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September 2023

The US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year, took place in September, with one player winning their first Grand Slam, and one winning their 24th.

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Coco Gauff becomes teenage Grand Slam champion

The pressure on Iga Swiatek was high coming into the event, as she was defending not only her US Open title but her world number 1 ranking, which for the first time in over a year was under threat. Swiatek dropped just one game in her First and Third Round wins, but was sensationally beaten by the big-hitting Jelena Ostapenko in the Fourth Round in three sets.

Caroline Wozniacki, playing in her first Grand Slam since her comeback to the tour, showed that class is permanent in reaching the Fourth Round. She was stopped in three sets by an in-form Coco Gauff, who had won both the Washington WTA 500 and the Cincinnati WTA 1000 in August.

Ostapenko couldn't replicate her Swiatek-beating level in the Quarter Finals, and was thrashed by Gauff. Karolina Muchova awaited in the Semi Finals, a French Open Finalist this year, but Gauff had beaten her a few weeks earlier in Cincinnati. Gauff would triumph again to make a second career Grand Slam Final, and a first in the United States.

In the bottom half, 20-year-old Chinese player Qinwen Zheng had a great run, taking out Ons Jabeur on the way to the Quarter Finals, where she would lose to Aryna Sabalenka. The Belarusian, due to Swiatek losing, would become world number 1 for the first time. She faced Madison Keys, a former Finalist here who had beaten Jessica Pegula and Marketa Vondrousova in the previous two rounds. Keys took the first set 6-0, but Sabalenka fought back and won the next two sets on tiebreaks, to complete a remarkable turnaround and a bizarre scoreline of 0-6 7-6 7-6.

In the Final, Sabalenka took the first set comfortably, but this time it was Gauff who came back, and ended up winning in three sets to lift her first Grand Slam title, aged 19. She would also rise to a career high number 3 in the world.

Novak Djokovic reclaims world number 1 spot in style

Like Swiatek, Carlos Alcaraz was also defending the US Open title and the world number 1 ranking, but the Spaniard would have had to win the title and Djokovic lose in the First Round for that to happen. Apart from one set lost to an inspired Dan Evans, Alcaraz arrived in the Quarter Finals without a problem.

Jannik Sinner and Alex Zverev ended up facing each other in the Fourth Round, an unlucky draw for both. Zverev got the win in five sets, in a match lasting almost five hours. Recovering to beat Alcaraz was always going to be a tough task, and the Spaniard advanced in straight sets to the Semi Finals.

Daniil Medvedev, the champion here in 2021, beat good friend Andrey Rublev to join him there, and then took out defending champion Alcaraz in what was described as a 12/10 performance by Medvedev himself.

In the other half, Novak Djokovic was given a scare by compatriot Laslo Djere, and had to come back from two sets down to keep his US Open challenge alive. Many other top 10 players in that half underperformed, with Holger Rune, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud all losing in the opening two rounds. This left the draw seemingly wide open for someone to break new ground, and it was Ben Shelton who managed this, taking out fellow Americans Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe to make a first Grand Slam Semi Final.

Shelton would face Djokovic, and despite having a set point in the third set, lost in straight sets to the Serb. A rematch of the 2021 Final awaited, where Medvedev beat Djokovic in straight sets to deny him a calendar Grand Slam of all four Grand Slam titles in the same year. This time, however, Djokovic got his revenge and beat Medvedev in three tight sets to win a fourth US Open title, and a first since 2018.

Sakkari wins Guadalajara, World defend Laver Cup

The WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, just a week after the US Open, was missing many big names like Swiatek, Sabalenka, Gauff and Rybakina. The top seed was Ons Jabeur, who was beaten in the Third Round by Martina Trevisan.

Caroline Dolehide was an unlikely finalist, with the American being ranked outside the top 100 and having to come through qualifying. Her dream run was ended in the final by Maria Sakkari, who won a WTA 1000 title for the first time.

In addition to this, a Team World lineup of Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Ben Shelton, and Francisco Cerundolo successfully defended the Laver Cup with ease in Vancouver.

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