At the conclusion of the 2018 US Open, we catalogued the best performances, moments and more from the fortnight that was. Now, as the year comes to a close, we are giving tennis fans a chance to vote for their favorites in six categories: quotes, photos, fan moments, breakout players, upsets and matches. Each vote will be conducted via Twitter over a 24-hour period, and the final results can be viewed on USOpen.org.
For the biggest names in tennis, the US Open stage extends beyond the stadiums and courts and into the interview rooms at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where post-match press conferences provide a glimpse into the minds of our sports’ great champions.
From our list of dozens of top quotes from the 2018 US Open, these four – each from a former US Open champion – stood out.
Roger Federer: “When you walk out onto Arthur Ashe, you feel like people are there to see the show, enjoy themselves. Sure, they come for the tennis, but it's also sort of a bucket list, wanting to be there. So there's pressure. But it never gets old.”
See 3:00 in above video
Always a showman, Federer certainly sent the fans home happy as he reached the fourth round, with his all-time-classic shot against Nick Kyrgios in Round 3 providing an enduring highlight. Though his Round-of-16 battle with John Millman ended in defeat, it provided one of the matches of the tournament.
The five-time champion described his feelings on Day 2 as he returned to the grandest stage in tennis and extended his perfect record in the US Open first round to 18-0.
Maria Sharapova: “You can't really shy away from noise if you want to be a champion in New York City, right? I think you have to embrace it.”
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Sharapova has long held an affinity for the raucous crowds and bright lights of US Open night sessions. In advancing to Round 4 in 2018, the 2006 US Open champ extended her winning streak under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium to 22 before it was ultimately snapped by Carla Suárez Navarro.
This quote came from her opening-round press conference, as she addressed the evening atmosphere inside the new Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Juan Martin del Potro: “You can lose or win a trophy, but the love from the crowd, it could be even bigger than the tournament. That's what I got from them. It will be in my heart for the rest of my life.”
See 6:20 in above video
Del Potro’s love affair with New York was reignited in 2018, as he reached his first Grand Slam final since winning the 2009 US Open title. His legions of fans, including a group of his closest friends from Argentina, turned each of his matches into spectacles resembling an Argentine soccer match, propelling him past Borna Coric, John Isner and Rafael Nadal on his way to the final.
In his press conference following his loss to Novak Djokovic, del Potro – who has now reached at least the quarterfinals in New York each of the last three years – gave a heartfelt thanks to his supporters.
Serena Williams: “I would say that the word 'GOAT' means a lot to me. They've been using it a lot with me and Roger, Rafa, a lot of people. I'm just happy to be a part of the conversation.”
See 12:10 in above video
Chasing her record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, Williams has a strong case for being the “greatest of all time.” One year after she gave birth to her daughter during the 2017 US Open, she returned to New York and reached her second consecutive major final.
Responding to a question from a "kidcaster" about the oft-used acronym after defeating Anastasija Sevastova to reach her 31st Grand Slam final, Williams embraced her place in tennis history.
To take part in the 2018 fan vote, follow the US Open on Twitter.