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It was an edition of the US Open to remember

Between Serena Williams' last career match and new No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, there was no shortage of excitement on the New York concrete

It was an edition of the US Open to remember Between Serena Williams' last career match and new No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, there was no shortage of excitement on the New York concrete

On Sunday night, in the city that never sleeps, the final episode of the 2022 Grand Slam season came to a close. In the heart of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park - at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center - at the end of a four-hour match against Norway's Casper Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz lifted the trophy to the sky while simultaneously consecrating himself as the youngest tennis player in history to reach the top of the world rankings. The U.S. Open is always an event of exceptional magnitude, but the one that has just come to an end was certainly one to remember, capturing the attention of spectators around the world and collecting the memorable stories written by protagonists old and new.

Initially the spotlight was all on Serena Williams, who a few days before the tournament began had revealed through an article in Vogue US that that would be her last appearance on a tennis court. And the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium filled to capacity to greet the Open Era's winningest player, drawing all sorts of celebrities. Zendaya, who showed up in a look with very casual features, did not want to miss the match and the triumph of American tennis star Serena Williams over world number two Anett Kontaveit.

But Zendaya was not the only one who could not resist the allure of the Slam in its New York guise, in fact she was joined by Anne Hathaway, Kendall Jenner, Jon Bon Jovi, Emily Ratajkowski, Kawhi Leonard, Michelle Obama and many other sports and entertainment stars. No one wanted to miss the final farewell for Serena who, after being among the most prominent players on the world tennis scene for more than 20 years, received the heartfelt embrace of all fans and colleagues, not least FedererNadal and Djokovic. The big three, in fact, made video messages to salute and celebrate the player who changed tennis. In the end, the women's draw was dominated by this 2022's absolute breaker Iga Swiatek, who captured the trophy by breaking the 10,000-point barrier in the WTA ranking.

On the men's side, however, the winds of change blew hard on a US Open characterized by the absence of previous slam winners as early as the quarterfinals. With Djokovic unable to participate, Federer not yet back from his long injury, and Nadal defeated earlier than expected by a brilliant Tiafoe, the two young prodigies Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner (both sponsored by Nike and Rolex Brand Ambassadors) put on a heart-pounding match, played at the highest level throughout its five-hour duration, in what was undoubtedly a preview of what the future of the sport holds. The final was also historic in its own way, pitting the 19-year-old Spaniard and the young Norwegian Casper Ruud against each other, in a match whose denouement would determine not only the (new) Slam champion, but also the No. 1 in the world rankings.

And for such a tournament there could not have been a more coherent conclusion than the victory of Carlos Alcazar, who thus became the first teenager to conquer the ATP circuit, just as tennis said goodbye to one of its greatest performers. A generational turnover that has arrived at supersonic speed and is making tennis an increasingly attractive showcase for sponsors and brands that are eager to tie themselves to such a prestigious circuit. Starting with the event's official partners, J.P. Morgan, Chase and American Express to Lavazza, Heineken and Tiffany & Co., via Rolex, Cadillac, Wilson and Ralph Lauren, which, as has invariably been the case since 2005, has been the tournament's official outfitter, in charge of designing the uniforms to be worn on the court for the entire staff. Once again, the U.S. Open hosts sports at its highest level, played in the most glamorous setting there is - that of New York City - setting the stage for actors, models, rock stars and tennis matches that are nothing short of breathtaking.