This 17-point roundup is about the men and women who put it all on or inside the lines at the rowdiest major event of the season. The hits started early, and they simply kept coming.
Petra Kvitova wasn't complaining at this year's US Open. She didn't do so earlier this summer when she returned to Wimbledon, the site of her two major titles, either. What she did do was prove that a player can return from the brink of a career suddenly interrupted–due to an assailant who notably still remains at large–and deliver inspiring match play.
Kvitova took down one giant of the game and then sparred with another to the final bell. Against 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, she unloaded ferocious forehand and backhand winners that nearly left the impending WTA No. 1 stunned.
She has to fistpump with her right hand cuz she still can’t clench her left.— Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) September 4, 2017
You know, the left hand that blasted all the winners today.
The Czech knew the impact of that victory, on the US Open draw and on herself, and she let herself feel the moment.
The 27-year-old understands the impact of every affirmation of her comeback that is received. She's grateful.
She would fall in her next encounter, against another stalwart great, but not before a deciding-set tiebreak in her definitive, see-saw rivalry with Venus Williams.
For the sixth time in their six matches, Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova are going three sets— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) September 6, 2017
Williams was predictably gracious after defeating Kvitova, having gained a smattering of so-called "revenge" – is it ever, really? – after losing their illustrious 2014 Wimbledon classic. The American, who would see her own US Open journey end one round later, was "happy to see [Kvitova] shine."
Of course that loss hurts, it hurts a lot, but... that's what I dreamed about. To come back and play, compete on big stages against great players like Venus. To prove to myself that I can compete with them! So, at the end of the day I will take positives from this US Open. Thank you to my team, my family, New York City and of course my #teampetra for being here with me ❤
Kvitova's star shines particularly brightly now.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.