As it often is, the US Open was jam-packed with individual performances that were pleasantly surprising, disappointing and, in some cases, on-par with expectations.
From Sloane Stephens’ fairytale comeback to another Grand Slam let down for Alexander Zverev, we graded the individual performances of each player seeded inside the top 20 (and some notables outside the 20) with a 1-10 player rating.
No.1 Rafael Nadal – 8
Started slow but was his relentless best towards the pointy end of the tournament. Not his fault, but not beating any top 20 seed prevents a higher rating.
No.2 Andy Murray – 0
That’s not a zero for not playing – it’s a zero for denying everyone the long-awaited Fedal final in New York!
No. 3 Roger Federer – 6
Struggled with opponents he’d normally dominate but hampered by a bad back. Losing to del Potro is nothing to be ashamed of, but the way he played was frustrating to say the least.
No.4 Alexander Zverev – 3
Second-round bomb is inexcusable. Can’t use the age excuse because the man who beat him (Borna Coric) is 20-years-old, too.
No.5 Marin Cilic – 4
Was gifted an easy draw after Murray withdrew and botched it badly. Anything less than a quarterfinal was always going to be a disappointment.
No.6 Dominic Thiem – 5
Was the better player for most of his match against del Potro which makes the loss even worse. Needs to stop falling short in big moments.
No.7 Grigor Dimitrov – 3
Played a kid who was in red-hot form but a second-round loss is a second-round loss.
No. 8 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga – 3
Denis Shapovalov is no slouch but a seasoned veteran like Tsonga needs to at least take a set. Looks to have lost his mojo.
No. 9 David Goffin – 5
Didn’t beat anyone established (Monfils retired) and lost to a 19-year-old in straight sets.
No.10 John Isner – 4
Couldn’t use his serve to any great effect against Mischa Zverev, and as usual his baseline game was non-existent. Would have to have the most third-round exits of any player on tour?
No.11 Roberto Bautista Agut – 4
Ran into an inspired Juan Martin del Potro and despite not winning a set fought admirably.
No.12 Pablo Carreno Busta – 6
Yes, he didn’t play a seeded player until Anderson, but he didn’t drop a set to any of those opponents either. Played solid tennis but for those who say he’s arrived – calm down.
No. 13 Jack Sock – 2
Points for fighting back from two sets down, but the American had to be better in New York to world No.73 Jordan Thompson.
No. 14 Nick Kyrgios – 1
Bad loss to countryman and world No.185 John Millman. Nothing went right.
No. 15 Tomas Berdych – 3
After a semifinal at Wimbledon many thought he’d turn his bad year around. Couldn’t hit a ball in the ocean against Dolgopolov in the second-round so back to the drawing board.
No. 16 Lucas Pouille – 5
Solid performances from the up-and-coming Frenchman. A shame he lost to Schwartzman but I like his game moving forward.
No.17 Sam Querrey – 6
Handed Mischa Zverev a beat down for the ages with 18 aces, 55 winners and only 8 unforced errors. Looked likely to make the final but couldn’t handle Kevin Anderson in the clutch as he lost three out of four tiebreaks.
No.18 Gael Monfils – 3
Another injury to add to his frustrating 2017. Maybe it’s time he take an extended break and hit 2018 hard and heavy?
No.19 Gilles Muller – 3
Played like a man just happy to be there.
No. 20 Albert Ramos-Vinolas – 3
Completely fell apart in the last set to a man he should have ran all over. Disappointing but not totally unexpected.
Juan Martin del Potro – 8
Before the semifinals he had beaten three top 20 seeded players; the other three semifinalists played a combined zero. The Tower of Tandil probably played the best tennis of anyone in the tournament but unfortunately didn’t have the juice to sustain it.
Kevin Anderson – 7
Played extremely well to get to the big dance but his showing against Nadal proved he is, and probably always will be, a notch or two below the elite. The Querrey match was impressive, though.
Denis Shapovalov – 7
Going to be an out-and-out star. Lost to Carreno Busta but really made the Spaniard earn every point. Next up is the Laver Cup.
Andrey Rublev – 7
Beat Dimitrov and Goffin and looked wise beyond his years. When he was at his best it was hard to spot a weakness.
No.1 Karolina Pliskova – 6
Played solid tennis throughout so it’s a bit of a shame she couldn’t rise to another level to dispense of CoCo Vandeweghe.
No.2 Simona Halep – 2
The naysayers have said she crumbles under bright lights and her first-round loss to an underdone Maria Sharapova gave that some validity. Poor.
No.3 Garbine Muguruza – 6
Flat out dominant in the first week but came up short against a woman who wanted it a whole lot more. A little let down the new world No.1 couldn’t get to a Serena-like level to stamp her name as the unequivocal best woman in tennis.
No.4 Elina Svitolina – 7
Fought Madison Keys to the wire and ultimately came up short. Only scored loss than four games in one set so should be proud of her consistency.
No.5 Caroline Wozniacki – 2
Lost to an unseeded player in the second-round then complained that Maria Sharapova got to play in prime time. If you want to play on Ashe, Caroline, you’ve got to reliably beat the opponents you should beat.
No.6 Angelique Kerber – 1
Wow. After winning the 2016 US Open, a first-round loss to a 19-year-old is about as big a fall from grace as there is. Needs to win something-anything-for her own confidence.
No.7 Johanna Konta – 1
Had the opportunity to become world No.1 and what did she do? Lose in the first round to unseeded Aleksandra Krunic. Unlike Kerber she’s been playing well so chalk it up to a bad day at the office.
No.8 Svetlana Kuznetsova – 3
Fought hard in her two matches but looked really slow at times.
No. 9 Venus Williams – 7
Lost to the eventual champ and left it all out on the court. For a seven-time Grand Slam champ it was a little weird seeing her so tight and nervous in the high pressure moments.
No.10 Agnieszka Radwanska – 5
Given her down year I smelled a first or second-round bomb coming. Pleased that she was able to make the third-round and give Vandeweghe a run for her money.
No.11 Dominika Cibulkova – 4
A runner-up in New Haven, I thought Cibulkova would save the sinking ship that has been her 2017 season by going deep into the second week. She lost to the eventual champ but really made her earn it.
No.12 Jelena Ostapenko – 4
Roland Garros winner simply must do better than losing in straight sets to world No. 38 Daria Kasatkina. She’s young, though, so maybe give her a pass.
No.13 Petra Kvitova – 7
Just to be back playing again deserves a 10. The fact that she beat the best player in tennis and followed it up by taking Venus Williams to her limits isn’t too shabby either. Expect big things going forward.
No.14 Kristina Mladenovic – 1
Can’t lose in straight sets to a woman you’re ranked 44 spots above. Her serve is really struggling.
No.15 Madison Keys – 8
Arguably played the best tennis out of anyone at her highest point. Hitting the ball with brute force but needs to stay in rallies longer if she wants to take the final step. Still very young so plenty of time.
No.16 Anastasija Sevastova – 6
After losing the first set to Sharapova she showed a lot by clawing back. It took a tight tiebreak in the final set for Sloane Stephens to get rid of her. Playing good tennis under the radar.
No.17 Elena Vesnina – 5
Overwhelmed by Keys’ ball bashing. At this stage she’s just making up the numbers.
No.18 Caroline Garcia – 5
Played close to flawless tennis in the first two rounds then couldn’t do anything right against Kvitova. Still struggles with consistency.
No.19 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – 1
Lost to world No.63 Christina McHale in the first round. Maybe she was focused on doubles with her partner Kristina Mladenovic (who also bombed on opening day).
No.20 CoCo Vandeweghe – 6
Played really strong tennis but her performance against Keys left a really bad taste. Three games, CoCo? Really?
Sloane Stephens – 9
Just outworked every single opponent and kept a level head under bright lights in the tense moments. Needs to address the second set brain fades.
Maria Sharapova – 6
Beat the world No.2 in her first Major in fifteen months. Given her previous matches she probably should’ve beaten Sevastova, but since she’s missed a fair chunk of tennis at the highest level you can live with the final 16.
Jennifer Brady – 6
The world No.91 did extremely well by making the final 16, highlighted by a 6-1 6-1 demolition of seasoned veteran Barbora Strycova. Looked way out of her depth against Karolina Pliskova, though.
Kaia Kanepi – 6
Played consistently good throughout the tournament, but didn’t have the tools to threaten anyone serious. Remarkable effort considering she’s ranked No.418 in the world.
Tennis doesn't have a marquee weekend like the NBA all-star game or an NFL pro-bowl; the c... More
22 September 2017
With the release of upcoming tennis movies Battle of the Sexes and Bjorg McEnroe we thou... More
12 September 2017
After Wimbledon, I thought that the greatest of all time (GOAT) debate had been settled. R... More