What was the biggst storyline of the action-packed U.S. Open? Well, with PLENTY of choices, that's for you to decided. From Kim Clijsters' incredible return, to Juan Martin del Potro's first Grand Slam, to Melanie Oudin's stunning breakthtough to Serena Williams' less-than-stunning meltdown, this year's Open didn't cease to amaze.
Juan Martin del Potro
Not only did this Argentine pull off a seemingly impossible upset over Roger Federer in his first Grand Slam final, but it was well deserved, because no one hit the ball with more pace or as cleanly as this Argentine did. Obliterating Rafa? Excellent. Followed up with a win over Roger? Marvelous.
Back in June, Mama Clijsters announced she would return to tennis. Immediately after, she asked for a wildcard in to this year's Open. Well, look how that turned out. The Belgian plowed through the field, defeating five seeded players in seven matches. She defeated Venus, Wozniacki, Bartoli, Li and Serena, and became the first wilcard to ever win the Open. After 2 1/2 years of retirement, her new ranking is 19.
The 17 year old American amazed the New York crowd with unexpected victories over powerhouses such as Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova. She has proven to be one of the most mentally strong women in tennis, and was not effected by the contagious serving woes of the ladies' tour. The sky is the limit for this youngster.
The Swiss reached his 22nd consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, piece of cake. He also breezed past Robin Soderling, Tommy Robredo and Novak Djokovic, piece of cake. He then faced 6'6 Juan Martin del Potro and his monstrous forehand in the final, not so piece of cake. The Swiss served brilliantly the entire tournament, but hit a fork in the road in the final. He hovered at 50 % first serve and played a poor fifth set. Fed's tweener in the semis against Nole, though, was brilliant.
The Danish beauty used her passive game and incredile athleticism to reach her first GS final. Her conservative play proved flawed when she came up against Clijsters who moved Wozniacki around until she could barely run any longer. Caroline has a very bright future and her victories over Oudin and Svetlana Kuznetsova were great kick-starts.
The giant American proved that the future of American tennis isn't as dark as it once seemed. Isner took out Andy Roddick in a thrilling five setter, but then suffered a letdown against Fernando Verdasco. Overall, a very solid tournament.
Based on her play, Serena deserves an A because of her dominant peformances up until the Clijsters match. Based on the way she handled herself in the second set after a controversial footfault call at 5-6, 15-30, Serena deserves an F. And not the F she used extensively towards the line judge. The F that stands for fail. Fortunately, Serena captured the doubles with sister Venus and apologized twice for her actions. That'll bump 'er up.......a little.
Murray came into the Open as the favorite, and he left with more unasnwered questions than ever. The Scot proved that his passive game doesn't match up with many of the big hitters on the tour, and he was ousted easily by Marin Cilic in the fourth round.
The Ladies' Serves
Serving continued to be one GIGANTIC problem for the women of the WTA Tour. Dinara Safina, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Vera Zvonareva and Maria Sharapova all struggled immensely with all elements of their serve, and not surprisingly, they all bowed out earlier than expected. Thankfully, Serena, Clijsters and Venus were able to hold their service games.
The Linesman and Chair Umpires
Serena's footfault incident, which will surely never be forgotten, highlighted a dismal two weeks of lines calls and controversies. Federer, Nadal and many others all had problems with the officiating crew this year as well.