There are good matches, and then there are the best ones. Similarly, when we talk about the US Open, one of the most prolific and prestigious grand slam tennis events of the year, there are certain battles that made it to the Top 10 greatest matches in US Open History.
Be it the finals between two big shots Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the 80s or the breathtaking contest between Federer and Del Potro in 2015, these matches have proved to be on of the most memorable clashes at the Flushing Meadows.
Most of these matches brought in all the spine-chilling drama and thrill for millions of tennis fans across the globe. So, without any further delay, let’s get started with our list of the Top 10 greatest matches in US Open.
#10. FRED PERRY vs. DON BUDGE ( 1936)
This was the era when the tournament was not open for Tennis professionals from around the world. It was Perry who has proved his dominance over every single player around with some unmatched skills and talent.
Riding high on his 7 US championships title-winning spree, Perry did receive some good resilience from Don Budge in the match. Speaking of Don, he successfully made it into the list of one of the best tennis players in the history of the sport.
Nevertheless, the match between the two legends lived up to all the potential hype, But eventually Perry overcame the challenge from his Australian opponent winning by, 2-6, 6-2, 8-6, 1-6, 10-8.
#9. ARTHUR ASHE vs TOM OKKER (1968 )
Not many tennis fans know about it, but the current stadium of the US Open is named after Arthur Ashe who created some big name for himself after the beginning of the open era in 1968. Technically, he was the first African-American to claim a singles title in that era.
So, when he met Tom Okker in the finals of the 1968 US open, fans expected some high octane drama on the court. Living up to all the hype and expectations, the clash got decided in the fifth and final set of the match.
It just came through like a see-saw game between the two rivals. While Arthur claimed the first and third set, Okker made the bets of the second and fourth. yet, when everyone expected the heat to increase in the final set, Ashe came up with all guns blazing to see through his Australian opponent.
#8. KEN ROSEWALL vs TONY ROCHE (1970)
Ken Rosewall can certainly be deemed as one of the best Tennis players who played in the era around the 1970s. Besides, he stayed as a key force in professional tennis well after the transformation from the Amateur Era to the Open Era in 1968.
For the records, this was the first match in history to involve a tiebreaker. While Rosewell did go down in the first set against Roche, he made a superb comeback in the rest of the three. And yes, none can forget his resilience and sublime play in the third set that got decided with a tiebreaker.
Roche, on the other side, gave his best and although he lost, he never put his arms down completely during the match. Hence, we can certainly put this clash in the eighth spot of our list of Top 10 greatest matches in us open.
#7 . BILL TILDEN vs BILL JOHNSTON (1925)
While many know Ivan Lendl making eight straight U.S. Open finals from 1982 to 1989, only a few remember Bill Tilden, who also made it to Eight straight finals from 1918 to 1925. Yet, no one can question and dispute his legacy as a remarkable tennis player.
Till this match, Bill Johnston faced Tilden in four of the earlier five finals. So, the excitement and anticipation were quite high before the match between the two. Johnson did overcome Tilden back in 1919 final and he didn’t want to leave any stone unturned for this crucial clash
As expected, the match started on a shocking note with Johnston getting the first set. Tilden, right according to his reputation, made a remarkable comeback by claiming the second one. The battle witnessed some big twists and turns and it was Tilden who eventually turned out to be the winner by 4-6, 11-9, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
#6. JOHN McENROE vs BJORN BORG ( 1981)
You may not hear much about this match due to the current rivalry between Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. Yet, it can easily be deemed as one of the most scintillating battles in US Open history.
A lot were been said and talked about before the match. Borg was set to play his final US open match and many were expecting him to finally come good on his final bet for the title.
Winning the first set, he clearly seemed like going the right way to achieve victory.Yet, it was that special performance from Mcenroe that day that overcame the resilience and grit of Borg at the Arthur Ashe stadium.
Mcenroe won the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 but it was Borg who won many hearts that day with his superb skills and athleticism.
#5. JIMMY CONNORS vs BJORN BORG ( 1976)
During that time in 1976, the US open was played on clay court. So, by every means, Bjorn Borg did have a big chance to overthrow Jimmy Connors on familiar territory. Yet, it was his bad luck or the curse he carried in the Grand slam event, that never left his side till the end of his career.
The match started with some superb display from Connors who easily claimed the first set 6-4. Yet, it was borg who then came back strongly to return the favours to Connors. The third set went into a tiebreaker and after a string of twists and turns, Connors emerged victorious.
The loss in the third set literally took everything out of Borg and he gave up without much fight in the fourth and final set. Had Borg won this contest, he would have crowned to be the better out of the jinx at the New York City all through his career.
#4. NOVAK DJOKOVIC vs ROGER FEDERER ( 2010)
The 2011 semifinal clash between two of the greatest tennis superstars is remembered for many good reasons. While a lot of people expected it to be just another easy win for the legendary Federer, Djokovic who was a rising superstar had different plans.
If Federer would have owned the match, he would be lining up for a final clash with his arch-rival Rafael Nadal. Yet, it went down to the resilience of the Serbian which brought in a complete shocker for the tennis fans.
The first set went into Federer’s favor but still witnessed some hardcore competition from his Serbian opponent. Entering into the second set, Djokovic didn’t give a chance to Federer and claimed it easily by 6-1.
The match witnessed some close moments and instances from both ends and it was Djokovic who eventually emerged as the winner. Regardless of the outcome, this would be remembered as one of the most closely fought US open semi-finals ever.
#3. RAFAEL NADAL vs NOVAK DJOKOVIC (2010)
This match was all about Nadal’s emerging dominance over his arch-rival Novak Djokovic. Right at the age of 24 years, the Spaniard achieved his first career grand slam.
As For Djokovic, he just entered into the Final after getting the best out of Roger Federer in a nail-biting finish in the semis. Yet, countering the unstoppable Nadal in the finals was never an easy pill for the Serbian. Speaking of the match, Nadal won the first set without receiving much competition from Djokovic.
The Serbian then claimed the second set in a well-fought competition. Right when the fans expected some jaw dropping finish to end the clash, Nadal showed his masterclass by clinching the remaining sets and take over the match quite handsomely.
#2. ROGER FEDERER vs. ANDRE AGASSI( 2004)
By that time, Federer had won five U.S. Opens. Yet, none of those wins could withstand the drama and excitement of this epic battle against Andre Agassi. Without his victory against a seasoned campaigner like Agassi, Federer wouldn’t have reached the heights he has achieved in the past decade.
This match got suspended midways due to rain and by that time, Federer won a closely fought third set against Agassi. Till this match, Federer was leading the clash 2-1. As the play resumed, the American legend made a remarkable comeback by claiming the fourth and most crucial set.
The match then entered into the fifth set and while everyone expected the temperature to soar up, Agassi puts his arms down against a forceful Federer. The Swiss thrived, and just to add a bit more spice into this clash, Federer let out a primitive roar while ripping his shirt right after winning the match point.
#1. PETE SAMPRAS vs ANDRE AGASSI(1995)
If there’s one match that deserves the top spot on our list including the Top 10 greatest matches in us open, it has to be this one.
Having Amid windy conditions and scorching heat, Sampras did start on a bright note by breaking Agassi in the sixth game of the first set. Yet, as the match progressed, Agassi responded with some exceptional shots and strokeplay.
While Sampras claimed the first two sets, Agassi clinched the third one with some breathtaking display of tennis skills. The onus then shifted to the fourth and final set. Agassi tried his level best to take the match to the fifth set, Too bad Sampras came out to be too strong for the former US champion to handle.
With this victory, Sampras once again regained his position to the top of the ATP rankings. Agassi, on the other side, called it one of the most disappointing defeats of his entire career.
US Open stayed home to some of the most nerve-wracking clashes in the history of this sport. Yet, we handpicked the Top 10 greatest matches in us open after taking the views and reviews of thousands of tennis fans into consideration. Do let us know in the comments section about your own special memory from this esteemed grand slam event.
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