of both the original Grandstand and Louis Armstrong Stadiums was recycled. The new Louis Armstrong Stadium will use 40 percent less water through waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Landscaping around the new stadium has been designed to use 55 percent less water and the stadium, as a whole, has been designed to consume 25 percent less energy.

In collaboration with environmental consultant, eco evolutions, initiatives for 2017 include:

Waste Diversion

  • The USTA will recycle cardboard, plastics, glass and metals collected throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • More than 60 tons of food waste will be collected from the kitchens to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses.
  • The USTA will collect the 45,000 tennis balls used during the matches and player practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and donate to various community and youth organizations nationwide.
  • Following the US Open, approximately 15,000 tennis ball cans are recycled.
  • From the kitchens at the US Open, approximately 12,000 gallons of food grease will be collected to convert into biodiesel fuel.
  • Unused food will be donated to the community.

Recycled Paper

  • More than 90% of the paper products, including the 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area will be made of recycled materials and/or compostable materials.
  • All US Open-related printed materials (US Open media guide, marketing collateral, tickets and the Daily Drawsheet, among others) are composed of at least 30 percent post-consumer waste.
  • US Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper made up of 10-15 percent post-consumer waste.
  • All paper towel dispensers have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers and all paper towels are comprised of 40 percent post-consumer waste.
  • Paper use is reduced through electronic communications to players, media and fans, and players have access to a player’s-only web portal.

Transportation

  • Carbon offsets are acquired for the estimated miles players travel by air as well as the miles they travel on the ground to get to the US Open.
  • Carbon offsets are also acquired for the estimated 800,000 vehicle miles traveled by employees to work at the US Open.

Energy

  • Champion Energy, the US Open’s energy supplier, is donating Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset the electricity consumed during the 2017 US Open.
  • Carbon emissions from player travel and on site fuel use will be offset with the purchases of Green-e Climate Carbon Offsets.

Green Cleaning

  • Vendors are provided with a US Open Green Cleaning Policy specifying preferred cleaning products to be used during the US Open.

Site renovations and expansion

  • The stadium lights throughout the NTC have been replaced with LED lights which will reduce energy use by 50 percent.
  • Water refilling stations have been added to the site to encourage waste minimization by reducing single use water bottle.
  • As part of recent renovations at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the USTA has incorporated green building design elements (such as water efficient fixtures, recycling of construction waste, low emitting paints and sealants, recycled materials, efficient lighting and HVAC systems). To facilitate this process, the USTA has become members of the United Sates Green Building Council as of August 2013 and achieved LEED certification for the newest Grandstand Stadium and Transportation building. We are currently pursuing LEED certification for the new Armstrong Stadium.

Merchandising

  • At the US Open Collection merchandise locations, fans will receive with their purchase a US Open souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple-use.
  • The US Open Collection will include environmentally friendly items including a reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste, cinch bags constructed from recycled bottles and 100 percent recycled post-consumer and post-industrial paper product.

Fan Awareness

  • US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official US Open Program.
  • Environmental tips are featured in the Daily Drawsheet as well as communicated through US Open social media channels. Labels on waste bins to educate fans on waste diversion program.
  • Signage on paper towel dispensers to remind fans to use only what they need.​
  • Signs in kitchens to educate staff on proper recycling and composting procedures.

Food

  • 20 percent of produce used during the Open is from local farms.

Alexander Zverev and Elina Svitolina Win Canada Titles Heading Into US Open

Canada saw a glimpse of the bright future of men’s and women’s tennis on Sunday, as 20-year old German Alexander Zverev and 22-year old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina won their inaugural Rogers Cup titles.

 

Zverev took down Roger Federer, 6-3, 6-4, in Montreal, to become the youngest Rogers Cup men’s champion since Novak Djokovic in 2007. Zverev continued his peak summer hard-court form — he’s won 10 straight matches after winning the title in Washington, D.C., last week — to capture his second ATP Masters 1000 title of 2017 (Rome) and first at a US Open Series event. Zverev has now won five ATP titles in 2017, which is tied with Federer for the most on tour.

 

Svitolina beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-0, in Toronto to win her ninth career WTA title and her tour-leading fifth this year. Svitolina’s first victory at a US Open Series event was earned by defeating four straight Top 10-ranked players in Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Wozniacki, and it will propel her to a career-high No. 4 in the world on Monday.

 

The US Open Series crescendos this week with the Western & Southern Open, as many of the top men’s and women’s players converge on Cincinnati. For the first time since 2009, Rafael Nadal and Federer will be the tournament’s No. 1 and No. 2 men’s seeds, respectively, and will battle each other to claim the No. 1 ranking. Cincinnati will also see a women’s field featuring every active player in the Top 20 (minus Serena Williams) and five different players battling to claim the No. 1 ranking.

 

ESPN2 picks up its coverage from Cincinnati on Thursday, beginning at 1 p.m., and will carry matches through Sunday’s finals, beginning with the women at 2 p.m. ET. Tennis Channel begins its weeklong coverage with Monday’s first round. See the full summer TV schedule here.

 

Fans can join the conversation by using hashtag #USOpenSeries and by following @usopen. Fans can share their experiences at US Open Series tournaments using hashtag #MyUSOpenSeries.

 

About the US Open Series

Now in its 14th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis.  Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

 

About the WTA

The WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 2,500 players representing nearly 100 nations competing for a record $139 million in prize money. The 2017 WTA competitive season includes 55 events and four Grand Slams in 32 countries.

 

About the ATP World Tour

The ATP World Tour, with 63 tournaments in 31 countries, showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events).

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Favorites For The US Open

by Michael Lemort

The US Open starts in late August and the favorites are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal without a doubt. Not really a surprise as we know how huge those two champions are, but more than a year ago, who would have thought that the balance inside the Big Four would be so different than it is today!

Novak Djokovic was the invincible number one for several years and he had just won majors in a row in between two years after winning the French Open. But five months later, he gave up his throne to Andy Murray. The British player won Wimbledon, the Olympics and the Masters Cup in London and became the last member of the Big Four to be number one at the ATP rankings. Nadal and Federer, injured and obviously getting older, had withdrawn for the end of the season.

Today the Serbian has lost his four majors crowns, he hasn’t won a Masters 1000 this year and he is ranked number 4. Moreover he has just announced this week that he will withdraw for the rest of the season to heal an elbow injury and get some time off to take care of his family and get ready for next year!

Andy Murray, like Djokovic, hasn’t won a Major neither a Masters 1000 in 2017. Exhausted by his achievements of last year and also weakened (hip injury), he is about to lose his supremacy. Federer and Nadal, fresher than ever, are just behind him and have almost no ATP points to defend until the end of the season. Aged 36, the Swiss is more aggressive than he has ever been. He looks more impressive than he was back 10 years ago when he was at his top. He won the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Halle and Wimbledon (without dropping a set!) and he beat Nadal three times in a row for the first time of his career. The Spaniard won his tenth French Open (a record) after triumphing in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. Both of them have shared the big trophies this year and they will probably race against each other for the number one ATP ranking until the end of the season. Who would have thought about that a year ago?

Everybody also thought that, besides Murray or Djokovic, a new member of the next generation would hold some big trophies in 2017. But except Alexander Zverev in Roma (the only big tournament that Nadal and Federer haven’t won so far this year), they will have to wait some more as «  the old Roger and Rafa » still hunger for success and are not retired yet. Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov represent the best chances but after Nadal crushed the Austrian at Roland Garros and Federer did the same with the Canadian and the Bulgarian in London, on their favorite surface, the way to the top doesn’t seem that close. Kei Nishikori and Nick Kyrgios have been injured too much and their body seems fragile. Also Borna Coric, Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev, all members of the teen « Next Gen », are getting better and tougher each year but they will probably need some more time to compete with the Top 10.

So Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seem to have the best chances to hold the trophy at Flushing Meadows. But as we saw the turnover that happened between last year and this year, some more surprises, comebacks and upsets can happen very soon. And don’t forget that the defending champion hasn’t been mentioned yet ! Only player to have won several Majors besides the Big Four in the last 15 years, the other Swiss player, Stanislas Wawrinka, even though he is quite inconstant, could perfectly win two US Open back to back!

 

Stan Wawrinka Beats Novak Djokovic For U.S. Open Title To Win Third Major

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

Stan Wawrinka won his third major title on Sunday at the US Open as he defeated Novak Djokovic in four entertaining sets, 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.

Wawrinka, who was match point down in his third round match against Dan Evans, has now won the 2014 Australian Open, the 2015 French Open, and the 2016 US Open and has equaled Andy Murray’s number of major titles at three. Wawrinka is now just one title at Wimbledon away from completing the career grand slam.

“I don’t know what’s happening right now,” said Wawrinka, who has now won his last 11 finals in a row, in his post-match on-court interview. “I’ve been practicing hard since many million years. My goal is to give everything I have to be the best player I can…that’s what happened tonight.”

The first set really set the tone for the duration of the match as the two great friends and warriors battled for an hour to see who could take the early lead. As Djokovic battled back from 40-15 to break Wawrinka in his first service game of the match, eventually taking a 3-0 lead, it looked like the Suisse had not come to play.

Djokovic, though, had referred to Wawrinka many times before the match as a big-match player, and that is exactly what the No. 3 seed proved to be as he was able to fight off three break points later in the set, two of which were set points, and broke the Serb when he served for the set, eventually forcing a tiebreak.

In that first set tiebreak, it was all Djokovic as he didn’t let the thought of him getting broken while serving for the set get to him. The No. 1 player in the world was able to breeze to a 7-1 win, putting himself within two sets of his 13th major title.

The second set saw Wawrinka, who hit 46 winners in the match, begin to settle down and start effectively playing his aggressive style of tennis, earning a break in the early stages for a 4-1 lead. Djokovic would be able to break the Suisse later in the set and got it back to 4-4, but when he served at 4-5, Wawrinka was able to assert himself in the match again and break to even up the match at one-set-all.

In a third set that lasted almost 80 minutes, Wawrinka fought off three break points in the opening game before breaking Djokovic for a 2-0 lead. He would save another break point in the next game to go up 3-0, but the pressure from Djokovic on Wawrinka’s serve finally paid off as he broke the Suisse on his sixth chance of the set to get back on serve.

It would remain that way as neither player saw a break point until Wawrinka did so in the 12th game. After Djokovic had missed out on a game point to force a third set tiebreak, he would proceed to lose the next two points, as well as his service game and the set, allowing Wawrinka to go up two sets to one.

Djokovic, who won just three of the 17 break points that he had in the match, began dealing with a toe injury early in the fourth set, allowing the No. 3 player in the world to race out to a 3-0 lead. After fighting off a break point to hold for 1-3, Djokovic took a medical timeout before Wawrinka went to serve, an action that did not please the Suisse.

The short break required for Djokovic’s toe injury almost got into Wawrinka’s head too much as he had to fight off three break points in the next game to hold for 4-1. From there, it was straightforward for Wawrinka as he would go on to hold in a deuce game to close out the match and the championship, earning himself his third major title.

“This is honestly amazing. I came here without expecting, without having the goal to win…There was so much emotion. This is something that I never had before,” said Wawrinka.

Wawrinka’s three major titles go along with his gold medal from the 2008 Olympics in doubles and his 2014 Davis Cup title, adding up to what has been a very decorated career for someone who had to perform in the shadow of one of the greatest players of all time for the majority of his career in Roger Federer.

The US Open title makes Wawrinka the only active player to have won multiple major titles after turning 30-years old.

Despite the disappointment for Djokovic, who is still having a stellar year slightly under the radar, which seems absurd to say, he remained humble in defeat.

“This has been absolutely deserved. You were the more courageous player in the decisive moments,” Djokovic said to Wawrinka. “He was the tougher player, he knew what to do.”

The praise from Djokovic did not go unnoticed by Wawrinka, who made sure to return the gesture.

“We know each other for many, many years. Because of you, I’m where I am today,” said Wawrinka to Djokovic, citing the No. 1 player in the world as his inspiration throughout the past few years.

Angie Kerber Beats Karolina Pliskova To Win U.S. Open

Angelique Kerber won her second major title on Saturday at the US Open as she defeated Karolina Pliskova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to claim the trophy in New York.

After winning the Australian Open in the beginning of the year, and now the US Open, Kerber became the first player other than Serena Williams to win two majors in one year since Justine Henin did so in 2007. This title for the German proves that she deserves the No. 1 ranking that she will receive on Monday.

“It means a lot to me. When I was a kid I was always dreaming to one day be the No. 1 player in the world. To win Grand Slams. And today is the day. I won my second Grand Slam here…I’m the No. 1 player on Monday, so it’s just amazing,” said Kerber. “All the dreams came true this year.”

Both players came into the final with loads of confidence, which goes without saying as both had won six matches in New York to get to this point. Kerber, though, was playing with the comfort in her mind that, win or lose, she would be the new No. 1 player in the world when the rankings come out on Monday.

Pliskova, on the other hand, made it past the third round of a major for the first time and was on an 11-match win streak that included her title in Cincinnati that saw her defeat Kerber in the final.

Pliskova, who hit 40 winners and 47 unforced errors in the match, got off to a shaky start, as expected in her first major final, and Kerber took advantage. A break in the opening game by Kerber was followed up by an impressive serving performance in the first set in which she saved all three break points that she faced. Already up a break at 5-3, the German was able to break again to take the set and put herself just one set away from her second major title.

The tables turned in the second set, though, as Pliskova massively raised her level. The Czech didn’t face a single break point in the set and was able to continuously pressure the serve of the 2016 Australian Open champion. Three of Kerber’s five service games in the set went to deuce, and one of the games that didn’t was the game in which Pliskova was able to break. That one break was all the No. 10 seed needed to level the match and forced a deciding third set.

“I just found in myself some power in the second set,” said Pliskova, who won 89 percent of her first serve points in the second set.

Pliskova continued to play at her high level in the third set, breaking Kerber early to get a crucial lead. After going down 3-1, though, Kerber was able to fight back and get back on serve, winning three games in a row to make it 4-3.

From that point forward, both players were playing at peak levels. Kerber was playing her steady game and hit virtually no errors in the latter stages of the match, while Pliskova was blasting the ball from all over the court.

Serving at 4-5, though, Pliskova began to falter, as she had in the opening set. Kerber capitalized on this brief lapse from the Czech and broke at love to close out the match and win her second major title.

“I was really trying to stay in the moment, trying to play my game and being aggressive. I was just really trying to enjoy the final,” said Kerber of her comeback in the third set.

After a stellar 2016 season that saw her win two major titles and reach the No. 1 spot in the rankings, Kerber has little left to prove to the tennis world at the age of 28.

“Just amazing. I won my second Grand Slam in one year. That’s the best year in my career. It’s actually just incredible…it means so much to me,” said Kerber. “Congrats to Karolina…the last few months you have played incredible. You are a tough opponent and for sure you have a great future.”

“Congrats to Angie, she really proved she’s the world No. 1. It was a great match and I’m very honored to play with you,” said Pliskova, who is just 24-years old. “Even though I couldn’t get the win I’m really proud of myself. I’m really happy the way I was playing the last three weeks and hopefully many more titles to come.”