US Open Tennis 2012: What We Learned at This Year's Tournament

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Andy Murray of Great Britain speaks to members of the media next to the US Open championship trophy during a press conference after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match on Day Fifteen of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Murray defeated Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

This year’s U.S. Open kept us guessing. It had upsets, favorites and tiebreakers galore.

In the end, Flushing Meadows hosted a final for the ages between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. When the champion was crowned on the clay, Andy Murray had earned a Grand Slam title and validated his career.

Murray wasn’t the only one who scored a victory on Monday. Tennis fans also chalked up a W. With Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and now, Murray, there’s a fearsome foursome in tennis that all have strong pedigrees. The sport just got a whole lot more interesting.

What else did tennis fans learn from this U.S. Open? Well, let me tell you...

 

Andy Murray Can Win When It Matters

He finally has the monkey off his back. Murray took advantage of a Nadal- and Federer-less field to win his first Grand Slam championship.

Murray’s win wouldn’t have been validated, though, without beating one of the players who had tormented him on his journey to tennis supremacy. Novak Djokovic gave Murray all he had in almost five hours of tennis, but Andy was too strong on this day, winning 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2.

77 years after Fred Perry won his first major for Great Britain, Andy Murray brought another one home.

 

Djokovic vs. Murray is the Best Rivalry in Tennis Today

After Monday’s match, there is no other comparison.

Part of the excitement towards this rivalry, among others, is how equal the two tennis pros really are.

The two provided almost five hours of compelling theater, exchanging sets like trading cards. Murray took the first two sets in exciting fashion, one set having the longest tiebreaker in U.S. Open Men’s history.

Djokovic rallied to force a fifth and final set, in which Murray finally broke free. But the tennis world had been enchanted by Djoker and Murray; throw this pairing with Nadal-Federer as another historic rivalry pairing.

Djoker and Murray, born only a week apart, have been dueling for tennis’s top crowns for more than half a decade.

When Sean Connery goes to Flushing Meadows to see these two battle it out, the rivalry really has been validated.

 

Tomas Berdych is a Dark Horse Candidate for a Grand Slam

Tomas Berdych had a successful U.S. Open campaign, even if he fell short of the final. His recent play suggests a Grand Slam title may not be far off for the Czech.

He had the upset of the tournament (unless you thought Murray over Djokovic was a shocker) when he knocked out Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. He defeated the five-time U.S. Open champion in four sets.

Berdych didn’t just squeak by Federer, though, he vanquished the Wimbledon champion in four impressive sets.  He scored 14 aces on the day, including a 114 mph serving speed, and only 21 unforced errors.

The Czech won’t be sneaking up on anybody soon. After taking out Federer, other pros will be circling his name on the tournament bracket.