Home » Bob Greene, HEADLINES AND FEATURES, Lead, Top Stories » Sloane Stephens, Rafael Nadal Are US Open Champions – Mondays with Bob Greene




Mondays with Bob Greene

 

STARS

US Open

 

Men’s singles: Rafael Nadal beat Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-3 6-4

Women’s singles: Sloane Stephens beat Madison Keys 6-3 6-0

Men’s doubles: Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-4 6-3

Women’s doubles: Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis beat Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-2

Mixed doubles: Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray beat Chan Hao-Ching and Michael Venus 6-1 4-6 10-8 (match tiebreak)

 

Junior Boys’ singles: Wu Yibing beat Axel Geller 6-4 6-4

Junior Girls’ singles: Amanda Anisimova beat Cori Gauff 6-0 6-2

Junior Boys’ doubles: Hsu Yu Hsiou and Wu Yibing beat Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu 6-4 5-7 11-9 (match tiebreak)

Junior Girls’ doubles: Olga Danilovic and Marta Kostyuk beat Lea Boskovic and Wang Xiyu 6-1 7-5

Men’s Wheelchair singles: Stephane Houdet beat Alfie Hewett 6-2 4-6 6-3

Women’s Wheelchair singles: Yui Kamiji beat Diede de Groot 7-5 6-2

Men’s Wheelchair doubles: Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid beat Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer 7-5 6-4

Women’s Wheelchair doubles: Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot beat Dana Mathewson and Aniek Van Koot 6-4 6-3

Quad Wheelchair singles: David Wagner beat Andrew Lapthorne 7-5 3-6 6-4

Quad Wheelchair doubles: Andrew Lapthorne and David Wagner beat Dylan Alcott and Bryan Barten 7-5 6-2

 

OTHER

Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-57-6 (2) to win the AON Open in Genova, Italy

Kateryna Kozlova beat Vera Zvonarea 6-4 6-2 to win the Dalian Women’s Tennis Open in Dalian, China

 

SAYING

“Winning here in New York gives me great energy because the crowd is unbelievable. They make me feel so happy.” – Rafael Nadal, after winning his third US Open men’s singles title.

“I was up against a pretty good opponent today.” – Kevin Anderson, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the US Open men’s singles final.

“Winning a tournament is extremely special, but winning the US Open, being an American layer, is even more incredible.” – Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open women’s singles champion.

“Obviously I didn’t play my best tennis today, and I was really disappointed, but Sloane was very supp0rtive and if there was someone I had to lose to today, I’m glad it’s her.” – Madison Keys, following her loss to Sloane Stephens in the women’s singles final.

“I wasn’t. You were.” – Roger Federer, when asked in a post-match interview if during his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro he was thinking about a semifinal match with Rafael Nadal.

“It’s like a dream come true, like living my dream.” – Chan Yung-Jan, who teamed with Martina Hingis to win the women’s doubles.

“It was more Madison played an unbelievable match. I didn’t really have much to do with anything out there.” – CoCo Vandeweghe, after losing her semifinal to Madison Keys 6-1 6-2

“It was definitely well competed. In the end she ended up, you know, winning more points than I did. That’s what it adds up to.” – Venus Williams, following her 6-1 0-6 7-5 semifinal loss to Sloane Stephens.

“If you go on the court thinking that you’re not going to win, you have already lost, right? So I went on the court believing I could win the match.” – Sloane Stephens, when asked when during the match did believe she could actually beat Venus Williams.

“I kind of lost sight of how much I actually loved the game, because it was just every week it was just chasing points. That’s all I could focus on. Being away from the game and just remembering why I love competing and all of that, I think it helped me tremendously. And I think not being there, it just made me realize how much I love it and not to put so much pressure on myself, which I think helps me enjoy being out there a lot more.” – Madison Keys, on how missing tennis while recuperating from two wrist surgeries made her a better player.

“It’s a really happy (feeling) to win the doubles and singles here. And thank you to all the Chinese people here. It’s for China. It’s for me.” – Wu Yibing, who won both the singles and doubles in the US Open junior boys’ competition.

“Of course that loss hurts, but that’s what I dreamed about. To come back and compete on big stages against great players like Venus. To prove that I can compete with them. I will take positives from this.” – Petra Kvitova, admitting her run to the US Open quarterfinals was beyond her expectations.

“I’m just glad to have survived today.” – Martina Hingis, when asked if she planned to continue her partnership with Jamie Murray.

“You’re always disappointed when you lose, you know. It’s terrible to think of what lies ahead, packing bags, going home.” – Roger Federer, after losing to Juan Martin del Potro.

“I feel that I have shots to play with these guys, but they are still much better than me.” – Andrey Rublev, following his 6-1 6-2 6-2 quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal.

“I know it’s tough for people to stay, but the people that stayed, they were in it, they were loud, they were fun to play in front of. You know, you can’t expect a stadium to be full at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.” – Sam Querrey, after losing his quarterfinal to Kevin Anderson.

 

SPANISH GOLD

What changing of the guard? Rafael Nadal easily won his third US Open to restore order at the top of the men’s game. Four Grand Slam tournaments this year: the same two champions, Nadal and Roger Federer. So much for the young guns. Nadal completed his return to the number one ranking by thrashing South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the year’s final major title match. That gives Nadal, who also won a record 10th French Open this year, 16 career Grand Slam tournament titles, three behind Federer, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. “Personally, it’s just unbelievable what happened this year,” Nadal said, “after a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, some moments playing not good.” That all disappeared this year as the Spanish left-hander dominated Anderson on the hard courts of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. Anderson pulled out his power game, hitting one serve at 136 mph. But Nadal broke Anderson’s serve four times while rolling through his service games without facing a break point. Nadal committed just 11 unforced errors in the match. And when he came to the net, the Spaniard was perfect on all 16 approaches. Nadal has won five tour-level titles this year, the most for him since 2013, and his latest Grand Slam victory was his first hard-court title since 2014.

STEPHENS THE CHAMPION

Back in July, Sloane Stephens was ranked 957th in the world. Today, she’s the US Open women’s champion. “If you told someone this story, they’d be, like ‘That’s insane,’” Stephens said after becoming the fourth different woman to win a Grand Slam title this year: Serena Williams won the Australian Open, Jelena Ostapenko the French Open and Garbiñe Muguruza won Wimbledon. The first unseeded US Open champion since Kim Clijsters in 2009, Stephens missed 11 months and underwent foot surgery. “I think everything happens for a reason,” Stephens said. “At this point in my career – coming back and all that stuff – you just have to embrace it and be along for the ride.” She rode her big game and confidence to the biggest title of her career, knocking off ninth-seeded Venus Williams in the semifinals before thrashing fellow American Madison Keys in the final. “It’s like so not real. I feel this is a dream,” the 24-year-old Stephens said. “Like, am I just going to wake up and be, like, it didn’t happen? … It hasn’t sunk in yet, but hopefully in a little while once I, like, am able to lay down and relax and think about it, I’ll realize that I really am the US Open champion.” Stephens was magnificent against Keys, dominating in every aspect, making only six unforced errors to frustrate her big-hitting opponent. Keys just hit the ball harder and harder, but it would always come back as Stephens played great defense. Keys needed a 19-shot rally to stave off the second match point. On the third match point, Keys hit her 30th unforced error of the match. It was the first all-American US Open final since Serena Williams beat her sister Venus in 2002.

 

SINO POWER

Blame it on Li Na. China could be the next tennis power if Wu Yibing has anything to say about it. Wu became the first Junior Boys Grand Slam champion from China when he defeating Argentina’s top-seeded Axel Geller for the title. “I think this is showing ourselves and showing the world Chinese boys can be good and better – and Chinese men,” Wu said. Wu had reached the junior boys’ semifinals at the Australian Open in January and the Wimbledon quarterfinals. He also teamed with Taiwan’s Hsu Yu-Hsiou to become the first all-Asian pair to win the US Open boys’ doubles, defeating Japan’s Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu. The only other Asian player to win the US Open boys title was Leander Paes of India in 1991. China’s Li Na won two Grand Slam women’s singles titles before retiring.

 

SOLID SWISS MISS

Although she’s already inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Switzerland’s Martina Hingis continues to add to her Grand Slam trophy case. Hingis teamed with Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan to win the women’s doubles title, stopping the Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova.  That came a day after Hingis and Great Britain’s Jamie Murray captured the mixed doubles crown. “Two in two days. I was Michael Jordan’s number 23 when I started here and now 25 sounds even sweeter,” said Hingis, who has now won 13 women’s doubles titles and seven mixed doubles crowns to go along with her five Grand Slam singles titles. “I think it sinks in maybe little later, not right now,” she said. “But, yeah, 2 sounds pretty amazing. I’m definitely very proud.” It was the first major title for the 28-year-old Chan, who had lost her three previous trips to major finals. It was the second and third Grand Slam doubles title of the year for Hingis; she also won at Wimbledon this year.

 

STATEMENT MADE

Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer was making a political statement with his clothing when he teamed with Romanian Horia Tecau to win their first US Open men’s doubles title. Both winners wore florescent yellow shirts, but Rojer’s had a picture of the Statue of Liberty across the front of his. “The idea came after the tragic incident in Charlottesville and we came up with this line promoting peace and freedom and liberty,” Rojer said at the trophy ceremony. “I have another one that has a bunch of people locked in arms civil rights march, and hopefully we are moving in that direction.” Rojer said the protest was inspired by a rally by white nationalists in Virginia last month that left one woman dead. Rojer and Tecau upset the top-seeded team of Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the semifinals, then topped the Spanish pair of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in the final.

 

SWEPT OUT

When the US Open began its 14-day run, eight players were in the running to wind up number one in the world in the WTA rankings. By the time the semifinals had been played, none of them were still in the running to win the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. In the beginning, there were top-ranked Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Venus Williams who had mathematical shots at the WTA’s number one ranking. Halep and Konta failed to get past the opening round, while Wozniacki and Kuznetsova were second-round casualties. Svitolina fell in the fourth round, Pliskova in the quarterfinals and Williams in the semifinals.  Muguruza, who won Wimbledon earlier this year, reached the fourth round, which was all she needed to do to wind up in the top spot.

 

SPANISH PRIDE

Two Spaniards – Rafael Nadal and Garbiñe Muguruza – are ranked number one in the world. That’s the first time since August 10, 2003, that two players from the same country are atop the ATP World Tour and WTA rankings. The last time it happened it was with two Americans, Andre Agassi and Serena Williams.

 

SUPERB PERFORMANCE

Last December Petra Kvitova had her left dominant hand severely curt when she was attacked in her home by an intruder. Not only has she returned to tennis, but she beat Jelena Jankovic, Alizé Cornet, Caroline Garcia and Garbiñe Muguruza in her run to the US Open quarterfinals before losing to Venus Williams in three sets. “It’s tough to say right now, but overall I think it’s amazing,” Kvitova said of her comeback. “I didn’t really think that I can come so far. It was great to win in Birmingham, but that was pretty early (in my return) and put a little bit of pressure on. I just wanted to play better and better, which I wasn’t ready for. I’m just glad that I could show it here, that there is a way to play well again.” Kvitova is scheduled to play four upcoming tournaments in Asia, beginning in Tokyo. “It’s a pretty long trip to Asia, but I didn’t play for five, six months,” she said. “It’s not a place I really love, but I don’t know. I’m really looking forward to be there, standing on the court again.

 

SPECIAL HONOR

Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters took to the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court again, this time to accept her official Hall of Fame Ring. Clijsters, who won six Grand Slam tournament titles during her career – four in singles, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this summer. She was ranked number one in the world for 20 weeks in 2003 and again in 2011 after giving birth to her first child. In all, the native of Belgium won 52 WTA titles in singles and doubles. The Hall of Fame rings are presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world. Clijsters won the US Open singles title in 2005, 2009 and 2010.

 

STARS AND STRIPES

Four Americans reached the quarterfinals of the women’s singles: Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe. That’s the first time that has happened at the US Open since 1981 and the sixth time at a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era. In the 1981 US Open, the semifinalists wee Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Barbara Potter. The last time it happened in a major was at Wimbledon in 1985 when Evert, Navratilova, Zina Garrison and Kathy Rinaldi reached the penultimate round.

 

STRAIGHT TO THE BANK

For Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, the US Open has been better than an ATM. By reaching the first Grand Slam tournament quarterfinal of her career, Kanepi collected USD $470,000. Her total earnings in 2017 going into the year’s final major was only USD $17,659.

Sloane Stephens also had a banner payday. Her victory – as was Rafael Nadal’s was worth USD $3.7 million, a surprise for the player. “I didn’t know it was that much money,” Stephens said. “The other day I saw a ticker going across the screen. The semifinals was (USD) $900,000 and I literally almost passed out. I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ The last time I had played in a semi it was liked (USD) $500,000, or something like that. It was shocking.”

 

STELLAR ANNIVERSARY

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) paid a special tribute to the 50th anniversary of Billie Jean King’s triple crown performance at America’s Grand Slam tournament. In 1967 King won the women’s singles women’s doubles with Rosie Casals and mixed doubles with Owen Davidson. “Billie Jean is more than a tennis champion; she is an icon in the truest sense of the word,” Katrina Adams USTA Chairman of the Board and President, said. “Her courage and her vision are unparalleled. She has devoted her entire life to leveling the playing field for all, and because of her more of us have had the opportunity to realize our dreams.” King has used her fame to promote equality in and out of sports and was the guiding force behind the forming of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the Women’s Sports Foundation, World TeamTennis and, most recently, the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. In 1973 King defeated Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in the most watched televised sports event of all time. The story is told in an upcoming feature film “Battle of the Sexes,” which is being released later this month. Emma Stone, who portrays King in the film, participated in the ceremony to honor King before the women’s singles final.

 

SELECTED

Two Wimbledon singles champions, Pat Cash of Australia and Germany’s Michael Stich, along with three doubles greats – Czech Helena Sukova, Anders Jarryd of Sweden and Tom Okker of the Netherlands – have been nominated as candidates for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame next year. The Hall of Fame, located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, currently honors 252 individuals from 23 nations. Voting for the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will take place this fall and the inductees will be announced in the first quarter of 2018.

 

SELF-IMPOSED PENALTIES

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has accepted three penalties Louisiana State University (LSU) imposed on itself for recruiting violations in the school’s women’s tennis program. The NCAA said the school provided school gear valued at USD $68 to a prospective student-athlete; that two prospects participated in hitting sessions in violation of the NCAA’s tryout legislation; and that a USD $250 payment was made to an unnamed former LSU men’s tennis player who conducted a hitting session with a prospect during the academic year. For the violations, LSU suspended recruiting for 30 days, suspended practice for one week and will not allow prospective student-athletes to use LSU’s tennis facilities for one academic year. In addition, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said continuing education on compliance rules will be mandated for tennis coaches and staff.

 

SHARED PERFORMANCES

Dalian: Lu Jing-Jing and You Xiaodi beat Guo Hanyu and Ye Qiu Yu 7-6 (2) 4-6 10-5 (match tiebreak)

Genova: Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff beat Guido Andreozzi and Ariel Behar 7-6 (5) 7-6 (8)

 

SURFING

Davis Cup: https://www.daviscup.com/

 

Quebec City: www.coupebanquenationale.ca/en/home/

Tokyo: www.jta-tennis.or.jp/jwo/tabid/549/Default.aspx

St. Petersburg (men): http://www.spbopen.ru/

Metz: www.moselle-open.com/

Tokyo: www.toray-ppo.com/

Guangzhou: www.guangzhouopen.org/

Tampico: www.abiertotampico.com

St. Petersburg (women): www.kamelzon.ru

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

MEN

$150,632 Pekao Szczecin Open, Szczecin, Poland, clay

 

WOMEN

$226,750 Coupe Banque Nationale, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, hard

$226,750 Japan Women’s Open, Tokyo, Japan, hard

 

DAVIS CUP

World Group Semifinals

Belgium vs. Australia at Brussels, Belgium, clay

France vs. Serbia at Lille, France, clay

 

World Group Playoffs

Kazakhstan vs. Argentina at Astana, Kazakhstan, hard

Switzerland vs. Belarus at Biel, Switzerland, hard

Portugal vs. Germany at Lisbon, Portugal, clay

Hungary vs. Russia at Budapest, Hungary, clay

Colombia vs. Croatia at Bogotá, Colombia, clay

Netherlands vs. Czech Republic, at The Hague, Netherlands, clay

Japan vs. Brazil at Osaka, Japan, hard

Canada vs. India at Edmonton, British Columbia, Canada, hard

 

Group I, Relegation Playoffs, 2nd Round

America Zone: Dominican Republic vs. Peru at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, hard; Asia/Oceania Zone: Korea vs. Chinese Taipei at Yang Gu, Korea, hard; Europe/Africa Zone: Slovakia vs. Poland at Bratislava, Slovakia, clay

 

Group II, 3rd Round

America Zone: Barbados vs. Venezuela at Widley, Barbados, hard; Asia/Oceania Zone: Pakistan vs. Thailand at Islamabad, Pakistan, grass; Europe/Asia Zone: Sweden vs. Lithuania at Båstad, Sweden, clay; Denmark vs. South Africa at Aarhus, Denmark, hard

 

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

MEN

$1,025,205 St. Petersburg Open, St. Petersburg, Russia, hard

$650,308 Moselle Open, Metz, France, hard

 

WOMEN

$731,000 Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo, Japan, hard

$226,750 Guangzhou Open, Guangzhou, China, hard

$226,750 KEB Bank-Incheon Airport Korea Open, Seoul, Korea, hard

$100,000 St. Petersburg Open, St. Petersburg, Russia, hard

$100,000 Neva Cup Tampico, Mexico, hard

 

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal



World Tennis Magazine on iTunes


About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!