Upsets mark the first half of Tennis’ 2019 US OPEN except for Nadal, Serena, and a sixteen-year-old player from Scottsdale


Michael Russ

Scottsdale native Alexa Noel serving in a US Open juniors match

Michael Russell, Reporter

The US Open is being played on the hardcourts of Flushing Meadows, New York as it has been since 1978.

It is the second oldest of tennis’ four annual major championships.         

The US Open, like the other majors in men’s tennis, have been dominated by the “Big 5” as they are known. They have won an incredible 56 of the last 58 majors in tennis spanning nearly 15 years. 

The Big 5 in men’s tennis are Roger Federer, (age 38) with 20 major wins (the all-time record), Rafael Nadal, (33)-18 majors, Novak Djokovic (32)- 16 majors, Andy Murray (33)- three majors and Stan Wawrinka (34)- three majors.

Michael Russell
Roger Federer, all-time tennis great, serving at the 2019 US Open

Nadal is the only one of the Big 5 making the final weekend of this year’s US Open with Federer and Wawrinka losing tough quarterfinal matches.

Wawrinka had upset the No.1 seed Djokovic in the 4th round.

Every past decade in tennis has been largely dominated by players born two decades earlier.

After all, tennis has been a young players’ game for its entire history. In the current decade, no male player born in the 1990s has won a single major.

Two young players that have made it to week two by playing very well are a pair of 22-year-olds, Danil Medvedev of Russia and Matteo Berrettini of Italy.

The US Open this week marks this decades final major. The Big 5 are that good that they have stifled the next generation completely. Can a 1990s born male player finally breakthrough or will Nadal chalk up yet another Big 5 victory?

The women’s game is an entirely different story. In the same time span where only seven men won major titles, two dozen different women have won major titles!  

However, one player, Serena Williams, 37, has won 23 women’s majors dating back to 1999 and is just one short of the all-time record of 24 held by Australia’s Margaret Court. 

Williams, seeded No. 8 at this year’s Open, has steamrolled through to the final weekend with all seven seeds above her eliminated in a string of upsets.

The question on a lot of minds, will Williams tie the all-time record by winning the US Open title?

Northeast Valley News is at the US Open (Arthur Ashe Stadium) which seats 24,000 at capacity—however seating at all 20 plus outer courts is first come, first serve.

Fans and spectators can watch lesser-known pros or future stars in the junior events. 

One such player is Scottsdale, Arizona native, Alexa Noel, age 16.

Seeded No. 3 in girl’s singles and No. 1 in girl’s doubles, she has avoided the upset bug including a huge second-round singles comeback (down 2-5 in the final set) and is now into the final weekend in both draws.

A finalist at this year’s Wimbledon junior in London, Noel has traveled the world and winning tournaments in places like Italy, Belgium & Mexico.

Another lesser-known competition each year at the US Open is the wheelchair division. Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina is going for the grand slam this year having won the first three tennis majors of the year.