National Sports

Historic 2022 US Open Features New and Young Talent

By: Michaela Thimot

People Editor 

After a grueling 16-day tournament under the hot New York sun, Carlos Alcaraz from Spain and Iga Świątek from Poland claimed their first Grand Slam singles titles at the 2022 US Open. Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková from Czech Republic won the women’s doubles title, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury successfully defended their men’s doubles title, and John Peers and Storm Sanders claimed their first mixed doubles title.

The yearly tournament began on Aug. 28 with multiple returning Grand Slam title winners such as Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal playing alongside other players without any Grand Slam titles to their names. 

Williams declared that this will be the last tournament of her career. After taking a full year off from tennis, she hoped to obtain her 24th Grand Slam title. After emerging victorious over the No. 2 seed, Anett Kontaveit in the second round, Ajla Tomljanović knocked her out in the third. Since her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open in 1999, Williams went on to dominate nearly every tournament and greatly influenced the public’s view of women in sports. 

Another highly influential player and four-time US Open winner — with 22 Grand Slam wins in total — Rafael Nadal (No. 2 rank) exited this tournament early after his loss to Frances Tiafoe (No. 22) in the fourth round. 

The singles quarterfinals at the Open were a surprise to everyone this year, as none of the top 16 athletes had ever won a US Open title before. This guaranteed the 2022 US Open would have a first-time champion. 

Ranked high at No. 12 at just 18 years old, American Coco Gauff charged through the tournament until she lost to French player Caroline Garcia (No. 17) in straight sets during the quarterfinals. Although Gauff defeated Garcia in their two previous matches, Garcia outplayed her and went on to the semifinals where she faced off against the No. 5 seed Ons Jabeur. 

The women’s finals came down to Polish player Iga Świątek — ranked No. 1 in the world — competing against Jabeur. Świątek entered the match with two previous Grand Slam titles. Despite the difference from clay to hard courts and an injury prior to the Open, Świątek beat Jabeur in straight sets and took home her first US Open singles title. 

The men’s final placed Alcaraz against Norwegian player Casper Ruud. 19-year-old Alcaraz made history in his victory over Ruud, as he became the youngest man to be ranked number one in the world in men’s tennis history. 

Following his loss in the finals, Ruud commented on the dedication and athleticism he saw in Alcaraz. “He’s one of these few rare talents that comes up every now and then in sports. That’s what it seems like… Let’s see how his career develops, but it’s going all in the right direction.”

(Sources: ESPN, US Open, NY Times)


Categories: National Sports

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