The US Open is a key part of the tennis calendar. It’s one of the four Grand Slam events that occur over the course of the season, in fact, it’s the last one to take place. The tournament is held at Flushing Meadows in New York and it is played out on an acrylic hard court. All the tennis players at the top of their game aim to win the US Open and many have had great runs at Flushing Meadows to confirm their status as one of, if not, the best around at the time.
Some consider it the top tournament of the tennis tour, and arguably a must win for any player who wants to be considered the best in the sport. Hence the reason why near enough all media outlets and even established sports betting operators like Unibet, will always extensively cover the exciting event. All throughout its history, there have been stand out characters, incidents and matches. Here we look back at some truly memorable finals that have taken place over the years.
Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe (1980)
There was a strong rivalry heading into the US Open men’s final in 1980, especially after Borg had beaten McEnroe over 5 sets in the Wimbledon final. The Wimbledon showdown between the two had been an epically close affair, especially in the 4th set. A remarkable 18-16 tie-breaker was needed to separate the two.
It was more than just a clash of playing styles, it was a clash of personalities too. Borg was a calm and collected sort, ice cool under pressure, always in control. McEnroe on the other hand was at times a loose cannon. You could feel the rage within him, he could lose him temper at the slightest of things.
In the US Open final in 1980, McEnroe got off to a great start. He won the first two sets, one a through a tie breaker before a convincing 6-1 set win. Borg hit back though, he won the third and the fourth and looked the more likely to seal victory with momentum swung well in his favour. It was to be McEnroe who had the last laugh though as he eventually won the final set 6-4.
Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert (1984)
There had always been a feeling that even though there was a strong rivalry between both Navratilova and Evert, that the former always had the edge. Heading into the 1984 final, Navratilova had triumphed a straight 12 times over Evert and nobody could look past a Navratilova victory once again.
Evert did manage to win the first set 6-4, with many left shocked. Navratilova, like all good champions, kept her composure though and hit straight back with a second set victory, winning 6-4. The third and final set was an extraordinary battle but Navratilova won through completing a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win.
Mats Wilander vs Ivan Lendl (1988)
It was no wonder that this final match up went on to be the longest final in the history of the US Open. Both Wilander and Lendl were the best baseline players around and it was always going to be hard to separate the two.
It was a truly remarkable game that saw Wilander strike first and the Lendl immediately hit back. This pattern would continue throughout the tie, with both players having two sets under their belts as they approached the deciding 5th. It was to be Wilander who came out victorious and he also become the first Swede to win a US Open. It finished 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Steffi Graf vs Monica Seles (1995)
This final was always going to be an extremely tense affair between two of the greatest female tennis players of all time. Seles, was making only her second tournament appearance in over two years, after being stabbed by a Steffi Graf fan in Hamburg.
There was all sorts of drama going on away from the court and that only added more spice to the occasion. Seles was on the verge of taking the first set in a tie-breaker before Graf clawed her way back into it and won. It was only a minor setback for Seles though who smashed Graf 6-0 in the second set and looked the most likely victor. The German produced some unbelievable tennis in the final set and lifted the US Open crown, she won 7-6, 0-6, 6-3.
Roger Federer vs Juan Martin Del Potro (2009)
There was an enormous amount of pressure on the shoulders of Roger Federer heading into the 2009 US Open Final. He was aiming to rewrite the record books by winning his 6th successive US Open crown. He also had Rod Laver’s record in his sight as he looked to be a winner on clay, grass and hard court in the space of a year.
Del Potro, 21 at the time and making his debut as a finalist, was expected to be brushed aside by the Federer. It looked that way too after Federer stormed ahead, winning the first set 6-3. Del Potro had other ideas though and levelled the tie in the second set by winning the tie breaker, 7-6. Federer dug in and restored normality in the third but Del Potro wasn’t having any of it and he once again hit back, taking the fourth in another tie breaker. Even up to this point, everyone expected Federer to come out on top in the final set but Del Potro, against all the odds, reigned supreme. The Argentine won 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.