Once again New York delivered and it was emotional!

The Grand Slams always create a feel good factor and year on year New York tops it, this it reached impeccable levels of emotion which will never be forgotten. Memories are made, tears are shed and history is created so let’s recap the incredible moments from the fortnight.

An emotional return

Petra Kvitova pulled off some incredible tennis in New York. What she has done since returning from that horrific stabbing around Christmas is unbelievable. A crowd favourite wherever she plays she is just so humble and happy to be playing tennis and that’s what it is all about.

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Juan Martin Del Potro

This man is something else, he continues to wow crowd across the world and his performances in New York were nothing short of exceptional especially the epic four set battle against Federer. This man is just infectious, his personality is beautiful and this is what makes him so liked worldwide.

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Sloane’s story

957 to 17 in a month. Quite incredible from Sloane Stephens after almost a year out and wins her first major title. Some stories just tell themselves and this is one of those. Well done Sloane!

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There were many other stories as well from New York. The run of Anderson, Keys, Double delight for Martina Hingis, Venus Williams rolling back the years once more.

New York delivered once again.

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Balance and Brilliance, how Rafa got back to where he belongs!

Rafal Nadal is back on top. This looked impossible a year ago now he’s had his best year for some time. Runner up in Melbourne, King in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris and now the star in New York his rise back to the top has been incredible but it’s been down to hard work.

Nadal’s talent is probably better than anyone’s in my opinion. His whole game is one that comes down to hard work as well. There was a struggle for quite some time and the forehand became a weakness, the serve was tired and the backhand was flat and that was sad to see his form and confidence dip especially for a man who before this year had 14 major titles confidence still plays a massive part no matter what you have achieved and throw that in with injuries it’s been tough but he’s enjoying his tennis once more.

Some will turn around and say well there is no Novak, Murray or Stan but you can only win your matches and your battles and you could flip it on the other hand and say if he lost in R2 well there is no Novak, Murray or Stan and he blew it so if anything there is more pressure in situations like this.

Nadal’s brilliance is his forehand. The flick of the wrist and the spin he generates is out of this world whether he flicks it up the line or kills the angle cross court it’s stunning.

Not only has Nadal found this shot again but also found the balance in his game. The serve is back and probably better than it has ever been before. Adding good friend, former player and ex doubles partner Carlos Moya to his team was a good decision he has helped find that killer instinct on the serve which was lacking. As a lefty you do have a bit more of an advantage on serve with that bouncing slice out-wide and he has utilised his skill a lot with the sharp serve down the T, kick into the body or the slice out wide.

The backhand is the shot that Nadal use to avoid, it was the weaker of the two but he seems more composed and free on it instead of being tight. It’s not the strongest shot in the game but’s it more of a game changer now in favour of Nadal, he is so good at lining it up and finding the target and this has all made the difference.

Throw in the forehand, serve, improved backhand and of course confidence and what you have is a Grand Slam winner once more!

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Sloane’s story is one that will never be topped!

Stories in tennis don’t come better. We’ve had so many over the last few years. Return of Petra Ktvitova, Flavia Pennetta’s New York Triumph, Venus Williams’ brilliance and of course Monica Puig’s Gold in Rio but nothing will top Sloane Stephens winning the US Open.

Sloane missed 11 months of tennis and recently returned to Toronto where she went on a roll and it continued coming into Flushing Meadows. When Sloane returned she was ranked at 957 in the world and in less than a month pulled it down to 83 in the world which is what she came into New York ranked and will finish the fortnight at Flushing Meadows ranked around 17 in the world.

It didn’t go to plan for Keys who looked to be hindered by this leg strap and went big too soon on too many occasions but Sloane was impeccable and I don’t think a fully fit Madison Keys could have defeated her compatriot today.

It’s Sloane’s day in New York and on this evidence we could see many more!

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Double delight!

Martina Hingis first won in New York but in 1997 now the Swiss star is a champion for a 5th time in her career winning her 24th career Grand Slam title.

For a second Grand Slam running she has teamed up with Jamie Murray and it has been a great success with the duo unbeaten winning at Wimbledon and now here in New York.

They compliment each others games so well and what makes them such a dangerous team right from the off is that both are good at the net and baseline but importantly when you watch them they always smile.

Two Grand Slams, Two titles a trip to Melbourne together in 4 months time?

Why not!

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Variety and Top Spin have made a big difference and that’s why I think Madison Keys will win the US Open

From when Madison Keys came onto the tour she was tipped as the player to replace Serena and Venus on the tour one day. That is pressure like no other in our sport right there. Serena and Venus are far from done on the tour but etching her name in US Open and Tennis history is the young American.

I’ve written a lot about Keys in the past and the pressure she has had, the injury issues and inconsistencies with her game. No one comes onto the tour as the finished article when you start playing there is that wave you ride but then it crashes down back to earth and it becomes about developing a game and that could be hundreds of different things.

I think on Saturday Madison will write history and I hope she does as it’s been a long road to get here like it has for Sloane Stephens but that is the sad thing about tennis at the end of the day it ends in disappointment for one.

Madison’s game has come together well and credit to her for that she’s knuckled when others her age have faltered.

I have always said Madison’s game was high risk and that was because of her style where she insisted of just going for it. Whether it was the forehand cross court, backhand cross court or down the line it was all or nothing but slowly we have seen an introduction of variety.

It started off with the drop shots but the movement takes a while to get right and has done well and we have seen in New York over the fortnight her movement on the hard courts especially these fast ones at Flushing Meadows is better she slides and we see slice in her game and more trickery off the backhand and when she lines up those backhands it does remind me of Murray or Serena the way she holds her body.

Planning is another option she has added and you might think well how can you plan? Keys use to play high risk just go for it and spectate from the baseline but with the forehand now she add’s top spin as you can see below from two different angles and follows in.

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She gets good clearance on the net with the top spin but because of how low the shot is and Keys is inside the baseline already hitting the forehand the only option for Coco is to slice which Madison expected to go out but didn’t but then unleashed a forehand winner cross court breaking the defence of her compatriot.

I hope she does it, it will be an interesting battle. Both deserve it and it is a shame there is only one winner but as the song goes the winner takes it all!

The Tower of Tandil rises to the occasion once again

His nickname is The Tower of Tandil and once again the former US Open champion has rising to the occasion in the city that never sleeps.

New York is like a home for Del Potro from what he did in 2009 seeing off Nadal and Federer on route to the title but what he is doing now might just be even more special.

Over the last few years he has had four surgeries on his left wrist missing years of tennis but has come back strong something many thought he’d never be able to do again.

Last year he was the star in Davis Cup and picked up an Olympic medal in Rio and this year he has got better and better and his run in New York seeing off Thiem and Federer over a period of 9 sets is what he is about doing the unthinkable something others can only dream of.

He is loved worldwide and you wouldn’t find anyone who dislikes him, his character is infectious and what makes him such a great champion is that he is humble, kind, respectful and he plays with a smile on his face.

A semi-final against Rafael Nadal is up next on Friday for the Argentine and it sets itself up to be a spectacular battle between two giants in what feels like a final but one will play either Kevin Anderson or Pablo Carreno Busta in Sunday’s final.

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The four American Ladies flying the flag in Serena’s absence!

Only twice since 1998 has Serena Williams missed the US Open. 2017 would be the third time in her career having just given birth but in her absence at Flushing Meadows the American have flown the flag and created history.

Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and Coco Vandeweghe all have something in common. All four are American and all four are in the semi-finals of the US Open something that has never happened before where four players from the same country make up the final four.

All four have had incredible stories to get to this position.

Venus Williams continues to defy the odds time and time again this year she produces where it matters and at 38 looks like she isn’t done yet.

Sloane Stephens has risen 900 places on the tour in a month after 11 months out injured. She has only lost to Halep and Wozniacki on hard courts this summer.

Madison Keys goes about her business quietly but her tennis is explosive and with Lindsay Davenport in her team she has channelled her game well and has adapted with her movement and the slice she introduces to her game more and more now.

Coco Vandeweghe always seems to turn up around summer and she’s doing a good job. She has that no nonsense style of tennis and has recently added former slam winner Pat Cash to her team.

The semi-finals will begin at 00:00BST tonight

Venus Williams v Sloane Stephens

Coco Vandeweghe v Madison Keys

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