Best US Open player of the open era?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by tennis_pro, Mar 7, 2012.

?

Best US Open player in the open era

  1. Connors

    21 vote(s)
    14.4%
  2. Sampras

    32 vote(s)
    21.9%
  3. Federer

    89 vote(s)
    61.0%
  4. McEnroe

    1 vote(s)
    0.7%
  5. Lendl

    3 vote(s)
    2.1%
  6. Agassi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    We have 3 main candidates (going with the wins naturally):

    1) Connors - 5 wins + 2 finals
    -97 matches won (a record by some distance)
    -12 SF in a row
    -from 1973-1991 only twice didn't reach the QF stage, one of those when he didn't play at all
    -the only player to win the US Open on 3 different surfaces (in fact he beat Borg twice on clay there)
    - reached the US semi in 1991 aged 39

    2) Sampras - 5 wins + 3 finals
    - won the US Open in his teens, 20's and 30's
    - a 12 year difference between his first (1990) and last wins (2002)
    - 4-0 against his main rival there (Agassi) who never pushed him to a 5th set

    3) Federer - 5 wins + 1 final
    - 5 consecutive wins (against 5 different opponents)
    - 40 consecutive victories
    - almost 90 % of the matches won (a record atm)
    - 8 consecutive SF appearances and counting
    - won two 6-0 sets in one of the finals (04 against Hewitt)
    - lost only 12 sets in 2004-2008, pushed to a 5-setter only twice

    Other:
    - McEnroe (3 wins in a row, 4 titles overall out of 5 finals)
    - Lendl (3 wins in a row, 8 consecutive finals)
    - Agassi (2 titles out of 6 finals)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
    #1
  2. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Sampras

    But only due to the arthimetic. 8 finals won 5. If Federer wins another it will be a different question as he will be the open era leader in US Open titles.
     
    #2
  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    had 12 straight SF's there, which is a record at any major.

    doesn't he have 98 matches won?

    Its a shame he didn't play all the majors throughout his career, his career stats strongly indicate he would likely have the most matches won at every major(is also the leader at Wimbledon), most slam semis, quarters etc had he done so. Santoro is the all time leader with 70 majors appearances, but his career was so much shorter than Connors.

    in 1981 McEnroe became the first player since Tilden in the 20s to win 3 straight US Championships, a fact that got much attention at the time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
    #3
  4. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    My money is on Fed winning this poll.
     
    #4
  5. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    This really is only a competition between Sampras and Federer. While it's neat that Connors won the USO on Har-Tru,that isn't the hard court that everyone else is playing on. Plus, the court was much faster in Sampras' and in the beginning of Federer's reign. Until(less) Federer wins another USO, they're tied.
     
    #5
  6. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    A Sampras vs Fed poll on TW. Put me down for a 1000 bucks on Fed. I think this would have been more interesting if it had been Wimby. My money would be on people still picking Fed :p.
     
    #6
  7. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    The fact that Connors won on multiple surfaces (Grass, Har-Tru and Hard) adds to his achievement rather than takes away from it.

    Regarding Federer/Sampras tie - Sampras is ahead because he has reached 2 more finals than Federer.
     
    #7
  8. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Federer - he won his 5 all in a row - imo it's a rarer thing to be in winning form for 5 consecutive years than it is to win a tournament every 3rd year over 15 years.

    Depends if you rate dominance over longevity I guess.
     
    #8
  9. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think the biggest advantage Federer has over Sampras is the fact that he's still an active player and has another good 2-3 shots at a 6th US Open title.
     
    #9
  10. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    You couldn't be more wrong. The purpose of the grand slams is this: you have the pinnacle tournament for each surface.

    AO: Med-slow hard court
    FO: Clay
    WB: Grass
    USO: Fast hard court

    Winning on the four different surfaces is what shows dominance of the grand slams. Let's look at it like this: Rafa won the USO, and no one thought he could possibly win it because it's the fast hard court slam. What if in 2010 it was changed to clay and Rafa won? No one would give his career slam any or at least as much merit. No one is denying that Connors is one of the all time greats. The point is the best US Open player. If you want to talk about the best player who plays a GS level tournament in New York state, then yes, Connors can be in the poll. Since it's obvious that it's about the fast hard court slam at the end of the year, he's not in contention with Sampras and Federer.

    And about the Sampras finals: Federer won all of his consecutively. Tie restored.
     
    #10
  11. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    The five in a row plus the quality of Federer's wins made me put him over the top. I feel that if it would have been as fast as when Sampras won it then Federer would be looking at 5 to 8 USO titles. As for the quality, I don't think I have a slam final as dominant as the 2004 USO final. Many talk about Federer's high quality of play at Wimbledon, but to me his best tennis has been at the USO.
     
    #11
  12. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    If finals matter to you then clearly Sampras is #1. Personally I would base it off the most exciting matches played/ those with greatest competition/ closesest matches.
     
    #12
  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    My first inclination was to go with Federer. However, Sampras and Connors both have some very impressive results/stats.
     
    #13
  14. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    There really isn't a bad choice. Federer has dominance, Sampras has bludgeoning play, and Connors has a nearly inhuman length of high quality play at the USO.
     
    #14
  15. raphMODE

    raphMODE Professional

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    Fed, cause he will win a 6th.
     
    #15
  16. Dilettante

    Dilettante Hall of Fame

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    No.

    Ten surfaces.
     
    #16
  17. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Jimmy Connors.
     
    #17
  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here are all their US Open records, by the way:

    Jimmy Connors
    1970: Round of 128 Loser
    1971: Round of 64 Loser
    1972: Round of 128 Loser
    1973: Quarter Final Loser
    1974: CHAMPION
    1975: Runner-up
    1976: CHAMPION
    1977: Runner-up
    1978: CHAMPION
    1979: Semi Final Loser
    1980: Semi Final Loser
    1981: Semi Final Loser
    1982: CHAMPION
    1983: CHAMPION
    1984: Semi Final Loser
    1985: Semi Final Loser
    1986: Round of 32 Loser
    1987: Semi Final Loser
    1988: Quarter Final Loser
    1989: Quarter Final Loser
    1990: DID NOT PLAY (wrist injury)
    1991: Semi Final Loser
    1992: Round of 64 Loser

    Pete Sampras
    1988: Round of 128 Loser
    1989: Round of 16 Loser
    1990: CHAMPION
    1991: Quarter Final Loser
    1992: Runner-up
    1993: CHAMPION
    1994: Round of 16 Loser
    1995: CHAMPION
    1996: CHAMPION
    1997: Round of 16 Loser
    1998: Semi Final Loser
    1999: DID NOT PLAY (back injury)
    2000: Runner-up
    2001: Runner-up
    2002: CHAMPION

    Roger Federer
    1999: DID NOT QUALIFY
    2000: Round of 32 Loser
    2001: Round of 16 Loser
    2002: Round of 16 Loser
    2003: Round of 16 Loser
    2004: CHAMPION
    2005: CHAMPION
    2006: CHAMPION
    2007: CHAMPION
    2008: CHAMPION
    2009: Runner-up
    2010: Semi Final Loser
    2011: Semi Final Loser

    John McEnroe
    1977: Round of 16 Loser
    1978: Semi Final Loser
    1979: CHAMPION
    1980: CHAMPION
    1981: CHAMPION
    1982: Semi Final Loser
    1983: Round of 16 Loser
    1984: CHAMPION
    1985: Runner-up
    1986: Round of 128 Loser
    1987: Quarter Final Loser
    1988: Round of 64 Loser
    1989: Round of 64 Loser
    1990: Semi Final Loser
    1991: Round of 32 Loser
    1992: Round of 16 Loser

    Ivan Lendl
    1979: Round of 64 Loser
    1980: Quarter Final Loser
    1981: Round of 16 Loser
    1982: Runner-up
    1983: Runner-up
    1984: Runner-up
    1985: CHAMPION
    1986: CHAMPION
    1987: CHAMPION
    1988: Runner-up
    1989: Runner-up
    1990: Quarter Final Loser
    1991: Semi Final Loser
    1992: Quarter Final Loser
    1993: Round of 128 Loser
    1994: Round of 64 Loser

    Andre Agassi
    1986: Round of 128 Loser
    1987: Round of 128 Loser
    1988: Semi Final Loser
    1989: Semi Final Loser
    1990: Runner-up
    1991: Round of 128 Loser
    1992: Quarter Final Loser
    1993: Round of 128 Loser
    1994: CHAMPION
    1995: Runner-up
    1996: Semi Final Loser
    1997: Round of 16 Loser
    1998: Round of 16 Loser
    1999: CHAMPION
    2000: Round of 64 Loser
    2001: Quarter Final Loser
    2002: Runner-up
    2003: Semi Final Loser
    2004: Quarter Final Loser
    2005: Runner-up
    2006: Round of 32 Loser
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
    #18
  19. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Fed's still got a decent shot at a 6th title. Winning 5 consecutive should count for something.
    Even Nadal's not won 5 consecutive RGs. ;)
     
    #19
  20. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Jimmy Connors is the ideal player for the US Open. He would use the crowd energy to it's finest point. No wonder he did well all those years at US.

    Sampras and Federer may have won the same amount of titles....their temperament isn't going to give them edge. Still Federer has a shot to be better than Sampras and Connors at the US.....but I doubt Djokovic and Nadal will let him stain it.
     
    #20
  21. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    following that you wouldnt acknowledge a grand slam in these days at all since its pretty much the same surface in different colors 4 times. no grand slam to be won like that


    as for the poll.. federer in 2 -.-
     
    #21
  22. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Tough call, Connors has some impressive longevity, but then again Sampras had the twelve year gap between first and last title, but then again Fed got five straight, I say it's a three way tie.
     
    #22
  23. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Too close to call as far as I'm concerned, the three of them have huge (and very different) merits. Of course, should Federer win a 6th, this would likely clinch the deal... ;)

    Edit: at the moment, I would still go with Connors, though. The US Open really was "his" tournament (open era, I mean--otherwise, Big Bill Tilden gets my vote, of course).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    #23
  24. Satsuma Florida

    Satsuma Florida Rookie

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    Jimmy Connors ruled the U.S. Open like nobody ever did. Can't just look at the numbers.
     
    #24
  25. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    Is it about that though? I mean US Open was on grass first, so if Wimbledon gets changed to hardcourt will the greatest Wimbledon player then become about who is the greatest on the new hardcourt version?

    Difficult to discount Connors for me but also not the others fault that they never played it on grass or clay. Federer at best has a tie, 5 wins in a row nd 6 finals is impressive and he was one point away from making 7 finals and another point away from 8 finals in a row which would tie Lendl but with more wins and tie Sampras's amount of finals with them tied on wins but having more finals and wins in a row. Given the closeness he got to this I can't really chose between connors, Sampras or Federer, maybe edge to Sampras.
     
    #25
  26. celoft

    celoft Guest

    Federer won 5 in a row.
     
    #26
  27. wimble10

    wimble10 Semi-Pro

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    I voted for Sampras. I don't think it matters that much if you win the titles consecutively. I think Sampras would have the edge over Federer at the USO. When Pete was on at Flushing Meadows, no one could stop him.
     
    #27
  28. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    I agree with Mustard. Connors is joint 1st in titles won, but has all those years of amazing consistency.

    If Lendl had won 5 of the 8 consecutive finals though I'd give it to him.

    If Federer wins a 6th then it would be him without a doubt.
     
    #28
  29. celoft

    celoft Guest

    Winning 5 years in a row is bloody hard. Borg did it at Wimbledon. Federer did it at Wimbledon and at the USO... Sampras and Nadal couldn't do it anywhere(slams).
     
    #29
  30. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Except Korda, Safin, Hewitt, and Yzaga right? Have you not seen the 2004 USO final? It doesn't get much more on than that.
     
    #30
  31. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ehhmm...Federer barely lost any sets in any of his 2004-2008 wins, especially 05,06,07, Sampras lost to Yzaga in 1994 (and was forced to a 5th set in the 2nd roud by Novak), was match points down against Corretja in 1996, lost to Kodra at the 1997 US Open, that's only his peak years. Later on he used to get owned by Safin and Hewitt in the 00' and 01' US finals respectively.

    So please, could you please tell us in which exact matches Sampras was "on" at the US Open? Cause I don't remember Sampras being dominant in ANY of the US Opens he played.
     
    #31
  32. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    BS -- is that why he lost to Petr Korda or Jamie Yzaga (I'm not going to bring up Safin and Hewitt, because I know the answer that Pete-****s come up with)?

    Oh yes, I forgot -- Pete wasn't "on" during those times.
     
    #32
  33. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    weak era. 10 chars.
     
    #33
  34. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    For a guy who is supposedly the best US Open player ever he wasn't "on" a lot of the times, no?:)
     
    #34
  35. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Stefan Edberg wants to have a word with you regarding that.
     
    #35
  36. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Send him over. I'd love to meet the guy. I just find double bageling Hewitt to be more impressive than beating Courier 2, 4, and love. Hewitt's greatest strength has always been his ability to get the balls back. Courier had a great forehand(for the time) and a good serve. To do that to Hewitt you would need to have surgical precision which I believe Federer did. But yes you are right. Edberg's performance was a great one.
     
    #36
  37. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    The three of them are the best US OPEN players (in the Open Era). It is impossible to choose just one of them.

    Federer winning 5 consecutive titles (plus 1 Final), Connors winning 5 titles in three surfaces (plus 2 Finals) in many years apart, Sampras winning 5 titles (plus 3 Finals) in even more years apart.

    The three of them are great US OPEN players. The best ones there.

    After them you have Lendl (3 titles, 5 Finals), McEnroe (3 titles, 1 Final), Agassi (2 titles, 4 finals),.....
     
    #37
  38. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Looking at things for awhile I had to go with Conners.

    5 wins
    2 finals
    7 semis
    3 quarters



    Conners made at least the semis for 12 straight tournaments(14 times total).
    5 straight years in the finals(3-2).


    Fed is very close at #2.
     
    #38
  39. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Thise 8 finals by lendl... He could be on number one if'd won more 2 or 3...
     
    #39
  40. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    But i will go with connors
     
    #40
  41. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Aight, Maybe I shouldn't be the one to comment on that as I'm biased against Federer and haven't actually seen the match and therefore can't comment on how he played (though I've seen the Edberg match), but I probably would've watched the final if JoJo would've won his semi. So for the purposes of this conversation I'll redact my comment until I've seen the 2004 USO final and hopefully have provided an unbiased view.

    BTW, How come Fed got in a tiebreak situation in the 2nd?
     
    #41
  42. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Hewitt is a scrappy fighter and Federer has been prone to momentary lapses on occasion. He went up 2-0 in the set and was returning at 2-4 with a good chance to go up 5-2 and should have served it out at 5-4 but he didn't. I just feel that Federer's forehand was going off with the accuracy of a sniper in that match.

    I do agree that Edberg was fantastic in those two USO finals.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    #42
  43. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    1993 was Pete Sampras' most dominant US Open win, 2 sets dropped in the tournament, 1 against Daniel Vacek in the R64 and 1 against Michael Chang in the quarter finals. Federer dropped just 2 sets in his 2006 and 2007 US Open wins. Connors dropped just 1 set in winning the 1976 US Open.

    Not since Neale Fraser in 1960 has a men's singles player won the title without dropping a set in the tournament.
     
    #43
  44. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well Federer with Sampras 1993 US draw wouldn't've lost a single set. Sampras had Volkov in the SF and Pioline in the F while Fed had Blake, Davydenko, Roddick in the 06 US and Roddick, Davydenko, Djokovic in the 07 US.
     
    #44
  45. wimble10

    wimble10 Semi-Pro

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    Semi-finalists at US Open

    These are the semifinalists during the years Sampras and Federer made it to the quarterfinals or better. I think it's pretty clear their was more variety in Sampras era, and I think this indicates that it was more competitive during those years.

    2011 : Novak, Fed, Rafa, Murray
    2010: Novak, Fed, Rafa Youzhny
    2009: Novak, Fed, Rafa, Del Potro
    2008: Novak, Fed, Rafa, Murray
    2007: Novak, Fed, Davydenko, Ferrer
    2006: Fed, Davydenko, Roddick, Youzhny
    2005: Fed, Hewitt, Ginepri, Agassi
    2004: Fed, Johansson, Roddick, Henman

    1990: McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Becker
    1991: Connors, Courier, Lendl, Edberg
    1992: Courier, Sampras, Chang, Edberg
    1993: Pioline, Masur, Volkov, Sampras
    1995: Agassi, Becker, Courier, Sampras
    1996: Sampras, Ivanisevic, Agassi, Chang
    1998: Sampras, Rafter, Phillipoussis, Moya
    2000: Hewitt, Safin, Sampras, Martin
    2001: Kafelnikov, Hewitt, Sampras, Safin
    2002: Hewitt, Agassi, Sampras, Schalken
     
    #45
  46. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The 1974 US Open final saw Connors beat Rosewall 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. I doubt there's ever been a more one-sided scoreline in a men's singles major final.

    A Volkov who had beaten Muster (who had been on a 19 match winning streak) in the quarter finals, and Pioline had beaten Courier (world number 1) and Medvedev.

    Just to point out that this was Joachim Johansson, not Thomas Johansson. Oh, and it was Federer, J. Johansson, Hewitt and Henman. Johansson beat Roddick in the quarter finals.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    #46
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    1994 was Stich, Novacek, Agassi and Martin
    1997 was Bjorkman, Rusedski, Rafter and Chang
    1999 was Martin, Pioline, Kafelnikov and Agassi
     
    #47
  48. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro Talk Tennis Guru

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    Maybe because you don't see 40-year olds in major finals anymore?

    A qualifier named Gilles Muller beat Haas, Almagro and Davydenko at the 2008 US Open. I guess he was a tougher opponent for Federer than Davydenko himself:D
     
    #48
  49. billnepill

    billnepill Hall of Fame

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    I thought you are going to point out that Hewitt should have been there as us open finalist in 2004
     
    #49
  50. billnepill

    billnepill Hall of Fame

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    No seriously I am all for fed but Connors seems more impressive in us open at this point
     
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