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Weekly Slice: U.S. Open winners and losers

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It was the U.S. Open of shocks - shocking behavior, shockingly bad weather and shocking results in both the men's and women's draw.

Big names fell, new stars emerged, and worthy yet surprising winners stood tallest when the finals came around.

Here we take a look back at the big winners and losers from an intriguing two weeks in New York.

WINNER: Roger Federer

Federer a winner, really? Absolutely.

The end of Federer's incredible run at the U.S. Open allows us to appreciate the enormity of his achievements here since 2004.

It took a performance from the heavens from Juan Martin del Potro to topple him after 41 straight wins at this tournament.

So many things can get in the way in the life of a pro tennis player. Injuries, loss of form, an off day or an inspired opponent.

Federer conquered all those issues for nearly six years, and it is going to be a long time before we see another era like this in men's tennis.

LOSER: Roger Federer

There can't be many downsides to being the greatest player ever and a genius on the court. However, one of them is a lack of competition, a dearth of players who can push you to new heights.

Federer certainly suffered from an easy run at the U.S. Open, not once being forced to dig deep until the final against del Potro.

When that ultimate challenge arrived he was found wanting, reacting to adversity with an unnecessary and uncharacteristic foul-mouthed rant at the umpire.

Such a display of weakness with the title on the line will only give hope to his rivals. For a while it was only Rafael Nadal who stood any realistic chance of beating him over five sets in a Slam. Now though, there is Nadal, del Potro and Andy Murray, all of whom can and have beaten him on important occasions.

WINNER: Kim Clijsters

This was the happiest tale of the tournament as newly un-retired Clijsters got going early and rode the momentum all the way to the title. Rarely has there been a more popular winner of a major, with the beaming grin of the Belgian and her 18-month-old daughter Jada lighting up Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday night.

LOSER: Serena Williams

Are you surprised? Forget about Monday's long overdue public apology toward a female line judge, Williams still needs to be strongly punished for her disgraceful actions in her semifinal defeat to Clijsters. Everyone's seen the clips by now and they tell their own story - of an incident that did nothing but harm to tennis' reputation.

WINNER: Juan Martin del Potro

Del Potro is not the most surprising major champion there has been, and in retrospect, perhaps we should have seen it coming. After all, the Argentinean's ground-stroke game is perfectly equipped for Flushing Meadows and this tournament. But he had looked so mentally fragile at times in the past that it was impossible to back him. Those mental demons? Well and truly conquered.

LOSER: Andy Roddick

This wasn't as embarrassing an exit for Roddick as the year American Express based a huge ad campaign around him only to see him bomb early.

Even so, the great American hope had big ambitions for the title after reaching the Wimbledon final but ran into an inspired compatriot in giant John Isner.

Roddick showed no imagination, no plan B, and was sent on his way from Queens after a fifth-set tiebreak.

WINNER: Melanie Oudin

New York found itself a tale to gladden the hearts in the first week and rode the coattails of Melanie Oudin all the way to the second Wednesday. The 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., brought courage and tenacity to the women's event, knocking off three high-profile Russians, including No. 4 seed Elena Dementieva and former champ Maria Sharapova.

Caroline Wozniacki was too good in the quarterfinal, but Oudin has arrived - just ask the click-happy paparazzi who followed her every move.

LOSER: Andy Murray

Murray fancied his chances here after making the final last year and expected nothing less than a repeat this time around. Instead, he ran into a red hot Marin Cilic in Round 4 and was sent packing in straight sets, while displaying a puzzling lack of verve and motivation.

WINNER: The weather

The elements left their indelible imprint on the latter stages of the tournament, causing severe disruption on Friday and Saturday. Nearly two whole days were lost ensuring there would be a Monday finish.

LOSER: USA men

When John Isner went out to Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round, it signaled the first time in the U.S. Open's 128-year history that there would be no American man in the quarterfinal. Sam Querrey and Isner have promising futures, but the fact is that the world has caught up and the days of U.S. dominance are a fading memory.

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