With New York’s Flushing Meadows awaiting its men’s and women’s singles finalists this weekend, one thing is for certain: both trophies will see a new name carved into its metal plated surface.
Because of the remaining contenders across the men’s and women’s US Open singles competitions, none of them have ever won the Grand Slam.
Furthermore, only Karolina Pliskova, who faces Aryna Sabalenka later today, has ever featured in the final of the fourth Slam of the season.
It speaks to just how open this year’s Slam is on the East Coast, whereby none of the remaining men have even won a Slam.
We have seen some extraordinary matches across the last 10 days, notably Frances Tiafoe’s four-set win over Rafael Nadal – who was on a Grand Slam winning run of over 20 matches – and Nick Kyrgios’ four-set victory over world No1 Daniil Medvedev.
For a long time now tennis geeks have blushed over how open women’s tennis is, there have been 14 different Slam winners since Serena William’s last triumph in 2017.
But this year there are eight men in the quarter finals, all of whom have never won a Slam, let alone a Flushing Meadows title.
We are very slowly seeing the end of the big three – Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – granted the latter has life in the batteries yet but is hindered by his vaccination status.
Two absolute hotshots of the future Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner go up against each other today while Nadal’s conqueror Tiafoe faces Andrey Rublev – who toppled British No1 Cameron Norrie – in the other of the men’s remaining quarters.
“Something special happened today,” 24-year-old Tiafoe said on court after beating Nadal.
“I don’t know what to say, I’m so happy. He’s one of the greatest of all time and I played unbelievable.”
Polish sensation Iga Swiatek also takes to the court today against American Jessica Pegula – who toppled Petra Kvitova in the last round – while Pliskova and Sabalenka make up the women’s quarter-final draw in New York.
We have seen the likes of Kyrgios and Matteo Berrettini compete in recent Slam finals and Medvedev and Dominic Thiem pick up Slams in recent years but besides those two, you have to go back to 2016 for a different winner at one of the calendar’s big events – when Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka won on the tour.
In terms of recent women’s history, we have seen a multitude of winners since the Williams reign of victories came to a diluted end.
But Swiatek is the only women’s Slam winner since 2014 who remains in the draw.
Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina is out, as is last year’s US champion Emma Raducanu. Ashleigh Barty has retired and Naomi Osaka remains in search of form.
It is quite simply so open at the US Open this year, and the first time in recent history it’s unpredictable on both sides of the draw – both men’s and women’s,
The fact of the matter is that Flushing Meadows will see two new champions this year and there’s a high chance it will be two first-time Slam winners.
Tennis has become even more exciting since the big, domineering names have started to be hit by off-field injuries, circumstances and age. But its next challenge is to retain interest in the sport without the very names who were the captivating talents of years past.