5 of the Greatest Men’s US Open Champions of the Open Era
The best tennis players from all around the world will make their way to Flushing Meadows in August for what will be the last Grand Slam of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s presenting the US Open. This epic tournament has set the stage for tennis greats to dazzle fans with their incredible skill and talent. This year’s edition will once again see the best in the business step up to win one of the most important titles this sport has to offer. With the tournament not too far away now, this is just about the right time to come up with a list of players, the legends, who have made US Open such a global phenomenon. So without further adieu let’s get down to business and take a look at the greatest of the greats, from the Open Era, to have shone under the New York sun.
The US Open was Jimmy Connors favorite tournament. Why, because he won it five times, a record he shares with two other men (more on that later). He remains the only player in history to win the US Open on three different surfaces, clay, grass and the hard court. Connors remained at the top spot of the rankings for one hundred and sixty weeks straight which was a record back then. Not only that, he also won a staggering one hundred and nine ATP titles in total. No other player has won even a hundred. Oh and he made it to the semifinals of the US Open on fourteen occasions. The last time when he was 39 years old!
Pistol Pete is one of the two men who share the record with Connors of winning the US Open five times. He won his first US Open in 1990 and his last triumph at Flushing Meadows came in 2002. That is a twelve year gap which is nothing short of astonishing. He won a total of fourteen Grand Slam titles, a record that has been surpassed by Roger Federer. Sampras was the first player to surpass the magical twelve Grand Slam titles record held by the great Roy Emerson. He was the world’s best player for six straight years and to this remains the last player from the United States to lift the silver gilt cup at Wimbledon. His last top level tournament was the US Open that he won in the year 2002.
The Swiss master, Roger Federer, is the third member of tennis’ Holy Trinity to have won the US Open five times. What makes him different from Connors and Sampras is the fact that he won all his five titles in five on the bounce. Yep, you heard that right. Every US Open between 2004 and 2008 was won by Roger Federer. He is the only tennis player in the Open Era to do that. Federer has held the number one spot for a whopping three hundred and two weeks. He remained at the pinnacle for two hundred and thirty seven straight weeks. He has won a career Grand Slam and holds the record for the most Grand Slam titles with seventeen to his name. Federer is considered to be the greatest men’s tennis player of all time and there aren’t a lot of people who would argue with that.
Ivan Lendl had a really special thing going with the US Open during his career. He won the title three times in a row in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Not only that, he also played in the final of the tournament each year between 1982 and 1989. Lendl made it to at least one Grand Slam final for eleven straight years, a record he shares with Pete Sampras. He was the number one ranked player in the world for four years and spent two hundred and seventy straight weeks at the top. He won an incredible one thousand tennis matches which puts him second on the list behind Jimmy Connors. He also trails Connors with ninety four career titles.
John McEnroe was special. He was volatile but boy was he talented. The US Open is where he was in his element the most. He won the tournament four times over the course of a stellar career, with three of those titles coming in three years back to back, 1979, 1980 and 1981. He lifted his fourth US Open title in 1984. McEnroe also holds the record for the greatest winning season in terms of win percentage since the Open Era began. In 1984, he went 82-3 to win 96.47% of his matches. That is a feat no one has come close to matching ever since. These are the greatest five men’s tennis players to have won the US Open in no particular order. The thing is that we know some people will agree with this list whereas others may not. That is the beauty of lists like these, it’s all subjective. But hey no one is stopping you from speaking your mind. Feel free to let us know what you think about this list. Adios!