It was hot. It was exciting. It was drama-filled. It was the 2018 US Open. USOpen.org looks back on the Flushing fortnight in the words of those who made it all happen:

“She really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right? Everyone knows this. It's on the commercials, it's everywhere. When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person. I'm not a Serena fan. I'm just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But then when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again." — Naomi Osaka, who as a third-grader wrote a paper on Serena Williams

“I always dreamed that I would play Serena in a final of a Grand Slam.” — Naomi Osaka

“Bob’s got first dibs.” — Mike Bryan, on who he’ll partner with in 2019 (with his twin injured, Mike joined Jack Sock for a successful run at the US Open men’s doubles title)

“I usually come in only to shake hands.” — Serena Williams on her net game

“Now that I think about it, it's hard to imagine life without tennis.” — Serena Williams

“Everybody has pressure. It's just about handling the pressure a little bit better than your opponent.” — Karolina Pliskova

“I'm a student of the sport, as everybody else. I respect the history, everyone that has 4paved the path for me and all of us to be doing what we're doing, to be part of this wonderful sport. Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game. He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to. Actually, the first thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis. There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him. It's truly incredible when you think about it. I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I'll be able to do what he does. To actually be here, it's a dream come true.” — Novak Djokovic, who equaled Pete Sampras’ Slam total of 14

play video AI Match Highlight: Williams vs. Osaka - Final

“It's cruel sometimes, tennis, because I think this match didn't really deserve a loser. But there has to be one.” — Dominic Thiem on his epic five-set marathon loss to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals

“You can lose or win a trophy, but the love from the crowd, it could be even bigger than the tournament. That's what I got from them. It will be in my heart for the rest of my life.” — Juan Martin del Potro on the support he got from the crowd during his loss to Novak Djokovic

“I would say that the word 'GOAT' means a lot to me. They've been using it a lot with me and Roger, Rafa, a lot of people. I'm just happy to be a part of the conversation.” — Serena Williams

“I think that's one great thing God gave us, is the freedom of choice. My choice is to choose to just be the best, try to be. I'm not always perfect. Actually, I'm never perfect. Just try to be the best that I can be. Maybe I can just influence one person, and that makes a change already.” — Serena Williams

“Appreciating the journey is the real win. These titles come. When they do, they're amazing. But it really only lasts a few minutes.” — Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who overcame a serious knee injury to capture the US Open mixed doubles title with Jamie Murray  

 

“One of the biggest forehands ever in the history of this game.” — Novak Djokovic on Juan Martin del Potro’s forehand  

“At the end of the day, the aura, it doesn't win you the match every time. You have to go out there, you have to work hard.” — Roger Federer

“You can't really shy away from noise if you want to be a champion in New York City, right? I think you have to embrace it.” — Maria Sharapova

“Tennis is not determining whether I'm happy or not. I'm a father of two kids. There is a lot more happening in my life than tennis.” — Novak Djokovic

“There are no easy matches. Everyone is playing well. The higher you're ranked, the more that people come for you.” — Venus Williams

“Motherhood is definitely the best thing that's happened to me. I enjoy every second of it.” — Serena Williams

“Once you're in the tennis season, it feels like a machine: you keep on going, and it's never ending.” — Novak Djokovic

“I'm not necessarily used to the second week of Grand Slams.” — Surprise quarterfinalist John Millman of Australia

 

 

“It's not only about the tennis, not only about the fitness, but it's also about the mental, to know exactly those little moments that everything is clear, you go for it, you do it, you don't get soft.” — Stan Wawrinka

“I just encourage anyone who's been inspired by our game to get out there and pick up a racquet and give it a go, because it's a great game and it's taken me to many places.” — John Millman

Unless your name is Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal, you're probably not winning most weeks.” — Jack Sock

“Controlled intensity — you don't want to be too hyper, you don't want to be too flat. You have to find the right balance.” — Novak Djokovic 

“By far the greatest player I've ever played against.” — Serena Williams on Venus Williams

“None of us are going to win 20-some Slams like Serena.” — John Isner on American tennis

“I'm always going to remember the Serena that I love. It doesn't change anything for me.” — Naomi Osaka on her emotional final against Serena Williams

“A lot of people in this room, including myself, never would have thought that, at the age of 32, I would be here fighting for titles, fighting for the first position in the rankings. All my career, everybody said that because of my style, I would have a short career. I'm still here. I'm still here because I love what I am doing. I still have a passion for the game. I'm going to keep fighting.” — Rafael Nadal after retiring in the semis

 

play video Press Conference: Rafael Nadal, Semifinals

“When you walk out onto Arthur Ashe, you feel like people are there to see the show, enjoy themselves. Sure, they come for the tennis, but it's also sort of a bucket list, wanting to be there. So there's pressure. But it never gets old.” — Roger Federer

“It's never easy as an American playing in the US Open.” — Sloane Stephens

“We started this journey 35 years ago, maybe less. Well, in a way, it started before we were born.” — Serena Williams on her rivalry with her sister Venus

“We don't sit around and reflect. That's not how you get out here and win matches, reflecting and looking back. You work hard, look forward. As soon as you beat one person, there's another one standing in front of you.” — Venus Williams

“I never play my best tennis here.” — Top seed Simona Halep, who became the first-ever No. 1 seeded woman to fall in the first round of the US Open

“The conditions and circumstances that I grew up in during '90s, especially with the war and everything, that made me hungrier for achievements, for success even more. It wasn’t a matter of whether I would be able to play tennis, be happy doing that. Of course, I'm happy doing what I love. But it was a matter of, ‘Okay, now I have to do it,’ even though my parents, especially my father, tried always to keep the responsibilities, the awareness of the money struggles away from me. They didn't want me to know what they were going through, but I could see it. I could understand the weight on their shoulders and also my shoulders in a way. They believed in me.” — Novak Djokovic

“When I got the injury, I was ranked No. 1 in the world. Twelve months later, things completely changed. You just don't know exactly what's around the corner.” — Andy Murray, who’s battling back from a hip injury and surgery

“It's an incredible feeling coming back here to New York. Everything is happening so quick. That's kind of how I like my pace. I like to do everything pretty fast.” — Denis Shapovalov

 

 

“I think New York has a lot to offer, but it also has a lot to take energy away from you. If you get caught up in that too much, it can be a tough two weeks.” — Milos Raonic

“It takes quite some time to actually recuperate all the confidence and comfort on the court, of striking the ball the way you did before…I think it taught me a lesson to be more patient, to be less hard on myself and understand that some things take time. You just have to accept that and embrace it.” — Novak Djokovic on his post-surgery resurgence

“I'm here. I'm excited to keep surprising the tennis world, as I did with myself. You never know what could happen in the future.” — Juan Martin del Potro

“I felt bad because I'm crying and she's crying. She just won. I'm not sure if they were happy tears or they were just sad tears because of the moment. I felt like, ‘Wow, this isn't how I felt when I won my first Grand Slam.’ I was like, ‘Wow, I definitely don't want her to feel like that.’” — Serena Williams on Naomi Osaka

“I think the most that I got challenged with is my patience. That's something that's always been the most difficult part for me. It was forced on me. I guess that was a way for me to learn patience. I still don't think I mastered it, but I'm much better at it.” — Victoria Azarenka on the essence of motherhood

“He's a good friend, a very good person. When he decides to say goodbye, the tour will miss him because he’s such a good guy. The tour loves him.” — Rafael Nadal on soon-to-retire countryman David Ferrer, who played his last US Open

 

“I'm actually pretty proud of it. I’ve been the top American for five, six years. Good chance I can finish top American this year, as well. It just goes to show how the landscape of our sport is changing, and players into their 30s can still be doing very good things. That's definitely the case for me. Physically, I really do feel the best I have ever felt. At 33, that's very encouraging. I feel fit, healthy, strong — all those things. Still eager. You put all that together, it's a good recipe.” — John Isner on being the top-ranked American

“I'm grateful that I was, that I still am, in the era with these guys, that I get a chance to witness their greatness as well, their rivalry, Nadal and Federer, which is one of the biggest rivalries of all time, and at the same time to be competing against them on such a big stage every year for a long time.” — Novak Djokovic

“It’s not the best way to win a match. I love to play against Rafa because he’s the biggest fighter in this sport. I don’t like to see him suffering on the court.” — Juan Martin del Potro after Rafael Nadal’s retirement in the semis

“Playing my last Grand Slam with the chance to see them — it was a gift.” — David Ferrer, who was accompanied by his wife, Marta, and son, Leo, at the final major of his career

"We make each other better. We bring out the best when we play each other. It's what we do.” — Serena Williams in playing her sister Venus

 

“You’ve got to be prepared for that. You've got to be ready. Mentally, physically, we all know that the US Open can be like that. There can be some difficult days. That's what makes it really special.” — Marin Cilic on the extreme heat in New York

“I feel like I have quick feet. I need to be explosive. Anticipation all comes through the feet.” — Roger Federer

“It was just one-way traffic.” — Vasek Pospisil on his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Rafael Nadal

“It was almost unreal.” — Nick Kyrgios on Roger Federer’s highlight-reel, around-the-net-post winner during his 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 loss to the Swiss No. 2

“There’ve been other siblings that have had fantastic careers in tennis, but none anywhere close to what they've managed to achieve. I'd be surprised if anything like that ever happens again.” — Andy Murray on Venus and Serena Williams

“It was a really good present for me.” — Carla Suarez Navarro, who celebrated her 30th birthday with a win over 2006 US Open champ Maria Sharapova

“I think you have to just stick with what you know. Sometimes a lot of people panic and fire their coach, need a change. There are times I absolutely do not want to speak to my coach and I think he's the worst person on the planet. But he helps me win and knows what's best for me, so you kind of have to go with that. We're not going to always be the best of friends and like each other. I'm going to think some things he's doing are wrong; he's going to think some things I'm doing are wrong. But at the end of the day, when you have someone you have good chemistry with, you know them, they know you, and you know they have your best interests, you're not going to get rid of the person just because you lost the match. I think it's bigger than that.” — Sloane Stephens on her coach, Kamau Murray

 

play video Highlights: Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Maria Sharapova - Round 4

“In tennis, it's always up and down. You win, you lose, but who is more consistent, that person wins.” — Elina Svitolina

“It's very nice to be always in the second week of a Grand Slam. Doesn't matter who you beat or doesn't matter who you play, you still have to beat those girls.” — Karolina Pliskova 

“When these things happen, I’m not the guy that looks at the string or looks at the box or looks at the racquet. I am the guy who looks at myself. Nothing about the string. Nothing about the tension…The only truth is that you have to do things better to be able to fight for the point and fight for the match.” — Rafael Nadal on dropping the first set to Dominic Thiem, 6-0

“Just the way he goes about things — I could take a leaf out of his book. The way he behaves on court, his demeanor, I could definitely take away. I don't want to change myself too much, but I could definitely take away things he does in certain situations. He's the ultimate role model to anyone who wants to play.” — Nick Kyrgios on Roger Federer

 

play video Highlights: Roger Federer vs. Nick Kyrgios - Round 3

“I love the fans here in New York. They seem to always be on my side.” — Denis Shapovalov

“If I flew him over here, I mean, this is a big place. Manhattan is crazy. I've even gotten on the wrong train in Manhattan. I reckon my dad — he'd end up in New Jersey. He'd jump on a plane at any opportunity. I won't fly him in right now, though, because it might just be another little stress, and he'll probably get on the wrong flight and wind up on the other side of the world.” — John Millman, who reached his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal

“Unpredictable player with an enormous serve, who can just turn it on whenever he wants to do it.” — Roger Federer on Nick Kyrgios

“I wouldn't say I'm satisfied with my career. I think there is a lot more to be done and there is a lot more to be explored.” — Nick Kyrgios

“I arrive at this decision to say goodbye to tennis with my heart. My heart say that I am at peace with this, that I am very happy about my career, my life.” — Two-time US Open quarterfinalist and 2010 Roland Garros champ Francesca Schiavone, who announced her retirement on Wednesday

“The matches I've played against him have shaped me into the player that I am today.” — Novak Djokovic on his 46 head-to-heads with Roger Federer

“This is going to be life-changing for myself and Maddie.” — John Isner, whose wife, Madison, is due to give birth to the couple’s first baby on Sept. 22.

 

“I think it doesn't matter the final result in the tournament. I just enjoy playing tennis again. I'm enjoying the crowds. I like the big battles with the other guys. That's makes me feel alive again. After all my problems, I think it's time to celebrate these kinds of things. I love this sport. I love the competition. I'm very proud to be here again.” — Juan Martin del Potro

“If I didn't have the belief to keep doing this and to keep having the motivation and the grind of doing this every day in order to get myself in these positions, I don't think I would be here. I think I've done plenty in my career, established a lot for myself personally, professionally. The belief is not something that I'm eager to show everybody else. The belief matters most when it's internal and when you have a passion for something.” — Maria Sharapova, whose streak of 22 consecutive night-match wins at the US Open came to an end on Labor Day

“I love his intensity. He reminds me of David Ferrer and those other guys that I admire a lot when I see them, when I see how they train, the passion they have for the game. I love his intensity. He's got a positive demeanor about himself on and off the court. — Roger Federer on John Millman

“Eight to 10 pounds.” — Amount of weight John Isner figures he shed sweating through his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro

“Tennis is not forever. You know that your chances to play these kind of matches every time are less.” — Rafael Nadal on his five-set epic against Dominic Thiem

 

 

“What's challenging is when you're a teenager and you have a few hundred dollars and you've got no sense of the future, you don't know where you're going to end up. You just have a dream. I think that's a lot tougher than being 31 years old and having the opportunity to do whatever I want in my life.” — Maria Sharapova

“He's done a lot for the African American community, and it's cost him a lot. It's sad. But he continues to do the best that he can to support…Everyone has a choice to do what they choose to do. Whether they protest it, which is a peaceful protest actually, or not, that it's the choice of being American. It doesn't make them less American.” — Serena Williams on Colin Kaepernick

“I definitely don't feel myself yet. I'm definitely not there. I don't feel like me. I think it takes time. My mom said it takes a full year to kind of get back. I'm at a full year now. But I'm also playing a sport professionally. The emotions and expectations and all the other stuff that you add on top of it, it's a lot…I'm still waiting to get to be the Serena that I was, and I don't know if I'll ever be that physically, emotionally, mentally. But I'm on my way.” — New mom Serena Williams

“Being the defending champion is crazy.” — Sloane Stephens

“When I was 18 years old, I had two dreams. First one was to win Roland Garros, and the second I was to become Top 10 in the world. I accomplished that, so I'm very, very happy and lucky that, as we say in Italy, ‘It's done.’” — Francesca Schiavone

play video Press Conference: Francesca Schiavone

“I didn't expect to receive a trophy after losing in the quarterfinals, but I got that.” — John Isner, who was honored with the 2018 US Open Sportsmanship Award

“Every match in my career, whether it's here, Flushing Meadows, or some awkward place in the middle of nowhere, that's just what I do. I try to leave it all out there.” — John Millman

“There's a lot of growth to still go in my game. That's actually the most exciting part.” — Serena Williams

“She'll always be someone I look up to. But tennis-wise, I want to try to do my own thing. I want to be my own person.” — Naomi Osaka on Serena Williams

“My first one, I gave to my dad, and I told him I'd get another one.” — Serena Williams on what she does with her six US Open trophies

“Who cares about the trophy? I've only seen my trophy once or twice. It's at my grandparents' house, honestly. It's in their dining room. They see it every morning, show all their friends. Literally everyone in my family sent me selfies of them with the trophy in my grandparents' living room. It's safe and sound, gets a lot of love.” — Sloane Stephens

“He's a gentle giant. He really is. He's very tall, has a big game, but at the same time he nurtures the right values in life. He cares about his family. He cares about his friends. He respects everyone. He fights every match from the first to the last point. I think people can relate to that and appreciate what he brings to the tennis. He treats others the way he wants others to treat him. I think that's why people love him.” — Novak Djokovic on Juan Martin del Potro

“Last year, I was literally fighting for my life in the hospital...To come from that, in the hospital bed, not being able to move and walk and do anything, now only a year later, I'm not training, but I'm actually in these finals, in two in a row. This is the beginning. I'm not there yet. I'm on the climb still. I just feel like not only is my future bright, even though I'm not a spring chicken, but I still have a very, very bright future.” — Serena Williams

“This has been definitely the toughest US Open in the last 10 years.” — Novak Djokovic