Unlike last year’s US Open, the 2021 US Open allowed spectators to attend one of the biggest professional tennis tournaments in the world in person. This news was quite exciting for the tennis community, and it showed. The crowds were like no other, the contenders were more competitive than ever, and several teenage underdogs shone throughout the 2-week long tournament.
While tennis singles is typically the main attraction, doubles did not disappoint this year. There were several big upsets on the men’s side, including the early exit of Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, the number one seeded partnership. These two talented players were stunned by two non-seeded Americans: Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow. Rajeev Ram of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain were crowned champions for their second grand slam title after facing some tough company.
Women’s doubles was also thrilling, and quite exciting to watch. Several underdogs prevailed, but it was particularly exhilarating to see teenagers Coco Guaff and Caty Mcnally’s run to the Women’s Doubles Final. Ranked 11th in the draw, these two beat out several favorites to make it to the final, including the top ranked duo. In the final, they faced veterans of the sport, and lost in three sets. Although the outcome must have been disappointing to Gauff and Mcnally, making it all the way to the final was a huge accomplishment.
Similarly, women’s singles was like never seen before. The final was between 19 year-old Leylah Fernandez (Canada), and 18 year-old Emma Raducanu (Great Britain). Going into the final, no one knew who to side with. Both are absolute powerhouses with phenomenal tennis abilities. Fernandez had beat some of the best players in the world throughout her journey to the final, and Raducanu definitely faced weaker opponents, but was able to dismantle all of them. In fact, she never once lost a set throughout the tournament. After a tough final match with many ups and downs, Emma Raducanu came out on top, and won the biggest match of her life in fantastic style. Leylah Fernandez put up a great fight, but Raducanu could not be denied.
Novak Djokovic, arguably one of the best players to ever step foot on a tennis court, faced Daniil Medvedev, the current world number two in the men’s singles final. Both had very impressive runs up until the final, with Djokovic facing Alexander Zverev, the German star who beat him in the Olympic Games, in the semifinals. This match was a thriller, but Djokovic sealed the win and would face Medvedev in the final. The final match didn’t go as many tennis fans would have expected. Daniil Medvedev continued his trend of easy-looking wins, and captured the trophy with a three set win over Djokovic. Another player to take note of in the men’s draw is Carlos Alcaraz. The 18 year-old from Spain had a powerful US Open debut. He had an early upset over the third seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, and continued his success all the way up until the quarterfinals, where he retired due to an injury.
The 2021 US Open is one for the history books. Every single area of tennis was fun to watch, full of talent, and quite inspiring. The several young stars were very impressive, and they showed that the future for tennis is bright.