The final Grand Slam of 2014 is nearly over and the concluding match serves up a truly mouth-watering prospect as either Marin Cilic or Kei Nishikori will clinch a first career major at Flushing Meadows.
It has been a brilliant two weeks in New York and tonight’s clash should offer the perfect climax.
US Open Day 14 Review
Sunday’s show was all about the home grown talent as Serena Williams and the Bryan twins looked to give the locals something to cheer in their respective finals. They certainly didn’t let the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd down.
In the Men’s Doubles, No.1 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan asserted their dominance from the outset over Spanish duo Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez to claim a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory to claim a fifth US title – their 16th Grand Slam overall.
The win ended what threatened to be a barren season for the Califronia-born 36-year-olds and served as a fantastic prelude to the main event from the Women’s final.
Defending champion Serena Williams entered as the overwhelming favourite, bidding to retain the trophy for a third straight year and clinch a sixth in total. However, underdog Caroline Wozniacki had enjoyed a rejuvenation over the past fortnight and the No.10 seed held high hopes of finally winning her first career major.
Nerves seemed to get the better of both players during the early exchanges but it was the defending champ who composed herself to take the first set 6-3, as we had correctly predicted. Taking the advantage settled the 32-year-old and she performed to a much higher standard to take the second set via the same margin of victory to complete a truly dominant title-defence from one of the greatest ever players to lift a racket.
Including Doubles, the triumph takes the younger Williams sister up to 33 Grand Slam titles in total. Danish Starlet Wozniacki was gracious and honest in defeat, admitting that the better performer had triumphed, but will be bitterly disappointed to miss out on the trophy. However, she can take consolation from the fact she has returned to her best.
It wasn’t the greatest final by any means but still offered enough action to make it enjoyable. However, tonight’s Men’s event should be a different story altogether.
US Open Men’s Final: Kei Nishikori V Marin Cilic
This certainly isn’t the final we expected but the clash between Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic will have tennis fans everywhere glued to their screens.
A packed Arthur Ashe Stadium will be eagerly watching to see whether No.10 Nishikori can become the first Japanese star to win a Grand Slam in history. The 24-year-old is one of the most consistent players on the tour right now but his semi-final win over World No.1 Novak Djokovic still stunned fans everywhere. Just three sets separate the youngster and a place in his nation’s sporting history
However, Cilic himself will be equally confident having seen off Roger Federer with consummate ease. The Croat has been amongst the best players at various times during his career and previously made the final here in 2009 and he will be desperate to seize his opportunity here.
The incentive for both men couldn’t be hire and that should spark a fierce and entertaining contest.
Whatever happens, a new name will be on the trophy and it will additionally be the first time in a decade that Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have failed to win at least three of the four Slams between them.
It is an extremely exciting time for the sport right now with the likes of Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios also climbing the ladder at exponential rate. Whilst Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray will all still be fighting for the big prizes for a while yet, tonight’s final does have boast the potential to usher in the start of a new era.
You wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.
US Open Day 15 Betting
It has been an incredible journey for both men and this should be a fitting end to a fantastic fortnight of action.
Whilst we’d love to see both men lift the trophy, we think it is written in the stars for Nishikori to become the first ever Japanese Grand Slam winner and think a strong start can spur him on to the title.
Whatever happens it should be a fascinating contest and we think there will be highs and lows for both men.
There could be more breaks in service than we are usually accustomed to seeing and this could result in relatively short sets, regardless of which way they go. At 12/5, we think betting agaisnt any tie-breaks is well worth a small punt.