Top 5 Men US Open Champions in the Open Era
Well folks, the most exciting swing of the tennis season is about to begin. The US Open Series, a set of summer hard court tournaments in the United States will culminate with the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year. This year those tournaments consist of Atlanta, Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati, and Winston-Salem.
As we begin the road to the US Open, I thought it would be appropriate to rank the top five US Open Champions in the Open Era. The ranking is comprised completely by my opinion, so feel free to chime in with your top five. I welcome your perspective! My criteria are as follows: consistency (quarters or better), number of championships, and longevity. Here it goes:
- John McEnroe (4 titles)
From 1977 to 1992, McEnroe was involved in five finals, three semifinals, and one quarterfinal. McEnroe enters the list at number five with his four titles. He was dominant for five years, before he decided to get married and take a break from tennis. He was never the same and did not achieve the level of results that he was previously accustomed to.
- Ivan Lendl (3 titles)
From 1978 to 1994, he was involved in eight finals, one semifinal, and three quarterfinals. I chose Ivan over John because of consistency. Lendl was always at the tail end of the tournament, and his results did not fade after the age of 25, like McEnroe.
- Roger Federer (5 titles)
From 2004 to 2018, Federer has been involved in seven finals, three semifinals and two quarters. However, he hasn’t won the US Open in 10 years! That doesn’t take away his bad ass streak of five straight US Open championships. None of my top five have that distinction.
- Pete Sampras (5 titles)
From 1988 to 2002, he was involved in eight finals, one semifinal and one quarterfinal. I give the nod to Pete because of consistency. He won his first US Open in 1990, and retired immediately after winning his fifth, at 32 years of age. That’s some pretty good longevity and even though Federer has more semifinal and quarterfinals appearances, the longevity of Pete wins out.
- Jimmy Connors (5 titles)
From 1970 to 1992, Jimmy Connors dominated the US Open year in and year out. In three decades he appeared in seven finals, seven semifinals, and three quarterfinals. He is the definition of consistency at the US Open, playing himself deep into the tournament well into his mid to late thirties, and culminating with an incredible run to the Semifinals at the age of 39, in 1991.
Honorable mention: Andre Agassi (2 titles)
From 1986 to 2006, he reached six finals, four semifinals, and three quarterfinals. Also, he’s my favorite player, and all his appearances, regardless of the result where electric and exciting!