Tennis News - US Open 2015

Three US Open Final Surprises

The US Open is the final Grand Slam in the calendar and the year’s pecking order is usually pretty well set in stone by the time Flushing Meadows comes around.

The betting for the tournament will be dominated by the leading players, such as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, but just occasionally the favourites don’t end up lifting the trophy.

US Open 2009 by adamisserlis, on Flickr

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  adamisserlis

Here are three US Open men’s finals from the past 20 years which were won by players who hadn’t been expected to be champion when the tournament started.

1997 – Pat Rafter beats Greg Rusedski 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

In winning the US Open, Rafter was winning his first ATP title. It was a bizarre tournament as seeds tumbled out from an early stage and the only occasion Rafter met a fellow seed was when he beat Michael Chang convincingly in three sets in the semi-final. As for his opponent Rusedski, the Briton was unseeded and the luck of the draw ensured he didn’t meet a seed until he came up against Rafter in the final. It certainly wouldn’t have been the final the organisers would have expected to stage in the Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time. Rusedski, who had never previously got past the first round of the US Open, threatened a comeback when taking the third set, but the effects of his five-set win over Jonas Bjorkman in the semi-finals, when he trailed 2-1, proved decisive. Rafter at least proved it was no fluke as the Australian returned 12 months later to beat compatriot Mark Philippoussis in the final.

2000 – Marat Safin beats Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Legg Mason Tennis 2008 by love40mp, on Flickr

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  love40mp

At just 20 years of age, Safin became the youngest champion since Sampras himself with a stunning performance in the final. Safin entered the tournament seeded sixth after a turbulent year on tour and he had to come through five-set matches in rounds two and three before showing a ruthless streak in the second week. Sampras, in contrast, had a relatively serene run to the final as he dropped just one set en route to his meeting with Safin. The final was as good as over before it began as Safin rattled through the three sets in just over an hour-and-a-half, breaking Sampras’ serve four times in the process.
2014 – Marin Cilic beats Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Marin Cilic by angela n., on Flickr

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  angela n.

 It wasn’t just Cilic’s serve which was troubling Nishikori, it was the forehand and backhand as the Croatian belied his status as the 14th seed in the tournament to win his first Grand Slam title.


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