Sunday night at 04.30 Marcella Mesker finally turned off the lights at home after two weeks of tennis watching: a historic edition of the US Open was over. Time to take stock.
In New York the grandslam tournament was finished in a corona bubble. No public, hardly any press, many cancellations, the disqualification of Novak Djokovic, but above all many players who were eager to play matches again.
The purity of sport emerged without all commercial interests. Each time there were two gladiators on the track who went to extremes to win. The passion and emotion came from the players themselves, says Mesker, who himself was a professional tennis player in the 1980s and has been a tennis commentator for the CCeit since 1987.
Federer and Nadal
Previously there was talk of a devalued tournament because of the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal among the men and six top players – such as Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Kiki Berten – among the women.
I have missed the quality of Federer and Nadal, but those six top women really dont get it, Mesker continues. She got an excellent Jennifer Brady and Viktoria Azarenka in return, next to Naomi Osaka as winner.
Mesker: The womens tournament was of such a high level, you can see that in all the figures. High percentages, many winners and fewer mistakes. Osaka is a real winner. Her charisma, originality and social commitment. Shes only 22 years old, and shes going to get a lot of grand lam titles
Men disappointed Mesker
Meskers level with the men was disappointing. Look at the final between Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. The result was more mistakes than winners. The double faults of Zverev and the valleys of Thiem, it was a moderate level
Is tennis in good hands without Federer and Nadal? That will have to do. Thiem has often said: in two years time they will no longer be there, so get used to it. I think that is a realistic statement
But is Thiem also capable of seriously threatening Djokovic, Federer and Nadal after obtaining his first Grand Prix title? Mesker: It will give him a boost, but Djokovic will go on for years to come and will remain the man that the younger generation should look up to
With Federer, Im afraid that the physical aspect will become a problem; he will mainly focus on Wimbledon. And Nadal is always able to win a grandslam title on gravel. Those men will be back soon, but that Thiem, Zverev and Daniil Medvedev are coming is inescapable. It is also time for a change of guard
No more afraid of Serena
Serena Williams stranded in New York in the semi-finals. Again that coveted 24th grandslam title did not come there. To be honest, I dont see that happening again. Fitness and firmness is no longer there and the new generation is no longer afraid of her