Tennis has an immense history of memorable matches and every year, at the US Open, all the best players fight out for that one title, giving us some breathtaking matches. While there are some shocking upsets, there are some with the dream comebacks. And then there are those with two great players at the very best of their game where neither is willing to leave the other any ground. Let’s take a look at some of the US Open Best Matches to have taken place on the Men’s side.
Novak Djokovic Vs Roger Federer
Year – 2011
Round – Semifinals
Result – Djokovic won 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
Novak Djokovic, for the second straight year, saved two match points to beat Roger Federer in 2011’s epic semifinal battle. Djokovic had bounced back from 4-5 down in the fifth set in 2010 but his comeback in 2011 from 3-5 down in the deciding set was way more dramatic where he produced one of the best clutch shots in the history of tennis.
Djokovic produced a cross-court forehand return winner in order to save the Federer’s first match point, a shot that was later described by John McEnroe as “one of the all-time great shots”.
The Serbian went on to save the second match point as well and win four games in a row to close out the match.
Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer US Open 2011 Semifinal Highlights
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Bjorn Borg Vs Jimmy Connors
Year – 1976
Round – Finals
Result – Connors won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-4
Jimmy Connors, ranked World No 1 at that time, had already defeated Borg five straight times heading into their 1976 US Open (played on gray-green Har-Tru clay) final clash.
In each of their previous encounters, Connors’ hard and flat ground-strokes seemed to wear down the consistent Swede’s top-spin ground-strokes. But not this time where Bjorn met Connors shot for shot.
The third set of the match proved to be of pivotal importance after the two had split the first two sets. Midst all the intensity in the third set, when it was 9-9 in the tiebreak and Borg was about to serve, a ball boy had to remind the umpire that the players needed to change sides again.
Connors, however, won the next two points to seal the third set and later on finished off his victory in the fourth set.
With rare post-match footage.
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Jimmy Connors Vs John McEnroe
Year – 1980
Round – Semifinals
Result – McEnroe won 6-4, 5-7, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
Connors and McEnroe always shared a mutual feeling of not liking each other and the later’s tirades with the chair umpire that day added enough twist and turns to spice up the 1980 US Open semifinal.
McEnroe was leading by 1-0 sets and was 5-4 up in the second set when suddenly Connors turned the tides and won eleven straight games to win the second as well as third set to go up 2-1 sets.
It was, however, during the third set that McEnroe exploded at the chair umpire, calling him “Mr. Incompetent” among other things. Connors, strategically, chose to sit out the entire argument.
McEnroe fought back to win the fourth set and was serving for the match in the fifth at 5-4 when Connors hit back with two huge ground-strokes winners to go 5-5 in the fifth. During the fifth set, McEnroe lost control of his racket as it flew the length of the court and somehow missed Connors, ultimately costing him $250 fine.
At the fifth set tiebreaker, Connors made two errors which he said “The two worst points of my life” and that cost him the match.
Semi Final do US Open de 1980, John Mcenroe (Nº2) vs Jimmy Connors (Nº3)… Este duelo valia uma vaga na decisão contra Borg, num jogo emocionante do inicio ao fim, disputado em 5 Sets e decidido no Tie Break, nesta Batalha que se tornaria constante nos anos 80… Vale a pena recordar…
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John McEnroe Vs Bjorn Borg
Year – 1980
Round – Finals
Result – McEnroe won 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4
The 1980 US Open final saw the continuation of the rivalry between two great players with very different styles and personalities.
After losing the first two sets, the resilience of Borg seemed to come back as he roared back to clinch the third set, hitting five clean winners in the process and then eventually the fourth set to tie the match.
Borg looked like on a roll as he had won 13 straight 5-setters at that point and was well in control. But McEnroe stayed firm, broke Borg in the seventh game of the fifth set owing to Borg’s two double faults. Finally, McEnroe served out the match to win his second straight US Open title.
US Open tournament 1980
Andre Agassi Vs Pete Sampras
Year – 2001
Round – Quarterfinals
Result – Sampras won 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5)
Although not a finals encounter, the 2001 US Open quarterfinal clash between Sampras and Agassi was everything a tennis fan could ever hope for. The duo were slated to meet for the 32nd time, with Sampras leading their Head-to-Head tally 17-14.
Agassi, aged 31, and Sampras, aged 30 put up a very close contest throughout the match where there was not a single service break.
After the match, Sampras told “Probably about as good as it gets, playing the very best in a night match at the US Open”, as almost everyone in the crowd of 23033 were in attendance when the match finally finished off at 12:14am.
Uploaded by takezo – baumblatt on 2010-09-29.