US Open: Why is it so difficult to win a second grand slam?
The 2017 US Open is over and the men are in. It doesn’t matter that Serena Williams won at Flushing Meadows last week, as the women have a long way to go, and the US team has not been the same as in years past, with their star player and No 1 seed, Naomi Osaka, now injured.
Williams is one of the most influential players in tennis and won the US Open title in 2008 after defeating Ana Ivanovic in the final. However, two years later she announced that she would retire, and was replaced by Angelique Kerber, who won the US Open two more times. That said, the two won the Open in 2010 and 2011 without Williams’s help. Williams was forced to retire at the end of 2013 due to back pain. In the 2014 final, with the return of Williams on the court, Kerber won 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The 2013 US Open final at Flushing Meadows featured Serena Williams (left) and Carla Suarez Navarro. Photograph: David Cannon/AP
And while a player like Serena Williams has dominated the sport, it is the US team’s turn to shine, having a very talented crop of young stars, ranging from Naomi Osaka to Madison Keys, to the newly minted No 21 seed, Coco Gauff. But that star will not be enough, as the team will have to win their second grand slam title. They had been in the final at Wimbledon in 2017, but lost to Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova. But they have been out of the final at the Open many times in the past, with their last victory at Wimbledon in 1997, where they had already lost in the semi finals at US Open. In fact, the last Grand Slam Open championship which they won was the 1998 US Open.
So why is it so difficult to win the second grand slam title? Let’s start with the most obvious reason: the competition.
The three previous US Open titles have been won by American players – Serena Williams in 2008 and 2013, and Caroline Wozniacki in 2008 and 2010 – while the Japanese players hold the record for the most in a single year with four wins.