Mouthwatering men’s final follows all-Italian affair in women’s showpiece
Serena Williams’ loss to world number 43 Roberta Vinci will go down as one of the biggest shocks ever in world tennis. Just two matches from an unprecedented Grand Slam, the top seed finally lost at the US Open for the first time in four years and it will instead be an all-Italian affair in the women’s final.
The men’s event sees the best player of 2015 take on the best player of all time as Novak Djokovic meets Roger Federer.
Keep reading for our US Open finals preview.
Top two meet in battle of the champions
While the women’s tournament may have thrown up two unexpected finalists, the men’s event has gone exactly to the seeding.
Novak Djokovic‘s path to the final has been relatively untroubled and his win over reigning champion Marin Cilic in the semi-final was aided by his opponent’s ankle injury. The Serb’s 6-0 6-1 6-2 win was the most one-sided men’s semi final in New York in the Open era and Djokovic now has a chance to add a second US Open title to his collection.
It is the first time that the 28 year old has reached all four Grand Slam finals in a single year and he would be challenging for a calendar Grand Slam had he not lost the French Open final to Stan Wawrinka.
“It is a great achievement and I’m very proud of it,” he said. “Marin was carrying an injury, he was courageous to come out and finish the match, so applause to him. I came out with good focus and good intensity and executed the game plan.”
Djokovic’s opponent in the final will be the evergreen Roger Federer. The number two seed needed just 92 minutes to beat his Swiss rival Stan Wawrinka and goes into the final arguably in the form of his exceptional career.
The Swiss has won 18 sets in a row at Flushing Meadows, and 28 without reply since he lost the Wimbledon final to Djokovic back in July. It’s the 34 year old’s first US Open final since 2009 and he acknowledged that he was facing a tough opponent in the final.
“Novak has had a tremendous year,” said Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion. “There’s always a lot on the line when we play. He’s the best mover on the hard courts, he’s tough mentally, but I like that challenge and I’ll be ready for it.”
It’s the 42nd time the pair have met and while Djokovic came out on top in the Wimbledon final, Federer won on the hard courts of Cincinnati just a few weeks ago.
The Serb is the 8/11 favourite but there will be lots of backers for Federer at 21/20.
All Italian final as Serena falls at penultimate hurdle
Tracy Austin called it ‘one of the biggest upsets in the history of tennis, because of what was on the line.’ Serena Williams was just two wins away from a calendar Grand Slam and in the semi-final played a woman who had never even taken a set off her before in four meetings.
However, the top seed fell to her first US Open defeat since 2011 when she fell in three sets to the unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci. It is by some distance the best win of the 32 year old’s career, as she acknowledged after the match.
“It was an incredible match,’ said the Italian. “I lost the first set, and tried to stay in every point. I tried to stay focused and not think about Serena. It is the best moment of my life.”
Despite hitting 16 aces and 50 winners, Williams could not sustain her level in sets two and three and, according to six-time US Open champion Chris Evert, the top seed ‘succumbed to the nerves.’
Vinci’s reward for her career best win is a match against her Italian compatriot Flavia Pennetta. The 26th seed’s run to the final is less of a shock and we’ve tipped the 33 year old at long odds to overcome both Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep in the last two rounds.
Pennetta has reached at last the last eight in six of her last seven visits to Flushing Meadow although this is her first final.
The two have met nine times before with Pennetta leading 5-4 in wins. Their most recent meeting was at the US Open in 2013 when Pennetta emerged the victor and she can lift her first ever Grand Slam title at 2/5.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.