There were extraordinary circumstances at the US Open this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic but instead of getting deterred champions Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka overcame all those problems to fulfill their destinies. For months, debates raged after the announcement in June by the United States Tennis Association that they would go ahead with hardcourt Grand Slam in New York that was once considered as the novel coronavirus pandemic’s global epicenter although there were no fans in the attendance.
The top-ranked woman’s and men’s players expressed doubts and raised concerns over traveling to the USA.
The organizers tried very hard that their concerns are addressed but continued with their Grand Slam preparations as numerous rules are put in place that is designed to mitigate health risks.
The mandatory use of face mask was one of those that became a tool for Osaka as part of her activism in the United States against racial injustice.
For all the seven matches played by Osaka at the Flushing Meadows, Osaka sported different face mask that featured the names of various Black American who has gone through racial injustice in the USA.
She etched the names of Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, and Breonna Taylor into public consciousness quite successfully as she made it to the finals.
The two-time winner of the US Open said that she felt like a vessel to spread the awareness. According to her, this was a very big motivating factor to get the names out as many people as she can.
Probably, this gave her the extra power.
While there was extra power for Osaka, it is showed by Victoria Azarenka that she had enough motivation to get back to the top echelons of the sport by reaching the final of a Grand Slam in seven years.
The Belarusian who is also unseeded was one of the nine mothers in the singles draw of women this year and exemplary grit was showed during the victory over Serena Williams, who is 23 times winner.
However, the loss prolonged the pursuit of the American Margaret Court’s record of 24 titles in Grand Slam.
The wait for the first Grand Slam finally ended for Thiem.
The young, 27-year-old has already lost three Grand Slam finals, twice ate the French Open to Rafa Nadal and once to Novak Djokovic, the world number one at this year’s Australian Open. For the first two sets here, it seemed that he was heading for another setback.
But somehow, he managed to crawl back and west past the finishing line to hoist the first US Open trophy. Critics argued that there was no roadblock for Thiem as the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis was not there. He was the first winner outside the ‘Big Three’ since the year 2016. Thiem said that he has finally achieved his life dream.