Now that the US Open has finished for another year, all four of the major tennis tournaments have passed – effectively bringing the professional tennis season to a close. Let's look back at the 2016 US Open, detailing how the tournament panned out and who eventually came out on top.
This year’s tournament marked the 136th time that the US Open has been played and the men’s tournament sprang a surprise right from the beginning with the absence of Roger Federer – due to injury. Among the top seeded men’s players, the number 1 and number 3 seeded players – Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka – went on to contest the final. However, several of the other high seeded players suffered surprising early exits, with Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic and Rafael Nadal all out of the tournament by the end of the fourth round. In the case of the former it was the latest in a series of setbacks, as he lost out to Lucas Pouille at the end of a five-set match. Britain’s biggest hope Andy Murray made it to the quarter finals before exiting, while another big name – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – was forced to withdraw thanks to injury at the same stage of the tournament. When it came to the women’s singles, we also witnessed surprising early exits for several top seeds. Madison Keys and Venus Williams of the United States, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Garbine Muguruza of Spain had all departed by the time the quarterfinals came along.
With defending women’s champion Flavia Pennetta having announced her retirement at the end of the previous season, most expected Serena Williams to at least reach the final. The defeat of the world number 1 by Karolina Pliskova was one of the more surprising moments in the tournament. This singled out the number 10 ranked player in the world as a Slam up-and-comer. The player who defeated her in the final – Angelique Kerber – has also staked her claim as a genuine challenger to Williams’ dominance.
In the men’s final, Wawrinka came out on top against Djokovic, with the latter’s defeat coming hot on the heels of early Olympics and Wimbledon exits. Djokovic clearly struggled with a wrist injury throughout the tournament but Wawrinka never lost focus during those injury delays and was a worthy winner. Djokovic was the defending champion and put up a valiant display despite his injury, but neither the men’s nor the women’s tournament saw the trophy retained. With Djokovic having been a dominant force in the men’s game for some time, there is growing evidence that injury may be set to bring this to an end. Thus it is possible that this year’s US Open marked the end of an era for both the men’s and women’s game, although it would be unwise to bet on Djokovic or Williams being finished. It would be far more sensible to bet on a tennis themed slot game like Centre Court available at mobile casino instead, as this gives you a great chance of winning a payout – or even the big jackpot – and is not dissimilar to normal tennis betting.
It will be interesting to see how the stars of this year’s US Open, like Wawrinka, Pliskova and Kerber, do in January’s Australian Open.