Another exhilarating US Open tournament gets to the business end, with both men’s and women’s finalists confirmed. In the Women’s singles semi-finals, Karolina Pliskova stunned the 22-time Grand slam winner Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber eased past Carolina Wozniacki and entered the finals.
On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic defeated Gael Monfils in a “super hot” semi-final and Swiss superstar Stanislas Wawrinka went past Kei Nishikori to enter the finals .
Over the years, the Arthur Ashe Stadium has hosted some unforgettable finals and in the previous five occasions, 4 different players won the tournament. Whilst Novak Djokovic dominated the Australian Open and Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal stamped his authority in France.
It has not been the case with the US Open, though, and we have seen different winners almost every time in the last 5 years, making the tournament even more interesting.
Will the defending champion Novak Djokovic lay hands on the trophy for the third time?
Meanwhile, let’s take a look back at the last five men’s singles finals at the Flushing Meadows.
#5 Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer (2015)
The world No.1 was in red hot form in the 2015 season, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon and was up against Roger Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who was desperate to add one more title to his cabinet.
The match was delayed by three hours due to persistent showers and a day final turned into a tantalizing night match.
Djokovic clinched the first set 6-4 as Federer found it difficult to escape the top seed’s stranglehold. Federer bounced back in the second set and his increasingly aggressive approach saw Djokovic in trouble.
Yet, he failed to break the top seed’s imperious defence and the set neared conclusion at 4-4. Unfortunately for Djokovic, he faltered in the final game. Federer’s hard work paid off and he won the second set 7-5.
Federer broke Djokovic’s serve initially in the third set, but he was too passive in critical moments and the conceded the set 6-4. Federer didn’t go down without a fight, but his opponent took the game when it mattered the most.
He survived three break chances in the final game, yet emerged victorious and hoisted his second US Open title in four sets – 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–4.
#4 Marin Cilic vs Kei Nishikori (2014)
Marin Cilic, who had blown Roger Federer and Thomas Berdych off the court with his dauntless game in the semifinals and quarterfinals, was up against Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the first ever Asian player to reach the men’s singles final in Grand slam history.
It was the moment of a lifetime for both players as neither of them had appeared in a Grand slam final previously. It was also the first time a Grand Slam final didn’t feature Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic since 2005.
Nishikori had the chance to break Cilic’s serve in the first set, but the latter was too strong and he went on to hold his serve. It was one-way traffic later on and Cilic won the first set 6-3. Cilic broke early in the second set as well and Nishikori just seemed helpless.
The ruthless Croatian then pounced with a perfect game, winning it with four aces and followed it up with another break, to go up 5-2 in the set. Though Nishikori broke his opponent’s serve in the next game, he dropped his serve and conceded the set 6-3.
With a two set lead, Cilic was riding high on confidence and broke Nishikori’s serve in the fourth game. Nishikori had his chances to break Cilic’s serve and stay alive in the contest, but finally, Cilic’s moment arrived when Nishikori double-faulted.