2015 US Open – Day 13

Day-13 Eye Openers:

  • Flavia Pennetta. 2015 US Open Champion. She defeated good friend, Roberta Vinci to claim her first ever Grand Slam Singles title. Shocking Arthur Ashe Stadium during the trophy presentation, she had one more thing to add: This would be her final US Open. She expects to retire from the sport at the end of the season.
  • Roberta Vinci. 2015 US Open Finalist. She played her best Grand Slam singles draw to date, reaching her first-ever Final by defeating World #1 Serena Williams. She won over New York with her on-court charisma and unpredictable quick wit in post-match interviews
  • Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. 2015 US Open Doubles Champions. The Frenchmen defeated Wimbledon Finalists Jamie Murray and John Peers to claim the 2015 US Open Doubles title. It is the first Grand Slam win for both.

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Finals here in Arthur Ashe Stadium:

[12] Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) / Nicolas Mahut (FRA) def. [8] Jamie Murray (GBR) / John Peers (AUS) – The Frenchmen, Mahut and Herbert are now Grand Slam Champions. They came into this year’s US Open as the #12-seeds, and faced their toughest challenge in the second round against unseeded challengers Mate Pavic and Michael Venus, who took them to a third set. Every other match, they were able to capture the win in two…including Saturday’s Championship match. It’s been a remarkable fortnight for Nicolas and Pierre-Hugues, as they toppled three higher-seeded teams (including Rojer and Tecau) to win their first career Slam.

On-serve, up 5-4 in the first set, the Frenchmen broke the Wimbledon Finalists to draw first-blood. They’d score the exact same timely break in the second to earn the win…in just one-hour and nine-minutes.

Congrats to Jamie and John, who reached their second Grand Slam Final of 2015. Jamie said after the match that – with the loss – he now knows how his brother has felt all of these years. This was Mahut’s third career Grand Slam Doubles Final. He’s been a finalist in both Melbourne and Paris, but this was his first career title. Meanwhile, Herbert has had an impressive Summer. He reached his first-career ATP World Tour Singles Final in Winston-Salem before the Open, and leaves New York as a Grand Slam Champion. Pas mal du tout…

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) / Nicolas Mahut (FRA) – Road to the US Open Title
F – def. [8] Jamie Murray (GBR) / John Peers (AUS) 6-4, 6-4
SF – def. Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Robert Lindstedt (SWE) 7-5, 6-2
QF – def. [3] Jean-Julien Rojer / Horia Tecau (ROU) 7-6(5), 6-4
3R – def. [7] Marcel Granollers (ESP) / Marc Lopez (ESP) 6-2, 6-3
2R – def. Mate Pavic (CRO) / Michael Venus (NZL) 6-3, 6-7(9), 7-6(7)
1R – def. Guillermo Duran (ARG) / Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) 6-3, 6-4

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[26] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) def. Roberta Vinci (ITA) – This was an adorable, unexpected, all-Italian finale bathed in carefree passion and adoration. It was pure, unapologetic, family-and-friends-first, laugh until you cry…Italy. Two great friends, who never in a million years expected to be battling for a Grand Slam title, taking the court to trade strokes like they’d done since they first started playing together at nine years old. It was familiar. It was animated. It was affectionate. Candid. Gracious.

In the first set, Pennetta broke to go up 3-2. Two sit-downs later, we were back on-serve at 4-all. In the tie-break, Pennetta’s two mini-breaks to Vinci’s one gave her the set at (7-4).

In the second, Pennetta broke Roberta in game-2, then jumped out to a 3-0 lead. She would immediately break again to go up 4-0, but Vinci wasn’t done. Roberta earned one of the breaks back, then held serve to pick up her only two games of the set. Pennetta would hold, then play an unbelievable return game after the sit down to claim her first-ever Grand Slam Singles Title.

Gracious in defeat, Vinci was endearing and hilarious during the trophy presentation. When receiving praise from the Champ, she said – and I’m paraphrasing: “Well, if I played so well, could I have this trophy? [The Championship Trophy].” When presented with the winner’s check, Pennetta then handed it to Vinci so she could hoist the trophy. Roberta pocketed the $3+ million as if she’d never give it back. This was an atmosphere that could only exist when two great champions know each well beyond their roles in the sport of tennis, and it was refreshing to be a part of it. If only more championship matches – more trophy presentations – could be this…Italian.

Before Robin Roberts could finish the ceremony, Pennetta announced that this would be her final US Open; her final Grand Slam. She will be retiring from the sport at the end of the season. She was a doubles finalist here last year with Martina Hingis, and comfortably guided me through the trophy presentation – she was amazing. Today, she leaves New York as the last woman standing in the singles draw, earning her most impressive title to date: US Open Singles Champion. Dream come true.

Flavia Pennetta – Road to the US Open Title
F – def. Roberta Vinci 7-6(4), 6-2
SF – def. [2] Simona Halep (ROU) 6-1, 6-3
QF – def. [5] Petra Kvitoa (CZE) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
4R – def. [22] Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-4, 6-4
3R – def. Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
2R – def. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 6-1, 6-4
1R – def. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1

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US OPEN FINALS. Arthur Ashe Stadium: Day-14 Schedule.

[Noon] 2015 US Open Womens Doubles Championship Match

  • [1] Martina Hingis (SUI) / Sania Mirza (IND) vs. [4] Casey Dellacqua (AUS) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)

[4:00] 2015 US Open Mens Singles Championship Match

  • [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [2] Roger Federer (SUI)