On September 7, 1980, McEnroe attained glorious and Grand Slam revenge at Louis Armstrong Stadium in 5 exhilarating and draining sets against his polar opposite and favorite dueling partner, Bjorn Borg.
Borg, 24, was the dominant force in tennis, winning 3 straight French Open and 3 straight Wimbledon. He had lost only once in 1980 and was reaping 3 millions $ a year in endorsements. But he had yet to solve the US Open, having lost 2 finals to Jimmy Connors and been upset by Roscoe Tanner in 1979.
After his Wimbledon epic, however, Borg publicly declared himself ready to conquer New York. At Flushing Meadows, Borg overcame Tanner in 5 sets in the quarterfinals, then dropped 2 sets to Johan Kriek in the semies before destroying him 6-1 6-1 6-1. McEnroe, the defending champion was all that stood in his way.
McEnroe had beat up and comer Ivan Lendl in 4 sets in the quarterfinals on Thursday, 5 sets in the men’s doubles final on Friday, and on Saturday outlasted his other archrival Jimmy Connors. McEnroe emerged the victor after 4h16, with a hard fought 5th set tiebreaker.
Lefties like McEnroe had won the previous 6 US Opens, but Borg who had defeated McEnroe in 4 of their 5 previous meetings, seemed unbeatable…
Site: USTA Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, NY
Dates: Monday, August 29 – Sunday, September 11 2011
Qualifying Matches: Begin Tuesday, Aug. 23 through Friday, August 26
Main Draw: Thursday, August 25. Main Draw begins Monday, August 29
US Open official website: http://www.usopen.org/
They can be purchased in person at any Ticketmaster outlet location or by visiting the Box Office located at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Rafa dominated from first point on and defeated Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-4. The win gave him an eighth career major title just past the age of 24. Nadal joins a list of greats that includes Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall. Just 5 players won more majors than Nadal: Rod Laver (11), Bjorn Borg (11), Roy Emerson (12), Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (16).
The world number one struggled in the early rounds, but played his best tennis when needed, especially against Andy Murray in semifinals and Berdych in final.
I think the biggest difference between us was that when he get a chance, he just took it, you know. He give me one in the second set, one in the third set, and none of them I can, you know, bring it to my side and just made a break.
That just show how strong he is. I think it was just really about the small difference.
Next goal for Rafa: to win the US Open, the only trophy missing to his impressive collection.
Men’s Wimbledon tennis statistics:
Open era records (since 1968):
Most titles, singles: Pete Sampras, 7 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) and Roger Federer, 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012)
Most titles in a row, singles: Bjorn Borg, 5 (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980) and Roger Federer, 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Most titles, doubles: Todd Woodbridge, 9 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000 (with Mark Woodforde), 2002, 2003, 2004 (with Jonas Björkman))
Most titles, mixed doubles: Owen Davidson, 3 (1971, 1973, 1974 (with Billie Jean King))
Most titles, all events: Todd Woodbridge, 9
Youngest winner, singles: Boris Becker, 17
Longest men’s final by time: Rafael Nadal d Roger Federer, 2008, 4 hours and 48 mins
Longest men’s final by games: Roger Federer d Andy Roddick, 2009, 77 games
Longest men’s match by time: John Isner d Nicolas Mahut, 2010, 11 hours and 5 mins
Longest men’s match by games: John Isner d Nicolas Mahut, 2010, 183 games
From 2005 to the start of Roland Garros 2009, Rafael Nadal won 150 matches for only 5 losses on clay. He has never lost a match at Roland Garros where he’s playing for a fifth consecutive title, which has never been done before.