Celebrating US Open anniversaries of Aussie champions
Several Australian champions - of both today and yesteryear - are celebrating significant anniversaries of US Open triumphs this year.
Many Australian players have enjoyed remarkable success at the US Open. As the Grand Slam tournament prepares for its 2020 edition, we look at the Aussie champions celebrating special anniversaries of their New York triumphs …
Margaret Court completed a clean sweep at the US Open in 1970, winning titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. The top-seeded Court dropped only 13 games in progressing to the singles final, where she overcame second-seeded American Rosie Casals in three sets. It was Court’s 20th Grand Slam singles title, surpassing Helen Wills Moody for the most in women’s tennis history – a record she still holds. The victory also completed a calendar-year Grand Slam for the 28-year-old, making her the first woman in the Open era to achieve the feat. Court had twisted her ankle on the eve of the tournament, but played through the pain. “The mental side of it is where often the battle is won,” explained Court, who also teamed with compatriot Judy Dalton to claim the women’s doubles title and won the mixed doubles with American Marty Riessen. It was Dalton’s eighth Grand Slam doubles title and fourth shared with Court.
A 35-year-old Ken Rosewall won the US Open men’s singles title in 1970. It was his second title in New York, having previously won the tournament in 1956, and his sixth career Grand Slam singles crown. The third-seeded Rosewall, who ended his career with eight major singles titles, defeated fourth-seeded compatriot Tony Roche in a four-set final. It marked a second consecutive US Open runner-up finish for the 25-year-old Roche, who had lost to Rod Laver in the final the previous year.
Australian Wendy Turnbull teamed with American Marty Riessen to claim the US Open mixed doubles title as the top seeds in 1980. It was Turnbull’s fifth Grand Slam doubles title.
Liz Smylie and Todd Woodbridge won the US Open mixed doubles title in 1990. The eighth-seeded team swept through the draw without dropping a set. It was a 19-year-old Todd Woodbridge’s first Grand Slam title (he finished his stellar career with 22) and was a third for Smylie.
A 19-year-old Lleyton Hewitt combined with Belarusian Max Mirnyi to win the US Open men’s doubles title in 2000. The first-time pairing upset a string of seeded opponents, including top seeds Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in the second round. It was the Woodies’ final Grand Slam appearance as a team, with Woodforde retiring shortly afterwards. Hewitt and Mirnyi won their semifinal and final matches in a third-set tiebreak. “To go through the teams that we’ve done, including the Woodies, then the Australian Open champions (Ellis Ferreira and Rick Leach) in the final, it’s fantastic,” said Hewitt after winning the title. It was a breakthrough tournament for Hewitt, who also advanced to his first Grand Slam singles semifinal.
Sam Stosur teamed with American Lisa Raymond to win the US Open women’s doubles title in 2005. The sixth-seeded duo, playing their fifth tournament together, defeated the top seeds and third seeds to reach the final. They then overcame No.14 seeds Elena Dementieva and Flavia Pennetta to win the title. “I want to get my singles going better as well. But, I mean, this is great for me, and I think it’s only going to help,” said a 21-year-old Stosur, who was ranked No.17 in doubles and No.49 in singles at the time. It was Stosur’s second Grand Slam doubles title, adding to the Australian Open mixed title she’d won earlier that year.
A 16-year-old Daria Gavrilova won the US Open girls’ singles title in 2010, defeating Yulia Putintseva in the final. “I’m so happy – but it will take a while for when I will understand that I won my first Grand Slam,” said Gavrilova, who was the world No.1-ranked junior at the time.