US Open 2019: 20 facts about Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows
Since a third-round exit to Juan Carlos Fererro on his tournament debut in 2000, Roger Federer has racked up a record-equalling 5 titles at the US Open. On the cusp of Federer's 20 years at Flushing Meadows (though he did not play the 2016 edition), here are 20 US Open facts about the Swiss maestro.
#1 Only player to win five consecutive titles
Federer is the only player to win five consecutive titles at the US Open, doing so from 2004 to 2008. The next best tally of consecutive titles at the tournament is three -- John McEnroe (1979-81) and Ivan Lendl (1985-87).
#2 Only player to win his first five Flushing Meadows finals
Jimmy Connors was the first player to reach five US Open finals in the Open Era, of which he won three (1974, 1976, 1978).
His countryman John McEnroe was the next player to do so, winning titles from 1979-81 and in 1984 and coming up short in the 1985 title match.
Ivan Lendl was the third player to play five US Open finals, falling short in 1983, 1984 and winning titles in 1985-87.
Pete Sampras won four of his first five US Open finals, in 1990, 1993, 1995 and 1996, and lost in 1992. Another American, Andre Agassi, who also reached five US Open title matches, won in 1994 and 1999 and lost in 1990, 1995 and 2002 (lost to Sampras each time).
Subsequently, two more players have reached five or more US Open finals (Federer and Novak Djokovic). Among this group of seven players, Federer is the only one to win his first five finals at Flushing Meadows, doing so from 2004-08 in consecutive years.
#3 One of five players to reach seven finals
Federer is one of only five players to play the title match at Flushing Meadows on seven occasions (2004-09, 2015). The other players in the Open Era to have played seven or more US Open finals are Jimmy Connors (seven; 1974-78, 1983, 1984), Ivan Lendl (eight; 1982-1989), Pete Sampras (eight; 1990, 1992-93, 1995-96, 2000-02) and Novak Djokovic (eight; 2007, 2010-13, 2015-16, 2018).
#4 One of two players to play six consecutive finals
Federer is one of only two players in the Open Era to contest six consecutive finals at the US Open, winning the title from 2004 to 2008 and coming up short in 2009 against Juan Martin Del Potro. The only other player in the Open Era to do so is Ivan Lendl, who played eight successive US Open finals from 1982-89, winning from 1985-87 and losing the other five.
#5 One of four players to play eight consecutive semifinals
Federer is one of four players in the Open Era to contest eight successive semifinals at the US Open, doing so between 2004 and 2011. Five-time winner Jimmy Connors played 12 successive semi-finals from 1974-1985, Novak Djokovic from 2007-2018 (did not play in 2017) and Ivan Lendl from 1982-1989, reaching the final on each occasion.
#6 Only player since 1884 to record a double bagel in the final
In his first US Open final in 2004, Federer beat Australia's Lleyton Hewitt 6-0 7-6(3) 6-0. This was only the second time in the tournament's history that two bagel sets were recorded in the final. The only other such instance was in 1884 when Richard Seers beat Howard Taylor.
#7 One of three players to make 19 appearances
Federer's 19th appearance (2000-2015, 2017-19) at the US Open in 2019 makes him one of only three players to have made more than 18 appearances at the US Open. The others are American Jimmy Connors (22; 1970 to 1992) and Andre Agassi (21; 1986 to 2006).
#8 One of four players to make 16 consecutive appearances
Federer made 16 consecutive appearances at the US Open from 2000 to 2015. The only other players to have done so at Flushing Meadows are Agassi (21; 1986 to 2006), Connors (20; 1970 to 1989) and Feliciano Lopez (18 from 2002 to 2019). Apart from Federer, Lopez is the only other active player in the quartet.
# 9: Record 18th appearance as a seed
At the 2019 US Open, Federer will make his 18th appearance as a seeded player. The only other player to do so at the tournament on as many occasions is American Jimmy Connors. Federer's only unseeded appearance at Flushing Meadows was on his debut in 2000.
#10 Top seed on six occasions
Federer has been the top seed at the US Open six times -- 2004-07, 2009, and 2012. Among active players, only Djokovic has been the top seed at the US Open on more occasions -- 2011, 2013-16, 2018-19. Federer has also been seeded second seven times (2003, 2008, 2010-11, 2014-15, 2018), making it 13 appearances as a top-two seed.
#11 Longest winning streak at the US Open (40 matches)
Since a defeat to David Nalbandian in the fourth round at the 2003 US Open, Federer went on a stunning 40-match win streak, which came to an end in a five-set defeat to Juan Martin Del Potro in the final of the 2009 US Open. The next best streaks at the US Open are Ivan Lendl's 27 (1985-1988) and John McEnroe's 26 (1979-1982).
#12 Faced 76 different opponents
Federer has faced 76 different opponents from 2000-2018, meeting 60 opponents only once. Federer has played 13 players twice, two players thrice (Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt) and one player six times (Novak Djokovic) at the US Open. Rafael Nadal and Federer have yet to meet in the US Open. It's the least number opponents he has faced at a Grand Slam, following 66 at the French Open, 79 at the Australian Open and 83 at Wimbledon.
#13 Second-most wins at the tournament
The Swiss is one of only five players to notch up at least 70 match wins at the US Open. Federer's 85 wins is the most by an active player and is only dwarfed by fellow five-time winner Jimmy Connors' tally of 98 in the all-time list. The active players with the most wins at the US Open after Federer are Djokovic (69), Nadal (53) and Andy Murray (45).
#14 Sixty-three straight-set wins
Federer has won 63 of his matches at the US Open without dropping a set. A number so high that it is good enough for eighth place in the list of most wins at the tournament. Federer's last non-straight win at the US Open was in the 2017 second round against Mikhail Youzhny.
#15 More titles than straight-set defeats
Federer has won five titles at the US Open from 2004 to 2008. And he has suffered only four straight-set defeats -- 2001 fourth round to Agassi, 2002 fourth round to Max Mirnyi, 2013 fourth round to Tommy Robredo and the 2014 semifinals to Marin Cilic.
#16 Only two players have beat Federer more than once
Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro are the only players to have beaten Federer at the US Open on multiple occasions. Djokovic has had six meetings at the US Open with Federer, losing the 2007 final and the 2008 and 2009 semifinals, winning the 2010 and 11 semifinals and the 2015 final. Del Potro is the only player Federer has met more than once at the US Open and hasn't managed to beat. The Argentinian got the better of the Swiss in the 2009 final and the 2017 quarterfinals.
#17 He has not lost before the third round
Along with the Australian Open, the US Open is the only other Grand Slam tournament in which Federer has not lost before the third round. His only third-round exit at Flushing Meadows came on his debut in 2000 to Juan Carlos Ferrero. Since then, the Swiss has made the second week each of his 17 other appearances. Federer has three third-round exits at the Australian Open (2000 and 2001 and in 2015), three first-round exits at the French Open and three first-round exits and a second-round exit at Wimbledon.
#18 Lost twice with match points
Federer has endured two defeats despite having match points at the US Open. Both of those losses came at the hands of Djokovic in the 2010 and 2011 semifinals. In 2010, Federer had two successive match points on Djokovic's serve at 5-4, 40-15 in the fifth set but couldn't convert. The next year, he had two match points on his serve at 5-3, 40-15 in the fifth set. Both of those losses denied Federer a first-ever US Open meeting with his arch-rival Nadal.
#19 Won twice after saving match points
In his very first match at the US Open in 2000, Federer trailed by two sets against Peter Wessels and found himself a match point down in the fourth set. The Swiss rallied to take the fourth set on a tiebreak and won on debut when his opponent retired in the fifth set.
14 years later, in the quarterfinals, he was under the gun against Frenchman Gael Monfils, dropping the first two sets in swirling conditions. As the wind subsided under the New York lights, so did Federer's unforced errors and the Swiss launched his comeback by taking the third set. But in the fourth, Federer had to deal with two match points, serving at 4-5. 15-40 in the fourth. He saved both and took the match to a decider. A distraught Monfils disintegrated in the fifth as Federer staged a great escape for the second time at Flushing Meadows.
#20 Federer is yet to meet his arch-rival Nadal at Flushing Meadows
Despite meeting the Spaniard 14 times at Grand Slams, he has never met Rafael Nadal at the US Open. In the 2008 and 2009 US Open semifinals, Nadal lost to Murray and Del Potro, respectively, to be denied a first-ever meeting with Federer. In the 2010 and 2011 semifinals against Djokovic, Federer was a point away from sealing a first meeting with the Spaniard but couldn't close out victory. In the 2017 quarterfinal, Del Potro beat the Swiss in four sets to thwart a first Federer-Nadal US Open clash.Published 26 Aug 2019, 10:23 IST