More open than ever
The US Open — Act IV of the “As the Tennis World Turns” drama — arrives soon. Every player has a final chance at this last Grand Slam event to redeem or cap their year, settle a score, or break through with a big win or two. Amazing parity marked the three previous majors as six different men and five different women made the finals. Will this intriguing trend continue?
The Flushing Meadows hard courts even out the odds because both grass court and clay court standouts can fare well there. Stifling heat can stimulate fightorflight responses in gruelling matches. The new shot clock, implemented to speed up play, could exasperate dawdling and exhausted players. And don’t forget the Fan Factor. US Open spectators, boisterous in the day and raucous at night, can energise the players they love or deflate the players they loathe. Let’s gaze at the tennis galaxy and see which stars will shine most brightly and how much charisma they possess.