US Open Tennis – 5 of the greatest finals

With the US Open just around the corner, we have taken a look back at five of the best finals of all-time at Flushing Meadows.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic's 2012 US Open final features in our list of top Flushing Meadows finals but is it No.1?

With the US Open set to get up-and-running on August 31, we take a look at the top 5 greatest finals to have taken place on the hallowed hard courts of Flushing Meadows.

5) Tracy Austin vs Martina Navratilova – 1981

Austin became the youngest-ever US Open champion in 1979, beating Chris Evert in the final, aged 16 years and nine months, and she followed up that incredible achievement by claiming the crown in dramatic circumstances in 1981.

Injuries restricted Austin’s playing time in the early part of 1981, playing just two events in the opening four months, but the American came back fighting to win 26 matches and four consecutive tournaments.

She entered her home Grand Slam as the third-seeded player and went all the way for the second and last time in her career.

Navratilova, who had become a US citizen earlier in the year and would go on to win four US Open titles in her career between 1983 and 1987, lost 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-1) in the final.

It was the first time a Grand Slam finals had been decided by a final-set tiebreaker.

4) Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi – 1995

The American duo, ranked one and two in the world at the time, met for the 17th time when they took to the court in the final of the 1995 US Open – they would go on to face each other on 34 occasions over hugely successful careers.

They were tied at eight wins apiece ahead of the showpiece event in New York and revenge was the order of the day for Sampras after losing to his compatriot in the Australian Open final earlier in the year.

He got his wish in the second hard court Grand Slam final of the campaign, triumphing 6-4 6-3 4-6 7-5 to win the event for the third time.

This match gets on to the list of top-5 due to a crucial turning point when Sampras was on set point at 5-4 in the opening set.

It was a 22-shot slugfest with both refusing to backdown until Sampras finished with a backhand to build the momentum required to ultimately prevail.

3) Victoria Azarenka vs Serena Williams – 2012

Serena Williams blew past Azarenka to claim the first set and looked to be well on course to claim a fourth US Open title in comfortable fashion in 2012.

However, Azarenka, who was ranked the world number one at the event, wasn’t prepared to roll over as she took the second set in similarly impressive fashion.

The third and final set was an extremely exciting and tense affair.

Azarenka was on the verge of victory, having broken Williams’ serve at love, and moving into a 5-3 lead.

Fourth seed Williams dug deep to dramatically claim the next four games and seal a 6-2 2-6 7-5 win, much to the delight of the fans in Queens.

2) Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic – 2012

The men’s final in 2012 was also a fascinating encounter as Murray finally broke his duck and claimed a first Grand Slam title.

Murray had lost his previous four Grand Slam final appearances and he had to put in a memorable performance to avoid losing a fifth.

He made a great start against Djokovic, winning the first two sets, but the world number two came back fighting to level and force a deciding set.

Momentum clearly appeared to be with the Serbian, who was looking to defend his crown, but Murray held his nerve to become the first British male to win a Grand Slam title in 76 years.

The match, which lasted four hours and 54 minutes, was full of lengthy rallies and the first-set tiebreaker set a tournament record as it ran for 22 points.

Murray prevailed 7-6, (12-10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2.

1) John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg – 1980

McEnroe won the second of his fourth US Open titles with a 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4 victory over old foe Borg.

The showpiece match was a real clash of styles and personalities, part of one of tennis’ greatest rivalries which had mainly been going the way of Borg up until this point.

The Swede had beaten his American foe in the final of Wimbledon earlier that summer and looked like he might get the better of McEnroe once again after battling back from two sets down.

Borg appeared to be in control, winning 13 straight games to take it to a fifth set, but McEnroe held firm and somehow found some extra reserves of energy after a marathon five-setter against Jimmy Connors in the semi-finals.

The American broke Borg in the seventh game of the deciding set with a meaty cross-court backhand, before serving out the match.

The two mean would face off again for the 14th and final time in their historic feud in the US Open final the following year with McEnroe coming out on top again to level their head-to-head record at 7-7.

Bobbie is a big football fan across all levels, and he also has an impressive background in martial arts and is a regular provider of quality boxing and UFC content.
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