Rain Filled 2003 US OPEN Tennis Tournament capped off by Roddick Victory – September 30th, 2003

American Andy Roddick wins his first Grand Slam at the US Open in New York fending off the Rain and Juan Carlos Ferrero in the Finals. Other information and results in the main story.

The 2003 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament at Flushing Meadows in New York was quite eventful with lots of great tennis and unfortunately lots of rain too. The Tournament started out the first week with some exciting matches and a Tribute on opening night to "The Great Pete Sampras" announcing his retirement in an emotional evening of taped highlights and speeches by some of his greatest opponents from the past including John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, and a taped interview with Andre Agassi played on the Jumbotron. All spoke highly of Sampras and his record 14 Grand Slam Victories. Last years final in which he defeated Agassi was truly amazing and a great way to end his career. As he paraded around the court with his son, Christian in his arms, and his wife, Bridgette, looking on, he was given a standing ovation before speaking and thanking the crowd.

The tournament moved on the first week with a few upsets but most of the upper echelon of seeds remained. Top Seeded Andre Agassi had little problems advancing to the second week. The other notables that figured to be contenders for the title were Roger Federer, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Guerillmo Coria, Lleyton Hewitt, and Andy Roddick. On the woman’s side, the Williams sisters were out with injuries, which left the top four favorites of Champion to be, Justine Henin- Hardenne, fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters, and Americans Jennifer Capriati and Lindsey Davenport. These 4 had little trouble advancing to the semi-finals before Henin-Hardenne beat Clijsters in the final 7-5, 6-1.

The best match on the woman’s side was Henin-Hardenne fighting off numerous match points and defeating Capriati in 3 sets and tiebreaker in the 3rd. In Men’s Doubles, Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge overcame the Bryan Brothers from the USA 5-7, 6-0, 7-5 to win the Final. The historic Woman’s Doubles pitted ageless Martina Navratilova and Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Ruana Pascual and Paola Suarez. Navratilova’s team succomed in 2 sets in just over an hour. The last match of the tourney had Bob Bryan and Katarina Srebotnik winning the mixed doubles.

There was one other honoree during the tournament featuring Michael Chang, who announced his retirement as well. Chang was the youngest ever to win a Grand Slam winning the French Open when he was 17; defeating Ivan Lendl and Stephen Edberg on his only major win in his illustrious career. Chang lost to Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in 4 sets in the first round in his last match of his great, long run. He also thanked the audience and wished it had ended better and on a higher note. He added that the ovation he received was the higher note and he felt blessed to have such a great career with many achievements. On a lesser note, one other American said goodbye to tennis also. Controversial American, Jeff Tarrango, announced his retirement in a more quiet way. He was best known for some of his temper tantrums along with some upsets of many of the top ranked players during his time adding many doubles victories to his resume.

21-year-old Andy Roddick continued his torrid summer by winning his first Grand Slam over French Open Champion Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. Since Roddick teamed up with new coach Brad Gilbert, he has been almost unbeatable losing only 2 matches during the summer. Some of his serves came in over 140 MPH and he was simply on fire during the tournament. He did have one scare in his semi-final match with Argentine, David Nalbandian. He lost the first two sets before coming back strong to win three sets in a row to notch the victory. Both Roddick and Agassi were helped by the draw and schedule of matches. Tournament directors had them both play their matches as soon as possible when the rains stopped. They both got their matches in which allowed them time to rest a bit while most of the other players had to play matches 3-4 days in a row. That took its toll on Nalbandian and Ferrero in the final. Ferrero did come away with a huge semi-final victory over Agassi playing flawlessly ruining a match-up of Roddick and Agassi in the final.

Both Roddick and Henin-Hardenne claimed $1 million prize money for their wins. Next up before the end of the year rankings are Davis Cup semi-finals between Argentina vs. Spain & Switzerland vs. Australia with the winners of those countries meeting for the Davis Cup Champion Match in late November. The Top 8 Player End of the Year Championship Tournament happens in Houston to see who finishes the year as the #1 ranked player(November 8-15). The Top Players at this time are Ferrero, Roddick, Federer, and Agassi, Coria, Moya, Shuettler and Nalbandian with a couple others vying for the last spot including Lleyton Hewitt. The Top 4 are secure as of this time due to their Grand Slam Victories this year. For more information, results, player profiles, etc. about the 2003 US Open, please visit the official website at www.usopen.org Tickets/info for next year’s tournament will be available on that site in the middle of next year.