Sep 012017
 
US Open: Final major silverware up for grabs

This piece is being written amidst first round action, but a lot has already happened to have a decisive impact on the year’s final major even before the first point had been played at the US Open. World No 2 Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, who was unseated from the summit by Rafael Nadal only a couple of weeks ago, joined the likes of Novak Djokovic, Stanislas Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori in an elite group of players absent from Flushing Meadows. For Murray and Djokovic, the two men that dominated men’s tennis in 2016 and have been the two most successful over the past five years, 2017 was as pear-shaped as it could get. That it came off the back of a historic year for both – Murray finishing the year as World No 1 and Djokovic completing the career Grand Slam in Paris – has made it an even bigger shock. Even so, what has arguably made their absence all the more conspicuous is the return to the top of men’s tennis for Nadal and Roger Federer – who have shared three majors and four ATP Masters 1000 titles between them this year, and barring a major upset should be the top two of men’s tennis post-US Open, regardless of the final outcome. Federer and Nadal, the two most decorated men’s tennis players, have not only defined tennis’ most illustrious era but also created the sport’s most high-profile rivalry. It was under the shadows of these two [Read More…]