09.15.09  /  General

2009 US Open: That’s Why We Watch

The US Open brings Grand Slam tennis to New York once a year, and it's unlike any tennis tournament in the world. In advance of this year's tournament, Vanity Fair did a series of articles on the fashions that would be featured on the court, from the ballboys and ballgirls to the players themselves.

New York City-inspired fashions graced the courts at Flushing Meadows - Clockwise from top left: Men's Runner-up Roger Federer, Women's Runner-up Caroline Wozniacki, Americans Serena Williams and Andy Roddick (via VanityFair.com)


Ballboys and ballgirls hardly blended into the background. (via VanityFair.com)

On the men's side, five-time defending US Open champion Roger Federer continued his dominance, dropping all of two sets the entire tournament, leading up to the Men's Final. He also reaffirmed my contention that he is not actually of this Earth, but really an alien of some kind, with shots like this:

Roger Federer hits some sort of space shot...

Then, the unthinkable. Federer's serve betrayed him throughout the over-four hour Final match, and he was stunned by Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in a marathon five-set thriller. Del Potro's first major tournament win, no one can say he got it cheap: the 20-year-old del Potro defeated both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer along the way. Nadal and Federer had accounted for 17 of the previous 18 Grand Slam Titles.

Juan Martin del Potro stunned Roger Federer and, let's be honest, you, me, and everybody else. (Getty)

Roger Federer is considered to be the finest tennis player the world has ever seen. But sports has no script. That's why we watch.

(Photos via Daily Mail)


But the real fireworks happened on the women's side, where Kim Clijsters - playing in only her third tournament since retiring from professional tennis on a two year maternity leave - capped an amazing comeback story by winning her second Grand Slam title. And she earned it the hard way, too: she entered the tournament as an unranked, unseeded wild card and had to face both Williams sisters before facing promising youngster Caroline Wozniacki in the Final.

Clijsters was the beneficiary of Serena Williams' now-infamous meltdown (and that's exactly what it was) in the semifinal. Williams, after committing a foot fault, spewed some serious verbal abuse at the line judge who made the call, threatening to shove a tennis ball down the poor woman's *bleepin* throat... To make matters worse, all of this happened on match point, so when Serena was penalized a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, Clijsters was awarded the match. Not Serena's finest moment, but she has since apologized.


Personally, I'm going to remember this from the US Open: a triumphant Clijsters, with her 18-month-old daughter, who got to see herself on the jumbotron. 

Sometimes, sports does seem scripted. That's why we watch.

(Photos via Daily Mail)

The sun goes down on another US Open.

(Photos via Daily Mail)

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