By: Rory Zeman
After a nail-biting 2023 Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon, the greatest tennis players in the world ventured to New York City to face off in this year’s final major tennis tournament: the US Open. With many close battles, inspiring comebacks, and astonishing upsets, this year’s US Open saw some of the greatest tennis talents of all time fight for their chance to become a global champion.
Heading into the tournament, Carlos Alcaraz had the number-one global ranking in the men’s division after barely beating the number-two-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. Iga Swiatek was first in the global rankings in the women’s division after a dominant win at this year’s French Open. Furthermore, at the number-three spot in the global rankings, Jessica Pegula represented her country as the highest-rated American.
In the first round of the women’s singles tournament, major upsets occurred, including the low-ranked Rebeka Masarova beating the number-eight-ranked Maria Sakka. Venus Williams also suffered the most devastating loss of her career to Greet Minnen, losing six games to one in both sets. Additionally, Caroline Garcia, who had the number seven ranking in the world, lost in a devastating blowout to Yafan Wang. Jelena Ostapenko then beat the best woman in the world, Swiatek, in the fourth round. A shock in the men’s first round, the 67th-ranked player in the world, Zhang Zhizen, eliminated the fifth-ranked player in the world, Casper Ruus.
In the quarterfinals of this rumble of the rackets, American players put on a grand performance. Coco Gauff, the sixth-best woman in the world, took down Ostapenko with ease to solidify her spot in the semifinals. There were also three American men in the quarterfinals, with Djokovic triumphing over Taylor Fritz. In a historic match that saw the first matchup between two African American men in any major quarterfinals, Ben Shelton bested Frances Tiafoe in one of the closest matches the tournament had seen yet.
In the women’s semifinals, Aryna Sabalenka, the second-highest-ranked woman, took down the American Madison Keys; however, Gauff revived American aspirations with her incredible victory over Karolina Muchova, advancing to the finals. Hoping to win for his country against arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, Shelton faced off against Djokovic; however, Djokovic defeated him and advanced, where he faced Medvedev, who ousted Alcaraz in a massive upset.
In the finals of the US Open, Gauff, who is just 19 years old, won it big for her country by coming back to win the match after losing the first set to Sabalenka. In the men’s finals, Medvedev, despite a historic upset against Alcaraz, lost in a close match to Djokovic, who cemented himself as the best men’s player of all time by tying the record for the most major titles won with his 24th major win.