Serena and a tournament of firsts – how this year’s US Open made history


The US Open tennis tournament ended on Sunday and history was made, as several competitors debuted as the first, while 27-year-old veteran Serena Williams punctuated her career by participating in this believed to be his last game.

Serena Williams could say goodbye to sport

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, said in August she would likely “step away” from tennis after this year’s US Open, but did not say she would retire. On September 2, she was beaten by Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-1 in the third round.

“Obviously, I’m still capable of it. … (But) I’m ready to be a mom, to explore a different version of Serena,” she said. “Technically in the world I’m still super young so I want to have some life while I’m still walking.”

When asked if she would consider returning to the sport, she replied: “I don’t think so, but you never know.”

Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest to be ranked No. 1 in men’s tennis

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain beat Casper Rudd 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 in the final round of the US Open on Sunday, winning his first Grand Slam title and becoming the youngest man to be ranked world No. 1 at 19.

This year’s US Open is Alcaraz’s eighth major tournament.

Frances Tiafoe is the first American to reach the semifinals in years

Frances Tiafoe of Maryland has become the first American to advance to the US Open semifinals in 16 years.

He beat veteran Rafael Nadal in the fourth round before beating Andrey Rublev 7-6(3), 7-6(0) last Wednesday. Although Tiafoe was eliminated by Alcaraz on Friday.

The last American to reach the US Open semi-finals was Andy Roddick, who was knocked out by Roger Federer in 2006. Roddick is also the last American to win a Grand Slam singles tournament since he won the US Open in 2003.

Ons Jabeur is the first African and Arab woman to reach the final

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia has become the first African and Arab woman to reach the US Open final.

She defeated Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3 on September 9, marking her second straight appearance in a Grand Slam title match. She was also a finalist at Wimbledon two months ago.

Automation could replace humans in deciding balls out of bounds

While human officiants are typically used to determine whether a ball was inbounds or not, computers might now be up to the task.

Optical technology made the decision in some US Open matches.

Immediately after impact, a recorded voice calls out: “FAULT!” for capricious service; “OUT!” for a ball that lands either long or wide in a rally.

By replacing human linesmen with the optical system called Hawk-Eye Live, “we’re giving players a fairer playing field with a lot more integrity, a lot more accurate ruling,” says Sean Cary, who oversees the arbitration for the United States. Tennis Association (USTA), which manages the US Open.

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