On Saturday morning it looked all too set up for the perfect storybook final to the 2014 US Open; both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer had relatively routine semifinal matchups before a potential rematch of the Wimbledon Final, which was played just several weeks earlier. But two stunning upsets mean that the US Open Final will now be played between two Grand Slam Final rookies, vying to make a mark for their professional careers and for tennis history! Additionally, such results signal a new era of change for the sport that has been so dominated by 4 players in the last several years.
On Monday night Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori will head into the Men’s Finals as major surprises. No one would have predicted such an outcome, and no one will have expected these two to progress through with such ease. Nishikori needed just 4 sets to defeat Djokovic while Cilic and his dominant serve swept past Federer in straight sets.
Kei Nishikori is just 24 years old and has become the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam Final, while the 25-year-old Cilic has finally broken through at the US Open, where he has reached the quarterfinals twice in the past. But what is most astounding about this result is what it means for the future of Men’s tennis. None of the top rated players are unbeatable anymore, and this new crop of stars seem fully capable of making the sport as competitive as it’s been in years. With Cilic and Nishikori breaking down the door, the future of the sport is wide open! The only question now is which of these two overachievers will complete the miracle and win the 2014 US Open?
Michael Bernstein is president of Championship Tennis Tours. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tennistours.com.
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