The 5 best matches from the US Open 2022
The 2023 US Open is upon us, but little will whet the appetite like looking back on some of last year’s very best matches.
This year, we see the return of some much-loved heroes of the court. Novak Djokovic is returning after a two-year gap due to travel restrictions; Venus Williams is competing at the age of 43 and Caroline Wozniacki came out of retirement only a matter of weeks ago.
Last year had plenty of iconic moments and memories too, though, and here are just some of them.
Fourth Round: Frances Tiafoe d. Rafael Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
At Grand Slams and with the eyes of the world watching, we can always be reminded that the mighty may fall. That is exactly what happened when an unassuming Tiafoe dismantled the former four-time US Open champion and hot favourite in Rafael Nadal.
Arthur Ashe was set alive with support for their fellow American as he achieved the greatest win of his career.
Not only did the game produce some startling high-quality tennis from both men, it also became one of the biggest tennis headlines of the year as Tiafoe progressed to the semi-finals.
Although the mighty may fall, they can also rise. And they do. As Serena Williams did to reach the third round of the US Open in what would be her last tournament, having spent most of the year off court. Although expectations for a deep run were low, hopes began to grow after early round victories. Could Serena defy the odds and have her fairy-tale ending?
Australia’s Ajila Tomljanovic put an end to the dream, following a lengthy three-hour battle, full of emotion, history and a rowdy Serena strong crowd.
The match was filled with nostalgic and classic Williams play, but it was not enough to push back a willing and defiant Tomljanovic.
Quarter Final: Carlos Alcaraz d. Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-7 (7-0) 7-5 6-3
A sensational late-night epic until almost 3am, broke the record for the latest finish at Flushing meadows. The contest spanned five sets, five hours and two tie breaks, with the upcoming youngsters inarguably producing the match of the tournament.
The 19-year-old Spaniard emerged victorious against the 21-year-old Italian with the pairs professional rivalry progressing quickly as the new young guns of tennis. The match signalled the changing of the guard in men’s tennis and the quality that is now proven to prevail.
The spectacular shot making from both players, begged belief not only from the crowd, but at times, from the players themselves. This match was one for the record books.
Another five-set epic, produced by two incredibly well renowned players on the men’s tour. Australian, Nick Kyrgios, often headlining for his temper, could not hold off a consistent and strong willed Khachanov who won this game, by the finest of margins and perhaps a better hold of his emotions.
Kyrgios surmounted an epic fight, forcing the match to a fifth set decider where he was the strong favourite coming off the back of a Wimbledon final.
But the Russian managed to neutralise the Australians serve when it mattered most and secured that crucial final set break to clinch the game and the coveted spot in the final four.
Semi Final: Casper Ruud d. Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 5-7 6-2
Although this match didn’t quite make it to five sets, the closely contested battle between the fifth and 27th seed produced an epic 54 shot rally, won by Ruud to clinch the first set. The momentum from that point alone, was enough to spur on the winning mentality for the subsequent set and ultimately the game.
The rally was the longest of the tournament, with neither player refusing defeat, eventually ending in a forced error from Khachanov.
The result also made history for Ruud as the first Norwegian man to reach a US Open final.
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