Tennis Identity

U.S. Open Memories

The U.S. Open is America’s tennis showcase for a reason. Held in the most notable city in front of thousands and thousands of enthusiastic fans, it’s the final Slam on the schedule, and a fitting sendoff to the summer tennis schedule. Do you have any special U.S. Open memories? I do- and here they are in chronological order.

(To make Open memories of your own (and NOTHING beats being there), check out U.S. Open tickets for this summer in Flushing Meadows!)

Vilas/Connors, Forest Hills 1977

If you didn’t see this one, and I remember sitting in my kitchen watching this on the black and white portable, it was insane. Vilas over Jimbo in four. Crowd spills onto the court. Chaos. Tony Trabert and Pam Summerall with the call.

Panatta/Connors, 1978

Took me awhile to remember this one. I knew I recalled a screaming down the line winner in a Panatta match, and this is it, courtesy of Mr. Connors. Scroll to about :41 for the best down the liner you’ll likely ever see.

Nastase/McEnroe, 1979

More total insanity. The Open had shifted from Forest Hills to its current site. The chair umpire Frank Hammond defaults Nasty, and let’s just say it didn’t go so well. Mac and Nasty in a late match with that crowd? What could possibly go wrong? As the narration mentions, this one pretty well finished off Hammond’s career in the chair.

Connors/Haarhuis, 1991

As we all know, 1991 was a good year for Connors at the Open. I remember this one because of all. The. Lobs. Over. And. Over.

Connors/Krickstein, 1991

They let Jimbo go waaaay too far with his mouth in this match. Listen to how he treats the chair umpire! But he was selling tickets.

Here’s his entire 1991 run: it’s no accident that Connors is featured in the majority of these. He’s still Mr. Open to many tennis fans.

As I recall, he signed a deal mid-tournament with Nuprin, too. A logical tie-in given his age and aches and pains. Why not make a buck off of it? Here’s a spot he did with Michael Chang.

McEnroe/Djokovic, 2009

No, that’s not a typo.

S. Williams/Clijsters, 2009

Kids, this is an example of how not to conduct yourself on the court. Riveting and embarrassing at the same time. Scroll to 14:15.

Federer/Djokovic, 2009

We end this list with the greatest shot the Open has ever seen. #GOAT.

Feature photo via NY Times.

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