Did You Know? The US Open Edition
Roger Federer has defeated five different challengers to win his five consecutive US Open finals. That list includes former US Open champions Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, as well as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
Between 1974 and 1984, Jimmy Connors (five) and John McEnroe (four) combined to win nine US Open titles, including seven in a row, yet the two never faced each other in a US Open final. They did, however, face off four times in the semifinals, with McEnroe winning three of those matchups.
In the Open era, a woman has won the singles title without dropping a set on 16 occasions (most recently by Serena Williams in 2008). Over that same span, not a single man has won the title without dropping a set.
The 2004 all-Russian women’s singles final between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva was the third straight in which countrywomen faced off for the US Open title. It followed an all-Belgian clash between Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters in 2003, and an all-American final between Serena and Venus Williams in 2002.
Since 1980, only three players have won the US Open singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles—Martina Navratilova (who won all three in 1987), Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (1994 singles, 1993-94 doubles, 2000 mixed doubles) and Serena Williams (1999, 2002, 2008 singles, 1999 doubles, 1998 mixed doubles).
The last time the top two men’s seeds met in the US Open singles final was 1996, when top-seeded Pete Sampras defeated second-seeded Michael Chang for his fourth championship.
From 1985 to 1991, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf met in the US Open semifinals or final on five occasions, with Navratilova winning four of the five encounters. Graf’s only victory came in the 1989 final, when she rebounded from down a set and a break to win, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
The last time the women’s singles final went three sets was 1995, when Steffi Graf defeated Monica Seles, 7-6, 0-6, 6-3. The last time the men’s final went five sets was in 1999, when Andre Agassi defeated Todd Martin, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
From 1975 to 1979, Chris Evert won 46 consecutive sets at the US open, a string that was snapped when she lost the first set to Sherry Acker in the fourth round. Evert would go on to win that match, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.
In the Open era, the only time two men’s singles champions partnered to win a US Open doubles title came in 1975, when Jimmy Connors and Ilie Nastase teamed to defeat Tom Okker and Marty Riessen, 6-4, 7-6.