The 2012 U.S. Open is in the books. With some amazing performances and terrific matches over the last few days, tennis fans were left wanting more. A few players in particular can be proud of what they accomplished over the last two weeks in Flushing Meadows.
Here are five winners from this year's U.S. Open:
David Ferrer - Yes, Ferrer could curse his luck to be playing at a time of several all-time greats. Instead, Ferrer is having a career year at the age of 30, winning five tournaments and more than $2 million. He also made the semifinals of the French Open and followed that with a run to the semis in New York. He threw a scare into Novak Djokovic by winning the first set in their semi, but Djokovic was too much. Still, it was a great tournament for Ferrer.
Andy Roddick - I haven't been the biggest Roddick fan over the years. I felt his sarcasm when interviewed and his on-court rants weren't worthy of his talent. But there is no doubt he carried the banner of U.S. men's tennis for a decade. His retirement announcement was perfect in its timing, and he played some very good tennis in reaching the fourth round in New York. Though the 2003 U.S. Open title was his lone Grand Slam triumph, his Davis Cup record and lengthy career should put him squarely in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The Bryan Brothers - Bob and Mike Bryan set a new record for Grand Slam doubles titles in the open era at the U.S. Open. The captured their 12th Grand Slam title, breaking the record by Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. In winning their fourth U.S. Open title, the Bryans also extended their streak of years winning a Grand Slam title to eight. 2004 is the last season the Bryans have not won a major title.
Serena Williams - Williams has been so good lately that the woman she beat Sunday for her fourth U.S. Open title, world number one Victoria Azarenka, called her the "greatest ever." Williams showed considerable mental strength to stave off defeat Sunday. She broke Azarenka when necessary to extend the match and won a three-set thriller for her 15th Grand Slam title.
Andy Murray - Let's all heave a sigh of relief that we will no longer have to hear that Fred Perry in 1936 was the last British man to win a Grand Slam. Murray prevailed against Novak Djokovic in an awe-inspiring final match, and he deserves everything that will come to him as a Grand Slam champion. A year that could have turned bad when Murray lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final has now produced an Olympic gold medal and a U.S. Open crown.
Brad Boeker has been a fan of professional tennis for over 30 years. He coaches high school tennis in Illinois.
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