The Cake Boss
For a while, it seemed as if the Tennis Gods just didn't want anyone to have any fun on this final Sunday of the U.S. Open. Hmmm, or maybe they just wanted to make us wait in order to garner our full attention.
In the end, it was worth it.
After (naturally) a nearly three-hour rain delay before the last U.S. Open final to be conducted before the roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium is operable in 2016, world #1 Novak Djokovic and #2 Roger Federer faced off for the forty-second time in a match that promised to add a definitive footnote to the epic story about whether the Swiss 34-year old walking, talking immortal really COULD win another slam, or whether the Serb's still-growing collection of major titles was going to edge him even closer to forcing his name directly into every future discussion of an era otherwise dominated by the major event runs of Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Surely, this final would "settle things" on some level, right? Well, for now. On this day, at least. For a few hours... but that's about all.
Federer had been masterful on hard courts all summer long (even vs. Djokovic, who hadn't been in fine form of late). He'd been even more untouchable during the last two weeks in New York, bringing back vivid memories of his "clinic" days of dispensing with his "competition" as if pulling the wings off flies -- gracefully, of course -- while winning five straight Open titles from 2004-08. His form had gotten him safely and easily to his first final at Flushing Meadows since 2009.
But waiting for him there was Djokovic, who was surely going to bring a game and heart Federer hadn't seen this year in New York... nor when he faced and defeated him in straight sets in Cincinnati a few weeks ago.
As anticipated, the crowd was with Federer. And who wouldn't be under the circumstances? A possible Federer title run was a bit of history that WAS being talked about for this Open's future on Day 1, and in this case everything had played out to allow potential to morph into reality.
Of course, what some people sometimes forget is that to outwardly root for his opponent, or for that opponent to go out of his way to outwardly challenge him, often inspires Djokovic to call upon the fire-breathing champion's heart that has willed him to this place in his career. A place where there is NO one -- save maybe Rafa in the 5th set at Roland Garros -- that any ATP player would want to face in a crucial moment in the latter stages of a big match LESS than Djokovic. To poke him is to prod him, and when that happens he's usually the one climbing into the stands when everything is finished.
This day/night would be no different. Faced with match-long incursions by the veteran Federer into his service games -- including late "surprise attack" charges toward the service box on many second serves -- Djokovic was forced to put on his "big point pants" earlier in the match than might normally be the case. The Serb's personality is not to cower when faced with such situations, but to rise and fight and outlast. And he did just that on Sunday.
Djokovic rode a mid-set break all the way to the end of the 1st, winning it 6-4 after saving a break point in game #8 and then serving things out at love. He saved five BP in game #2 of the 2nd, only to see Federer finally convert on his ninth BP chance of the set to end it, taking the Serb's serve to win the set 7-5. It was a rare instance of Federer winning a truly big point in this match, a contest which he would have likely handily won against 99.99% of the rest of the players on tour. Or maybe against every one... except Djokovic.
With Federer's sneak attacks continuing, and with Djokovic sometimes thrown off by the tactic, the Serb still managed to persevere to hold serve and get a break in game #9 of the 3rd. Saving two break points one game later, he held to take the set at 6-4 and move to within one set of winning his second U.S. Open crown in his fifth final in New York in the last six years. In the 4th set, he jumped out to a fast start by breaking Federer in the opening game, then going up a double break at 5-2. Djokovic's surge toward the finish line all seemed to arrive in a rush as, having won seven of ten games, he was suddenly serving for the match.
Ah, but it wasn't going to be that easy.
After converting just three of eighteen BP chances in the match, Federer broke on his second of game #8 in the 4th, then held serve and forced the Serb to try to serve it out one more time. Again, Federer held three BP, but when the world #1 saved them all (making the Swiss just 4-of-23 on the day) he soon reached match point. A long Federer return ended the 6-4/5-7/6-4/6-4 match, as Djokovic made the historic "title turn" by moving into double-digit slam victory territory with #10, within arm's reach of Nadal and Pete Sampras' second-best total of fourteen and just seven behind Federer, once again denied the additional major title that he seems bound and determined -- and likely destined -- to eventually lift before he's finished.
Consistently undervalued, underrated and overlooked, even with what-will-one-day-be-seen-as-legendary slam consistency and an ability to put himself right in the place he needs to be, it's never a bad idea to recount some of the numbers that Djokovic has been putting up for years. Namely, that he played in all four slams finals in '15, as well as at eight of the last ten, had reached 21-of-22 major semifinals and twenty-six straight slam quarterfinals. Today's match was the eighteenth slam final of his career (tied for fourth all-time, and just two away from tying Nadal for second behind Federer's record twenty-seven... a mark which could eventually be in jeopardy).
Of course, with three finals in the last six slams, Federer's late-career pick-up could still push his accomplishments beyond the reach of any mortal for a very, very long time. After being written off as a slam (and #1) threat before in the past, a healthy and seemingly even fitter and stronger Federer has come back with a vengeance in 2015. And they'll be no retirement talk from him. Uh-uh.
Federer has proven this summer, and the entire year, that there's no reason to even lightly question the notion about him possibly being the "best ever." Whoever thought that to be the case before, but were made to wonder considering Nadal's big match mastery of the Swiss great during the height of the Spaniard's career, can be content with the knowledge that Federer appears to have both arrived before and has likely outlasted Nadal as a continuing slam threat.
Djokovic is another story.
In the last twenty-one slams, Djokovic has played in sixteen finals, winning nine; while Federer stands at five with one, and Nadal in ten with six.
While Federer is already a living legend, and anything that comes his way the remainder of his career is icing on a very large and elaborate cake, Djokovic is still in the cake-making business. As much talk as there was about Serena Williams' near-Grand Slam season, Djokovic won three slams himself this season, and finally knocked down Nadal in Paris, only to fall short in the final against Stan Wawrinka. He got closer to the feat than Serena did... and no man has pulled it off since 1969. Djokovic will once again head into '16 chasing his white whale of a Roland Garros title. The longer the quest goes on, the more epic it becomes.
A win in Paris may yet be the high water mark that elevates Djokovic's status not above, but at the very least nipping at the heels of Federer, and maybe surpassing Nadal when his full career accomplishments are considered.
But those are just numbers for, you know, that ever-present "Numbers Guy" in the back room who is slaving away over the large accounting book that will eventually tell the tale of a Djokovic career that has played out in the middle and now back-end of an era rightfully named for Misters Federer and Nadal, and will likely carry on beyond the playing careers of both. Meanwhile, the next generation of champions still looks very, very green. Who knows, Djokovic's thirties might prove to be more productive than even Federer's have been... without his own personal "Djokovic" to block his path toward a handful of mid-thirties slam titles to pad the stats.
The "Numbers Guy" is going to be busy. Don't wait up for him.
=DAY 14 NOTES=
...in the women's doubles final, top-seeded Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza claimed their second straight slam title this season with a 6-3/6-3 win over #12 Casey Dellacqua & Yaroslava Shvedova. While it's just Mirza's second career WD slam crown, it's Hingis' eleventh and the twentieth overall slam title of her career (w/ five singles and four mixed). So Hingis sweeps the WD and MX at a second consecutive slam.
Hingis hadn't won a title at Flushing Meadows since she claimed both the singles and doubles (w/ Jana Novotna) titles in 1998.
...#2 seed Dalma Galfi won the girls singles, defeating Bannerette Sonya Kenin (#9) 7-5/6-4 in the final. She's the first Hungarian to win the U.S. Open junior title, and the first from her country to win any slam since Agnes Szavay took the Roland Garros girls in 2005. Aniko Kapros also won the Australian Open juniors in 2000, while Szavay was the AO girls runner-up in 2005, as well. Galfi will rise to #1 in the girls rankings on Monday.
#1-seeded American Taylor Fritz won the boys title, defeating #5-seeded fellow U.S. player Tommy Paul 6-2/6-7(4)/6-2. Americans have won three straight junior slams in 2015 (Paul won in Paris, defeating Fritz in the final, and Reilly Opelka took Wimbledon).
Taylor Fritz avenges the Roland Garros final defeat and beats Tommy Paul 6-2 6-7 6-2 to win the Boys juniors title pic.twitter.com/XUM7Zmsu0P— Jake Davies (@jakedavi5) September 14, 2015
...while the Djokovic/Federer match was taking place on Ashe, doubles partners Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley were facing off in the Wheelchair women's singles final on Court 17 in front of a less-than-smattering of fans.
Whiley took the 1st set 6-4, but then the Brit had black Kinesiology tape applied to her racket arm during the 2nd set, which she lost at love to the ex-#1 and two-time WC slam singles champ from Japan. After dropping the set, Whiley fired a ball into the net and whacked her racket over her changeover area chair before going off court between sets.
Kamiji wrapped up with multiple layers in the cool night air while she waited for her return. And when Whiley did, the slam final newcomer took over the match. She took a lead and served for her first singles slam title at 5-0, holding five MP on serve only to see Kamiji raise her game and get the break. A game later, on her ninth MP, Whiley finally won 6-4/0-6/6-1 when Kamiji's backhand down the middle sailed just past the baseline.
As we've seen quite a few times at this Open when good friends or siblings have met on the court, the two best friends reached over the net from their chairs and embraced here, as well. Whiley was soon calling back home from the side of the court, where it was nearly 4 a.m. in the UK.
I'm sure everyone she deems important was already awake.
In the WC doubles, the Dutch team of Jiske Griffioen & Aniek Van Koot won the title with a straight sets victory over the team of Marjolein Buis/Sabine Ellerbrock to claim their second slam of '15 (w/ RG). They completed a Doubles Grand Slam in 2013, winning all four titles that season (something which Kamiji/Whiley did last year).
...in the WTA $125K Series event in Dalian, China it was top-seeded Zheng Saisai, 21, who took the title with a 2-6/6-1/7-5 win over Julia Glushko. It's her first pro singles title above the challenger level (her two biggest titles there also came this year at a pair of $75K events). Zheng swept the titles this week, also grabbing the doubles crown with Chang Kai-Chen. The duo won the doubles at this season's previous 125 Series event in Nanchang, as well, and Zheng has also had additional '15 doubles wins in Anning ($75K) and at the WTA-level Stanford event (both with Xu Yifan) earlier this summer.
...German Laura Siegemund won the weekend's $100K challenger in Biarritz, defeating Switzerland's Romina Oprandi in the final. It's her eleventh ITF title, and her biggest yet. She'll climb into the Top 100 for the first time on Monday.
Meanwhile, in a $10K challenger in Prague, the Kolb sisters' long Ukrainian nightmare finally came to an end as Nadiya (22) and Maryna (18) won their first career professional title, teaming to win the doubles crown and end their star-crossed three-year quest to reach the winner's circle. The sisters went 0-2 in ITF finals as a duo in 2013, 0-4 last year and were 0-4 again this year before finally taking this title.
...back on the WTA tour, which has already kicked off Week 37 action, Tokyo's #1 Q-seed Kristyna Pliskova finally ended her six-match losing streak with a victory in the opening qualifying round against Japan's Eri Hozumi. Her relief didn't turn into elation, though, as she lost her next match to another Japanese player, (mostly) doubles specialist Shuko Aoyama, who is ranked #201 in singles. So, in the end, the Czech still added yet another loss to a double-digit ranked player to her poor string of results since contracting that pesky strain of the "Kuznetsova Curse" at Wimbledon.
And in Quebec City, well, I'm not sure exactly WHAT happened.
But from the way it appears, former Canadian player Marie-Eve Pelletier came to visit her best friend, tour player/recent mother Julie Coin at the event... and she somehow ended up in the qualifying draw herself.
Multi-tasking: icing with game ready, holding baby, watching tennis on TV and tweeting ???????????? pic.twitter.com/7Hv1JFnL3R— Julie Coin (@juliecoin) August 20, 2015
What a cute baby ?? https://t.co/i6z0f2jIsQ— Marie-Eve (@mepelletier82) August 20, 2015
Having not played since retiring after failing to qualify for the Australian Open in January '13, and working since then as a coach and television commentator, the now 33-year old Pelletier received a wild card and lost in the opening Q-round by the score of 6-0/6-1 to American Samantha Crawford.
Also receiving a wild card into Quebec City qualifying was Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak, who played in her first match at a tour event since LAST year's U.S. Open, losing in three sets to Mandy Minella. Her comeback officially began at a $25K challenger in Winnipeg at the end of August, when she won two matches. The former Stanford champ (2008, def. Bartoli) and three-time tour singles finalist had shoulder surgery that ended her '14 season.
LIKE ON DAY 14: Flavia celebrates!
LIKE ON DAY 14: Fabio celebrates!
IT-SHOULDN'T-BE-NECESSARY-NEWS-BUT-IT-IS ON DAY 14: But it won't have to be after this Open... at least not at THIS slam.
Even better, Asderaki was eagle-eyed and on fire!
Eva Asderaki is trending on my twitter.— Jamie Hampton (@Jamie_Hampton) September 14, 2015
Guys just trust her. She's en fuego tonight— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) September 14, 2015
Side note- chair umpire on point pic.twitter.com/eFLnXqe18R— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) September 14, 2015
"HOLD ON, FLAVIA" ON DAY 14: you've got a couple more tournaments to play before you kick your feet up...
From your first serve to your final victory. Leave your mark on the game. pic.twitter.com/1AMzwGTJTI— adidas (@adidas) September 13, 2015
LIKE ON DAY 14: Donna Vekic and the art of blending in.
CROWD MASH-UP ON DAY 14: Bend it like Wolverine 007
LIKE ON DAY 14: The Dream Team Does the Big Apple
HMMM...HERE'S AN IDEA FOR DAY 14: Maybe one of these two can enter the U.S. presidential race?
Did someone mention something about climbing into the stands... ON DAY 14?:
LIKE ON DAY 14: The LAST year of dealing with this.
TOKYO, JAPAN (Int'l $227K/HCO)
14 Final: Ivanovic d. Wozniacki
14 Doubles Final: C.Black/Mirza d. Muguruza/Suarez-Navarro
15 Top Seeds: Suarez-Navarro/Diyas
(WC) Date-Krumm d. K.Bondarenko
#8 Hercog d. Sai.Zheng
(WC) Date-Krumm d. #8 Hercog
...after THIS U.S. Open, why not?
QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC CAN (Int'l $227K/HCO)
14 Final: Lucic-Baroni d. V.Williams
14 Doubles Final: Hradecka/Lucic-Baroni d. Goerges/Hlavackova
15 Top Seeds: Keys/Lucic-Baroni
#1 Keys d. Ostapenko
#2 LUcic-Baroni d. #4 Hradecka
#1 Keys d. #2 Lucic-Baroni
...one wonders if Lucic might have thought about retiring after her title run in Quebec City, her first on tour in sixteen years. She's gone just 16-23 this year, though she did pull off that upset at Wimbledon over Halep (making it two straight years she's knocked the Romanian out of a slam). Of course, if the Croat were to win this title...
Meanwhile, 3Q Backspin Awards this week.
*WOMEN'S SINGLES FINAL*
#26 Flavia Pennetta/ITA def. Roberta Vinci/ITA 7-6(4)/6-2
*MEN'S SINGLES FINAL*
#1 Novak Djokovic/SRB def. #2 Roger Federer/SUI 6-4/5-7/6-4/6-4
*WOMEN'S DOUBLES FINAL*
#1 M.Hingis/S.Mirza (SUI/IND) def. #4 C.Dellacqua/Y.Shvedova (AUS/KAZ) 6-3/6-3
*MEN'S DOUBLES FINAL*
#12 P.Herbert/N.Mahut (FRA/FRA) def. #8 J.Murray/J.Peers (GBR/AUS) 6-4/6-4
*MIXED DOUBLES FINAL*
#4 M.Hingis/L.Paes (SUI/IND) def. B.Mattek-Sands/S.Querrey (USA/USA) 6-4/3-6 [10-7]
*GIRLS SINGLES FINAL*
#2 Dalma Galfi/HUN def. #9 Sonya Kenin/USA 7-5/6-4
*BOYS SINGLES SF*
#1 Taylor Fritz/USA def. #5 Tommy Paul/USA 6-2/6-7(4)/6-2
*GIRLS DOUBLES FINAL*
V.Kuzmova/A.Pospelova (SVK/RUS) def. A.Kalinskaya/A.Potapova (RUS/RUS) 7-5/6-2
*BOYS DOUBLES FINAL*
F.Aliassime/D.Shapovalov (CAN/CAN) def. B.Holt/R.Smith (USA/USA) 7-5/76(3)
*BJK COLLEGIATE INVITIATIONAL WOMEN'S FINAL*
#2 Robin Anderson (UCLA) def. Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) 6-4/6-4
*BJK COLLEGIATE INVITIATIONAL MEN'S FINAL*
#2 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #4 Gonzales Austin (Vanderbilt) 6-2/7-5
*WC WOMEN'S SINGLES FINAL*
Jordanne Whiley/GBR def. Yui Kamiji/JPN 6-4/0-6/6-1
*WC MEN'S SINGLES FINAL*
#1 Shingo Kunieda/JPN def. Stephane Houdet/FRA 6-7(4)/6-3/6-2
*WC WOMEN'S DOUBLES FINAL*
#2 J.Griffioen/A.Van Koot (NED/NED) def. M.Buis/S.Ellerbrock (NED/GER) 7-6(3)/6-1
*WC MEN'S DOUBLES FINAL*
#1 S.Houdet/G.Reid (FRA/GBR) def. M.Jeremiasz/N.Peifer (FRA/FRA) 6-3/6-1
*RECENT U.S. OPEN MEN'S FINALS*
2007 Roger Federer d. Novak Djokovic
2008 Roger Federer d. Andy Murray
2009 Juan Martin del Potro d. Roger Federer
2010 Rafael Nadal d. Novak Djokovic
2011 Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal
2012 Andy Murray d. Novak Djokovic
2013 Rafael Nadal d. Novak Djokovic
2014 Marin Cilic d. Kei Nishikori
2015 Novak Djokovic d. Roger Federer
**ALL-TIME ATP SLAM TITLES**
17 - Roger Federer, SUI
14 - Rafael Nadal, ESP
14 - Pete Sampras, USA
12 - Roy Emerson, USA
11 - Bjorn Borg, SWE
11 - Rod Laver, AUS
10 - NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SRB
10 - Bill Tilden, USA
2...Juan Martin del Potro
*SLAM FINALS - ACTIVE MEN*
27 - ROGER FEDERER (17-10)
20 - Rafael Nadal (14-6)
18 - NOVAK DJOKOVIC (10-8)
8 - Andy Murray (2-6)
4 - Lleyton Hewitt (2-2)
2 - Stan Wawrinka (2-0)
2 - Robin Soderling (0-2)
1 - Marin Cilic (1-0)
1 - Juan Martin del Potro (1-0)
1 - Marcos Baghdatis (0-1)
1 - Tomas Berdych (0-1)
1 - David Ferrer (0-1)
1 - Kei Nishikori (0-1)
1 - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (0-1)
[Slam Finals - Open era]
27 - ROGER FEDERER (17-10)
20 - Rafael Nadal (14-6)
19 - Ivan Lendl (8-11)
18 - Pete Sampras (14-4)
18 - NOVAK DJOKOVIC (10-8)
17 - Rod Laver (11-6)
16 - Bjorn Borg (11-5)
16 - Ken Rosewall (8-8)
[U.S. Open - acitve]
7...ROGER FEDERER (5-2)
6...NOVAK DJOKOVIC (2-4)
3...Rafael Nadal (2-1)
2...Lleyton Hewitt (1-1)
2...Andy Murray (1-1)
1...Marin Cilic (1-0)
1...Juan Martin del Potro (1-0)
1...Kei Nishikori (0-1)
11...NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SRB (7-4)
9...ROGER FEDERER, SUI (5-4)
6...Andy Murray, GBR (4-2)
4...Rafael Nadal, ESP (3-1)
4...Kei Nishikori, JPN (3-1)
3...David Ferrer, ESP (3-0)
3...Stan Wawrinka, SUI (3-0)
3...Dominic Thiem, AUT (3-0)
3...Kevin Anderson, RSA (1-2)
3...Tomas Berdych, CZE (0-3)
**FEDERER vs. DJOKOVIC GRAND SLAM FINALS**
2007 U.S. Open - Roger Federer 7-6/7-6/6-4
2014 Wimbledon - Novak Djokovic 6-7/6-4/7-6/5-7/6-4
2015 Wimbledon - Novak Djokovic 7-6/6-7/6-4/6-3
2015 U.S. Open - Novak Djokovic 6-4/5-7/6-4/6-4
**ALL-TIME ATP TITLES**
**MOST CAREER MATCHES - ATP**
44 - Djokovic vs. Nadal
42 - DJOKOVIC vs. FEDERER
36 - Lendl vs. McEnroe
35 - Connors vs. Lendl
35 - Becker vs. Edberg
35 - Connors vs. McEnroe
34 - Agassi vs. Sampras
33 - Federer vs. Nadal
22 - Djokovic vs. Nadal
20 - Lendl vs. McEnroe
20 - Federer vs. Nadal
16 - Agassi vs. Sampras
16 - Becker vs. Edberg
15 - Connors vs. McEnroe
15 - DJOKOVIC vs. FEDERER
13 - Becker vs. Lendl
8 - Federer vs. Nadal
7 - Djokovic vs. Nadal
5 - Djokovic vs. Murray
5 - Agassi vs. Sampras
5 - Lendl vs. Wilander
4 - Borg vs. Connors
4 - Borg vs. McEnroe
4 - DJOKOVIC vs. FEDERER
4 - Federer vs. Roddick
**RECENT U.S. OPEN WOMEN'S DOUBLES CHAMPIONS**
2005 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, USA/AUS
2006 Nathalie Dechy & Vera Zvonareva, FRA/RUS
2007 Nathalie Dechy & Dinara Safina, FRA/RUS
2008 Cara Black & Liezel Huber, RSA/USA
2009 Serena & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2010 Vania King & Yaroslava Shvedova, USA/KAZ
2011 Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond, USA/USA
2012 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2013 Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka, CZE/CZE
2014 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
AO: Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
RG: Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
WI: Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
US: Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
**2015 WTA DOUBLES TITLES - WD+MX**
9...MARTINA HINGIS (6+3)
6...Bethanie Mattek-Sands (5+1)
5 - HINGIS & MIRZA
4 - Mattek-Sands & Safarova
3 - Babos & Mladenovic
3 - HINGIS & Paes (Mixed)
2 - Kops-Jones & Spears
2 - Bertens & Larsson
2 - Chan & Chan
**U.S. OPEN "JUNIOR BREAKOUT" WINNERS**
2007 Kristina Kucova, SVK
2008 Gabriela Paz, VEN
2009 Heather Watson, GBR
2010 Yulia Putintseva, RUS & Sloane Stephens, USA
2011 Grace Min, USA
2012 Vicky Duval, USA
2013 Tornado Alicia Black, USA
2014 Marie Bouzkova, CZE
2015 Dalma Galfi, HUN
AO: Tereza Mihalikova, SVK
RG: Paula Badosa, ESP
WI: Sofya Zhuk, RUS
US: Dalma Galfi, HUN
**RECENT U.S. OPEN GIRLS FINALS**
2005 Victoria Azarenka/BLR def. Alexa Glatch/USA
2006 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS def. Tamira Paszek/AUT
2007 Kristina Kucova/SVK def. Urszula Radwanska/POL
2008 Coco Vandeweghe/USA def. Gabriela Paz/VEN
2009 Heather Watson/GBR def. Yana Buchina/RUS
2010 Daria Gavrilova/RUS def. Yulia Putintseva/RUS
2011 Grace Min/USA def. Caroline Garcia/FRA
2012 Samantha Crawford/USA def. Anett Kontaveit/EST
2013 Ana Konjuh/CRO def. Tornado Alicia Black/USA
2014 Marie Bouzkova/CZE def. Anhelina Kalinina/UKR
2015 Dalma Galfi/HUH def. Sonya Kenin/USA
**RECENT SLAM WC SINGLES TITLES**
2013 AO: Aniek Van Koot, NED
2013 RG: Sabine Ellerbrock, GER
2013 US: Aniek Van Koot, NED
2014 AO: Sabine Ellerbrock, GER
2014 RG: Yui Kamiji, JPN
2014 US: Yui Kamiji, JPN
2015 AO: Jiske Griffioen, NED
2015 RG: Jiske Griffioen, NED
2015 US: Jordanne Whiley, GBR
**RECENT SLAM WC DOUBLES TITLES**
2013 AO: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2013 RG: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2013 WI: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2013 US: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2014 AO: Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2014 RG: Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2014 WI: Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2014 US: Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 AO: Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 RG: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2015 WI: Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 US: Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
TOP QUALIFIER: (WC) Jessica Pegula/USA
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #2 Simona Halep/ROU
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #2 Simona Halep/ROU
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): #26 Flavia Pennetta/ITA
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: Tereza Mrdeza/CRO d. #2 Yaroslava Shvedova/KAZ 5-7/7-6(8)/7-6(4) [3:12; saved 3 MP]
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. - #12 Belinda Bencic/SUI d. Misaki Doi/JPN 5-7/7-6(3)/6-3 (down 3 MP in 2nd; outburst/crying/no shake umpire's hand)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Rd. - #20 Victoria Azarenka/BLR d. #11 Angelique Kerber/GER 7-5/2-6/6-4
TOP LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.): SF - Roberta Vinci/ITA d. #1 Serena Williams/USA 2-6/6-4/6-4
TOP ASHE NIGHT SESSION MATCH: Petra Cetkovska/CZE d. #4 Carolina Wozniacki/DEN 6-4/5-7/7-6(1) (saved 4 MP; ended past midnight after 3:02)
FIRST VICTORY: Mariana Duque/COL (def. Kenin/USA)
FIRST SEED OUT: #7 Ana Ivanovic/SRB (lost 1st Rd. to Cibulkova/SVK)
UPSET QUEENS: United States
REVELATION LADIES: Japan
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Serbia (1-4; #7 Ivanovic, #21 Jankovic and '14 star Aleksandra Krunic out in 1st Rd.)
CRASH & BURN: #8 Karolina Pliskova/CZE (1st Rd. loss to Tatishvili/USA; :52; U.S. Open Series "winner")
ZOMBIE QUEEN: (LL) Daria Kasatkina/RUS (lucky loser, reached3rd Round after wins over Gavrilova & Konjuh -- best LL slam result since 1997, best at Open since 1993)
IT ("Kiki"): Kristina Mladenovic/FRA
Ms.OPPORTUNITY: Roberta Vinci/ITA
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Johnna Konta/GBR & Anett Kontaveit/EST (both 4th Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/USA (3rd Rd.)
LAST BANNERETTE STANDING: #1 Serena Williams (SF)
COMEBACK PLAYER: #20 Victoria Azarenka/BLR
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM VETERAN CUP (KDK CUP): #26 Flavia Pennetta/ITA
DOUBLES STAR: Martina Hingis/SUI
BROADWAY-BOUND: Lisa Raymond (farewell New York performance)
LADIES OF THE EVENING: #1 Serena Williams/USA & #23 Venus Williams/USA
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Dalma Galfi/HUN
All for now.