As the 2016 US Open heads down the final stretch, it’s time to look back at some of the wonderful tennis we’ve seen over the past week. Young players have asserted themselves in the sport, mature veterans have fallen by the wayside, and we still have the inkling feeling that one of those familiar faces at the top positions will probably wind up with yet another Grand Slam title to their name.
The early excitement of the tournament fell to USA darling, 17-year-old CiCi Bellis, whose 2nd attempt at the US Open proved just as special as her first two years ago, when she defeated the 13th ranked player in the world. This time, she bested her first two opponents and propelled into the 3rd round, where she was squarely beaten by 2nd ranked Angelique Kerber. While it was a heavy loss for the young American, the fact that she’s gotten so much experience at such a young age shows that she’ll be well poised for a successful tennis career. Meanwhile a run to the 3rd round certainly isn’t bad for a teenage amateur!
Another teenager who is coming into her own at this US Open is Ana Konjuh. The 18-year-old from Croatia is currently ranked 92nd in the world, yet she finds herself in the quarterfinals following a daring run that culminated in a straight sets victory over 4th ranked Agnieszka Radwanska. She has a brilliant combination of drop shots and power that make her an intriguing prospect in the game, and she could well find herself in the upper echelons of women’s tennis quite soon, perhaps by this weekend…
In the men’s game, it seems as if Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are steaming towards a dream final between the top ranked men. Combined, the players have won every major of the year (and the Olympics) and are clearly the best in the world. However, there’s a French contingency standing in their path. For the first time since the 1947 French Open, 3 Frenchmen remain at the quarterfinals stage of a Grand Slam event. Could either of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, or Lucas Pouille go on to upset the odds and win the event? Stranger things have happened.
Pouille in particular is an intriguing player. He is just 22 and has really come into his own this summer, advancing to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon several weeks ago. In this current tournament, he pulled an absolute stunner in defeating Rafael Nadal in a hardfought 5-set thriller. Whether now is his time or not, it seems that his arrow is pointing straight up.
And so with just under a week remaining, the 2016 US Open is heating up to a boiling point. Serena Williams has continued to win with ease, and the fans have enjoyed every moment of the drama on the courts. Let’s see who prevails down this final stretch of summer tennis in 2016!
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