Parity and some missing star power from Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. A wide open women’s game beyond Serena Williams. This is where tennis is going.
Even before Novak Djokovic was tossed from the United States Open for accidentally striking a line judge with a ball during his fourth-round match, the 2020 edition of this tournament was not destined for any showdowns between all-time greats on the men’s side.
It had also lost the moments of fan-generated, supercharged intensity that come with a packed stadium.
Now, with Djokovic disqualified, the U.S. Open has almost fully transformed into a tournament carried by the sport’s next generation, with few of the mainstays who have propped up tennis for more than a decade, other than Serena Williams.
“It’s a chance to create new stars,” said Jim Courier, the former world No. 1. “We need those new stars to be winning majors also for the general American public to really pay attention to them, but you have got to start somewhere.”