The best matches ever at the US Open: Sampras, Ashe, Serena

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The best matches ever at the US Open: Sampras, Ashe, Serena

Some names are permanently related to places or events; this is true for the US Open, the last Slam of the season, which is played on the hard-courts of Flushing Meadows, in New York. There are tennis players who have written (and are continuing to write) the history of this tournament.

The names of these champions and their legendary challenges remain and are handed down to posterity, decade after decade. In 1936, Fred Perry defeated Don Budge in five sets (2-6, 6-2, 8-6, 1-6, 10-8). It was another era, with other heroes.

In 1968, Arthur Ashe won against Tom Okker 14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, one of the most emblematic and significant matches in the tournament's and tennis' history. The centre court of the US Open is dedicated to the American champion.

In the '80s the rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert lived its apogee. The 1984 challenge won by Navratilova 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, was one of the most exciting moments of their rivalry and women's tennis in New York.

1991 was a special year for all tennis fans and in particular for the New York Slam. In that season there were three memorable challenges. Monica Seles defeated Jennifer Capriati after three magnificent sets, ended 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7-3) in the semifinals, while Martina Navratilova won an incredible match against Steffi Graf in the other semifinal, with the final score of 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (6-8), 6-4.

In the men's singles, we cannot forget the amazing performances of Jimmy Connors and Aaron Krickstein in the fourth round of the same year. Connors won that epic match after five endless sets of battle. In 2001, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi wrote another important page of the tournament.

The great rivalry of the time set in the fourth set after a great battle, won by Sampras thanks to four tie-breaks, ended 6-7(7-9), 7-6( 7-2), 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-5). In 2003, Justine Henin defeated Jennifer Capriati in three sets, with the final score of 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), recovering a set of disadvantages and winning a very funny match.

In recent years, 2008 saw the derby between Serena and Venus Williams, won by Serena for 7-6(8-6), 7-6(9-7). The Williams Sisters gave birth to an unforgettable and hard-fought challenge. The following year, Juan Martin del Potro signed one of the most important goals of recent years; beating Roger Federer (who won Roland Garros and Wimbledon that year) in the final, becoming one of only four players to win a Slam that was not a Big Three since 2006 (the others being Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic).

Final score: 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. In 2012, Andy Murray was the first British player to win a Slam in the men's singles since Fred Perry's era. The Scot defeated Novak Djokovic in five sets, with the final score of 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6 3-6 6-2, at the end of a very important match for British tennis and the US Open.