COULD it be America’s year at the US Open?

Certainly in the women’s singles it could be with Jessica Pegula hitting form at the right time in Canada this past week.

Pegula Tok advantage of an out-of-sorts Iga Swiatek at the Canadian Open with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 win.

And the match wasn’t without incident, the most amusing being in the second set when rock classic ‘Cotton-Eye Joe’ suddenly rang out across the Montreal Stadium.

Pegula was 4-3 up in the set and tried to hit a lob over Swiatek as the ball hit the court to be greeted by the loud music.

The point was immediately suspended as cameras caught Pegula in disbelief.

“I just thought it was funny,” Pegula said.

“I’ve never had that happen, let alone with ‘Cotton-Eye Joe.’ I was, like, is this really happening right now? Of all the songs. It was just, like, what is going on?”

The point was replayed and served as a turning point for the Pole who then won 12 straight points to take the set.

But it wasn’t enough as Pegula took out the decider and the match to make a big statement ahead of Flushing Meadows.

Most telling was the fact that Pegula broke her opponent’s serve four times in the first set, four times in the second set, and three times in the final set.

The American multi-millionaire, fourth seed in Montreal, looks ready for a deep run in New York.

“It feels great,” Pegula said after her win. “No better way to earn it, right? It was tough match. I felt like I was in control.

“But as the world number one does and a champion, she played some really great tennis at the end of the second set and in the third. So, she made me earn it.”

If she is to win in New York, she will have to maintain the level of aggression shown in this match many times over.

  • Her opponent in Montreal as we write, is still unknown as rain forced the postponement of the second semifinal between Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova. The match to be played later today (Sunday).

WORLD No.1 Carlos Alcaraz was caught on camera giving the middle finger to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on live TV in Canada.

The top seed gave fellow Spaniard the middle finger during a brief catch-up between matches as Davidovich Fokina walked past Alcaraz as he was warming up on an exercise bike.

A knock on the window and a middle finger response.

Davidovich Fokina had the last laugh, winning his match against Mackenzie Mcdonald while Alcaraz crashed out against Tommy Paul, his first defeat in two months.

ANDY Murray is hoping the injury he picked up in Toronto last week will not affect his chances at the US Open.

Murray withdrew from his match with Italy’s Jannik Sinner with an abdominal strain.

“I had a very similar issue last year in the tournament in Stuttgart before Wimbledon which forced me to miss the Queen’s Club tournament and I was able to play Wimbledon,” Murray said.

“It took me about 10 to 12 days before I was feeling good again.

“This is not as bad as that but obviously the danger if you compete and play on it is you make it worse.

“So, I’ll need to see how it develops over the coming days and hopefully feel better in a few days.”

ALCOHOL is playing a large part at the US Open, after Maestro Dobel Tequila’s partnership with the toutnment was announced on Thursday.

You will see “Dobel Tequila” signage around the courts with fans above to taste the liquor at concession stands, restaurants and private hospitality spaces.

Mexican in origin, and distilled from agave plants to a centuries-old recipe, Maestro Dobel is described as a modern expression of tequila.

The brand has also partnered with Taylor Fritz, Aryna Sabalenka and Dana Mathewson, the highest-ranked American wheelchair tennis player.

MADNESS in Montreal as Maria Sakkari and Danielle Collins went head to head in another debate over player recklessness.

World No.8 Sakkari was criticised by Collins at the Canadian Open after hitting a ball into the crowd.

The Greek smashed the ball into the ground and it bounced up into the stands, prompting American Collins to question the move to the umpire.

“Did you just see that? Did you see what happened?, Collins shouted at the chair umpire.

Sakkari replied: “It didn’t even hit anyone. It was on the ground.”

Collins then hit back: “Shut your mouth, shut your mouth.”

Sakkari responded: “What’s your problem? I didn’t hit anyone. I framed the ball.”

But it wasn’t over as Collins retorted: ‘You hit the ball into the stands, Maria. You almost hit someone.”

The umpire managed to calm it before Collins went on to win 6-4, 6-2, with the pair shaking hands at the end.

Caroline Wozniacki was back on court last week. Photo: Anne Parker International Sports Fotos

IT was a solid return to court for Danish wildcard Caroline Wozniacki in Montreal on Tuesday as she easily won her match against Australian qualifier Kimberly Birrell 6-2, 6-2 at the Canadian Open.

“It just feels great to be back out there competing,” Wozniacki, who won this event in 2010, said afterwards.

As she walked on to court Neil Diamond’s famous Sweet Caroline song blared through the speakers.

AS expected, Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the US Open last week, citing ongoing injury issues.

“Heartbroken about the US Open, will be back….my wrist is not ready yet to compete. But may I remind people that I have a protected ranking of 21. When I choose to be back, I will be back where I belong,” Kyrgios said on Instagram.

German Jan-Lennard Struff also withdrew, leaving the way for Argentines Facundo Diaz Acosta and Diego Schwartzman to replace them.


Probably not… Rod Laver jumping over the net after winning the 1969 US Open Tennis Championships final against Tony Roche.

With that win Laver became the first player to achieve an Open Era ‘Grand Slam’.