1984 – 1985, US Open

U.S. Open, New York
August 27, 1984; 128 Draw (16 seeded); $1,066,676; Surface – Hard

1984… it was a year of John McEnroe’s total dominance. The American prior to the US Open ’84 had lost just two matches during the season (!), and confirmed his supremacy over the tennis elite outplaying Ivan Lendl in the final, revenging a  bitter French Open defeat. The tournament was highlighted by dramatic semi-finals on super Saturday, arguably the most exciting semi-final day in majors of the Open era.
All scorelines
First round: Steve Goldstein, Bill Fleischman

Win an opening-round match by rolling 6-1 three times and you have enough energy left to expand on several tennis-related subjects. That’s what an expansive John McEnroe did yesterday. The U.S. Open’s No. 1 seeded player demolished the thoroughly over-matched Colin Dowdeswell, of Great Britain, in just one hour and 10 minutes, then covered such topics as the down state of men’s tennis and his own behavior. “Tennis is in kind of a lull,” McEnroe said. “There seems to be a gap (between the top few players and the rest) and it not necessarily has to be. There’s potentially some good players around, but no one seems to have come about. I guess it’s only every 10 years that you get a really great player. It’s three years since Borg retired and we’re still talking about him. That’s not right. A guy like Noah – I think a lot more was expected out of him. Maybe he’ll come back (from a thigh injury). Until last week Wilander really hadn’t had a good year.” A week before Wilander triumphed in Cincinnati. Funny McEnroe should mention Stefan Edberg. The Olympic champion just happens to be Mac’s next opponent. “Edberg has a good serve and he’s unpredictable,” said the three-time Open titlist (1979-81). “He has nothing to lose. The question (for Edberg and the others) is whether or not they can pull it together. They get everything handed to them at an early age. I don’t think these guys are prepared for the pressure. That’s why they start to panic.” None had as rough a time as Jimmy Arias, the struggling No. 6 seed, who has yet to make it past the semifinal in any tournament this year. It took him four sets to beat Terry Moor, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(6), with the final-set tiebreaker turning around after Moor failed to convert double set point. Arias won almost identical match at the US Open in the first round a year before as he defeated Tom Gullikson. Aaron Krickstein almost became the day’s biggest upset victim in the opening match on the stadium court. Krickstein dropped the first two sets to Bruce Manson, 3-6, 2-6, before rallying, 7-6(1) and 6-2. Krickstein was leading 4-0 in the fifth set when cramps forced Manson to retire. “Going into today,” said Krickstein, “I had lost three straight matches and didn’t have too much confidence. I hit some good shots in the third set and played well in the tie-breaker, which turned things around for me.”
“I feel I’m on schedule,” Rodney Harmon said last night after – you guessed it – losing in the first round of the Open to Sweden’s Stefan Simonsson, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2. Simonsson, by the way, is ranked No. 99. “I’m safely in the top 100,” Harmon added. “I just hope to play well this fall and, hopefully, move up.” Harmon has enough talent to move up – powerful serve, aggressiveness and above-average ground strokes. What he lacks is consistency and experience. Too often in his match against Simonsson he played superbly, only to flub a relatively easy shot when the momentum had shifted in his favor. “Over five sets you’re going to miss some easy shots,” Harmon said. “The thing is, you have to keep your mental state when you miss the bad shots. It’s so easy to go to pieces.”

Second round:  Bill Fleischman

John McEnroe formally introduced himself to the new whiz kid of tennis last night, blitzing Stefan Edberg, 6-2, 6-0, 6-1, to reach the third round of the U.S. Open. Edberg, an 18-year-old Swede, was expected to provide the top seed with a stern early test, but instead it was McEnroe dealing out the lessons as he won nine consecutive games midway through the match. McEnroe jumped to a 3:0 lead, and from 4:2 in the opening set he put together his string of nine games that carried him to 1:0 in the third set. After Edberg managed to hold in the second game, McEnroe swept through the final five to end the one-sided contest in an hour and 16 minutes.
Earlier, defending champion Jimmy Connors enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the sun with an old friend as he registered a convincing 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory over [52] Brian Gottfried. “It was a difficult match even though I won in straight sets,” Connors said. “I’ve played that guy since I was 8 years old and the court conditions today were difficult in the swirling wind. You get out there and try to get on and off as quickly as you can“. It was the last match in career of 32-year-old Gottfried; former No. 3 in singles, one of the biggest doubles specialists in the Open era. To his credit, Jimmy Arias didn’t alibi. The sixth seed in the U.S. Open tennis tournament, a semifinalist at last year’s tournament, was upset by Gene Mayer yesterday and never said a word about the painful bone bruise and strained ligaments in his right foot that hobbled him throughout the match. Arias even rejected a shot of Novocaine before being laid low by Mayer, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, in 84 minutes. Instead, Arias credited the variety of shots in the Mayer arsenal, which never allowed him to find his rhythm on the stadium court at the National Tennis Center. “The only incentive I had,” said Mayer, “was to think that Arias is somewhere between 15 and 20 years younger than me and that he might be able to last a little bit longer in the hot sun, so try to make the points shorter.” There were never any extended rallies, and Mayer, who hits double-handed from both sides, troubled the favored Arias with his artfully deceptive dinks and drop shots. “He hits so many different kinds of shots,” said Arias. “It’s hard to get a rhythm, especially on the center court. It’s hard to get a feel for a match because it’s windy in there. I never felt in control of my shots, much less the match.” Last night, second-seeded Ivan Lendl struggled before ousting Eddie Edwards of South Africa, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-1, in 2 hours, 46 minutes. The only major surprise was a straight-set loss by Scott Davis, ranked 25th, to Brad Drewett of Australia, ranked 89th. In February, Gerulaitis was in a Palm Springs, Calif., bar when he overheard someone say, “Gerulaitis is finished. He’ll never win another match.” The voice belonged to Gianni Ocleppo of Italy, ranked somewhere in the 70s, and a player who had won only nine games in two matches against Gerulaitis. The New Yorker was upset. “I’ve always been nice to him,” said Gerulaitis. “That’s what burns me.” In any event, Gerulaitis put those words in his memory bank and withdrew them yesterday, using them to fuel his 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 thrashing of the Italian. The former Open finalist has had his ups and downs the last three years. At last year’s Open, he lost to Aaron Krickstein, then barely 16, and for a time the flamboyant Gerulaitis looked ready to retire at any moment. In fact, he said then that he was playing only for his bank account. “I made a few real-estate deals that didn’t work out,” he said yesterday. “Now I’m out of the woods.”

Third round: From Herald Wire Services

Chris Evert Lloyd was trying to be anonymous, which isn’t easy for her. Her husband, John Lloyd, had just played the match of his life, upending seventh-seeded Johan Kriek, 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-2, 6-3, Sunday at the U.S. Open. In the tunnel behind the grandstand court, reporters clustered around Evert, wanting to know how she felt. Politely, she evaded them. She has had so many of these moments in her career. He has had so few. She didn’t want to intrude. When he finally appeared and well-wishers left them alone, they embraced beneath the stands and she was gone. Lloyd has become a sentimental favorite at the U.S. Open. In part, it is an expression of allegiance and affection for his wife. In part, it is rooted in a desire to see him make the most of his abilities the way she has for so long. As he served for the match, an off-duty umpire sitting in the stands committed a grave indiscretion: “C’mon, Johnny,” he said. “Last year was like a fairy tale, coming in ranked 280 and making the round of 16,” said Lloyd, now ranked 49th. “I had a good chance of making the quarters and they were behind me, and I think it has carried on from there. It’s like Wimbledon for me here. I think they’ve just grown with me.” No. 3 Jimmy Connors, the defending men’s champion, celebrated his 32nd birthday by defeating Henri Leconte 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(2). Leconte is a young Frenchman, who sometimes plays as if he was never taught what the lines are for. When he acknowledges them, he can be frightening. Sunday, he wasn’t. “He’s tough to play because you don’t know what to expect,” Connors said. “But on the other hand, he doesn’t know what to expect from his game either. It’s the kind of match that makes me very alert.” John McEnroe, the top seed, is threatening to become a bore. His behavior has been as impeccable as his play. He came into the tournament with what seemed to be the toughest draw of any of the top seeds. But in the second round, Stefan Edberg disintegrated and Kevin Curren defaulted to Kevin Moir. Moir offered little resistance Sunday, capitulating, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3. McEnroe has only lost 12 games in three matches. He isn’t complaining. “I don’t feel that if you suddenly play a five-set match, that is going to get you into better shape down the line,” he said. McEnroe will face Robert Green, who studied Russian language and literature at Boston University so he could read Tolstoy in the original. He is also the 132nd-ranked player in the world. Sunday, he defeated John Fitzgerald, who is ranked 47th, by 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(6). Leading, 4:3, in the tie-breaker, Green served two aces (one on a second serve) to make it 6:3. Fitzgerald saved three match points, the last when Green double-faulted at 6:5. But at 7:6, Green hit a low backhand return at Fitzgerald’s feet and the match was his. Green, who turned pro early last year when he was admitted to graduate school at George Washington Unversity but not at Harvard, said, “I haven’t played anyone yet who is unbeatable on these courts. My next match, I’ll play someone who a lot of people think is unbeatable, including me.”
Another player who has seen his self-confidence wax and wane is Vitas Gerulaitis. The 12th seed from Kings Point, N.Y., returned to the grandstand court, the scene of his defeat last year at the hands of Aaron Krickstein, to play an unknown qualifier, Ken Flach, ranked 224th in the world. “I always make it interesting for the crowd,” Gerulaitis said in a half- complaining, half-boasting manner. “Everyone wants to see a fifth set. Even my friends were rooting for me to lose the fourth.” Oddly enough, Flach had warmed up with Krickstein and had asked him about his match with Gerulaitis. “It felt weird because I got down two sets to love, and that’s what happened (to Krickstein) last year,” said Flach. “It’s a shame it was not the same result.” Gerulaitis won 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-7(2), 6-1.

Fourth round: Steve Goldstein, Bill Fleischman

Vitas Gerulaitis wonders what all the fuss was about. Sure, and George Steinbrenner couldn’t understand the turmoil his comments caused. Gerulaitis bowed out of the U.S. Open yesterday, losing to fifth-seeded Andres Gomez 6-4, 7-6(8), 6-1 in a fourth-round match. But Gerulaitis went out smiling and with a twinkle in his eyes. As Gerulaitis faded from the tournament, he laughed and insisted, “I just did it in fun, but then some people took it more seriously than it should have been taken“. Gerulaitis had a chance to even the match in the wild second-set tie-break. At 6:5, with Gomez at the net, Gerulaitis lifted a weak lob that the Ecuadoran smashed away for a winner. The New Yorker fashioned his towel into a noose as the players changed ends. The hanging actually came a few moments later, after Gerulaitis hit a forehand over the baseline at the end of a long rally. After falling behind 0:3 in the third set, Gerulaitis stopped trying. “In my mind, I’m no longer a clay-court specialist,” Gomez said. “I think that I’m now an all-around player.” He advanced to quarter-finals also at the French Open and Wimbledon in 1984. Pat Cash, the designated Great Bright Hope of Australian tennis, yesterday helped to justify some of the hoopla surrounding him by reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. After playing poorly in the first set, the 19-year-old from Melbourne rolled over Greg Holmes, a former NCAA champion, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-1, in a little more than two hours on the hard courts at the National Tennis Center. The 15th-seeded Cash will meet the winner of today’s match between fourth-seeded Mats Wilander and Tim Mayotte, which was postponed last night by rain at 3:3 in the first set. Cash defeated Wilander on grass this summer on his way to the Wimbledon semifinals, where he lost a well-played match to John McEnroe. For Gomez to go beyond the quarterfinals will require a victory over second-seeded Ivan Lendl, who had little trouble eliminating Anders Jarryd of tennis’ Swedish army, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. “I’m not dead yet, and I’m still eager,” said Jimmy Connors, who reached the quarterfinals last night by defeating Joakim Nystrom of Sweden 7-6(4), 6-0, 6-3. “I’m proud of the fact that I can still play competitive tennis, because it’s so much harder now. It takes so much more work and practice, and there are so many good young players. But honestly, I am a little tired of the grind now. And after the U.S. Open, I’ll probably play very little the rest of the year. And next year, I plan to cut back pretty heavily on my schedule. The only reason I’m still playing now is because I still enjoy the competition, trying to beat these young guys. It’s a challenge and it’s fun. The money really isn’t a factor anymore.”
Robert Green Sr. was as overwhelmed to be in a front-row seat at Louis Armstrong Stadium as his son was to be in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. Green snapped pictures, saved a tennis ball as a souvenir, prodded Bob Jr. with constant cheering and tentatively introduced himself to John McEnroe Sr., the other proud father at court-side Tuesday. “I recognize you from all those times on TV,” Green said to McEnroe, extending an outstretched hand during his son’s 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 loss to the world’s No. 1 player. “You’re always in this box, but, boy, am I surprised to be here. I just hope we don’t lose the glass slipper by the end of the day.” In four straight-set victories, 12 sets overall, John McEnroe has lost just 19 games. “You’d like to get your game honed up,” McEnroe said, “and theoretically it’s easier to do if you play successively better players. But, you play the guy who won the prior round and Green did that.” 7 out of 8 matches were concluded after three-setters, the only 4-setter came from a match between John Lloyd and Henrik Sundstrom, the 30-year-old Lloyd won 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

Quarterfinals: Bill Fleischman

Even his loyal Ecuadoran rooting section couldn’t help Andres Gomez against Ivan Lendl. Last night, as they have each time Gomez has played in the U.S. Open, about 25 Ecuadorans sat in the top rows at the south end of Louis Armstrong Stadium. A small yellow, blue and red Ecuadoran flag was draped over the top railing and at each changeover, they would clap and chant “Go-mez, Go-mez.” Huddled together in the breeze and evening chill, they rang their cowbell and suffered through each point with Ecuador’s No. 1 sports star. On most Lendl errors they would whisper “Yes.” On many Gomez errors, they would bury their heads in their hands. Unfortunately for the enthusiastic Ecuadorans, there were more errors by the fifth-seeded Gomez than by Lendl as the Open’s No. 2 seed advanced to a semifinal with a surprisingly easy 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 victory. Since Gomez is an accomplished surfer, maybe the Ecuadorans should have started the “wave” that is fashionable among sporting crowds. Or maybe they should have played Beach Boys music. Anyway, Pat Cash, the 19-year-old new hope to carry on Australia’s tennis tradition, reached the semis with a 7-6(3), 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 afternoon victory over fourth-seeded Mats Wilander. Cash, the tournament’s No. 15 seed, has enough talent to be a top five player. But, unlike those Aussie rogues like John Newcombe and Fred Stolle from another era, Cash has an overdose of surliness. He has been publicly lectured by Newcombe for his poor attitude. Aussie fans hope that Cash’s problem is just immaturity. Unlike Gomez, Cash didn’t have any countrymen waving koala bears, green and gold Aussie flags or cans of Foster’s Lager. But Cash didn’t need much support. He won the 1st set in a tiebreaker, then broke Wilander in the final game of the 2nd set. Cash’s concentration faltered in the 3rd set, which was the only set Cash has dropped in the tournament. Leading 4:3 in the 4th set, Cash again broke Wilander, then closed out the match by winning a love game. “I think he was a bit below his best,” Cash said. “He’s coming off an injury. I don’t think he passed all that well.” Despite a flurry of adverse line calls and a warning from the umpire, top-seeded John McEnroe corralled his anger and collared a spot in the U.S. Open Tennis Championships semifinals with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Gene Mayer last night. McEnroe, seeking his fourth title in America’s premier tennis event, next will meet Connors, who has won here on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center the last two years. Jimmy Connors advanced earlier in the day by eliminating Great Britain’s John Lloyd 7-5, 6-2, 6-0. It took Connors 31 minutes to win the 2nd set and only 20 more minutes to complete what by then had turned into a rout. After the 1st set, Connors never dropped his service. And Lloyd was able to hold his serve only twice, in the first and fifth games of the second set. “I think he got better and my game stayed around the same,” Lloyd said. ‘‘I think he was a bit nervous in the first set, but he got rid of his nervousness and just seemed to get better and better after that. He raised his game another notch.” Connors continued his streak of never having lost a set to Lloyd. It was the 11th consecutive year that Connors has reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open.

Semifinals: Steve Goldstein

One of the most astounding days in the history of the U.S. Open: 631 points played with winners of all sorts, ended 45 minutes short of midnight, with John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl surviving five-set marathons for the right to meet in today’s final. McEnroe outlasted Jimmy Connors, winner of the last two Opens, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in 3 hours 46 minutes. That match followed the three-set women’s final, which was preceded by Lendl’s 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) triumph over 15th-seeded Pat Cash of Australia, which took 3 hours, 39 minutes. Connors played extremely well, rallying from a 2-sets-to-1 deficit and pounding his returns past McEnroe, who was serving effectively. Serving for a 2-1 lead in sets, McEnroe double-faulted to love-30 after Connors won the first point on a sweeping forehand volley. He pulled back to 30/30 before Connors moved to break point when McEnroe netted. And when McEnroe double-faulted facing break point, the set was back on serve. Connors held at love to pull to 5:5 and McEnroe held at 30 to take a 6:5 lead. With Connors leading 30/15 in the 12th game, McEnroe was brilliant, forcing Connors into two errors, then closing out the break and the 3rd set with a backhand cross-court volley that landed on the sideline. Connors broke McEnroe maconn84to begin the 4th set and built his lead to 2:0. He increased his advantage to *5:2 (deuce) when he broke McEnroe’s service again in the 7th game – a break that proved crucial when he lost his own service in the 8th game. Connors then staved off another break point at 30/40 in the 10th game, winning the final three points to wrap up the set and knot the match at two sets apiece. “I thought it was a great match,” McEnroe said. “He had won the last two Opens and I had won three in a row (1979-81), so I had a feeling I had to take matters into my own hands. I had a feeling that if he won today, he’d win tomorrow.” McEnroe said he expected that Lendl also would be war-weary today after their debilitating matches. “We both want to win,” he said, “so we both should be able to bounce back.” Earlier, when asked whom he was rooting for in the Connors-McEnroe semifinal, Lendl said: “I’m rooting for 7-6 in the fifth (set), so it will be fair tomorrow.” He almost got his wish. McEnroe leads Lendl, 10-9, in their career series. The New Yorker is seeking revenge after his five-set loss in the French Open final, which ended a streak of five wins over the Czech. Lendl’s match with Cash began in an unassuming manner, with Lendl looking like a sure bet for his third straight final after taking a 2-1 lead in sets. That was one set before it turned into guerrilla warfare, before Lendl nearly ended up wearing a choke collar again, before each player saved a match point in the final set. And before a heart-in-the-throat thriller of a tie-breaker that was knotted, 4:4, before Lendl won three straight points to end the mayhem. It ended with the 19-year-old Australian hurling one racket 10 rows into the seats and smashing another in the player’s tunnel while leaving the court. ”I’m going to go now and take a bath and have a massage,” Lendl said. ”Take another bath, have another massage and do it as long as it pleases me. Then I will have a good dinner and, hopefully, tomorrow I will be fit.” Lendl turned what would have been a humiliating defeat into a stirring victory. After an aggressive Cash won the 1st set, Lendl pulled up his first-serve percentage and ran roughshod over Cash in the second and third sets. The crowd, which was solidly behind the Australian, despaired at seeing him go so quietly. But Cash had other plans. Bolstered by a huge ovation after the 9th game – applause that he encouraged by raising his arms – Cash battled to a tie-breaker. He actually had two set points in the 12th game, but he got overanxious and made four straight errors, the last two being long service returns off second deliveries from Lendl. At 5-all in the tie-breaker, Lendl mis-hit a forehand from the baseline. Faced with the third set point against him, Lendl mis-hit a backhand service return. The match was even, and the man from Melbourne looked very strong indeed. Lendl immediately justified his worst fears by double-faulting to lose his serve in the first game of the final set. It was the first time since the second game of the match that he had dropped his serve. But he broke right back in the following game with a backhand pass, and the opponents then held their serves through the next seven games. Cash, serving at 4:5, double-faulted to give Lendl a match point. The huge crowd grew quiet for the first time, then erupted in cheers as Lendl netted a service return. Cash won the next two points and the set was even again. Lendl lost his serve at 15 and Cash served for the match. After saving one break point, the 15th-seeded Cash got his first match point with a lunging forehand cross-court-volley winner. Cash struck a ball that he thought was an ace and reacted angrily when the linesman ruled otherwise. With elimination staring him in the face, Lendl hit his shot of the match, a running topspin lob off a Cash forehand volley. Cash just managed to get his forehand on it, but the ball went wide. It was just one of many effective lobs that the Czech used against Cash to neutralize his net game. From ‘deuce’, Cash made two errors to lose his serve, sending the match into a final tie-break – a heart-breaker in this case. Cash pointed his finger at the linesman, as if to say, “You cost me the match.” Lendl misunderstood the gesture and yelled back at Cash, but Cash quickly explained that Lendl was not the cause of his anger. From 4:4 in the lendl_uo84tie-breaker, Cash hit a long service return and Lendl followed with a running backhand pass down the line for his second match point. A Lendl service return was volleyed into the net by Cash, and the match was over. After they shook hands, Cash launched his racket, an action that boomeranged on the Aussie in the form of a $2,000 fine for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” The racket was caught by Peter Husting of Winnetka, who was thrilled to have the trophy. He said he was rooting for Cash all the way. “I think the crowd was unbelievable,” Cash said later. “I was really surprised. It really did help lift me.” Cash described the match as “the most unbelievable in my life.” The Wimbledon semifinalist said he felt “pretty good,” but added that he still felt a sense of disappointment at not reaching the final. Asked what he would remember about the match, Lendl said, “I’ll remember that he was playing very well and that it was like a roller coaster. I was a set down, then it looked like I had the match under my belt. I lost the fourth set after having more chances than him. There were so many turns and twists that it is hard to imagine and think of.

Final: Bob Greene

With an awesome display of his talent, John McEnroe crushed Czechoslovakia’s Ivan Lendl 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 yesterday to capture his fourth U.S. Open men’s singles title, then warned his fellow tennis players that “I can get better than that.” The 1-hour 40-minute victory, McEnroe’s first in America’s premier tennis event since 1981, cemented his position as the world’s greatest tennis player and handed Lendl his third consecutive title match defeat here on the hardcourts of the National Tennis Center. “I’ve gotten better this year,” said McEnroe, who has let his racket do the talking. And it has been talking loudly. For the left-hander, the victory was a measure of revenge for his loss to Lendl in the title match of the French Open earlier this year. “He wasn’t going to have time to hit passing shots like he did then,” McEnroe said of the difference between the slow red European clay courts of Paris and the DecoTurf II surface at Louis Armstrong Stadium. “And being tired made me concentrate better. I played the big points well when I needed to. I had a couple of good breaks, good reflexes. “If I hit it well enough, it doesn’t matter what the other guy’s got,” he said. “I don’t change my game. I hit my shots.” McEnroe said his five-set semifinal struggle against Jimmy Connors Saturday night actually helped him: “I feel exhausted – unbelievable and terrible at the same time.” Unlike the last two years, when he was conquered by Jimmy Connors, on this day Lendl did not fold. He was simply crushed, mutilated and torn by the brash New Yorker who finally received cheers and encouragement. “I attacked his serve more,” McEnroe said. “That’s the way to beat him, and that’s the strong part of my game.” It was “McEnroe the Magnificent” who won the U.S. Open for the first time since his three-year streak was capped in 1981 with a victory over Sweden’s Bjorn Borg. “It’s been a few years,” McEnroe said. “I’m really happy to be here once again, especially in New York.” It continued the mastery of American left-handers – McEnroe and Connors have won every U.S. Open since the championships were moved to the hardcourts of the National Tennis Center in 1978. Lendl, obviously disappointed, told the crowd: “I hope to get it sometime.” And, in the opening set, it was one game – actually one point – that provided McEnroe the crucial break and set the tone of the match. In the 6th game, after Lendl captured the opening point, the two battled to 30/30 before McEnroe reached break point. Then, with both players eyeball-to-eyeball at the net, McEnroe capped a rapid-fire volley exchange with a crisp placement that Lendl could only look at. It was the only service break of the set, but it was the only one the reigning Wimbledon champion needed. The McEnroe magic continued to dazzle the crowd of 20,722 in the second set when he pulled out of his seemingly limitless assortment of shots one that rated a 10 on a “thrill scale.” Lendl was at double-break point at 15/40 in the second game. Then, the Czechoslovak right-hander, the tournament’s No. 2 seed and ranked second in the world, found McEnroe at the net and sent a blazing forehand passing shot toward the empty court. But the ball hit the net and bounced into the air. McEnroe lost the ball and made a 360-degree turn, searching for it. And when he found it, he knew exactly what to do, pulling a vicious forehand passing shot down the line. He had pulled back to 30/40, and he made it deuce moments later when he followed his serve to the net and put away a backhand cross-court volley. He then ripped a backhand cross-court and followed with a service winner to hold serve. Lendl never reached break point against McEnroe’s serve again in the match as the left-hander controlled every point, every move on the court – playing his own chess game with Lendl as a pawn. He broke Lendl in the 7th game of the middle set, roaring back from a 40/15 deficit by winning the next four points. That was enough to put the 2nd set in the bank. He was like a runaway train in the third set, breaking Lendl’s service in the first, third and seventh games of the 3rd set. It was not only that McEnroe had all the answers. On this day, on this surface, in this title match, Lendl had no questions. The victory was worth $160,000 for McEnroe. Lendl collected $80,000. It also ran McEnroe’s 1984 match record to 66-2. It’s McEnroe’s 56th title, 7th and the last major. Stats of the final

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U.S. Open, New York
August 26, 1985; 128 Draw (16 seeds) – $1,250,000; Surface – Hard

Ivan Lendl waited for the US Open 1985 triumph long time. He had lost three consecutive finals in New York; his first title was exceptionally sweet – in the last two matches he outplayed Jimmy Connors & John McEnroe, the champions of seven previous US Open events! Generally speaking Lendl displayed fantastic form throughout the tournament losing just one set (in a match where three other sets won quite easily). Thanks to that success Lendl advanced to the No. 1 in the world and stayed there 157 consecutive weeks while the dethroned McEnroe never regained the top position.
All scorelines
First round: Bill Fleishman

Who’s the last guy you might expect to cause a major commotion in the first round of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships? Shlomo Glickstein? Good choice. Talk about journeyman tennis pros. Glickstein, 27, is the most prominent athlete in Israel, but he has won just three tournaments in his career. And those three – Hobart, South Orange and Ashkelon – don’t exactly rank up there with Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the French Open. They aren’t even in the class with Memphis, Houston and Stratton Mountain. In his last six tournaments, Glickstein has experienced the joy of advancing past the first round just once. He has spent his summer watching his computer ranking mcenroe_uo85fall to No. 175 in the world. With that background in mind, it was a shock midway through his match with defending champion and top-seeded John McEnroe yesterday to hear a “Shlomo, Shlomo” chant reverberate through Louis Armstrong Stadium. The crowd wasn’t demanding instant replays. It was encouraging Glickstein in his astonishing upset attempt. Glickstein sending McEnroe to the wall? In the opening round? Come on. Next we’ll be hearing that Villanova has won the national basketball championship. Only five top seeds in the history of the tournament have had to slink back home after bowing in the first round. John Newcombe was the last when he lost to Jan Kodes in 1971. Glickstein, as unlikely a nominee as he was, created center court magic yesterday, extending the mighty Mac to a fifth-set tiebreaker before McEnroe avoided one of the biggest upsets in tennis history and prevailed, 6-1, 6-7(3), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(7). “I’ve never been so happy to win a first-round match,” a relieved and humbled McEnroe said after the 2-hour, 51-minute ordeal. “I never expected that. It was an amazing struggle.” Glickstein’s performance is another example of what makes the U.S. Open special. The Open is like no other major tournament. It’s noisy, although the air traffic from nearby LaGuardia Airport was mercifully missing yesterday. Spectators here are always restless, strolling through the aisles or dashing for the exits when they should be in their seats. McEnroe seized a 3:1* lead in the 5th set and appeared on his way to silencing Glickstein. But Glickstein held serve, then broke the four-time Open king. When McEnroe broke back to lead, 4:3, everyone waited for Glickstein to crumble. Instead, the 6’2, 195-pound former Israeli Army sergeant swept the next eight points to bounce on top, 5:4. McEnroe losing eight consecutive points at such a decisive stage of a match? That wasn’t exactly the next Bjorn Borg across the net. “I couldn’t have done worse if I tried,” McEnroe said. “I was fighting my butt off to win.” With no more service breaks, the match sailed into the tiebreaker, with the crowd pumped up to almost final-round fever. McEnroe scrambled ahead, 6:3, and he was serving the next two points. All he needed was one more point to win the memorable match. Naturally, Glickstein broke McEnroe twice, as Mac hit two shots in the net. Glickstein then served a winner to even the tense tiebreaker at 6:6. A McEnroe overhead put him ahead, 7:6. Fourth match point, McEnroe serving, and what happens? Mac hits a Glickstein return of serve wide. Now it’s 7:7, and the stylishly dressed big spenders in the audience are seriously considering postponing their dinner reservations. Finally, McEnroe won the next two points and the match by drilling a service winner and forcing Glickstein to net a forehand. “The difference in the end” a glum Glickstein said, “was that he was more aggressive and came in on the important points. Every time I had a chance to break or go up, he came up with a very good serve and saved it. He played like a champion on the big points.” Surprisingly, Glickstein didn’t label his effort against McEnroe as his best match ever. ”But it was better than I have played the past few weeks,” he said. ”Because of the occasion, I was able to push myself, and I was much more motivated.” Wimbledon champion Boris Becker made his U.S. Open debut with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Australian Peter Doohan, and the rest of few seeded players who played had little trouble advancing. Doohan, an unheralded Australian whose resume included only a minor Grand Prix victory in Adeleaide, was playing with confidence as the early-arriving crowd caught its first glance of the latest boy wonder of men’s tennis. But then, with the games even, 4:4, and Becker trailing, 30/40, the 17-year-old West German went into his trampoline act, diving for a shot that seemed like a sure winner. Even in the best of times, Kevin Curren squirmed under the spotlight success brought. When he beat John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors to gain the final at Wimbledon, he made such a point of saying he didn’t belong in that company, people tended to believe him. As if to prove his point, Curren, 27, lost the next day to 17-year-old West German Boris Becker, who did think he should be hanging out with Jimbo and Johnny Mac. But despite himself, Curren still is the fifth-ranked player in the world. He also was the fifth-seeded player in the U.S. Open and was expected to have few problems in handling Frenchman Guy Forget in his opening-round match yesterday. But Forget was not Curren’s main opponent. The U.S. Open, the Open Committee, the facilities at the National Tennis Center and the city of New York were lined up on the other side of the net. Curren studied those odds and decided he wanted no part of any of it as he quickly, if not quietly, made his exit from the Open, losing in jaite_uo85straight sets, 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-2, in the first major upset of the tournament. “When I saw him in Wimbledon, he was serving much better than he did today,” said Forget, who has had a forgettable year. His best effort was reaching the quarter-finals at a tournament in Bristol in June. In the men’s bracket, second-seeded Ivan Lendl and fourth-seeded Jimmy Connors advanced to the second round without major problems, although Connors needed four sets to defeat Gary Muller (6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, despite 18 aces by Muller). Lendl downed Jay Lapidus, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. A second seed to be bounced out in the opening round was No. 14 Henrik Sundstrom, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 victim of Martin Jaite. Sundstrom’s compatriots did better, Mats Wilander defeated Vijay Amritraj 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 while Stefan Edberg eliminated Jose-Luis Clerc 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Former champion (1972), 39-year-old Ilie Nastase played his last Grand Slam match losing 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 to Mike Bauer.

Second round: Mark Blaudschun

In two days, Jimmy Connors will be 33 years old. In a sport where players start hitting their peak before they are 20 and are retiring before they turn 25, Connors can be classified as one of tennis’ ancient mariners. Of the top 100 players in the world, only Guillermo Vilas and Wojtek Fibak are older (both by less than a month). And neither has been a competitive force for three years. Connors still is. Although he has yet to win a tournament in 1985, he remains ranked fourth in the world. And when showcase events such as the U.S. Open are held, Connors rolls off the trainer’s table, cranks up his two-handed backhand and launches a full-scale attack, complete with the grunts and gestures that have been his signature for the past decade. Although Connors is not the main event in this Open – that seems to be reserved for the expected Boris Becker-John McEnroe confrontation in the quarter-finals next week – he is still one of the favorites of the crowd, if not the tournament. Connors was frolicking in Louis Armstrong Stadium again Friday afternoon as he breezed through his match against Hank Pfister, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, before a violent thunderstorm and tornado-like storm washed out the remainder of the afternoon and all of the night matches. If there is a difference between Connors the man at 33 and Connors the man-child of 23, it is in perspective. “I have a good time now,” said Connors. “That’s probably the biggest thing. I enjoy the playing of tennis, and I enjoy the competition.” In the men’s singles, No. 11 Stefan Edberg won his second-round match, stopping Ken Flach 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Veteran Brian Teacher ousted Scott Davis, the men’s No. 15 seed, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3. Connors, the only player to capture singles titles on all three surfaces on which the U.S. Open has been contested, had no problems with Pfister’s slam-bam style. ”He didn’t come to the net,” Connors said of Pfister. “He was trying to hit everything hard right away. If I can get my first serve in, it knocks out his theory.” In the first official meeting between two of the top French players, Henri Leconte defeated Guy Forget 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Leconte admitted to feeling the pressure because of all the attention the match was receiving in France. This Boris Becker is no lemon from Leimen, his German hometown that he has made world famous. Becker, the most exciting young player in men’s tennis, is as quick with a quip as he is with an overhead. For instance, asked yesterday for his impressions of New York, the 17-year-old Wimbledon champion said: “I like New York. At 1 o’clock in the morning it’s still rush hour. Something is always happening. I’ve been here seven or eight times. At the beginning it made a becker_uo85very big impression for me. But I’m slowly getting used to it.” Unlike Kevin Curren, the No. 5 U.S. Open men’s seed, who verbally trashed New York and the National Tennis Center after he was upset in the first round, Becker is a New York fan. If Ion Tiriac, Becker’s scowling adviser, ever lets the kid out of his hotel room at night, Becker might even see a Mets or Yankees game. Also unlike Curren, Becker knows how to win at the Open. A year ago Becker was in the junior draw here. Now he’s a stadium court attraction headed for a quarterfinal meeting with defending champion John McEnroe. Both Becker and McEnroe yesterday took further steps toward their eagerly awaited match. In a second-round match that sounded like a pairing at the officers’ tournament at a German air base, Becker crushed Dutchman Huub van Boeckel, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2, in just 75 minutes. McEnroe, revived after his five- set, opening-round scare by Shlomo Glickstein, swept past Canada’s Martin Wostenholme, 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-1, in just under 2 hours. Since McEnroe has been beating No. 2 seed Ivan Lendl and No. 4 Jimmy Connors regularly, a McEnroe-Becker quarterfinal is topping the most-anticipated chart at the Open. McEnroe has heard the whispers. Yesterday, restraining a smile, he said: ”I guess it’s the only interesting match. It’s kind of sad that people are (already) talking about that.” Sad, but true. People are anxious to see the new Wimbledon champion and the 26-year-old previous champ, a three-time winner at the All England Club. Both are top-quality, colorful players. And each, to no one’s surprise, is eager to see the other across the net for only the second time in their careers. Last March, McEnroe won their first meeting, 6-4, 6-3, in the first round at Milan, Italy. “I’m looking forward to it,” McEnroe said before talking about how impressed he is with Becker. “When we played he hit the ball so hard,” said Gentleman John. “He hits it as hard or harder than Connors or Lendl. He doesn’t look 17 or act 17. It’s unbelievable that I’m 8 years older than the guy. I don’t know how to act with a guy that young. When I was 18 or 19 I acted 18 or 19.” (Some say when McEnroe was 25 he acted 18 or 19.) Greg Holmes, a former NCAA champion, upset No. 12 Johan Kriek, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. and Jimmy Arias, who moved into the third round when his opponent, Israel’s Amos Mansdorf, suffered leg cramps in the 5th set and was forced to retire. Ivan Lendl defeated Bill Scanlon 6-2, 6-0, 6-3, Mats Wilander dismissed Bruce Foxworth 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

Third round: Bob Greene

Other seeds advancing into the men’s fourth round were No. 3 Mats Wilander of Sweden, a 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(7), 6-1 winner over Paul Annacone; No. 6 Anders Jarryd, who advanced with a 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 win over Tim Wilkison; No. 10 Joakim Nystrom of Sweden, who needed only 39 minutes to beat Dan Goldie 6-0, 6-1, 1-1 when Goldie retired with a muscle pull in his left leg; and No. 13 Tim Mayotte, who stopped Nigerian Nduka Odizor 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. “I do put out 100% – I think I try as wilander_uo85much as I can,” Wilander said after eliminating Annacone. “It’s nice for him to say that, because he feels I can be No. 1 and that is satisfying to me. I am doing what I can. It’s good he thinks I have the talent, and I hope he’s right.” Very polite, very cordial, very Swedish. Gradually, however, Wilander warmed up a bit. He started talking about McEnroe’s insinuation that to be No. 1 you must play every match – right down to that first-rounder as if it’s a Grand Slam final. “I don’t think he does that, either,” Wilander said. “No way. The only one who does is (Jimmy) Connors, sometimes. But McEnroe’s first match here (a five-set scare against Glickstein) – he didn’t play that like a U.S. Open final.” Wimbledon champion Boris Becker and top seed John McEnroe continued on their collision course by capturing their third-round matches at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships yesterday. Becker, the 17-year-old West German, overcame a stubborn Kelly Evernden of New Zealand 7-6(2), 6-3, 7-6(7), and McEnroe, seeking his second straight crown and his fifth U.S. Open title, beat Bud Schultz 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Their victories moved them into the fourth round – one match away from their eagerly anticipated collision in the quarterfinals. No. 16 Tomas Smid of Czechoslovakia advanced with a 4-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over Jimmy Arias. Smid plays McEnroe next. Evernden gave Becker all he could handle for almost 3 hours. With a serve and ground-strokes almost as powerful as Becker’s, Evernden, a former NCAA All-American who went to the University of Arkansas, took the lead when he broke Becker in the 5th game of the opening set. But, as he was serving for the first set at 5:4, Evernden’s serve was broken. After the two battled to 6:6, Becker ran out to a 6:0 lead in the tiebreaker before closing it out. Becker jumped out front in the 2nd set, breaking Evernden’s service in the 1st game. He broke him again as he appeared to take full control of the match. But the New Zealander right-hander refused to give up. He began the 3rd set by breaking Becker. But Becker broke right back in the 2nd game and the two held serve through the next 10 games, sending the set into a tiebreaker. Evernden took the first point, a mini-break, with a sizzling backhand cross-court passing shot that flicked off the end of Becker’s racket as the West German went sprawling to the court in an unsuccessful attempt to get the ball. Evernden took a 3:1 lead before Becker pulled back to 4:4. Then another backhand passing shot gave Evernden point and he increased it to 6:4 – set point – when he drilled a second serve for a service winner. Becker took the next two points before Evernden reached set point again at 7:6. The New Zealander, who had to qualify for the main draw here, did not win another point as Becker took the tiebreaker to win the match. McEnroe apparently was jolted by his narrow first-round victory over Glickstein, and has improved dramatically in his last two matches. Against Schultz his strokes were decisive and his volleys crisp, although his game still isn’t on a par with the brilliance he has displayed in the past. “I thought my serve-and-volley game is improved, but I’m a little bit shaky on my groundstrokes,” McEnroe said. “I get caught off guard on the passing shots after hitting good returns and expecting the point to be over. You can’t do that. It’s not the way to win tournaments.”  Jimmy Connors advanced to the fourth round of the Open for the 13th consecutive year with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Thierry Tulasne of France. His 75th singles victory in the Open equaled Vic Seixas‘ total. Jay Berger of Plantation enjoyed the greatest day of his career Sunday in the U.S. Open.  Berger, an 18-year-old tied for the No. 733 ranking in the world, to provide the biggest upset of the day. Appearing in just his second professional tournament, Berger eliminated Brian Teacher, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-6(3), to set up a fourth-round meeting with Yannick Noah. The last amateur to reach the round of 16 here was Aaron Krickstein in 1983, who also was a wild-card entry. “My main goal when I’m on the court is to do my best and never give up,” said Berger, who approached the net only 16 times to 140 for Teacher. “That’s what I did out there.” Berger, a sophomore at Clemson who is nine days late for school, received a wild-card entry by winning the boys’ 18-and- under championships at Kalamazoo last month. That Berger can play tennis at all is a major medical accomplishment. He has separated his shoulder five times, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery at age 16 and still wears a knee brace. “My injuries came from working my body too hard at a young age,” said Berger, who suffered four of the shoulder separations at 13. “A lot of it may have come from not taking care of my body. Now that I have aspirations of being a professional tennis player, I have been taking care, stretching a great deal and icing down my shoulder.” Berger’s service motion includes no back-swing. It was ineffective Sunday as he put in only 56 percent of his first serves. But he won’t change. He saved three set points in the 2nd set and came from 5:1 down to win the 4th set. Berger lost in the opening round of a tournament in Boston July 8, and failed in two other attempts to qualify for professional tournaments. But he has won three matches at the Open. Noah, the seventh seed, advanced by beating Vitas Gerulaitis, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Gerulaitis had eight double faults, and Noah said later that “he seemed to lose his serve any time there was a lot of pressure.” Ivan Lendl beat Horacio De La Pena [57], 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, and Stefan Edberg overcame Brad Gilbert, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. In the most tightly contested match, involving two unseeded players, Heinz Gunthardt edged Martin Jaite, 6-7(5), 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-1, in 3 hours 50 minutes. ”I would have to say that I haven’t faced any players who have the game to push me,” Lendl said. ”I’m definitely playing my best this summer.”

Fourth round: Steve Goldstein

Yannick Noah is a forgotten man at the U.S. Open, which is fine with him. In fact, he prefers it that way. While the spotlight has swung in different directions, catching the West German Wunderkind, noah_uo85or the controversial defending champion, or the aging people’s choice, Noah has escaped its glare. Now he’s in a position to really do some damage. The former French Open champion Tuesday, advanced to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second time in his career, beating 18-year-old junior champion Jay Berger of Plantation 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. Noah lost the first-set tie-breaker to the free-swinging teenager, then remembered that the kid was ranked No. 733 in the world and that he had no business beating the seventh seed. Berger won six more games in the match. “When I saw him warming up, I thought he had a problem with his shoulder,” said Noah. “Then I realized that it was the way he was serving, and I had never seen him serve before. It didn’t bother me.” Late in the match, Noah pulled off one of his between-the-legs shots with his back to the net, hitting a lob that kept him in a point he won. Noah says he doesn’t practice it, but Berger was impressed. “That was really great, and he gets to a lot of balls most people wouldn’t expect to,” said Berger. “I think he could have gone four more sets after the four we already played. He’s just in great shape.” Noah’s quarterfinal opponent will be Ivan Lendl, who had all sorts of trouble before he could subdue qualifier Jaime Yzaga of Peru, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-0. Yzaga, 17, who was seeded first in the boy’s tournament, withdrew from his juniors match Tuesday, morning so he would be fresh for playing with the big guys. He was nearly too fresh for Lendl. Yzaga, a Peruvian Davis Cup player with a No. 266 computer ranking, was given virtually no chance against Lendl by anyone who ever heard of him. But that wasn’t the case with former Texas Christian University All-America David Pate, who was beaten by Yzaga in the third round in straight sets. “He hits his ground strokes really well and playing at night will be good for him,” Pate said. Playing under the stadium court lights was very good for Yzaga – for three sets. He was holding his ground until Lendl broke him in the 1st game of the 4rth set and went on to his 6-0 victory. “In the first set I just kept the ball in play, and he wasn’t playing very well,” Yzaga said. “I played very well. By the fourth set I was pretty tired, but this was great for me.” The other quarterfinal in the lower half of the men’s draw will match fourth-seeded Jimmy Connors against unseeded Heinz Gunthardt of Switzerland. Gunthardt, 26, played brilliantly in ousting Henri Leconte, 7-6(5), 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3. The Swiss makes a specialty of winning 5-set matches, having won one 5-setter at the French Open in reaching the fourth round and two 5-setters at Wimbledon, where he reached the quarterfinals. Gunthardt should consider himself fortunate indeed if ever he got to a fifth set against Connors, who established an Open career singles record (76) in beating Stefan Edberg of Sweden, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Edberg, seeded 11th, did not distinguish himself in the match. Connors gave him numerous opportunities to take the 3rd set, particularly in the 9th game, when Connors, serving at 5:3, offered up five break points. Edberg mis-hit the ball on four of them. Edberg’s departure gave the tournament a chance of not turning into the Swedish Open. The match that was anticipated like a Broadway opening or heavyweight title fight and figured to be a ticket scalper’s delight was postponed indefinitely Monday. John McEnroe and Boris Becker may become the next great tennis rivalry, but it will not begin at the U.S. Open. Becker, the youngest player to win the Wimbledon men’s singles championship, played more like an unsure 17-year-old than a boy wonder and was beaten in the round of 16 by Joakim Nystrom, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Defending champion McEnroe easily advanced by defeating Tomas Smid, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. Becker, who beat Nystrom in five sets at Wimbledon and beat him in straight sets at the ATP tournament at Mason two weeks ago, had trouble from the start with the 22-year-old Swede. After winning the first game at love, Nystrom broke Becker’s serve in the next game and served out for the first set. Nystrom, who continually frustrated Becker with his consistent returns and passing shots, also won the second set, coming up with two breaks. Becker finally looked like the Boris of Wimbledon in the 3rd set as he started to volley better and come to the net with more confidence and consistency. He finally managed to break Nystrom’s service at 5:4, drawing a large roar of approval from the crowd. But in the 4th set, Becker again played like a junior player – which he was a year ago – instead of a Wimbledon champion. After fighting off two break points in the 1st game, Becker was again broken by Nystrom. It was the only opening the steady Swede needed. Becker fought off elimination in the 9th game, when he withstood four match points to hold serve for 4:5. But then Nystrom calmly came out to fight off triple break point to hold service and win the set and the match. ”I remember when I first won the Open,” McEnroe said. ”I was really high. I thought I would dominate everybody. Becker didn’t know better after Wimbledon. He’ll understand better in five years.” Becker’s defeat was a shocker. Though he grew up on clay courts, he showed he was a fast learner on the grass at Wimbledon. He won in Cincinnati a week before the Open on a hardcourt surface similar to that used at the Open. But he looked uncomfortable at the net Monday, netting volleys or hitting them wide. He even skinned his knee when he made one of his trademark tumbles trying to reach one of Nystrom’s passing shots. Mats Wilander wobbled into a first-set tiebreaker with Greg Holmes last night and fell behind, 1:5. Then Wilander woke up, won six consecutive points to take the tiebreaker and went on to a 7-6(5), 6-1, 7-5 victory. In the third set, Holmes led, 5:2, but then he unraveled the way a former University of Utah NCAA champion shouldn’t. In an all-Swedish quarterfinal, Wilander will play Anders Jarryd, the No. 6 seed, who topped No. 13 Tim Mayotte 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 6-4.

Quarterfinals: (AP)

Defending champion John McEnroe, his dazzling display of tennis halted momentarily by a controversial call, advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships Wednesday night with a 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 victory over Sweden’s Joakim Nystrom. After Nystrom, the No. 10 seed, fought off a break point to hold serve in the 2nd game of the match, McEnroe went on a 13-game tear, completely overwhelming his out-matched opponent. By then, McEnroe had wrapped up the first two sets and had a 2:0 lead in the 3rd. And Nystrom, who beat Boris Becker in a fourth-round match, had been able to win three consecutive points only once in the match. That was in the sixth game of the opening set to take a 40-love lead before McEnroe came back to break the Swede’s service yet again. But in the 3rd game of the 3rd set, McEnroe hit what he thought was the final shot to break Nystrom’s serve. He then walked off the court and sat in his chair, ready for the change-over. But umpire Steve Winyard of England, heeding Nystrom’s plea, ruled that the point should be replayed because a baseline judge had called a ball out during the rally, then corrected himself. Nystrom said the fact the line judge had called “out” had interrupted play. “Why did you let me sit down?” McEnroe asked Winyard as he testily returned to the court. The Swede won the next three points to hold serve, beginning a five-game run that saw him take a 5:2 lead in the third set. McEnroe then began complaining about the television microphone held at courtside, unleashing a barrage of words at the umpire whenever he was near the chair. At the beginning of the fifth game was given a Code of Conduct warning for verbal abuse. Nystrom appeared to be on a roll, although still a long, long way from victory. But it was not to be. His temper tantrums over, McEnroe returned ripping through the next five games to close out the victory. Mats Wilander and Anders Jarryd took to the Stadium Court with the temperature in the high 90s with high humidity. The No. 3 seed in the men’s singles, who captured his second French Open title earlier this year, was leading 2-6, 6-2, 5-0 when his Davis Cup teammate retired with an upset stomach. It appeared Jarryd began cramping midway through the third set, shortly before he retired. He failed to chase down balls he earlier had reached. Still, the end came suddenly, one point into the sixth game. Wilander hit a service winner and Jarryd walked to the net, telling his fellow Swede that the match was over. lendl_uo85Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors rolled into the semifinals of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships yesterday – Lendl during the heat of the day, Connors during the heat of the night. The roads they took, although both ended in identical 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victories, were as different as night and day. Lendl, his power game as hot as the 112-degree on-court temperature, demolished seventh-seeded Yannick Noah of France. Connors, in a lackluster performance, was never tested in his easy victory over Switzerland’s Heinz Gunthardt. It is Connors’ record 12th straight trip to the semifinals of America’s premier tennis event, which he has won five times. He also increased his match victory total to a record 77 in men’s singles. Saturday, Connors will play Lendl, who advanced to the semis for the fourth consecutive year. The last two times they have met on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center were for the title in both 1982 and 1983, Connors capturing them both. It was a lethargic performance by Connors. But that was probably brought on by the mistake-filled performance by Gunthardt, who never was in the match. The Swiss right-hander had no weapons to hurt Connors, and that left him a sitting duck for Connors’ passing shots and stinging volleys. In all, Gunthardt had 13 aces, but the majority of those came in the 3rd set when the contest had been decided. “I played pretty well; he really wasn’t,” Connors said. “I wanted to jump on top of him early.” Connors did that, wrapping up the match in 1 hour, 55 minutes. Lendl was awesome in taking apart the game of Noah, the 1983 French Open champion and winner of the Italian Open earlier this year. The athletic Frenchman was never in contention, even though he easily won the opening game of each set. He took Lendl to deuce in the second game of the match as the crowd in Louis Armstrong Stadium at the National Tennis Center settled in for an epic struggle. They never got it, however, as Lendl smothered his opponent as much as the humidity. “He seemed to pace himself from the very first point of the match,” Lendl said of Noah. “Obviously I was worried about the heat, too. But after about three or four games, I felt I was in such good shape that I could go all the way, that he was not going to get to me today the way the match was going.” 

Semifinals: Zan Hale

John McEnroe usually can win his matches on skill and instinct. Saturday, in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, he needed more to overcome the spectacular play of Mats Wilander. McEnroe needed wit to turn his racket into a wand. He also needed 3 hours and 50 minutes while the court thermometer reached 115 degrees (46 Celsius!) before subduing Wilander 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the final for the fifth time. He has won the title each of the previous times. “This is one of my better performances for hanging in there,” said McEnroe, 26. In both the 4th and 5th sets, Wilander scored an early break to take a 2:0 lead. Twice, McEnroe wmcenroe_uo85-as able to draw upon inner reserves to fight for the match. “It was more of a mental win than just when I went out and played my best.” McEnroe was only 51 percent on his first service, compared to Wilander’s 69 percent. McEnroe double faulted four times; Wilander none. McEnroe made 45 unforced errors to Wilander’s 12. “I did not feel I played my best,” McEnroe said. “It was an up and down match. I was just scrounging around.” While scrounging, McEnroe came up with 96 winners – many a product of guts and guile, than touch. Early on, it was Wilander who had the magic touch. His solid service returns and knife-like passing shots created volleying problems for McEnroe. He served and volleyed with aggressiveness usually foreign to the 21-year-old Swede and didn’t hesitate to take the net on a short ball. “I didn’t feel that uncomfortable when he served and volleyed,” McEnroe said. “I thought that since he doesn’t consistently do that, he was going to crack somewhere down the line and that’s what happened.” A couple timely – and well executed lobs – early in the 4th set, after Wilander had taken a 2:0* (15/0) lead, made Wilander hesitate before coming in and gave McEnroe an opening. McEnroe reeled off 11 straight points en route (it happened after Wilander won th best point of the match) to winning five straight games and, eventually, the set to even the match at two sets each. “I think he’s a great fighter,” Wilander said. “He’s always very competitive.” McEnroe was also fighting the heat at that point. Wilander was undaunted by the combined high temperature and high humidity (80 percent). McEnroe, who stretched every changeover by at least 30 seconds for a little extra rest, changed shirts five times and, after the third game changeover in the fourth set, felt his head spinning. “I felt a little faint,” McEnroe said. “Sometimes when you play two tough games and you sit down for a second, it’s a little difficult to get out of that chair – especially when you’re down and everything looks bad. Everything starts hurting more. It was only a momentary thing. I was able to walk it off.” The thought of quitting never entered his mind. Instead, he raised the level of his game. “I managed to pick up my game,” McEnroe said. “Every shot picked up, I was more consistent. I was using my head more, really; putting myself in a different frame of mind.” Before the second semifinal, Ivan Lendl fretted that he would have to play two opponents – Jimmy Connors and a pro-Connors crowd. But the crowd wasn’t a factor Saturday night. Most of the 21,169 fans had departed, their emotions and stamina spent watching five sets of McEnroe and Wilander and three sets of Hana Mandlikova and Martina Navratilova. And Lendl didn’t have to play a 100 percent fit Connors. In practice earlier in the day, Connors sprained his right ankle, and it obviously affected him as Lendl won, 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, to reach the final. “No, I didn’t know before the match he was limping,” said Lendl, who is hoping to avoid the stigma of being runner-up in this tournament four consecutive years. Connors, the loser in his last six meetings with Lendl, stayed at the baseline and put little pressure on Lendl. Connors made 39 unforced errors (26 off the backhand) and Lendl made 22. “It was a pain in the butt,” Connors said of his ankle. “I didn’t give myself a fair chance. I thought I played well, but he played better.” Connors didn’t break Lendl until the 2nd game of the 3rd set. But Lendl broke right back. When Connors broke again as Lendl served for the match in the 10th game, the few thousand remaining fans roared. But it was too little, too late. Lendl again broke back and served out the match.

Final: Bob Slocum

Jimmy Connors knew John McEnroe would beat Ivan Lendl in yesterday’s U.S. Open finals. “Well, he always loses in the finals here,” said Connors, who lost to Lendl in the semifinals on Saturday. “He never plays well in the Open finals.” Hana Mandlikova, like Lendl , from Czechoslovakia, knew lendl_uo85triumphIvan would lose, as well. Nothing like a boost of confidence from a Czech mate. “Ivan is playing good tennis, but… McEnroe is playing too well for Ivan to win,” said Mandlikova, who upset Martina Navratilova Saturday to win her first Open. “I just don’t think he can do it. I hope, but I don’t think.” The fact is, very few figured Lendl would be able to surmount the skills, aggressiveness, and winning experience of McEnroe – not to mention overcome the highly partisan McEnroe crowd at the National Tennis Center. And Lendl’s record of buckling in big matches spoke for itself quite articulately. He has won only one Grand Slam event in his life (1984 French Open) and has lost in the finals of tournaments five times this year alone. The past three years, Lendl had picked his way into the U.S. Open finals, only to decompose. But U.S. Open frustration ended for 25-year-old Lendl yesterday in a blaze of brilliance. He rallied from a sloppy, disoriented start to fashion his greatest performance ever in a major tournament. Lendl, the tournament’s second seed, startled and whipped defending champion McEnroe in straight sets – 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4 to win his first United States Open in a match that wasn’t even a contest. Lendl and Mandlikova made the Flushing Meadow event their own little Czech Open. And Czech this out: Lendl became the first right-handed player to win the men’s event in a dozen years (John Newcombe was the last in 1973). And after it was over on the muggy, rainy day, Ivan sat in a courtside chair, buried his face in a towel and wept with joy. “It’s the tournament I’ve wanted to win most in my life,” said the spindly, sometimes misunderstood athlete, whose winner’s check read $187,500. “It’s the biggest tennis event in the world. I’ve won the Czechoslovakian tournament three times, but it means nothing compared to this. I’m so happy, really, I can’t even describe my feelings.” “He deserved to win it,” said a gaunt, weary-looking McEnroe, the defending Open champion who simply was outplayed on this sultry day. “He played like he’s No. 1 in the world. That’s the best tennis he’s ever played against me. When he got into the match and got on track, he was damn tough. He’s never hit the ball that hard against me, nor has he applied that much pressure. I’ve never seen him play better. He was simply too much to overcome.” The day began miserably for Lendl. It appeared as though the heavily favored McEnroe would easily thrash the Czech, who appeared nervous, careless and flailing in the early going. McEnroe took the first three games of the 1st set with Lendl winning only a single point. McEnroe didn’t even lose a point while serving until the 9th game – his fifth service game. At that juncture, McEnroe had a 5:3 lead (in the previous game, Lendl saved a set point with a forehand pass). But not only did Lendl score his first points against McEnroe’s serve in the ninth game, he broke McEnroe at love and seized control of the match – a grip he never relinquished. “I felt good at the start of the match,” said McEnroe, “but in the ninth game, when he broke me, I started feeling real sluggish. I didn’t feel like I was moving well. And I never felt comfortable in the match after that. I was just hoping to somehow sneak by in that first set to give me something to work with. I thought if I got that first set, I might be able to snap out of it.”  Lendl embarrassed McEnroe in a first-set tie-breaker,  and then manhandled him in the second set 6-3. McEnroe  displayed great resilience and character to beat Mats Wilander in the heat after falling behind two sets to one on Saturday. But not this time. Sure, the 3rd set was close enough. It went 4:4 before Lendl broke his foe again with the help of a crucial McEnroe double-fault at 15/30, and then Lendl whipped McEnroe easily in the 10th game to capture the coveted cup that had eluded him for so many frustrating years. “I can’t help but lendl_uo85_championthink it did,” said McEnroe about the influence of conditions. “I don’t want to take anything away from Ivan, but I think that made a difference. I had to play five sets in 115-degree weather and Ivan played three sets when it was cooler. I can’t afford not to be 100 percent out there. I can’t afford to be a half a step slow. Right now I ache all over.” Throughout the match, Lendl – who never has been hailed as a charismatic personality – received little support from the full-house gathering wedged into Louis Armstrong Stadium. But mentally, he held up in style despite the albatross of three straight finals losses here and a shaky beginning yesterday. How did Lendl deal with that? Well, he worked some psychology on himself. “The worst thing in the world is to be afraid of something,” he said. “And that includes losing. Unfortunately, I’ve been there. I’ve lost a lot of times here, I have lost to McEnroe twice in the last month (Stratton Mountain & Montreal – finals) and I started badly today. But I told myself, ‘you have nothing to lose, nobody expects you to win, so don’t hold anything back.’ I decided that by playing all out and taking chances, I had everything to gain and nothing to lose. And then, everything just seemed to come to me.” Was there special satisfaction for Lendl in beating McEnroe, the top-seed and top-ranked player in the world – especially in light of the criticism Ivan has absorbed that he wilts in the big events? “Well,” Lendl said, “two weeks ago I would have told you I’d take this tournament even if it meant beating my grandmother. Look, if I believed everything that has been written about me, I would have gone crazy in one week. I won this tournament for me, and my family and friends. I didn’t win it to prove anything to the media or anyone else.” Lendl’s 48th title (2nd major). Stats of the final

3 Responses to 1984 – 1985, US Open

  1. Joca says:
    Who would have thought this will be John’s last Major
  2. St-Denis says:
    Nobody! :) John McEnroe could have won another Grand Slam title in 1986, but he took 6 months away from tennis (with his family in calm, before 1986, John almost became completely mad especially during the Masters versus Brad Gilbert!) , when he came back during the summer ’86, few weeks before Flushing Meadow, he was lack of competition, he lost too early versus Paul Annacone! Usually this kind of player is not a problem, and with Lendl, Becker, Mecir, Edberg, Wilander… the times are became hard for him, despite his genius, he could not do anything versus his prestigious opponents later… :)
    But, he won again in double at US open 1989 with Mark Woodforde and Wimbledon 1992 (by saving a 2 match points in final) with Michael Stich. He finished his career as he began, that is his specialty : the double

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