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Year-by-Year history of the U.S. Open

Posted: Fri August 28, 1998 at 4:28 p.m. EDT

 
1968 -- Arthur Ashe, a 25-year-old lieutenant in the U.S.
        Army, defeats Tom Okker in five sets in the men's
        final to become the first American since 1955 to 
        win the U.S. Open men's singles title.  Ashe also
        becomes the first African-American man to win a
        Grand Slam singles title.  Virginia Wade of Britian 
        knocks off defending champion Billie Jean King in the 
        women's final.

1969 -- Rod Laver completes his second Grand Slam by defeating
        fellow Australian Tony Roche in the rain-delayed men's
        final.  The match was pushed back until Monday and a
        helicopter was brought in to help dry off the court.
        Margaret Court captured the third of her five women's
        singles titles and teamed with Marty Riessen to win
        the mixed doubles crown.  

1970 -- Margaret Court becomes only the second woman to complete
        the Grand Slam by defeating Rosie Casals in the women's
        final.  Court also won the women's doubles and mixed
        doubles titles.  Ken Rosewall, at the age of 35, wins
        his second U.S. Open title 14 years after claiming his
        first. The tournament also marks the Grand Slam debut of
        the tiebreak and Rosewall wins the first tiebreak in
        a Grand Slam final in his victory over Tony Roche.

1971 -- Billie Jean King and Stan Smith give the United States
        a sweep of the women's and men's singles titles for the
        first time in 16 years.  King's semifinal opponent is
        16-year-old American Chris Evert, who makes her U.S.
        Open debut.  Evert will go on to win the U.S. Open six
        times and make the semifinals each of the next 15 years.
        Men's top seed John Newcombe is stunned in the first
        round by Jan Kodes, becoming the first top seed to lose
        in the opening round since 1928.

1972 -- Ilie Nastase of Romania battles from a set down to 
        defeat Arthur Ashe in the dramatic five-set men's 
        final and Billie Jean King beats Kerry Melville in
        straight sets to become the first player in the Open
        Era to repeat as singles champion at the U.S. Open.

1973 -- John Newcombe avenges his first-round loss to Jan Kodes 
        two year earlier by defeating Kodes for his his second 
        singles title at the U.S. Championships.  Margaret Court 
        outlasts fellow Australian Evonne Goolagong in three 
        sets for her fourth U.S. Championships singles title.  
        Newcombe and Court each receive $25,000 for their 
        victories, marking the first time in tennis history that 
        men and woman players receive equal prize money.

1974 -- At the age of 22, Jimmy Connors wins the first of his
        five U.S. Open titles, defeating 39-year-old Ken Rosewall
        6-1, 6-0, 6-1 in the most lopsided final in the tournament's 
        history.  Billie Jean King records her fourth singles title, 
        rallying to beat Evonne Goolagong in the final.  The 
        tournament marks the last time the U.S. Open is played on 
        grass.

1975 -- Night tennis makes its debut at the U.S. Open, the
        tournament surface switches to clay and Martina 
        Navratilova, a 18-year-old from Czechoslovakia, announces
        her defection to the United States.  Spaniard Manuel
        Orantes rallies from 0-5 down in the fourth set and
        withholds five match points to defeat Guillermo Vilas
        in the semifinals and comes back to beat Jimmy Connors
        in the final the following day.  Chris Evert wins the
        first of her six U.S. Open titles by defeating Evonne
        Goolagong. The victory is the 85th in Evert's 125-match
        winning streak on clay.

1976 -- Americans Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert celebrate the
        bicentennial by claiming their second singles titles.
        In the finals, Connors survives a memorable third-set 
        marathon and defeats Bjorn Borg in four sets and Evert 
        tops Evonne Goolagong for the second straight year.
       
1977 -- John McEnroe and Tracy Austin make their U.S. Open
        debuts and the U.S. Open bids farewell to the West Side
        Tennis Club in Forest Hills.  McEnroe loses to Manuel 
        Orantes in the fourth round and Austin upsets Sue Barker 
        en route to the quarterfinals.  Guillermo Vilas knocks 
        off Jimmy Connors in the men's final, while Chris Evert 
        notches her third straight title with a victory over 
        Wendy Turnbull.  Evert is the only woman to win a U.S. 
        Open singles title on clay.

1978 -- The U.S. Open moves to the newly constructed National
        Tennis Center and the surface switches from clay to 
        hard courts.  Sixteen-year-old American Pam Shriver 
        reaches the women's final, only to lose to Chris Evert,
        who ties the record shared by Molla Mallory and Helen 
        Jacobs by winning her fourth straight U.S. Open title.  
        Jimmy Connors advances to his fifth straight men's final 
        and earns his third title by defeating Bjorn Borg.  The
        victory gives Connors the distinction of being the only
        man to win U.S. Open titles on three different surfaces.

1979 -- At the age of 16 years, eight months and 28 days, Tracy 
        Austin defeats four-time defending champion Chris
        Evert to become the youngest champion in U.S. Open history. 
        Four American men reach the semifinals and two New Yorkers,
        John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis, advance to the final.
        McEnroe claims his first Grand Slam title and the first 
        of his four U.S. Open titles with a straight-set victory.

1980 -- John McEnroe wins his second straight U.S. Open title
        by defeating Bjorn Borg in a classic five-set final.
        Chris Evert captures the women's title for the fifth
        time in six years despite taking three months off 
        earlier in the year.   Fifteen-year-old Andrea Jaeger 
        becomes the youngest semifinalist in U.S. Open history.

1981 -- John McEnroe makes it three in a row, a feat last
        achieved by Bill Tilden in 1920-25, by beating Bjorn
        Borg in the Swede's final Grand Slam appearance.  McEnroe 
        also teams with Peter Fleming to win the men's doubles 
        title for the second time.  Martina Navratilova,
        appearing in her first U.S. Open final, double-faults on 
        match point in the third set tiebreak to give Tracy 
        Austin her second U.S. Open title.

1982 -- Ivan Lendl ends John McEnroe's 26-match winning streak 
        at the U.S. Open in the semifinals, but falls to Jimmy 
        Connors in the final.   Chris Evert wins her sixth and 
        final U.S. Open title with a straight sets victory over 
        Hana Mandlikova.  Billie Jean King makes her final 
        singles appearance at the U.S. Open, losing to Susan 
        Mascarin in the opening round.

1983 -- Jimmy Connors becomes the first male player to win five 
        U.S. Open titles since Bill Tilden won six straight from 
        1920-1925.  Connors records the historic victory with a 
        four-set win over Ivan Lendl.  Martina Navratilova, 
        playing in her 11th U.S. Open, earns her first title by 
        defeating Chris Evert in straight sets.

1984 -- On Saturday, September 8th, in one of the greatest 
        single-day sessions ever, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe 
        win five-set semifinals and Martina Navratilova claims
        her second straight title with a three-set victory over 
        Chris Evert.  Lendl holds off Pat Cash in an afternoon 
        match and McEnroe eliminates Jimmy Connors in a match 
        that ends at 11:13 p.m.  McEnroe returns the next day to 
        defeat Lendl in straight sets for his fourth U.S. Open 
        title.

1985 -- Ivan Lendl, playing in his fourth straight U.S. Open 
        final, wins the men's title for the first time with a 
        straight-set victory over John McEnroe in a rematch of 
        the 1984 final.  Two-time champion Martina Navratilova 
        falls to Hana Mandlikova in the women's final.  At the 
        age of 14, Mary Joe Fernandez becomes the youngest player 
        to win a match at the U.S. Open.  Fernandez defeats Sara 
        Gomer of Britain in the opening round.

1986 -- Americans John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, winners of
        nine U.S. Open singles titles, are eliminated early
        and men's and women's finals feature four players born
        in Czechoslovakia.  McEnroe falls to Paul Annacone in
        the opening round and Connors is upset by Todd Witsken
        in the third round.  Ivan Lendl defeats Miroslav Mecir
        for his second straight title and Martina Navratilova
        captures her third U.S. Open crown by defeating Helena 
        Sukova.

1987 -- Martina Navratilova celebrates the 100th anniversary
        of the first women's championships by sweeping all
        three titles.  She defeats Steffi Graf for her second
        straight singles title, wins the women's doubles with
        Pam Shriver and teams with Emilio Sanchez to capture
        the mixed doubles crown.  Ivan Lendl three-peats as
        the men's champion, defeating Mats Wilander in a final 
        pushed back to Monday due to rain.

1988 -- Steffi Graf completes the first Grand Slam in tennis
        since Margaret Court in 1970 by beating Gabriela
        Sabatini in the women's final.  Mats Wilanders avenges
        a loss to Ivan Lendl in the 1987 final by dethroning
        the three-time champion in a four hour and 55 minute
        final -- the longest final in U.S. Open history.  

1989 -- Chris Evert's U.S. Open career comes to an end with
        a quarterfinal loss to Zina Garrison.  Evert's final
        victory at the Open is a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Monica
        Seles.  Steffi Graf defeats Martina Navratilova for her
        second straight women's singles title and fellow German 
        Boris Becker captures the men's title.  Becker defeats 
        Ivan Lendl, who ties Bill Tilden's record by appearing 
        in his eighth straight U.S. Open final.

1990 -- Pete Sampras becomes the youngest U.S. Open men's
        singles champion and Gabriela Sabatini wins her first
        Grand Slam title.  At the age of 19 years and 28 days,
        Sampras defeats Andre Agassi in set straights in the
        first All-American final since 1979.  Seeded 12th, 
        Sampras is the lowest men's seed to win the men's title 
        in the Open Era.  Stefan Edberg becomes only the second 
        number one seed in the Open Era to lose in the first 
        round as he falls to Russian Alexander Volkov.  Sabatini 
        upsets Steffi Graf in straight sets in the women's final.

1991 -- At the age of 39, wildcard entry Jimmy Connors stages a 
        remarkable run to the semifinals.  Connors rallies from 
        two sets down to defeat Patrick McEnroe in a four-hour, 
        35-minute marathon in the first round and comes back 
        from a two sets to one deficit to knock off Aaron 
        Krickstein in the fourth round.  Connors' quest for a 
        sixth U.S. Open title comes to an end against Jim Courier, 
        who wins their semifinal match in straight sets.  Courier 
        is then beaten by in the final by Stefan Edberg, who 
        becomes the first player in over 30 years to win the 
        title one year after losing in the first round.  Monica 
        Seles claims the women's singles title with a straight 
        sets win over Martina Navratilova.

1992 -- Stefan Edberg rallies from a service break down in the
        fifth set in consecutive matches against Richard 
        Krajicek, Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang and defeats
        Pete Sampras in the final for his second straight U.S.
        Open title.  The Edberg-Chang match lasts five hours
        and 26 minutes and is believed to be the longest match
        in the tournament's history.   Monica Seles repeats
        as the women's champion, winning seven matches without
        dropping a set.

1993 -- Pete Sampras wins his second U.S. Open title and Steffi
        Graf notches her third in relatively easy fashion.
        Sampras sweeps Cedric Pioline, the first Frenchman to
        make the U.S. Open final since Henri Cochet in 1932, and
        Graf does the same to Helena Sukova, denying Sukova a
        rare U.S. Open "triple".   Sukova teams with Arantxa 
        Sanchez Vicario to win the women's doubles title and 
        with Todd Woodbridge to capture the mixed doubles crown.

1994 -- Andre Agassi, ranked 20th in the world entering the
        tournament, defeats five seeded players en route to
        becoming the first unseeded player in the Open Era
        to win the men's title.  Agassi knocks off Wayne 
        Ferreira, Michael Chang, Thomas Muster and Todd 
        Martin before sweeping Michael Stich in the final.
        Arantxa Sanchez Vicario rallies after dropping the
        first set in 25 minutes to defeat Steffi Graf in the
        women's final.  Sanchez Vicario becomes the first 
        Spanish woman to win the U.S. Open title.

1995 -- Monica Seles advances to the women's final in her second
        tournament since returning from a 2 1/2 year absence,
        but is defeated by Steffi Graf, who earns her fourth
        U.S. Open title.  Graf becomes the first player, male or
        female, to win each of the four Grand Slam events at 
        least four times.   Pete Sampras defeats defending
        champion and top seed Andre Agassi for his third U.S.
        Open title. Boris Becker and Jim Courier join Sampras
        and Agassi in the semifinals, marking the first time 
        ever that four former or current number one players in
        the world reach the semis of the U.S. Open.

1996 -- Pete Sampras captured his fourth U.S. Open title and 
        eighth career Grand Slam title, defeating Michael Chang
        in the final.  The win was even more special as it would
        have been the 45th birthday of his coach Tim Gullikson,
        who died four months earlier of brain cancer. Steffi Graf
        earned her fifth U.S. Open title by defeating Monica Seles
        for the second straight year.  The men's and women's 
        singles finals were the last to be played at Louis 
        Armstrong Stadium.  Two-time champion Stefan Edberg reached 
        the quarterfinals in his last U.S. Open appearance.  

1997 -- The new Arthur Ashe Stadium saw two new U.S. Open singles 
        champions crowned.  Sixteen-year-old Martina Hingis defeated
        17-year-old Venus Williams in the youngest Grand Slam 
        women's final in the Open Era.  Hingis became the 
        second-youngest U.S. Open women's champion with her victory.
        Williams was the first unseeded female to reach the U.S. 
        Open final since Pam Shriver in 1978 and the first 
        African-American to play in a U.S. Open final since Ashe 
        in 1972.  She also was the first African-American female  
        to reach the women's singles final since Althea Gibson
        in 1958.  Williams earned a berth in the final by fighting
        off two match points in the third set to defeat Irina Spirlea, 
        a match that featured a memorable bumping incident during a 
        changeover.  Patrick Rafter became the first Australian male 
        to win the U.S. Open since John Newcombe in 1973 by defeating 
        Greg Rusedski, the first Brit to play in a U.S. Open men's 
        final since Fred Perry in 1934.  His performance gave Britain 
        something to cheer about as Princess Diana died during the 
        tournament.  


 

© 1998 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP



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