Celebrations, hot shots and upsets: Best and worst of the U.S. Open
NEW YORK -- The 2014 U.S. Open may be over, but SI.com keeps adding up the wins and losses with our picks for the best and worst moments of the year's final Slam.
Best men's match: Roger Federer defeats Gael Monfils 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2, in the fourth round.
Honorable mention: Tommy Robredo defeats Nick Kyrgios 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 in the third round. From Kyrgios' electric energy and shot-making in the first set to Robredo's veteran savvy in reeling him back in, I loved everything about this match.
Worst men's match: Dominic Thiem defeats Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. The two good friends and practice partners were never comfortable playing each other with so much on the line. Gulbis looked well on his way to getting a win over his protege until he started cramping and Thiem mounted a comeback. By the fifth set Gulbis was playing like a guy who would have retired against anyone other than his friend. "We were both really nervous throughout the match, I think," Gulbis said. "We both couldn't play far from our best tennis. The level we play in practice is much higher than we did today."
Best women's match: Caroline Wozniacki defeats Maria Sharapova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in the fourth round. This was the defacto semifinal from the bottom half of the draw. Both women needed this win but you could sense Wozniacki's desperation and desire in the third set, when she rebounded from getting blasted off the court in the second set to out-grit Sharapova for the win. That is not an easy task.
Worst women's match: Sharapova defeats Alexandra Dulgheru in the second round 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Sharapova needed two hours and 38 minutes and overcame windy conditions to get the win. She also hit nine double-faults and combined with Dulgheru to hit 78 unforced errors. It wasn't pretty.
Biggest men's upset: No. 14 Marin Cilic defeats No. 3 Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals.
Biggest women's upset: No. 1208 CiCi Bellis defeats No. 13 Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round.
Best men's shot: Vintage Federer no-look backhand lob. Honorable mention goes to Gael Monfils' completely unnecessary and astounding forehand winner:
Best men's point: Put Grigor Dimitrov and Monfils on the same court, wind them up, and watch them go:
Best women's shot: This is a once-in-a-career shot: Ekaterina Makarova hits a lob that lands on the net-cord. Nice work from Victoria Azarenka to get it back.
Best women's point: Wozniacki tracks down every ball to get the better of Sharapova. It was basically the point that won her the match because from here on out, Sharapova felt the need to go for too much and kept missing. Honorable mention goes to this gem from Aleksandra Krunic.
Best celebration: The Bryans get No. 100 and Mike catches some air.
Best meltdown: Tomas Berdych thought he was robbed on a double-bounce call by chair umpire Louise Engzell in his quarterfinal loss to Marin Cilic. And he let her have it. "Are you serious or did you spend too much time in the sun," Berdych asked. "I mean I hit the ball with the rotation so that it comes back. It's impossible with two bounces! Have you ever had a racket in your hand?"
Best men's apology: Replays showed Berdych was wrong. And he admitted it.
this i my personal apologize to the referee from yesterday.She was right.My emotions were driving my crazy...Sorry for that — Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) September 5, 2014
Best women's apology: Azarenka does her take on the net-cord apology:
Best men's debut: Victor Estrella Burgos. The 34-year-old made the third round in his main draw debut. Vamos.
Best women's debut: CiCi Bellis. First WTA-level match? First Grand Slam match? First time playing anyone ranked inside the Top 50? No problem. The 15-year-old showed a lot of promise in beating Dominika Cibulkova in three sets.
Best men's upset: Marin Cilic beats Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. In just over 90 minutes, Cilic blasted 43 winners to 23 unforced errors past Federer, who never had the match on his racket. Cilic finished the match winning 91 points to Federer's 74. Beatdown city.
Best women's upset: No. 121 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni defeats No. 2 Simona Halep 7-6(6) 6-2 in the third round. Lucic-Baroni earned her main draw spot via qualifying and then made the fourth round of a major for the first time since she made the Wimbledon semifinals fifteen years ago in 1999. This was the 32-year-old's best ever result at the U.S. Open.
Best photo: Serena Williams shows her intensity.
Best quote: Marin Cilic after winning the final: "I was swirling around ranking top 20, 25, 15 and things were some days going well, some not. You are a lot of the time up and down. It's, I feel, very inspirational for all the other guys out there who are, you know, working and sometimes losing motivation, having trouble to dig deep and to believe in the achievements. I would definitely feel much stronger if I would see somebody like me accomplish things like this. It sort of came out of nowhere for me. Few things clicked in just right before tournament sort of. I felt great about them, and match after match I played really good tennis. These last three matches, everything was working perfectly."
Best show-off: Roger Federer. Come on, man. In front of Michael Jordan?
Can we start calling American tennis "Williams and Bryan" tennis? — David Rosenberg (@RosenbergTennis) August 30, 2014
can't tell if it's more fun to troll Drake fans or Federer fans or if they just overlap by 100% — Emma Carmichael (@emmacargo) September 5, 2014
For those watching tennis: That Patrick McEnroe whitewash segment was why viewers become cynical on conflicts of interest in the sport. — Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) September 3, 2014
Umpire: "Ladies & gentlemen, Dimitrov's shoe broke, he has reasonable time to find a replacement." Off he goes. PA plays 'New Shoes' - nice. — Piers Newbery (@piersnewbery) September 2, 2014
ESPN showing Cilic-Simon instead of Monfils-Dimitrov, which is like preempting a highway car chase with a Senate finance hearing. — Chris Chase (@chaztopher) September 2, 2014