Monday’s US Open title decider was the first between Grand Slam final debutants since 1997.
And the battle between Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori offered fans back home a rare opportunity to get in on the showpiece action.
The match took place in the early morning in Japan but that didn’t stop 900 cheering fans from Nishikori’s home town of Matsue in the west of the country cram into a convention hall to watch the match on a big screen.
Almost 9 000 kilometres west of Matsue some 500 fans gathered in the Main square of Zagreb to cheer on Cilic.
Croatian tennis fans have had to wait 13 years for another major champion following the 2001 Wimbledon victory of Goran Ivanisevic – now Cilic’s coach.
And their joy was plain to see as Cilic dominated the match to lift his maiden grand slam trophy.