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Fri, Feb. 28

My Point: Crazy US Open finals

Originally I was quoted as saying I wanted the Top 3 ranked men in the world of tennis to lose early at the U.S. Open, well ... one made it through, Rafa Nadal who defeated Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 for his 19th Grand Slam singles title.

I said that because I’ve been wanting some new faces to break through, it’s time and it kind of happening.

I also wanted to have Serena Williams get the monkey off her back as far as tying Margaret Court Smith’s Grand Slam record of 24 singles titles, as she’s been stuck on 23 for over two years now - but for the 3rd time at Grand Slam finals she’s once again a bridesmaid at this year’s Open losing to Canadian Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 7-5.

With that said, what a men’s and women’s final!

Russian Daniil Medvedev (23) and Canadian Bianca Andreescu (19) both had killer summer seasons on their “March to the U.S. Open”.

Medvedev who is tall (6’6”) and slender reached 4 finals in North America; Washington D.C., Montreal/the Roger’s Cup, won the Cincinnati Masters and this past weekend became a U.S. Open runner-up, which will give him a No. 4 world ranking and a berth in the ATP year-end finals.

Bianca started the year with a 208 world ranking and as of today sits at No. 5. She became the first Canadian, male or female, to win a Grand Slam tournament with her U.S. Open victory.

Andreescu surprised everyone in March by winning what is known as the “5th Major”, Indian Wells and shortly after developed a nagging shoulder injury missing most of the clay and all of the grass season. She came back to play in and won the Rogers Cup in her hometown of Toronto, skipped Cincinnati and then made it through 7 matches to win the Open against Serena.

The men’s final at the Open seemed like it was going to be a 3 setter after Rafa won the first two sets and was about to close the 3rd, but then Daniil fought back to take the next two sets, and the fifth was definitely a thriller to the last shot.

You can’t say enough good things about Rafa Nadal, he’s a champion through and through. Well, we might encourage him to do better at sticking to the 20 second clock between points, he has such a weird routine of antics before each point he just can’t seem to stay within that time frame.

And in the women’s final - Bianca is a fighter, nerves of steel and can keep her concentration on a level that maybe only Chris Evert had ... but with a fighter’s personality. She has a total bag of shots in her tennis game and an attitude you can’t teach.

At 5-1 in the second set it looked as if the writing was on the wall, but then Serena brought it back to 5-5 in games. The crowd was going wild, but it didn’t really phase Bianca. When a player is hot, you just have to keep plugging and that’s what she did. The expression on her face never showed any doubt that anything was amiss, a positive, solid mentality of riding through a few tough games until the ship was righted.

The tours will now go to Asia where the game of tennis is at an all-time high.

With many of our best known players now age-wise in their low to high 30’s, the newbies are poking their heads around and will soon be taking over. Another era of tennis is about to begin again. Stay tuned.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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