Top 4 US Open men's finals in the Open Era
The US Open is the second oldest Grand Slam tournament after the Wimbledon Championships. It is also the most watched tennis tournament in the world.
The sponsorship money, TV rights and also the prize money awarded to the athletes at the US Open are the highest among all tennis tournaments. The tournament is played on acrylic hard courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows, New York.
The only Grand Slam tournament to have been played on three different surfaces - grass, clay and hard courts - the US Open has seen many epic battles between legends over the course of over a century of tennis action. The Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis venue in the world, has played host to several electrifying US Open finals match-ups over the years.
The kind of crowd involvement at Arthur Ashe is unlike any other in the tennis world. That makes US Open finals just that little bit more dramatic and memorable.
Here, we take a look back at some of the greatest finals played at the US Open in the Open Era:
#4 Jimmy Connors vs Bjorn Borg (1976)
Coming into the 1976 US Open, American Jimmy Connors was the top seed but hadn't won a Grand Slam title since beating Ken Rosewall in the final of the same event in 1974. 1974 was also the last year that the tournament was played on grass; the 1976 US Open was played on the gray-green Har-Tru clay.
Borg was considered the best clay court player at the time, and had won the French Open on two consecutive occasions in addition to his back-to-back Wimbledon triumphs. But Connors had gotten the better of Borg in all five previous match-ups that year.
All things said, the match was an even contest and could have easily gone either way.
The third set made this match truly special, and proved to be the pivotal phase. The two rivals had split the first two sets, and Connors took the lead in the third set; he was serving at 4-2, 40-0, a point away from taking a huge 5-2 lead.
But Borg then won five consecutive points to take the game, and later had double set point at 6-4 in the tiebreaker. Connors hit two magnificent forehand winners to even the tiebreak, then let a set point of his own slip away at 7-6. He then saved two more set points at 8-7 and 9-8, before unloading on a crosscourt backhand winner to level the score at 9-9.
After having saved four set points, Connors eventually took the tiebreaker 11-9 for a two sets to one lea.
The American had his first match point opportunity while serving at 5-4 in the fourth. Borg stayed in contention with a brilliant forehand, and he saved another match point after that. But Connors took the third, and won the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-4.