Osaka, Thiem Come Out on Top in the U.S. Open

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From Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships took place while the players remained in a bubble. 

Throughout various matches Naomi Osaka from Japan won the women’s draw, while Dominic Thiem from Austria took home the men’s. 

The U.S. Open allowed citizens all over the world to watch live sports, which hasn’t happened in a while.

“I loved watching all the players in the U.S. Open play. It was such a joy to have tennis back, it made 2020 feel semi-normal,” said senior tennis player Charlie McLaughlin.

Despite the cancelation of Wimbledon, one of the four majors, the U.S. Open was lucky enough to play the tournament amid the pandemic. 

The U.S. Open used a bubble system in order to keep the tournament safe and playable. 

Senior Julius Lelonis, who watched most of the tournament, was impressed with how the tournament ran. 

“I think the bubble for the U.S. Open was a smart idea and it allowed the tournament to go on in a safe manner while also not having complete isolation,” said senior Julius Lelonis. 

In order to keep the players safe, each player had to be tested and had to remain in a hotel during the duration of the tournament. Throughout the tournament, there were no fans except for coaches and in later rounds family members were allowed to sit in the empty stands. 

Although the situation was unique, the tournament also yielded some unusual outcomes. For instance, men’s champion Dominic Thiem had a much easier route to the title as a result of number one ranked tennis player, Novak Djokovic being disqualified. 

“I don’t believe Djokovic should have been disqualified, the whole situation was a little exaggerated. That being said, rules are rules, even though I think it’s a little much,” said McLaughlin.  

Novak Djokovic, the favorite to win the tournament, hit a ball out of frustration which accidentally hit a lines judge in the neck. The incident resulted in the immediate disqualification of Djokovic, forcing his exit in the tournament. 

Despite Djokovic’s early exit, that wasn’t the only luck Thiem received. Number two ranked Rafael Nadal and number four ranked Roger Federer, both did not play due to injury. 

“I really wish Nadal and Federer played. They’re so essential to the game of tennis and I truly believe one of them would have won the tournament,” said senior Emily Collins. 

That being said, number three ranked Thiem earned his first major championship by a dramatic comeback in a five set match against number seven ranked Zverev. Thiem won in a last set tiebreaker, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

Women’s champion, Naomi Osaka, also made a long run during the U.S. Open. 

“Naomi played amazing in the U.S. Open. I love how she plays and there is nothing not to like about her. I was so happy to watch her win,” said Collins. 

Number three ranked Osaka, marched her way through the women’s bracket with a pretty easy path to the championship. 

One of the reasons for Osaka’s easy route was the fact that she didn’t have to play Serena Williams. 

“I was sad to see Serena lose in the tournament. Although, she played well throughout the tournament and she looked good. Hopefully she can win next year,” said McLaughlin. 

Number nine ranked Williams lost in the semifinals in an upset to number 14 Victoria Azarenka. 

Osaka won in a tight championship against Azarenka, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Osaka completed a flawless tournament to win her third major championship (second U.S. Open championship).

“The U.S. Open was perfect. I was so happy to see tennis again and Osaka and Thiem played amazing and deserved to win. Overall it was a lot of fun to watch,” said Lelonis.