The US Open: The Unexpected Moments

Carlos Alcaraz defeats Casper Ruud to win the US Open final

It was a week of unexpected moments here at the US Open on NBC, and one of the most shocking and unexpected of all came on the men’s side when Carlos Alcaraz — who had never lost and lost just three games in 2015 — found himself just one break up coming to a sudden halt. Instead of the typical long rally that every champion looks for early on in the match, Alcaraz opted for a shorter, more precise shot to the forehand corner, something he hadn’t done much to his game in the past few years. After getting the shot back, he got up off the ground and, to nobody’s shock, was able to hold his serve to the end. With this loss, the Argentine was eliminated from the tournament. (1:32)

On the women’s side, we don’t have to travel far to find some unexpected drama. Earlier in the week, when the women’s match between Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber was about to go on, Kerber, not believing that Svitolina was going to win, said as much while sitting in her row. For her part, Svitolina, having already won four majors and not just a single one at the US Open, was not going to let Kerber spoil her party. She came over at the third set point and beat Kerber in five sets. (3:41)

And this time, it was Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber who were not supposed to meet. Serena had a double-century and Kerber had a double-100. But with each of them doing two of the three things that the other does, they were going to find they had three different sets on the table. So Serena, who was about to become the first woman to win all four major championships in her 20s, had Kerber on the ropes when she took the first of three match points with a double fault. And then Kerber served out the set to win it. This win, and this loss, means that Serena Williams is the oldest woman to win a single major of the last 30 years. But she has won the US Open in the past and is still only a win away from four more. (1:47)

After what was arguably the greatest three-

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