It was a semifinal like a premature final between two best players in the world: the Wimbledon champion (Borg) and the US Open & defending champion (McEnroe). Borg led 4:2* in the 1st set, in the 3rd he was two points away from defeat at 30-all in games 10 & 12. The decisive tie-break McEnroe opened with an ace, only to lose seven straight points. For McEnroe it was his second consecutive defeat in the third set tie-break; two days before he’d lost to Vitas Gerulaitis 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-7(4) squandering a match point. Gerulaitis , who had defeated Jimmy Connors in the semifinals, was easily outplayed by Borg in the final. The Swede extended his H2H vs Gerulaitis to 11-0 at the time.
Borg’s route to the title:
rr Jose Higueras 6-2, 6-0
rr Jimmy Connors 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)
rr Roscoe Tanner 6-3, 6-3
S John McEnroe 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(1)
W Vitas Gerulaitis 6-2, 6-2
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