Category Archives: Tennis

Serena Williams, Roger Federer and the U.S. Open’s Back-to-Back Winners

Roger Federer Won Five U.S. Opens In A Row. Chris Evert Won Four Consecutively.

Roger Federer Won Five U.S. Opens In A Row. Chris Evert Won Four Consecutively.

Serena Williams won her third U.S. Open in a row today in a cakewalk, sending off Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3. It’s Serena’s 6th U.S. Open title and 18th major victory.

Since the Open Era began in 1968, only Chris Evert (amongst women) has won more consecutive championships – four in the mid- to late- 1970’s. Williams, No. 1 in the world, definitely has a shot at matching Evert in 2015.

Seven other ladies have gone straight up back-to-back (two in a row), including Serena’s sis, Venus.

On the men’s side, it’s Roger Federer with more consecutive titles than anyone. Federer hit five in a row between 2004 and 2008. Since then, we’ve had five different winners (Rafael Nadal won twice, but not successively), including 2014. It’s Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the Finals tomorrow, both looking for their first Grand Slam win.

More than 10 years into the Open Era, the men saw their first back-to-back winner when John McEnroe took three in a row. Nemesis Ivan Lendl also won three consecutive.

U.S. OPEN BACK-TO-BACK WINNERS (WOMEN)

U.S. OPEN CHAMPION YEARS IN A ROW YEARS DEFEATED IN FINALS
1. Chris Evert 4 1975 Evonne Goolagong Cawley
(USA) 1976 Evonne Goolagong Cawley
1977 Wendy Turnbull
1978 Pam Shriver
2. Serena Williams 3 2012 Victoria Azarenka
(USA) 2013 Victoria Azarenka
2014 Caroline Wozniacki
3. Margaret Court 2 1969 Nancy Richey Gunter
(Australia) 1970 Rosemary Casals
3. Billie Jean King 2 1971 Rosemary Casals
(USA) 1972 Kerry Melville Reid
3. Martina Navratilova 2 1983 Chris Evert
(USA) 1984 Chris Evert
3. Martina Navratilova 2 1986 Helena Suková
(USA) 1987 Steffi Graf
3. Steffi Graf 2 1988 Gabriela Sabatini
(West Germany) 1989 Martina Navratilova
3. Monica Seles 2 1991 Martina Navratilova
(Yugoslavia) 1992 Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
3. Steffi Graf 2 1995 Monica Seles
(Germany) 1996 Monica Seles
3. Venus Williams 2 2000 Lindsay Davenport
(USA) 2001 Serena Williams
3. Kim Clijsters 2 2009 Caroline Wozniacki
(Belgium) 2010 Vera Zvonareva

*

U.S. OPEN BACK-TO-BACK WINNERS (MEN)

U.S. OPEN CHAMPION YEARS IN A ROW YEARS DEFEATED IN FINALS
1. Roger Federer 5 2004 Lleyton Hewitt
(Switzerland) 2005 Andre Agassi
2006 Andy Roddick
2007 Novak Djokovic
2008 Andy Murray
2. Ivan Lendl 3 1985 John McEnroe
(Czechoslovakia) 1986 Miloslav Mecír
1987 Mats Wilander
2. John McEnroe 3 1979 Vitas Gerulaitis
(USA) 1980 Björn Borg
1981 Björn Borg
4. Jimmy Connors 2 1982 Ivan Lendl
(USA) 1983 Ivan Lendl
4. Stefan Edberg 2 1991 Jim Courier
(Sweden) 1992 Pete Sampras
4. Pete Sampras 2 1995 Andre Agassi
(USA) 1996 Michael Chang
4. Patrick Rafter 2 1997 Greg Rusedski
(Australia) 1998 Mark Philippoussis

Photos: topbet.eu / thedailyhatch.org

Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer and the Closest Wimbledon Finals of the Open Era (Men)

2014 Champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Put On One Of The Closest Wimbledon Finals Ever Today

2014 Champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Put On One Of The Closest Wimbledon Finals Ever Today

How much of a classic was today’s Novak Djokovic-Roger Federer Wimbledon finale?

It was easily one of the closest Finals of the Open Era (1968-present), and arguably THE closest, depending on what kind of metric you use. Let’s take a look.

First, there have been 15 (of 47) Wimbledon Finals that went five sets, listed below and broken down successively from those with two tiebreakers (6) to one tiebreaker (3) to straight-up five sets (6).

One way to look at this – the simplest – is to give the two-tiebreaker matches the nod as the closest. But it’s more than that. It so happens that the matches that went to two tiebreakers also more often had closer sets throughout. For example, each one of the 0ne-tiebreaker matches had at least one 6-1 set (a blowout). None of the two-tiebreaker matches did.

Another way to look at it is to use another metric, this one provided in the last column, called “Sets Won Diff.” This is the difference in total sets won between the champion and runner-up. Two-thirds of the two-tiebreaker matches had SWD of two or less, compared to one-third of the one-tiebreakers and one-third of the straight-up five setters.

So, then, which of the six two-tiebreaker matches was the closest of all?

Check out the 2009 Finals between Federer and Andy Roddick. Roddick actually won more sets in defeat (!) and that last set finished 16-14. Now that is close.

Or was it the 2008 Finals between Rafael Nadal and Federer where not one set was won by more than two games?

The same can be said for today’s Djokovic-Federer Finals.

Like I said. Arguable.

5 SETS, 2 TIEBREAKERS

YEAR WIMBLEDON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP FINALS SETS WON DIFF
1982 Jimmy Connors John McEnroe 3–6, 6–3, 6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–5), 6–4 2
1998 Pete Sampras Goran Ivaniševic’ 6–7(2–7), 7–6(11–9), 6–4, 3–6, 6–2 3
2007 Roger Federer Rafael Nadal 7–6(9–7), 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 2–6, 6–2 0
2008 Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(8–10), 9–7 4
2009 Roger Federer Andy Roddick 5–7, 7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 16–14 -1
2014 Novak Djokovic Roger Federer 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–4 2

5 SETS, 1 TIEBREAKER

YEAR WIMBLEDON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP FINALS SETS WON DIFF
1979 Björn Borg Roscoe Tanner 6–7(4–7), 6–1, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 6
1980 Björn Borg John McEnroe 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6 1
1992 Andre Agassi Goran Ivaniševic’ 6–7(8–10), 6–4, 6–4, 1–6, 6–4 0

5 SETS

YEAR WIMBLEDON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP FINALS SETS WON DIFF
1970 John Newcombe Ken Rosewall 5–7, 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1 7
1971 John Newcombe Stan Smith 6–3, 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4 1
1972 Stan Smith Ilie Nastase 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 7–5 4
1977 Björn Borg Jimmy Connors 3–6, 6–2, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4 6
1990 Stefan Edberg Boris Becker 6–2, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4 4
2001 Goran Ivaniševic’ Patrick Rafter 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7 1

Photo: independent.co.uk

Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer, Martina Navratilova and Back-to-Back Wimbledon Champions (Open Era)

Martina Navratilova Won Six Wimbledon Championships In A Row. Bjorn Borg And Roger Federer Won Five.

Martina Navratilova Won Six Wimbledon Championships In A Row. Bjorn Borg And Roger Federer Won Five.

Just yesterday, Sports List of the Day posted video of John McEnroe‘s July 4th,* 1981 win over Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon, stopping Borg’s streak of five championships in a row, the all-time record on the men’s side.

Roger Federer also won five in a row, about thirty years later.

Then there’s Pete Sampras, twice, with streaks of three and four that were broken up by an unlikely (his only Grand Slam title) Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands. Krajicek beat Sampras in the quarter-finals on the way to a deserved title.

If not for that slip, Sampras would have won an astonishing eight in a row, so dominant he was during the “Sampras Era” (a fair label).

But in reality, no one can match Martina Navratilova. She holds the women’s record at six, best of all – and you can  go ahead and call the late 1970’s and all of the 1980’s the “Navratilova Era.”

Steffi Graf followed with three streaks of her own.

And check out Venus and Serena Williams who both went back-to-back, back-to-back with each other – twice!

Alas, there won’t be a repeat winner in 2014. Petra Kvitova just won the women’s side, unseating France’s Marion Bartoli, and hometown favorite Andy Murray was bounced long ago.

BACK-TO-BACK WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONS (MEN)

WIMBLEDON CHAMPION YEARS IN A ROW YEARS DEFEATED IN FINALS
1. Björn Borg 5 1976 Ilie Nastase
(Sweden) 1977 Jimmy Connors
1978 Jimmy Connors
1979 Roscoe Tanner
1980 John McEnroe
1. Roger Federer 5 2003 Mark Philippoussis
(Switzerland) 2004 Andy Roddick
2005 Andy Roddick
2006 Rafael Nadal
2007 Rafael Nadal
3. Pete Sampras 4 1997 Cédric Pioline
(USA) 1998 Goran Ivaniševic’
1999 Andre Agassi
2000 Patrick Rafter
4. Pete Sampras 3 1993 Jim Courier
(USA) 1994 Goran Ivaniševic’
1995 Boris Becker
5. Rod Laver 2 1968 Tony Roche
(Australia) 1969 John Newcombe
5. John Newcombe 2 1970 Ken Rosewall
(Australia) 1971 Stan Smith
5. John McEnroe 2 1983 Chris Lewis
(USA) 1984 Jimmy Connors
5. Boris Becker 2 1985 Kevin Curren
(West Germany) 1986 Ivan Lendl

*

BACK-TO-BACK WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONS (WOMEN)

WIMBLEDON CHAMPION YEARS IN A ROW YEARS DEFEATED IN FINALS
1. Martina Navratilova 6 1982 Chris Evert-Lloyd
(USA) 1983 Andrea Jaeger
1984 Chris Evert-Lloyd
1985 Chris Evert-Lloyd
1986 Hana Mandlíková
1987 Steffi Graf
2. Steffi Graf 3 1991 Gabriela Sabatini
(Germany) 1992 Monica Seles
1993 Jana Novotná
3. Billie Jean King 2 1972 Evonne Goolagong
(USA) 1973 Chris Evert
3. Martina Navratilova 2 1978 Chris Evert
(USA) 1979 Chris Evert-Lloyd
3. Steffi Graf 2 1988 Martina Navratilova
(West Germany) 1989 Martina Navratilova
3. Steffi Graf 2 1995 Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
(Germany) 1996 Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
3. Venus Williams 2 2000 Lindsay Davenport
(USA) 2001 Justine Henin
3. Serena Williams 2 2002 Venus Williams
(USA) 2003 Venus Williams
3. Venus Williams 2 2007 Marion Bartoli
(USA) 2008 Serena Williams
3. Serena Williams 2 2009 Venus Williams
(USA) 2010 Vera Zvonareva

Photos: Getty via espn.com / murf.com / Clive Rose, PA Wire via digitalspy.com

* It was part of a vide0 look at the greatest sports moments that have occurred on the 4th of July.

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