<i>Women born again</i>
Boring? Predictable? Women's tennis has been written off as a spectacle in recent times, but the US Open has proved otherwise.
While the men's tournament stuck mainly to the script, the women's singles was a roller-coaster of upsets, incidents and talking points.
Kim Clijsters topped the bill winning her second title at Flushing Meadows, just five weeks after ending a 27-month long retirement during which time she married and had a baby girl.
But there were other strong story lines.
Serena Williams's blowing a fuse after being foot-faulted in her semi-final against Clijsters and taking out her frustrations on the lineswoman who sanctioned her with a profane rant.
Teenager Melanie Oudin's stirring run into the quarter-finals cutting down Russian seeds along the way.
China's Li Na and Italy's Flavia Pennetta showing that sheer hard work, experience and guile still have a place in the sport.
It all added up to the best women's Grand Slam tournament in years.
Clisters, having left the sport in May, 2007, when she and compatriot Justine Henin along with the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova were head and shoulders above the rest, is well-placed to judge the changes.
"I definitely think that there's a different type of tennis out there that's being played, and I think the Open has been really interesting this year just because it's been so unpredictable," she said after her straight sets win in the final here over 19-year-old Caroline Wozniacki, another star in the making.
"I remember a few years ago when Justine and I were playing each other again or when the Williams sisters were playing each other again, people were kind of complaining because it was everything repeating itself.
"So I think it's a good thing, because there are so many new players out there who have a great talent, and a lot of young girls, as well.
"On any good day they can beat a lot of top players and a lot of players who have been in the top 10 now for a few years.
"I don't think women's tennis has anything to worry about.
The revival is crucial for the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), which governs the women's game, coming as it does at a time when all sports are struggling to keep their sponsors in the face of the global economic recession.
Newly-appointed WTA chairman Stacey Allaster is upbeat saying that the circuit to date has lost only one sponsor in 2009 while three new tournaments have been added for 2010 in Copenhagen, Kuala Lumpur and San Diego.
"Our players are delivering, the fans and sponsors, and what a time for it to come particularly during these tough economic times," Allaster said at the US Open.
"The bottom line is we want to be a credible product, consistently delivering to fans and sponsors and in 2009 our athletes have done that."
Allaster added that the focus will be on "fan growth," especially in non-traditional markets in Asia and South America.
"We need a younger fan base to have sustainable sponsorship revenues and we need fan growth in key strategic markets," she said.
"That's why China is an incredibly important strategic priority for us and I think we do need to look at other markets where we might not have events.
"But it doesn't mean we can't build a brand presence in markets like India and/or Brazil, which are key for the long-term growth of this business.
"When we sit with a global sponsor, they say, 'We want Russia, we want Brazil, we want India, we want Europe and we want the United States.' So we have to adapt."
The 2009 US Open will certainly have helped the product and 2010 looks promising with Clijsters sure to be a huge draw in Australia at the start of the year, Sharapova hoping to be back at full fitness and even a possible return of former world No. 1 Justine Henin.