It’s that time of the year for tennis lovers, as the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York is set ablaze with the tennis stars who are playing the fourth and last Grand Slam event of the year. This is the 137th US Open Tennis Tournament.
The question on everybody’s mind right now: Who is going to win this year’s title? With numerous top players out with injuries, this year offers a tremendous opportunity for newer players to make their mark.
Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber are the reigning US Open singles champions, but are both out. Wawrinka is among the top male players including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, and Milos Raonic to miss out on this year’s event due to injuries, and Angelique Kerber was knocked out in round 1 this year. Also MIA (missing in action) is formidable female player Serena Williams as she has just delivered her first baby! This leaves the stage wide open for others to claim the title.
Here is a breakdown of players to watch going into semifinals this year:
Men’s Singles: The match we all wanted to watch was Roger Federer (Switzerland) vs. Rafael Nadal (Spain). Federer was playing to try and win his 20th Grand Slam title. He has already won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year and seems in top form! Nadal is currently ranked Number 1 in the world! He has been on a tear this year, playing better tennis than he has in the last 3 years.
While I was writing this, Federer was playing another powerhouse, Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina). Federer lost (gasp!) to del Potro in a 4 set match with a nail biting tie break in the third set. The match was so emotionally charged for the fans and players alike that at times, it was hard for the spectators in the stadium to keep quiet during play!
Entering the Men’s semi-finals: Nadal vs. del Potro (24 seed) , and Kevin Anderson (28 seed, South Africa) vs. Pablo Carreno-Busta (12 seed, Spain). This is the first Grand Slam semi final for Anderson and Carreno-Busta.
Women’s Singles: There is an all American semi finals lined up. Venus Williams (9 seed, USA) has bested Petra Kvitova (14 seed, Czech Republic) in a thrilling match. She has been playing professionally for the past 20 years, and is still going strong! Coco Vandeweghe (22 seed, USA) stormed past a stunned Karolina Pliskova (1 seed, Czech Republic) to enter the semi finals. The two other players to make it there are Sloane Stephens (83 seed, USA) and Madison Keys (16 seed), also of the USA! The matches that start today, put Williams vs. Stephens and Keys vs. Vandeweghe.