What You Missed at the U.S. Open While You Were Glued to Serena Williams

Serena Williams’ performance is over and there’s a good chance she’ll do well in competitive tennis. Even as Williams continues to say “you never know,” her current coach Eric Hechtman and long-ago coach Rick March have their doubts.

“By now, I guess we can say it’s over, but in her own words, the door wasn’t shut and locked, right?” Hechtman said Saturday. “I’d say there’s a crack open.”

“Just my hunch, but I think she and Venus will still play doubles,” said March, whose Florida college was the sisters’ longtime base when they were younger. “They have two of the best serves in the world and two of the best returns in the world, and in doubles you only have to cover half the court. When the Williams sisters played together, it was the greatest show on earth. Everything is possible.”

The Williams family is truly full of surprises and loves to make them dance. But it’s 100% clear that they’re both out of this U.S. Open, and Serena’s primetime farewell saga will no longer be the big story obscuring all the light in the newsroom (or at least the U.S. newsroom).

“In my opinion, it’s totally her game,” said No. 1 seed Daniel Medvedev, the defending U.S. Open men’s champion.

But nearly a week of major majors in New York. Let’s catch up on what you might have missed:

In 2021, two multicultural teenagers make tennis (and more) almost anything possible. Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old unseeded player from the Philippines and Ecuador, has been knocked out in one match after another to reach the women’s final. 18-year-old Briton Emma Raducanu beat Fernandez in the final, 18-year-old Canadian-born, and beat Fernandez in the final to become the first in history to win a big A qualifier for the singles championship.

But in the early hours of this year, the carriage turned into a pumpkin in the first round, Raducanu lost to French woman Ariz Cornet, and in the second round, Fernandez was defeated by Russian Lyudmila Samso Nova defeated.

There was no shame in failing twice. Cornet played the best tennis of her career at 32, beating No. 1 Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon. Samsonova won two hard-court titles before the U.S. Open.

But the early exit did underscore the madness and madness of last year’s Open. real.

As Serena dragged her sneakers and talked about “staying away from tennis,” some of her lesser-known peers uttered the “R” effortlessly, including two longtime American pros, Christina McHale and Sam Querrey.

McHale, 30, from New Jersey, cautiously announced his retirement after a first-round qualifier loss. She turned pro at 17, quickly reached the third round of all four majors, and peaked at No. 24 in the world in 2012.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream over the years,” she said on her Instagram account.

Querrey, a 34-year-old Californian with a laid-back personality and power game best suited to a fast course, has won 10 Tour singles titles and reached No. 11 in the 2018 singles rankings as he rides big Ma’s second year reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon. The All England Club is also where Queret achieved his biggest victory: a third-round victory over No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who went on to win all four Grand Slam singles in 2016 champion.

German Andrea Petkovic, also 34, has some big wins, breaking into the top 10 in 2011 after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian and US Opens. She recovered from a serious knee injury early in her career and became a hard-running baseline player. She’s always been a great player, but could be an even better master of words: writing essays and giving interviews full of wit and wisdom in German and English, like her first-round loss to Belinda Bencic Later in the U.S. Open.

“I think I brought everything I had to give to the game,” she said. “Obviously it’s not as much as Serena, but in my own little world, I feel like bringing everything to it and my narrative is done.”

She may be playing her last European Championship to give her European friends and family a chance to help her say goodbye, but this week she looked like an ex-player with a beer on the beach.

“First day of retirement,” she wrote on Instagram. “Enjoy my six-pack while it lasts.”

Although Europe has a larger social safety net, there may be some benefits to retiring in the US.

“Every American I met told them I was retiring, and their first reaction was ‘congratulations,'” Petkovic said. “I tell every European, and they’re all, ‘Oh my God, what are you doing now? I have to say I’ve become more accepting of the way Americans see it in recent days.'”

Williams won’t claim a 24th Grand Slam singles title, but Jessica Pegula, Coco Goff and Danielle Collins could get their first, all safely into their home The fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament.

No. 8 seed Pegula, No. 12 seed Gauff and No. 19 seed Collins are the three highest-ranked Americans in the world. Pegula and Gauff are also relatively new doubles partners, reaching the French Open final together in June. New York had no such luck, and they were eliminated in the first round, but Gauff, 18, working with new coaching advisor Diego Moyano, and Pegula, 28, are still with coach David Witt Work together and continue singles promotion.

The same goes for Alison Riske-Amritraj, the 32-year-old with a bubbly personality and a mediocre style of play, returning to the U.S. Open last 16 for the first time since 2013.

She has a tough task on Sunday, however, as she tries to stop France’s revival Caroline Garcia. Garcia, once a top-five player who has been on the rise since June, became the first qualifier to win a WTA 1000 event last month by winning both the Western and Southern Opens.

Her traditional airplane-inspired celebration – with arms outstretched – has become all too familiar, and despite Riske-Amritraj beating Garcia on grass in Nottingham in June, Garcia is now giving it his all.

At the last Grand Slam tournament, Wimbledon banned Russians and Belarusians for their invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. Open didn’t frustrate some Ukrainian players.

Almost a week into the Grand Slam, no Ukrainians have played singles, but Russians and Belarusians make up nearly a quarter of the remaining singles players.

Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka and Russia’s Medvedev, Andrei Rublev and Karen Khachanov all participated in the men’s round of 16.

Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova of Russia competed in the women’s round of 16.

Another difference from Wimbledon: Men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic is not allowed to play in New York.

That same night, Serena waved goodbye after a tearful thank you to her family and fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios faced off on Sunday night in the fourth round of what is usually a game. topic.

Medvedev beat Kyrgios at this year’s Australian Open, but he has lost three other matches, including a 32-round loss at the National Bank Open in Montreal last month.

It’s a box-office matchup and style contrast: Kyrgios’ offense and fast break, incomprehensible serve versus 6-foot-6 Medvedev’s bouncy defense and ability to avoid mistakes and absorb speed deep in the court (the Russian Can also serve a lot of their own big).

But Kyrgios was outstanding after his first Wimbledon final in July, playing some of the best and most consistent tennis of his hot-and-cold career, even if he had just spit and squeaked in the win over his support team. Swearing and fined $7,500. Benjamin Bonzie Wednesday. Medvedev has had a shaky season filled with forced breaks (hernia surgery and a Wimbledon ban) and failures, even on the hard courts he loves.

But on the court, both remained erratic and audible, with a ridiculous, iconoclastic flair. In this case, the stadium is Ashe Stadium. Should be good. Might be a great one.

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