Marin Clilic defeats Nishikori in U.S. Open Final; Big Four Not Present

On Monday, September 8, 2014, Marin Clilic defeats Ken Nishikori to capture his first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open. The match only lasted two hours and wasn’t too exciting. So why is this important? Well, at least one player in the “Big Four”(Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray) have been present at a grand slam final since the Australian Open in 2005. This U.S. Open final can be a sign of new things to come. Ken Nishikori and Marin Clilic had to defeat Djokovic and Federer, respectively, in order to make it to the finals. That’s a tough feat to accomplish if you know anything about tennis. Could this mean that we will be seeing different players making deeper runs in Grand Slams and taking down these coveted titles? I don’t think so.

The big factor that led to this unexpcected final was Rafael Nadal. He had to withdraw due to wrist issues and we’ve seen many moments where a member of the “big four” doesn’t bring their “A” game. Nishikori was returning some big serves and playing the game of his life against Djokovic, who despite being down in the match, many still thought would find a way to pull off the win. And in the Federer/Clilic match up, Clilic just destroyed in the serving game, making it difficult for Federer to gain any momentum.  In the end, Nadal will be back to full health, and the rest of the “Big Four” will fight harder than ever to reestablish their dominance on the court. This could be the start of a new hierarchy but I’m going to wait to see more evidence before I declare that there’s a “threat” to the kings of tennis.


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