Whether you’re a die-hard tennis fan or just love the occasional weekend game, the excitement of the US Open this year was hard to ignore. Between Serena and Venus Williams battling it out (and Serena’s early exit from the tourney) to Flavia Pennetta’s win and subsequent retirement, the action on and off the court was non-stop. That’s not to mention the intense showdown between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the men’s singles final.
The volleys, serves and rallies may be over for now, but these three moments will be inspiring us (at the gym, and everywhere else) all week long.
3 U.S. Open Moments That Will Give You Chills
1. The Sister Showdown
Serena Williams and her big sister Venus have been going head-to-head on the court for years. They squared off again during the US Open quarterfinals match and Serena, who was ranked #1 in the world, came away with the win. Serena reportedly held back tears before the final serve of the match. “It’s going against your best friend, and at the same time going against the greatest competitor for me in women’s tennis. So it was really difficult today,” Serena told reporters. The sisterly love continued after the game when Serena posted this throwback pic paying tribute to the duo’s bond. If that doesn’t inspire you to make a date with your favorite workout buddy ASAP, we don’t know what will.
2. The Unexpected Champion
In a victory for underdogs everywhere, two players from Italy, Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci (the unranked player who ousted Serena) squared off in the women’s finals this year. Thirty-three-year-old Pennetta came away with the win — her first major title in a singles match. Even crazier: In an interview afterwards, Pennetta revealed that she’d be going out on top and retiring. “This was the perfect moment, I think,” Pennetta told the The New York Times. “[It] was a really hard decision to make, but I’m really happy that I did it. I’m really happy and proud of myself.”
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3. The Battle of the Greats
After a three-hour rain delay Sunday night, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, ranked #1 and #2 in the world respectively, took the court in the men’s championship match. Tensions ran high in the stadium as the players duked it out, point for point, late into the night. Though Federer played tough to the end, Djokovic won, taking home his 10th Grand Slam title. Announcers called it an “ugly win,” but those hard-fought victories are the sweetest, right? Remember that next time you’re pushing through to the finish, whatever your workout.