Greatest USO champion?

Who is the GOAT at the US Open?

  • Sampras

    Votes: 19 26.0%
  • Connors

    Votes: 23 31.5%
  • Federer

    Votes: 26 35.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 6.8%

  • Total voters
    73

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
#6
Connors for consistent longevity. 5 wins, 2 finals, 7 semifinals, 3 quarterfinals between 1973 and 1991. Add making a semifinal at the age of 39 - that in the era that did not welcome longevity - as impressive as a title, I say.
They're all deserving for the reasons noted! I'd probably go with Federer because of the run of 5 with a 6th final losing to Del Po! I don't think the competition was there for him like what Sampras had to deal with! Connors deserves accolades for his consistency and winning on 3 different surfaces even though I can't stand his guts! He repeatedly stopped BORG on clay and HC showing this title was as hard as any to win! Borg returned the favor eliminating him at Wimbledon about 4 or 5 times! Lendl's at the very top of my list though with 8 straight finals, winning 3 in a row! :rolleyes: :p ;)
 
#7
Connors for consistent longevity. 5 wins, 2 finals, 7 semifinals, 3 quarterfinals between 1973 and 1991. Add making a semifinal at the age of 39 - that in the era that did not welcome longevity - as impressive as a title, I say.
It was a pretty soft draw to the semis. Obviously ridiculous to still do it at 38/39 but not as impressive as a title. Big points for the longevity/consistency and having to do battle with peak Mac at the USO, but I couldn't care less about the 3 surface thing considering Fed and Sampras never got the chance, and about 3 of his wins he faced pretty weak opposition so it evens out. Third is appropriate given that he doesn't beat the other two on titles or finals and I think he pretty clearly is third on peak level anyways so that's what wins out. Federer vs Sampras is the real debate.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
#8
It was a pretty soft draw to the semis. Obviously ridiculous to still do it at 38/39 but not as impressive as a title. Big points for the longevity/consistency and having to do battle with peak Mac at the USO, but I couldn't care less about the 3 surface thing considering Fed and Sampras never got the chance, and about 3 of his wins he faced pretty weak opposition so it evens out. Third is appropriate given that he doesn't beat the other two on titles or finals and I think he pretty clearly is third on peak level anyways so that's what wins out. Federer vs Sampras is the real debate.
Sampras never dominanted the USO like Federer did though but yeah it's close either way.

Can see arguments for Pete over Roger being legit.
 
#9
Sampras never dominanted the USO like Federer did though but yeah it's close either way.

Can see arguments for Pete over Roger being legit.
Federer's level on the whole at the USO after 2009 has been pretty disappointing though, good/great runs in 2011 and 2015 levelwise but besides that pretty mediocre(by his standards). Pete outside of his prime/peak had a bunch of great runs. 90/01/02 were great levelwise, 01 final notwithstanding because his level before the final was tremendous, he just wore down after the first set, and 92/00 were pretty good as well.

Regarding peak, Federer wins but Sampras could have realistically won two of 94/98/99 with good health and gotten that concentrated domination, so I won't hold that against him as much as if he had actually lost a bunch of matches he shouldn't have Djokovic style (97 was the only one, and Korda was a dangerous player so not a complete mug, 94 he was rusty and recovering from injury, 98 he had that groin issue, playing on 1 leg after going up 2 sets to 1, 99 he was injured all together).

So it's really close, goes either way. If Federer had converted on 09 this wouldn't even be a debate, but oh well.
 
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Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#10
Let’s lake a look at their records at the USO:

Federer: 78-11, includes 16-6 vs top 10. 5 straight titles, 6 straight finals, 8 straight semis, 10 semis and 7 finals overall.

Sampras: 71-9, includes 16-5 vs top 10. 5 titles, 7 finals, 8 semis,

Connors: 98-17, includes 13-13 vs top 10, 5 titles, 7 finals, 14 semis

Lendl: 73-13, includes 17-8 vs top 10, 3 titles, 3 straight titles, 8 straight finals.

When factoring in the level of competition, I get:

1. Lendl: 7 of Lendl’s 8 losses against the top 10 were against players that had 6+ slams for their careers. Despite having by far the toughest level of competition, he made 8 straight finals and has the most wins against top 10 players.
2. Federer: 5 straight wins and 6 straight finals had him squeaking by Sampras.
3. Sampras: his record nearly mimics Federer’s. But Fed’s peak was higher and longer.
4. Connors: Connors’ 13-13 record vs the top 10 puts him in 4th by a long distance.

I see a strong case for Federer over Lendl. Fed’s winning streak was incredible. But Lendl’s competition was far tougher.
 
#12
Let’s lake a look at their records at the USO:

Federer: 78-11, includes 16-6 vs top 10. 5 straight titles, 6 straight finals, 8 straight semis, 10 semis and 7 finals overall.

Sampras: 71-9, includes 16-5 vs top 10. 5 titles, 7 finals, 8 semis,

Connors: 98-17, includes 13-13 vs top 10, 5 titles, 7 finals, 14 semis

Lendl: 73-13, includes 17-8 vs top 10, 3 titles, 3 straight titles, 8 straight finals.

When factoring in the level of competition, I get:

1. Lendl: 7 of Lendl’s 8 losses against the top 10 were against players that had 6+ slams for their careers. Despite having by far the toughest level of competition, he made 8 straight finals and has the most wins against top 10 players.
2. Federer: 5 straight wins and 6 straight finals had him squeaking by Sampras.
3. Sampras: his record nearly mimics Federer’s. But Fed’s peak was higher and longer.
4. Connors: Connors’ 13-13 record vs the top 10 puts him in 4th by a long distance.

I see a strong case for Federer over Lendl. Fed’s winning streak was incredible. But Lendl’s competition was far tougher.
Federer from 04-09 isn't losing to any of the people Lendl lost to from 83-88 besides maybe 84 Mac (even then I count on the Federer return and lack of extended BH rally pressure to barely get the job done). I don't see him losing to Wilander. Federer would likely have cruised against someone of Wilander's style given his form in that tournament. Delpo was a completely different kettle of fish matchup wise. 89 Lendl doesn't beat 2011 Djokovic, 90 Lendl has a solid chance in 2012 but he was far from invincible and everyone's favorite duo probably grind him down in the end. 91-92 Lendl doesn't win 13 or 14 most likely. So the competition doesn't make much of a difference in the title count. And Fed's competition was no joke. He faced 5 different USO champs (past or future) multiple times and all besides 04 USO Hewitt played a fairly good to great match. In his prime alone he faced 4 different USO champs multiple times, and two other USO champs although 08 Murray is nothing and I guess 09 DelPo won because Federer lost to him.

Lendl faced some really hard competition from 82-92 no doubt, steady diet of Mac/Connors/Wilander/Becker/Pete/Edberg which is brutal, but just that alone isn't enough to top Federer's peak level even though Lendl's peak level was absolutely fantastic from 85-87, but Fed's lasted 4 years and his 08/09 is better than any other level of Lendl at the USO and 11 is on par. So levelwise Federer wins. I could see a strong case for Lendl being higher than 5 though.
 
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cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
#14
I consider all there of them equally good at the USO. That's why I want Federer to win one more USO to be a standalone champion there. But I doubt he'll win another USO, sadly.
 

axlrose

Professional
#15
1. Connors undoubtedly.
Beat Rosewall (grandpa, but still Rosewall), Borg x 2, Lendl x 2. All are ATG/legends.
2. Sampras = Federer.

From a Pistol Pete fan.
 
#17
1. Connors undoubtedly.
Beat Rosewall (grandpa, but still Rosewall), Borg x 2, Lendl x 2. All are ATG/legends.
2. Sampras = Federer.

From a Pistol Pete fan.
Great Grandfather Rosewall, Borg played like crap in 78 due to blisters, and Lendl in 82-83 is the equivalent of Murray in slam finals. 76 was a great win, but the rest were nothing special. On the flipside he had a tough Mac/Borg in 80-81 and 84.
 
#18
Is Evert in the running here or are only people with danglings between the legs eligible ?

* United States Open Championships 1975 (Aug. 27-Sept. 7; Forest Hills, NY, clay, seeded 1): 1R def. Lesley Hunt 6-1, 6-0; 2R def. Natasha Chmyreva 6-0, 6-3; 3R def. Wendy Overton 6-0, 6-1; QF def. Kerry Melville Reid 6-2, 6-1; SF def. Martina Navratilova [3] 6-4, 6-4; F. def. Evonne Goolagong [4] 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
* United States Open Championships 1976 (Sept. 1-11; Forest Hills, NY, clay, seeded 1): 2R def. Greer Stevens 6-1, 6-0; 3R def. Glynis Coles 6-0, 6-0; 4R def. Sue Barker [9] 6-1, 6-0; QF def. Natasha Chmyreva 6-1, 6-2; SF def. Mima Jausovec 6-3, 6-1; F def. Evonne Goolagong Cawley [2] 6-3, 6-0
* United States Open Championships 1977 (Forest Hills, NY, clay, seeded 1): 1R def. Sharon Walsh 6-1, 6-0; 2R def. Pam Whytcross 6-0, 6-0; 3R def. Helena Anliot 6-2, 6-2; 4R def. Nancy Richey 6-3, 6-0; QF def. Billie Jean King [7] 6-2, 6-0; SF def. Betty Stove [5] 6-3, 7-5; F def. Wendy Turnbull [12] 7-6 (3), 6-2
* United States Open Championships 1978 (Aug. 29-Sept. 9; Flushing Meadow, Queens, NY, hard, seeded 2): 2R def. Donna Ganz 6-0, 6-4; 3R def. Caroline Stoll 6-1, 7-5; 4R def. Regina Marsikova [12] 6-4, 6-1; QF def. Tracy Austin [5] 7-5, 6-1; SF def. Wendy Turnbull [4] 6-3, 6-0; F def. Pam Shriver 7-5, 6-4
* United States Open Championships 1980 (Aug. 26-Sept. 6; Flushing Meadow, Queens, NY, hard, seeded 3): 1R def. Kim Sands 6-0, 6-0; 2R def. Peanut Louie 6-3, 6-1; 3R def. Wendy White 6-1, 6-1; 4R def. JoAnne Russell 6-2, 6-1; QF def. Mima Jausovec 7-6, 6-2; SF def. Tracy Austin [1] 4-6, 6-1, 6-1; F def. Hana Mandlikova [9] 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
* United States Open Championships 1982 (Aug. 30-Sept. 12; Flushing Meadow, Queens, NY, hard, seeded 2): 1R def. Pilar Vasquez 6-1, 6-0; 2R def. Kelly Henry 6-1, 6-0; 3R def. Kate Latham 6-2, 6-1; 4R def. Zina Garrison [16] 6-4, 6-3; QF def. Bonnie Gadusek 4-6, 6-1, 6-0; SF def. Andrea Jaeger [4] 6-1, 6-2; F def. Hana Mandlikova [5] 6-3, 6-1

US Open 1975–1982 6 titles overall[39] tied with Serena Williams
US Open 1975–1978 Four consecutive titles[39] Stands alone
US Open 1975–1979 31 consecutive match wins[40] Stands alone
US Open 1975–1979 46 consecutive sets won[40] Stands alone
US Open 1975–1977 Won US Open on clay Stands alone
US Open 1975–1978 Only female player to win titles on two different surfaces Stands alone
US Open 1975–1984 9 finals overall[40] Stands alone
US Open 1975–1980 6 consecutive finals[40] Stands alone
US Open 1971–1986 16 consecutive semi-finals[40] Stands alone
US Open 1971–1989 101 match wins[40] Stands alone
US Open 1976–1978 3 titles won without losing a set tied with Serena Williams
US Open 1971–1989 89.38% (101–12) match winning percentage[40] Stands alone

 
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#21
It was a pretty soft draw to the semis. Obviously ridiculous to still do it at 38/39 but not as impressive as a title. Big points for the longevity/consistency and having to do battle with peak Mac at the USO, but I couldn't care less about the 3 surface thing considering Fed and Sampras never got the chance, and about 3 of his wins he faced pretty weak opposition so it evens out. Third is appropriate given that he doesn't beat the other two on titles or finals and I think he pretty clearly is third on peak level anyways so that's what wins out. Federer vs Sampras is the real debate.
Connors came back from two sets to love down in R1, barely avoided going two sets to love down in R4 and then came back from two sets to one down to win in a deciding TB, then also managed to break Haarhuis in QF when the latter was serving for a two sets to love lead, and won the match in 4. Ridiculous clutchness - against ATP mooks, yes (not challenger level players, lol), but at 39, clutching 3 BO5 matches in one tournament is astounding, more so than whatever peak level argument because that is also dependent on talent - Connors didn't have such heights in him, but he had the fire to go on and on. Fred needs another title or a semi at 39 to swing it in his favor.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#23
Giving it to Sampras. Additional final.

And I think he did something no other player did, he beat three US Open champions in a row, just to get to the final. Rafter 98 champ, Agassi 99 champ, Safin 00 and defending champ. He of course lost to peak Hewitt, but was an incredible run that was very special.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#24
Connors for consistent longevity. 5 wins, 2 finals, 7 semifinals, 3 quarterfinals between 1973 and 1991. Add making a semifinal at the age of 39 - that in the era that did not welcome longevity - as impressive as a title, I say.
Am not a Connors fan, but the fact that he won it on 3 different surfaces gives him the slight edge.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#26
Sampras. It's close, but Federer never had moments as crazy as Sampras at the tournament, and after his unbeaten run ended in '09 it's been painful loss after painful loss
 
#29
Connors is at the top. Nobody's beating his record of winning it on three different surfaces, as well as beating Borg (on clay!) in one of the finals. He also beat Lendl back to back in '82 and '83.

Pete is second and Fed third. Roger's complete collapse at the USO after 2008 is one of the more mysterious and deflating aspects of his career. He should have won it at least 8 times by now.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#30
Connors is at the top. Nobody's beating his record of winning it on three different surfaces, as well as beating Borg (on clay!) in one of the finals. He also beat Lendl back to back in '82 and '83.

Pete is second and Fed third. Roger's complete collapse at the USO after 2008 is one of the more mysterious and deflating aspects of his career. He should have won it at least 8 times by now.
Well, while it is a positive for Connors, it isn't really fair on Sampras and Federer, who didn't have the same opportunity. I think Connor's overall longevity though is a fair comparison that so far is working for him, not sure how long that will last if Federer has one more good run at NYC though.
 
#34
Connors winning it on three different surfaces is unique for sure. I don't believe it helps him very much though. It was only held on clay for what a handful of years? Think about how many UO Sampras and Federer could have if it was still held on grass..
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#35
Connors winning it on three different surfaces is unique for sure. I don't believe it helps him very much though. It was only held on clay for what a handful of years? Think about how many UO Sampras and Federer could have if it was still held on grass..
IF does not count. Great players adapt to all surfaces. Therefore: Connors-1, Sampras-2, Federer-3, Lendl-4
 
#37
I say Connors or Federer.

I think Sampras was benefited too much by having a matchup advantage over his best rival (and the #1 or #2 best hard court player of his era). That alone led to 3 titles, and it led to a final in 2001. And Sampras' other two USO finals wins were against Pioline, which is exceptionally weak, and Chang who was always overrated imo. Sampras lost in the finals to better players Edberg, Hewitt and Safin.

You may say Sampras had no control over his competition, but in comparisons like this these details matter.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
#38
If it's purely off stats the top 5 would be:
1. Sampras
2. Federer
3. Connors
4. McEnroe
5. Lendl
Just outside the top 5 would be Agassi, Nadal, Nole and Edberg (in no particular order).

Note: This is only in open era
 
#39
Federer leading by quite a bit in this poll at the moment and rightfully so. He is the only player to win 5 straight titles at the US Open.
1. Federer
2. Sampras
3. Connors
4. Lendl
5. Mcenroe
 
#42
pete has one more final than federer? weighing that against 5 in a row puts those guys about in a dead heat for me.

i remember pete's first title though against agassi...we all showed up at tennis practice the next day and were like 'what was THAT?' he really took the game to the next level, quite a performance--bombing second serves, shoestring volleys, you name it. didn't have that kind of reaction again to a player's tennis until federer came along.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#43
I like the fact that Connors is the only player to have won the US Open on all 3 of the surfaces it has been played on ( 3 on hard, 1 on grass, 1 on clay). He seemed to be uniquely suited to his home Slam!
 
#48
Sampras is the USO's greatest champion to me because of how well he did in many of the years he did not win.

Federer reached IMO the highest level at the USO, but he has been a bit on and off at the tournament since his heyday.
 
#49
Sampras is the USO's greatest champion to me because of how well he did in many of the years he did not win.

Federer reached IMO the highest level at the USO, but he has been a bit on and off at the tournament since his heyday.
Yes, you are right about that one tournament, the US Open. However, it is interesting that concerning the whole careers of those two players, the roles are exactly in reverse.

Normally Federer was always at least near the title, while Sampras was always prone to the occasional early loss.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#50
I recently watched the 2004 USO final. The announcers were already talking about Federer being perhaps the greatest shot maker in history. But they said that Hewitt was a force to be reckoned with. Federer had never won the event before. Hewitt not only won it, but he thrashed Sampras in straight sets in 2001, which included 2 breadsticks. And Hewitt made it to this final without dropping a set. But Federer dished out an even tastier serving. Fed destroyed Hewitt in 3 sets, which included 2 bagels. I have never heard of a guy ranked in the top 5 getting double-bageled in a slam final. This has to the most impressive beat down in USO history.
 
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