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Closest Matches and Biggest Blowouts in U.S. Open Finals History (Tennis, Open Era, Men)

Did Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Vie in the Closest U.S. Open Finals in History in 2012?

Did Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Vie in the Closest U.S. Open Finals in History in 2012?

Tennis’ Open Era began in 1968, ushering in professional tennis as we know it today. Before that only amateurs competed in the U.S. Open.

There have been 45 U.S. Opens since then, not including this year (2013).

Of the 45 Open Finals, only eight went to five sets – the closest matches in U.S. Open history. I have them ranked by the difference in total games won, but much of this is debatable.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both won 25 games in 2012′s U.S. Open Final – leading off with an insane Game 1 that went to a 12-10 tiebreaker.

But the 2009 match between Juan Martín del Potro and Roger Federer, with two tiebreakers, was arguably as close.

How about Andre Agassi, who won in 1999 after losing two tiebreakers to Todd Martin?

Those are all close matches, but what about the biggest blowouts?

Eighteen Finals went just three sets, led by Jimmy Connors‘ 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 1974 whamping of Ken Rosewall. Check out the rest of the three-and-outs in today’s second list below, ranked again by spread.

CLOSEST MATCHES

  YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP SCORE IN FINAL SPREAD TIEBREAKERS
1. 2012 Andy Murray Novak Djokovic 7–6(12–10), 7–5, 2–6, 3–6, 6–2 25-25 1 Tiebreaker 12-10
2. 2009 Juan Martín del Potro Roger Federer 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–2 27-26 2 Tiebreakers 7-5, 7-4
3. 1973 John Newcombe Jan Kodeš 6–4, 1–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–3 23-21  
4. 1968 Arthur Ashe Tom Okker 14–12, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3 34-31  
4. 1988 Mats Wilander Ivan Lendl 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4 27-24  
6. 1972 Ilie Nastase Arthur Ashe 3–6, 6–3, 6–7(1–5), 6–4, 6–3 27-23 1 Tiebreaker 1-5
7. 1999 Andre Agassi Todd Martin 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(2–7), 6–3, 6–2 30-25 2 Tiebreakers 5-7, 2-7
7. 1980 John McEnroe Björn Borg 7–6(7–4), 6–1, 6–7(5–7), 5–7, 6–4 30-25 2 Tiebreakers 7-4, 5-7

BIGGEST BLOWOUTS

  YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP SCORE IN FINAL SPREAD TIEBREAKERS
1. 1974 Jimmy Connors Ken Rosewall 6–1, 6–0, 6–1 18-2  
2. 2004 Roger Federer Lleyton Hewitt 6–0, 7–6(7–3), 6–0 19-6 1 Tiebreaker 7-3
3. 1986 Ivan Lendl Miloslav Mecír 6–4, 6–2, 6–0 18-6  
3. 1991 Stefan Edberg Jim Courier 6–2, 6–4, 6–0 18-6  
5. 2001 Lleyton Hewitt Pete Sampras 7–6(7–4), 6–1, 6–1 19-8 1 Tiebreaker 7-4
6. 1978 Jimmy Connors Björn Borg 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 18-8  
6. 1984 John McEnroe Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–4, 6–1 18-8  
6. 2008 Roger Federer Andy Murray 6–2, 7–5, 6–2 19-9  
9. 1990 Pete Sampras Andre Agassi 6–4, 6–3, 6–2 18-9  
10. 1975 Manuel Orantes Jimmy Connors 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 18-10  
10. 2000 Marat Safin Pete Sampras 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 18-10  
10. 1979 John McEnroe Vitas Gerulaitis 7–5, 6–3, 6–3 19-11  
13. 1996 Pete Sampras Michael Chang 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(7–3) 19-11 1 Tiebreaker 7-3
14. 1994 Andre Agassi Michael Stich 6–1, 7–6(7–5), 7–5 20-12 1 Tiebreaker 7-5
15. 1993 Pete Sampras Cédric Pioline 6–4, 6–4, 6–3 18-11  
16. 2003 Andy Roddick Juan Carlos Ferrero 6–3, 7–6(7–2), 6–3 19-12 1 Tiebreaker 7-2
17. 1985 Ivan Lendl John McEnroe 7–6(7–1), 6–3, 6–4 19-13 1 Tiebreaker 7-1
18. 2007 Roger Federer Novak Djokovic 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–2), 6–4 20-16 2 Tiebreakers 7-4, 7-2

Source: usopen.org

Photo: es.2012.itftennis.com

NFL: The Closest Super Bowls in History

The New York Giants Won Super Bowl XXV By One Point When Scott Norwood's Field Goal Attempt Went Right

The New York Giants Won Super Bowl XXV By One Point When Scott Norwood’s Field Goal Attempt Went Right

Four of the last five Super Bowls have been decided by a possession – seven points or less (well, eight if you want to be technical, but “8″ just doesn’t have that ring, and the two-point conversion is not as much a “given” as the PAT).

The game wasn’t always so thrilling. Many were no-contests, particularly through the late 1970s and 1980s. Take a look at the 20 Biggest Blowouts in Super Bowl History to confirm.

All together, 16 of the 46 Super Bowls played have been decided by a possession, listed below. These examples exemplify a recent fact about the NFL – an increase in parity between teams and conferences over the past two decades.

Ten of the 16 closest Super Bowls occurred after 1990, including five of the top six.

CHART UPDATED: February 3, 2013 to include the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers. What a game that was!

  SB SEASON DIFF WINNER PTS LOSER PTS
1. XXV 1990 1 New York Giants 20 Buffalo Bills 19
2. XLVII 2012 3 Baltimore Ravens 34 San Francisco 49ers 31
2. XLII 2007 3 New York Giants 17 New England Patriots 14
2. XXXIX 2004 3 New England Patriots 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21
2. XXXVIII 2003 3 New England Patriots 32 Carolina Panthers 29
2. XXXVI 2001 3 New England Patriots 20 St. Louis Rams 17
2. V 1970 3 Baltimore Colts 16 Dallas Cowboys 13
8. XLVI 2011 4 New York Giants 21 New England Patriots 17
8. XLIII 2008 4 Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Arizona Cardinals 23
8. XXIII 1988 4 San Francisco 49ers 20 Cincinnati Bengals 16
8. XIII 1978 4 Pittsburgh Steelers 35 Dallas Cowboys 31
8. X 1975 4 Pittsburgh Steelers 21 Dallas Cowboys 17
13. XVI 1981 5 San Francisco 49ers 26 Cincinnati Bengals 21
14. XLV 2010 6 Green Bay Packers 31 Pittsburgh Steelers 25
15. XXXIV 1999 7 St. Louis Rams 23 Tennessee Titans 16
15. XXXII 1997 7 Denver Broncos 31 Green Bay Packers 24
15. VII 1972 7 Miami Dolphins 14 Washington Redskins 7

Photo: nydailynews.com

NCAA Championship: Biggest Blowouts and Closest Games in NCAA Finals History

Kentucky and Kansas Meet in Tonight's 2012 NCAA Championship Game

Kentucky and Kansas Meet in Tonight’s 2012 NCAA Championship Game

The 2012 NCAA Championship is upon us. Kentucky vs. Kansas for all the marbles tonight, 9:23 PM ET.

Kentucky is the heavy favorite, and they should win. But anything can happen, of course.  It wouldn’t be the first time a No. 2 took down a No. 1 in the Championship.

But you know what? It would only be the third time. Yep, I couldn’t believe it either.

Anyway, on to today’s lists.

These are the biggest blowouts (15 points or more) and closest barn burners (5 points or less) in NCAA Finals history.

The 1990 Runnin’ Rebels are the proud owners of the biggest smackdown for the crown. They walloped the Duke Blue Devils [snicker] by 30 points. But Duke’s up there with a 20-point spanking of their own.

Kansas and Kentucky both made the list, too.  And UCLA is the big kid on the block, with five blowouts to its credit.

The latest beatdown was North Carolina‘s dispatching of Michigan State by 17 in 2009.

As for close Finals, interestingly, 25 games have been decided by 5 points or less. That’s a lot. If you go back to the earliest close game on the list, Wisconsin over Washington State in 1941, that’s 70 Finals in total. So, more than a third of the time, you’re in for an exciting contest.

Six Finals have been decided by one point, including Michael Jordan’s North Carolina victory over Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas in 1982.

The Duke vs. Butler classic in 2010 was the latest squeaker, the Blue Devils eking out a 2-point win.

Enjoy the game! Will it be a blowout or a nailbiter?

List up to date as of 2013.

BIGGEST NCAA FINALS BLOWOUTS

DIFF WINNER PTS LOSER PTS YEAR
1. +30 Nevada-Las Vegas 103 Duke 73 1990
2. +23 UCLA 78 North Carolina 55 1968
3. +21 UCLA 87 Memphis 66 1973
4. +20 Duke 71 Michigan 51 1992
4. +20 Ohio State 75 California 55 1960
4. +20 UCLA 92 Purdue 72 1969
7. +18 Indiana 86 Michigan 68 1976
7. +18 Indiana 60 Kansas 42 1940
9. +17 Kansas 80 St. John’s (NY) 63 1952
9. +17 North Carolina 89 Michigan State 72 2009
11. +16 La Salle 92 Bradley 76 1954
11. +16 Kentucky 58 Baylor 42 1948
11. +16 Florida 73 UCLA 57 2006
14. +15 UCLA 79 Dayton 64 1967
14. +15 UCLA 98 Duke 83 1964
14. +15 Stanford 53 Dartmouth 38 1942

CLOSEST NCAA FINALS

  DIFF WINNER PTS LOSER PTS OT Year
1. +1 North Carolina 63 Georgetown 62   1982
1. +1 Michigan 80 Seton Hall 79 OT 1989
1. +1 Indiana 74 Syracuse 73   1987
1. +1 Indiana 69 Kansas 68   1953
1. +1 North Carolina 54 Kansas 53 3OT 1957
1. +1 California 71 West Virginia 70   1959
7. +2 Villanova 66 Georgetown 64   1985
7. +2 North Carolina State 54 Houston 52   1983
7. +2 Duke 61 Butler 59   2010
7. +2 Loyola (IL) 60 Cincinnati 58 OT 1963
7. +2 Utah 42 Dartmouth 40 OT 1944
12. +3 Louisville 72 Duke 69   1986
12. +3 Syracuse 81 Kansas 78   2003
12. +3 City College of NY 71 Bradley 68   1950
12. +3 Oklahoma State 43 North Carolina 40   1946
12. +3 Connecticut 77 Duke 74   1999
17. +4 Oklahoma State 49 NYU 45   1945
17. +4 Kansas 83 Oklahoma 79   1988
17. +4 Arkansas 76 Duke 72   1994
20. +5 North Carolina 75 Illinois 70   2005
20. +5 Arizona 84 Kentucky 79 OT 1997
20. +5 UCLA 81 Florida State 76   1972
20. +5 Cincinnati 70 Ohio State 65 OT 1961
20. +5 Louisville 59 UCLA 54   1980
20. +5 Wisconsin 39 Washington State 34   1941

Photo: aseaofblue.com / collegebasketball.ap.org

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