Tennis: US Open – Top 5 Finals of All Time!

This year’s US Open tennis competition has been a brilliant one, with Emma Radacanu and Leylah Fernandez defying the odds to set up a spectacular all-teenage final. This is the first major final between teenagers in over 20 years (1999 US Open). Meanwhile the men’s final will be among the players Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Félix Auger-Aliassime. With that being said, let’s take a trip down memory lane for Tennis: US Open – Top 5 Finals of All Time!

1. Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe (1980)

Prior to their legendary five-set thriller at Wimbledon a few months prior, fierce rivals Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe stunned the crowds again at Flushing Meadows for a US Open final to be remembered.

Both of these greats dominated tennis at the time and their clash of styles and personalities made for great viewing. McEnroe took the early advantage by winning the first set 7-6 after a tiebreaker and then rode the momentum to steam through the second set 6-1.

It seemed that Borg was down and out, but his resilience and mental strength roared through by taking the third and fourth set. It was all set up for a fifth and final set which seemed to favour Borg as he had never lost a 5-setter in his career.

This was compounded by the fact that McEnroe had played a 5-setter in the previous round meaning his stamina and gas tank was surely about to run out. Despite this, McEnroe pulled out all the stops in the final set, winning it 6-4 to claim the second Grand Slam of his career.

2. Steffi Graf vs Monica Seles (1995)

Steffi Graf and Monica Seles’ final in the 1995 US Open was one that was long anticipated after the chaos that kept Seles out of tennis for 2 and a half years. In April 1993, a crazed German fan rushed onto the court and stabbed Seles in the back. The motive thought to be one in which Graf, a fellow German, would regain top spot over Seles.

Graf took the early lead after a thrilling tie-breaker, winning the first set 7-6. However, Seles responded in commanding fashion by winning the second set 6-0. Unfortunately for Seles, it wasn’t enough as Graf turned up the heat even more with some sensational tennis winning the final set 6-3 and securing the championship.

3. Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic (2012)

Andy Murray had lost four previous Grand Slam finals to the dismay of many tennis fans across Britain. However, that was all about to change when he faced Novak Djokovic in the 2012 US Open.

Right from the off, the Scot seemed like a man on a mission by winning a gruelling first set 7-6 following a 12-10 tie-breaker. He then carried this momentum through to the second set, winning it 7-5.

It seemed like Murray was finally about to end his Grand Slam hoodoo, but it was almost as if people forgot who Novak Djokovic was and what the 20-time Grand Slam winner was capable of.

The Serb battled back by winning the third and fourth set like a champion in what you could call vintage Djokovic. Losing a two-set lead would deflate most people, but in the fifth and final set Murray’s heart and mental toughness shone through.

After almost 5 hours of high-octane tennis, Murray claimed the final set 6-2, his first Grand Slam title and Britain’s first Grand Slam winner in 76 years.

4. Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka (2013)

It was a repeat of the previous final in 2012 between the top two players in the world.

The first contest was a spectacle to behold and this clash was arguably even better than the last. A nervy first set saw both women lose their first service games, but Williams was able to hold her nerve better than the Belarusian by winning the opening set 7-5.

Williams looked to be in cruise control in the second set, leading 4-1 but Azarenka wasn’t going out without a fight and managed to turn the tie on its head. Williams served for the match at both 5-4 and 6-5 but was broken both times, with Azarenka winning a tie-breaker 6-8 to claim the second set 6-7.

Although Williams was visibly frustrated she managed to contain her emotions and steamroll to victory in the third and final set 6-1. Azarenka gave it her all, but in the end couldn’t quite trump one of the greatest to ever do it.

5. Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev (2019)

In 2019, the spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium witnessed arguably the most exciting final of the past decade. The legendary Spaniard, Rafael Nadal, took on the best of the ‘next gen’ in Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal started brightly by securing the first two sets 7-5 and 6-3, and it looked like ending up in a pretty straightforward 3-set victory.

However, out of nowhere Medvedev seemed to summon a second wind to almost produce one of the greatest comebacks ever by taking the third and fourth set 7-5 and 6-4. Some unreal tennis was played consisting of scintillating winners, unbelievable rallies and finely tuned tactical adjustments.

Both men left it all on the court but Rafael Nadal’s monstrous mentality and his relentlessness, (regarded by many as the best mentality in the game) was too much for the Russian to handle and won the final set 6-4.

The ‘king of clay’ was once again crowned the king of New York for the fourth time.

Well as you can see there have been some sensational finals over the years and hopefully like me, you can’t wait to see what’s in store over this weekend! Which US Open tennis performances surprised you the most so far? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Myan Thomas

Myan is a recent Physiology and Sports Science graduate from the University of Leeds. He is currently embarking on a Masters in Football Science and Rehabilitation at the University of Central Lancashire. He's a very sports orientated person and enjoys playing football, tennis and basketball. The way in which exercise can lead to significant benefits in health and fitness really interests him and he is keen to share this knowledge with those who will really benefit from it.

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