The US Open was packed with historic moments, breakthroughs and captivating contests, providing a fitting ending to the Grand Slam quarters of the season.
Plenty still at stake for the season finale
It’s time to look at the lessons learned from the US Open and what is to play for during the remainder of 2019.
Variety and versatility blossoming
The Canadian is tactically astute, altering and reacting to events in the match. The chipped forehands, deft drop shots and pulsating power all combine to give Andreescu a devasting armoury. The 19-year-old hasn’t lost a completed match since March!
Similarly, men’s finalist Medvedev lit up New York with some sparkling displays. His contentious crowd interaction initially gained enemies, but his gladiatorial effort in the final won over the fans.
The Russian isn’t the textbook player, having awkward strokes and a ball toss launching across the spectrum, however, just like Andreescu, he is fearless in his striking and knows how to navigate through a match
Who could forget Coco Gauff’s sensational run? The 15-year-old replicated her Wimbledon heroics to reach the third round. Comfortable across the court, Gauff’s game is scarily resilient and proactive for her age.
Congrats to @TaylorTownsend who earns her biggest win ever as she def. @Simona_Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-6. 1⃣st time she wins against a Top 1⃣0⃣ player!👏"This means a lot. It's been a long journey" she said #USOpen— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) August 30, 2019
Taylor Townsend créé la sensation en battant Simona Halep 2/6 6/3 7/6 pic.twitter.com/D1mWKMRfdz
For those concerned for the next era of tennis can relax. The variety of play and complexity of personalities bursting onto the scene is a welcome sight.
Time running out for Serena?
Every tennis and sports fan knows that Serena Williams at her best is unstoppable. The 37-year-old formulated another blockbuster US Open, but fell short at the final hurdle for her fourth successive Grand Slam final.
With the flourishing ‘NextGen’ rising in women’s tennis, the chances for Williams to clinch record-equalling major 24 are looking increasingly slender. Saying that, it’s never wise to count out Serena.
Race for No.1 showdown
Rafael Nadal’s desire and determination has never been questioned, but the levels he pushed himself to win that mesmerising final against Medvedev was simply inspiring.
The Serbian was troubled by a painful left shoulder at Flushing Meadows and it remains unclear when he will return to full fitness. Nadal must be raring to go for the Asian swing, knowing he is in pole position to usurp Djokovic as the year-end No.1
On the women’s side, Roland Garros winner Ash Barty is only 86 points ahead of Karolina Pliskova, who lifted her fourth title of the year at the Zhengzhou Open on Saturday. Elina Svitolina, Naomi Osaka and Andreescu also present strong cases to finish the season top of the pile.
National honours on offer
Perth provides the setting for the Fed Cup final in November as Australia host France.
Barty will be a key component for the seven-time champions, but the French will feel confident after overcoming Halep’s Romania in a dramatic semi-final.
🗣️ "To be able to finish off playing for your country in the last week of the year is really cool. It's been a long time coming for us girls, we're really excited it's at home in Australia as well"— Fed Cup (@FedCup) September 3, 2019
Who else is excited to see @ashbar96 and Co. in action? 🙋 🇦🇺#FedCupFinals pic.twitter.com/BGTeztx18g
Australia haven’t ruled the Fed Cup since 1974, whereas Julien Benneteau's team are targeting a first triumph since 2003.
Concerning the Davis Cup, it is the inaugural season of the new format, with a week event for the finals in Madrid in late November. How will the fans embrace the new six round-robin group format? How will the players adapt?
The conclusion of both the Fed Cup and Davis Cup ensures fascinating viewing.
Season finale silverware
The usual suspects are in contention across the board but deep runs on the Asian swing and at events such as the Rolex Paris Masters could chalk up the required points to sneak in for current outsiders such as Matteo Berrettini, Felix Auger-Alliassime or Johanna Konta.
Also, the third instalment of the NextGen ATP Finals occurs in early November. Hyeon Chung and Stefanos Tsitsipas have launched to the major stage from winning this event. Frenchman Ugo Humbert and Corentin Moutet are certainly in contention to make Milan.