Five things we learned from crowning two young champions at the US Open in New York

The US Open crowned two young champions in 21-year-old Iga Swiatek and 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz.

The last Grand Slam of the year almost certainly marked the end of Serena Williams’ great career and was packed with memorable matches.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five things we learned in New York.

tennis lives

As tennis reveled in the glory years of Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, a black cloud loomed on the horizon, what came next? With the rise of Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Swiatek, Coco Gauff and others, it’s clear fans have plenty of excitement to enjoy and look forward to. A one-man highlight roller, Alcaraz has the on-court charisma to attract fans from outside the sport. Question marks still remain as to how tennis is evolving, particularly commercially, but the prognosis is certainly a lot rosier.

Kyrgios can win a slam

Nick Kyrgios was devastated by his loss to Karen Khachanov (Frank Franklin II/AP)

(AP)

Nick Kyrgios will always polarize opinion, from people who can’t stand anything about him to those who are willing to accept anything he does because it makes the sport eye-catching. Some of the Australian’s behavior at the US Open should definitely not be excused – his newfound tendency to spit at people is disgusting – but his realization that he finally wants to fulfill his potential certainly deserves celebration. Kyrgios is no longer afraid to admit how close tennis is to his heart and should be highly motivated for the Australian Open in January.

All aboard the Jack Draper train

One of the biggest disappointments of the tournament was Draper’s forced retirement in the third round with a hamstring injury. The 20-year-old from Surrey had knocked out Felix Auger-Aliassime and was leading eventual semi-finalist Khachanov when the problem arose. But Draper showed more than enough to prove once again what a huge talent he is, with his powerful game backed by vastly improved movements and a strong competitive spirit. He’s broken into the top 50 and expects to continue his meteoric rise.

Night tennis needs to change

The US Open quickly came to its very final end as Alcaraz beat Sinner at 2.50 but is that really something to celebrate? Tennis is the only sport that insists on pushing into the wee hours, although schedules could easily accommodate games at more reasonable times. Of course, commercially it makes sense to have two sessions each day and allow people to come and watch after work and on TV. But playing past midnight most viewers can’t stay and only die-hard fans would consider watching the program on TV. There must be a better solution.

Swiatek can dominate

Iga Swiatek celebrated with the US Open trophy (Yuki Iwamura/AP)

(AP)

Swiatek was guaranteed to be miles ahead in the rankings, whatever happened in New York, but she took a real step up by winning her first hard-court Grand Slam, which comes with two French Open titles. It may take her some time to master grass, but she will go into all other tournaments as a favorite, maybe for years to come. At her best she is clearly superior, dictated by her heavy forehand and excellent movement, and she won that title despite only sporadically reaching the heights. Her ability on clay is already evident, but at 21, the Pole could win Grand Slam titles.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/iga-swiatek-tennis-williams-rafael-nadal-roger-federer-b2165710.html Five things we learned from crowning two young champions at the US Open in New York

Fry Electronics Team

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