Serena Williams’ last stand, life after the men’s big three and a new British hope in Jack Draper… the highs and lows from Flushing Meadows as MIKE DICKSON looks back on the 2022 US Open
- All the highs and lows from an eventful last slam of the season from New York
- Serena Williams steals the show as she brings curtain down on stellar career
- Britain have a new hope in 20-year-old Jack Draper who starred at tournament
- Iga Swiatek picked up her third Grand Slam with win in women’s singles event
The 2022 Grand Slam season climaxes at Flushing Meadows on Sunday evening as Casper Ruud battles Carlos Alcaraz as both look to claim their first-ever major slam title.
The winner will join women’s singles champion Iga Swiatek in celebrating US Open victory, in a tournament that showed there is life after the big three in the men’s game and saw the final bow of the great Serena Williams.
There were also marathon matches, another Nick Kyrgios complaint and British hope in Jack Draper. Here is SportsMail’s highs and lows from New York.
Best women’s match
It had to be Serena Williams. Her last stand against Ajla Tomljanovic saw her reach a level in the second set that was phenomenal for someone approaching 41, before she ran out of puff.
Serena Williams said goodbye tennis by competing in her last match before retirement
Best men’s match
Carlos Alcaraz showed there will be life after the Big Three with a series of stunning late-night contests. The pick was his quarter-final against fellow young gun Jannik Sinner. The tournament was studded with excellent men’s matches, another being the clinical takedown of defending champion Daniil Medvedev by Nick Kyrgios.
The Serena effect
She dominated the whole of the first week, pulling in record crowds and viewing figures, underscoring that she will be irreplaceable. Not for the first time, however, her favourable treatment rankled. Opponents were disrespected by having to walk on court and sit there while a video montage celebrated the ‘Greatest of All Time’, as if this was a matter of fact, rather than conjecture.
The US Open first week was dominated by the farewell to Serena Williams before she retired
The trial allowing coaching from the stands is one of those half-baked rules in which the tennis authorities specialise. Restrictions mean it does not enhance the quality of the matches, nor the experience of fans and viewers, while undermining one of the sport’s fundamentals — that players have to figure things out for themselves.
The standout performance came when Jack Draper dismantled world No 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime. What a prospect the 20-year-old looks, provided he can keep body and soul together. An honourable mention for Harriet Dart, who beat top-tenner Daria Kasatkina.
There was a new hope for British fans in Jack Draper who beat world no 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime
It is no wonder Amazon Prime are considering ditching tennis. Games get ever longer, with even doubles sets taking over an hour. No attempts are made to reduce dead time and the scheduling is ludicrous, putting matches involving talents such as Alcaraz at times when nobody beyond hardcore fans will watch.
Ukrainian players still struggle to co-exist with Russians and Belarusians. Marta Kostyuk warned Victoria Azarenka that she would refuse to shake hands with her prior to their second round, and when they met at the net there was just a cursory racket tap.
Most unusual complaint
Nick Kyrgios in his second round objecting to the smell of weed in a city where its use has become liberalised.
There’s never a dull tournament when Nick Kyrgios is around and he had more complaints
Trends and themes
Sometimes despite itself, the worst-organised Grand Slam of the four often produces the best tennis. Even at a time when there is a big transition coming in terms of star personnel there was enough to suggest the sport will regenerate, although innovation is needed.