One bonkers US Open (tennis)

Without question the most cray-cray major, period, I’ve ever seen.

The women’s final this Saturday will have Emma Raducanu, an 18 y.o. who’s the first-ever qualifier to make the final of a major in the open era, against Leyla Annie Fernandez, a 19 y.o. (and one week) who’s also playing her first major.

They are both absolutely amazing to watch. These petite firecrackers hit consistently for pace from the base line - their sustained power from these mitey mites is astonishing, easily counterpunching heavy hitters like Sabilenka and Sakkari. Their servng form is lethal, putting all returners back on their heels. Funny hearing commentators talk about them as human backboards, or about them during matches where neither are playing, or, as Chrissie Evert summed up after Emma’s last win, “I’ve never seen anything like this in Arthur Ashe. Ever.”

On their way to the final, Emma had to win three qualis first (during a mini heat wave) and then another six, while Leyla upset Osaka, Kerber, Svitolina, and Sabilenka. I was blown away, at the end of one of Lelya’s gruelling three-set upsets, by her dazzlingly ebullient “I feel GREAT!” response when asked - right immediately after the match - how she was feeling. The way her face lit up, and talking as though she hadn’t been playing, it was evident that she and Emma have arrived.

They’ve certainly enjoyed the advantage of their opponents not knowing their game. The two met once before, when they were 15, in Jr. Wimbledon, the game going to Emma 6-4, 6-2. Bigger stage this time, of course, so, we’ll see!

This Canuck is also pleased to see not only Montrealer Emma still in contention, but also hailing from the same city is 21 y.o. Felix Auger Aliassime, who’s the first Canadian to reach a men’s US Open final, and first man born in the 2000’s to reach a major final. Unfortunately his semi win resulted from a Carlos Alcarez injury.

I never found out why Alcarez had to withdraw. He lost the first set, and soon, in the second, just up and said that’s it. Looked ok to me. Alcarez is yet another out-of-the-blue 18-year-old, upsetting Tsitsipas. A spunky, fiesty (and sometimes quirky/funny) hard-hitter - safe to say he’s arrived, too.

Yeah, this Saturday two little Energizer bunnies’ll be goin at it.

I watched the end of the Fernandez - Kerber match and it was an excellent battle. Yes the lithe Fernandez hits with surprising, amazing power. And to feel so great after a grueling match, well, that’s youth for you. We were all young and energetic, with stamina, once too.

Well, Leylah’s and Emma’s world rankings WERE, respectively, 73rd and 150th. :crazy_face:

I haven’t actually watched any of the games but am intrigued a 5’6” Canadian could defeat so many highly seeded players. I hope she wins tomorrow, but in any case she has surprised many - probably like her opponent.

She is surprisingly strong for a lithe, 5’6" lady.

Both gals are pipsqueaks, but power city.

Felix lost his semifinal today, which wasn’t too surprising. He had a chance up 5-2 in the second - once he lost that set he was pretty much done for.

I’m really looking forward to the women’s final. Sometimes these finals sort of fizzle out, so hopefully it’ll be a good match.

One thing that’s a bit funny is how different Leylah’s and Emma’s matches have been. Leylah’s last four matches were all 3 sets, and she won a tiebreak in each. Meanwhile Emma hasn’t lost more than 4 games in a set in the whole tournament. Which way will the final match go?

And Zverez almost managed to knock out Novak in the semifinal. Novak lost his third consecutive(I think) first set, so we all assumed he would “turn it on” and wipe the floor with Zverez over the next three sets.


Zverez won the fourth set again, looking like he might actually have his massive moment and knock out Novak.

But, of course, Novak won the final set and advanced to the final. I think he’s going to win the calendar Grand Slam and his record-setting 21st slam at the same time.

It means something when a Roger Federer fan like me has finally admitted…I think Novak might be the best of all time. I do not like Novak on some levels, but I also think some of the hate he gets is a bit too extreme. He is the best and I have heard some behind the scenes stories that he can be a pretty nice guy.

I like both Nadal and Roger a lot more on a personal level, but Novak is just outrageous and if he does win this final, he’s the best.

AFAICT, fourth: he lost the first set against Nishikori, and then lost the first set against Brooksby, and then lost the first set against Berrettini, and then lost this first set against Zverev.

Wow, what a weird thing to happen. I don’t remember him being known for losing first sets, but he certainly has this tournament.

What are the odds on him losing the final? Less than a 15% chance, I’d think.

They have only played twice in a Grand Slam, both in Australia. Novak won quite easily.

This final is amazing

Magnificent. One of the all time great matches. Two players consistently going for their shots, hardly anything between them, beautiful points, both players you can root for… Wonderful

Emma wins with an ace. And that after time out with blood running down her leg. What a match.

Both players deserve all the applause. I hope they will be around for a few years. We need sports personalities like these girls.

And neither old enough for a celebratory glass of champagne in NY.

Great match, with both playing well, which is what you want to see. It ended up matching the tournament runs for both of them - Emma still didn’t drop a set, and Leylah still put up a hell of a fight.

I also hope they’re both able to play well for years. Women’s tennis especially seems to have a lot of phenoms who rise at young ages and often fall quickly. Like, Osaka is only 23 and she feels like a total veteran. Even just looking at recent Canadians, Eugenie was 20 in the Wimbledon final, Andreescu won the US Open at 19, and now Leylah is (barely) 19.

This is not often said in women’s tennis, but the young ladies were really easy on the ears. NO GRUNTING and NO SHREIKING

Best final I’ve watched in a while. Having two unseeded teen players in the final will probably never happen again. And my kids got a kick out of both of them being half Asian.

I was cheering for Leylah primarily. I like her bouncy steps and general grit when facing must-win points. But I soured on her when she was arguing while Emma was getting bandaged. You just do that when a player is on a clearly legit medical break.

I thought it was interesting that the official talked about 9-11, something that happened before these two were born. Points back to Leylah for making a heartfelt comment on the date.

Looking forward to seeing them in future tournaments.

At the moment about 27%.

I would think Medvedev is the one guy hard enough mentally to give Novak a real run for his money.

Yeah that was too bad Leyla had to pipe up with the official over a matter that had to be attended to.
No idea what her first serve pct. was, but hoooo-boy it might be the main thing that did her in. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was around an atrocious 40.
The sharp angles on a lot of Emma’s put-aways, especially on Leyla’s second serve - amazing.
That first set, I was thinking - how on earth can this neck-and-neck intensity last?
It will be a pleasure seeing what could well be the premier match-up over the years to come.
Djokovic-Medvedev? Well, interestingly, the latter has taken three of their last five, but barring a Medvedev win tomorrow, they would have been the only other rivalry I can think of that will be matching the sustained, dominant intensity of Fernandez-Raducanu, down the pike.

ETA: Just wanted to add in my drunken/dabbing stupour that I get it that there’s been oodles of young champions from Tracy Austin to Micheal Chang to Boris Becker, etc., and that their games get figured out sooner than later, but nah - these two little pipsqueaks, I will hereby roundly predict, alas, will utterly reign supreme for quite some time to come.

And it’s shortened just a hair to about 70/30 this morning. Doesn’t seem to be any news, but such a small change could just be based on random changes in punter sentiment.

On the other hand despite all precautions punters may have sources of information about the health and fitness of athletes that go deeper than the press’. Or they think they do.

Yesterday on Ladbrokes:
Djokovic 1/3
Medvedev 11/5

Djokovic 4/11
Medvedev 3/1

Djokovic just lost the first set, his fifth consecutive first set lost. Even if he wins this, he’s going to have to reflect on that for a bit. Then again, maybe everyone else will have to think about that as well.