The 2023 US Open will be one to remember, not least for the records, breakthroughs and comebacks. There were plenty of European faces at the business end of the professional events as well as in the juniors draws, with representation in the latter in three of the four podia.
- In the final, it was local favourite Katherine Hui (USA) who took the trophy, with a 6-4 6-4 win over Tereza Valentova (CZE), the 2021 European Junior Championships gold medal winner in singles and doubles.
- Valentova’s compatriot, the Player of the Year and Junior Masters champ that season, Laura Samsonova, was a semifinalist
- All in all, five of the last eight players in the girls’ singles were European, namely: Renata Jamrichova (SVK), Anastasiia Gureva and Hannah Klugman (GBR), as well as Samsonova and Valentova.
- The girls’ doubles title went to Gureva and Romanian partner Mara Gae.
- In the boys’ singles draw Europe’s current 16 & Under #1, Federico Cinà from Italy went down to the eventual champion Joao Fonseca (BRA) in the semifinal.
- Arthur Gea (FRA) was the other European semifinalist.
- Fonseca won a three-set final over American Learner Tien, battling back from a set down to win 4-6 6-4 6-3
- There was more joy for Europeans in the boys’ doubles with Max Dahlin (SWE) & Oliver Ojakaar (EST) taking the title.
24 … and Counting
New York may hold bittersweet memories for Novak Djokovic, having been famously defaulted in 2020 and where he has not been able to play since. But there were no setbacks this year for the Serb, who returns to the #1 spot (by some margin) and once again etches his name into the history books.
- Two Europeans faced off in the men’s final with a repeat of the 2021 final. This time it was Djokovic who got revenge over Daniil Medvedev for his defeat that year, which prevented the Serb from winning the calendar year Grand Slam.
- He has now won a record-breaking 24 Grand Slam titles after his 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 win.
- He also has the distinction of having played in all four Slam finals this year, repeating his 2021 feat. Overall, this is the fourth year in which he has managed to win three majors in the same year.
- Djokovic’s run of success also means that European players have won 76 of the last 77 men’s Grand Slams, and 55 in a row.
Having reached the semifinals in Tarbes (Les Petits As) in 2017 at just 12 years of age, followed by a victory in the Category 1 event in Bolton and eventually assuming the top spot in the Tennis Europe Junior Tour rankings, Coco Gauff capped her rise to the top of the sport with a first Grand Slam title.
Gauff fought back from a set down against new world #1 Aryna Sabalenka to delight the home crowd with a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win.
- Gauff is now up to a career high of No.3 in the WTA rankings, and also reclaims the world #1 spot in doubles.
- She’s the first American Grand Slam champion since Sofia Kenin in Australia in 2021, and first at the US Open since Sloane Stephens in 2017
- A former Roland Garros Junior Champion, Coco cemented her credentials on clay with a runner-up finish in last year’s Paris final, making this her second Grand Slam decider.
- NUMBER 1
Aryna Sabalenka celebrates becoming the world #1 for the first time. She is the only player to have reached the semis of all the majors this year, and of course won her maiden Slam back in Melbourne.
- MAKING INROADS
Former Junior stars Jakub Mensik (CZE) reached R3 while Dominic Stricker (SUI) did one better. Stricker played in seven TEJT singles and doubles finals, winning three, while Mensik had a 5-4 W/L record in TEJT finals across both disciplines.
Caroline Wozniacki was to this US Open what Elina Svitolina was to Wimbledon in July: a mother coming back to pro tennis with a vengeance. The Dane took out Petra Kvitova and former AO finalist Jennifer Brady before falling in three to the eventual champ.
- CAREER HIGHS
Czechs Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrousova will reach new career high rankings of 8 and 6 respectively.
- WINNING STREAK
Jelena Opstapenko (LAT) extended her head-to-head against Iga Swiatek (POL) to 4-0 after their R4 match, ending her run as world #1 in the process.
Mixed Doubles Champions: Anna Danilina (KAZ) & Harri Heliovaara (FIN)
Men’s Doubles Champions: Rajeev Ram (USA) & Joe Salisbury (GBR)
Women’s Doubles Champions: Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN) & Erin Routliffe (NZL)
For full results from the US Open, go to: www.usopen.org