This year’s U.S. Open crowned Andy Murray with his first Grand Slam win after a five-set marathon against Novak Djokovic. The final game was a nail biter but the U.S. Open is about more than just the final match—it is also about the breakout stars who get their moment to shine.
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, which Jack Sock describes as “definitely not a tennis town," Jack Sock is on the road to becoming the next Andy Roddick (via: usopen.org). The 19-year-old was a wild-card entry in this year’s U.S. Open and made it to the third round before losing to Nicolas Almagro (11) from Spain.
Though modest about the Andy Roddick comparisons, Sock has been open about his nerves of steel before matches—even before his first match against a top-20 player.
"I haven't felt nervous in a tennis match for a long time," Sock said (via: journalstar.com). "I don't know what it is, but I think it's a pretty good attribute for me and a pretty good thing for me to have. I feel comfortable where I am, feel confident. I think it shows on big points."
Expect to see Sock grow into the next big thing in American tennis over the next few years.
Like Sock, Steve Johnson was also a wild-card entry, who lost in the third round to Richard Gasquet (13) of France.
Johnson was hardly discouraged by the loss. "I'm happy with the way I played this week," said Johnson (via Sports Illustrated). "To be out there and have a chance to win the first set off of a guy who's No. 14 in the world, and then being able to compete with him in the next couple sets was definitely not discouraging."
According to Sports Illustrated, Johnson is expected to jump from 254 in world rank to the high-140s.
Unlike Sock, Johnson played tennis in college at the University of Southern California, where he won 72 consecutive matches and back-to-back NCAA singles titles to close out his collegiate career at USC earlier this year, says the Los Angeles Times.
Let’s step away from the guys for a second and focus our attention on the young talent that is Stanford student Mallory Burdette. Ranked 252, Burdette beat the Lucie Hradecka (69) from the Czech Republic to make it into the third round.
Burdette’s success was widely unexpected—even she was surprised. “''To end up here at the U.S. Open was a huge surprise,'' said Burdette (via tennis.com) ''I never expected that at the beginning of the summer.''
Burdette’s success came to an end against the third-ranked Maria Sharapova.
These three young Americans have solidified the country as a strong contender in the tennis world. Expect these three promising stars to bud into master tennis players.