US Open: Reliving Roger Federer's 5 consecutive titles at Flushing Meadows
Roger Federer is a record five-time champion at the US Open, along with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors. The Swiss won his titles at Flushing Meadows on the trot (2004-2008), which is an Open Era record for most consecutive titles at the last Grand Slam of the year.
The US Open is one of Federer's most successful Grand Slam tournaments, where he has triumphed five times, making the Swiss the only player to win 5 or more titles at three different Grand Slams (Wimbledon - 8, Australian Open - 6).
Federer has met 77 different opponents at the US Open, with only Novak Djokovic (3) and Juan Martin del Potro (2) managing multiple wins over the Swiss. Federer has more US Open titles (5) than straight-set defeats (4).
The 20-time Grand Slam champion's 85 match wins at Flushing Meadows is second only to fellow five-time US Open winner Connors' tally of 98.
After a modest 11-4 record in his first four appearances at the tournament, Federer embarked on a stunning 40-match win streak, racking up five successive titles between 2004 and 2008 before being stopped by Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro in five sets in the 2009 title match.
The next best streaks of consecutive match wins at the US Open are Ivan Lendl's 27 wins between 1985 and 1988, and John McEnroe's 26 victories between 1979 and 1982.
Since Federer's 2008 triumph, no other player has managed to successfully defend his title at the US Open. In this intervening period, six different players (Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka) have lifted the title at Flushing Meadows.
As the 2019 US Open gets underway next week, let us relive Federer's five successive title triumphs at the last Grand Slam of the year.
#1 First Title (2004): Beats Hewitt 6-0 7-6(3) 6-0
In his fifth appearance at the US Open in 2004, World No. 1 Roger Federer arrived at his first final at the tournament against 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt. This was after quarterfinal and semifinal wins over Andre Agassi and Tim Henman respectively.
The top seeded Swiss burst off the blocks by taking a bagel opening set against a stunned Hewitt in a mere 18 minutes. It was the first time in the Open Era that the men's singles final at the US Open had witnessed a bagel first set.
Federer snatched an early break in the second to arrive at three set points. A rout was on the cards, but Hewitt broke the Swiss in the ninth game of the set to force a tiebreak.
Federer regrouped and asserted his dominance in the tiebreak which went his way, for the loss of just three points, to take a commanding two-set lead.
History was now against Hewitt as no player had recovered from a two-set deficit in the final to win the US Open title since Pancho Gonzalez beat Ted Schroeder in the 1949 title match.
The Australian wilted in the face of a relentless onslaught from Federer as the Swiss walloped to the finish line with another bagel set to win his first US Open title and third Grand Slam of the year.
This remains the only double-bagel US Open final since the 1884 title match between Richard Sears and Howard Taylor.
In the process, Federer became the first player in the Open Era to win his first four Slam finals and emulated Mats Wilander by becoming the first player in 16 years to win three Grand Slam titles in a year.