The 20-year-old McEnroe won his first major title in his 51st main-level event (seventh major). He broke Gerulaitis early in every set; lost his serve once, serving for the 1st set at 5:4 (30/15). “It isn’t every day that two players who live 10 minutes from the Open reach the final,” McEnroe had said. “New Yorkers should appreciate this. It may never happen again. This is the best feeling I ever had in tennis. I volleyed well in the clutch.” McEnroe became the youngest US Open champion at the time, dropping just 52 games under bizarre circumstances at times: he got one walkover, one player retired against him playing barely three games & one match was almost finished with a disqualification – Nastase was defaulted trailing 1:3 in the 4th set, but the tournament director Bill Talbert overruled that decision after two minutes & the match was resumed!
McEnroe’s route to his 12th (maiden major) title:
1 Pavel Slozil 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
2 Ilie Nastase 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
3 John Lloyd w/o
4 Tom Gorman 6-2, 6-4, 6-1
Q Eddie Dibbs 2-1 ret.
S Jimmy Connors 6-3, 6-3, 7-5
W Vitas Gerulaitis 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
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