Why this US Open is so special
Sep 02, 2023
Coco Gauff's big win last night was one of many from a crop of American players looking to make history at this year's US Open. American tennis is showing some serious fight this year and fans are eating it up. Delray Beach-based Gauff fought her way to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Belgium’s Elise Mertens.
Other American women are still in the draw as well including Peyton Stearns, Madison Keys (photo below), and Jessica Pegula. And although Madison and Jessica have ties to Florida, I'm picking Coco to be the one who'll make the Sunshine State (and all Americans) proud as the tourney continues.
Above: Keys to success. Photo by Todd Pechter for Florida Tennis.
On the men's side, American Taylor Fritz made quick work of Czech Jakub Mensik in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. In contrast, American Frances Tiafoe faced Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in a hard-fought battle. Tiafoe's match went four sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 7-6, but he was able to chalk up another win for Team USA.
Florida Tennis cover boy (and former Florida Gator) Ben Shelton took out Russian Aslan Karatsev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. Unfortunately, he'll be facing Boca Raton-based Tommy Paul in the next round. One of these Americans will prevail in this upcoming thriller, and one will be sent packing.
Looking back, two fierce American's faced off Thursday: Texan John Isner and Florida's Michael Mmoh. The Bradenton-based Mmoh cut short Isner's US Open run and the 6'10" big man, who often trains in Tampa at Saddlebrook, decided it's time for retirement.
Kudos to American Mmoh who remains in the draw. But we'll miss seeing John Isner on the tour. Florida Tennis contributor Dave "Koz" Kozlowski published a tribute video showcasing the incredible Isner and what he's meant to tennis fans. Check it out below.
Meanwhile, today we can expect some amazing matches. My pick: Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka vs. Italy's Jannik Sinner. While the American run is thrilling tennis fans at this year's US Open, there's one thing that always excites those of us who hit a one-handed backhand — watching Stan the Man.
I know... Stan's not an American. But, seriously, who can resist this eye candy?
Above: OutSTANding. Photo by Todd Pechter for Florida Tennis.
Written by Florida Tennis' Executive Editor and Publisher Matt Pressman. Top Photo: