Players have plenty of time to ponder after the US Open final. Over the years, the final tennis betting Grand Slam of the season has played host to many historic moments.
Several finals have set the tone for the following year’s tennis and been an important mark in long-running rivalries. The best US Open players haven’t all had it their own way when it comes to the finals.
There have been upsets, there have been epics, there have been career changing victories and defeats that break streaks.
Our list looks at the five greatest US Open tennis betting finals ever, featuring some of the greatest to play the game, from Martina Navratilova through the Serena Williams and Roger Federer…
1984 US Open: Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert
In their 61st meeting, Martina Navratilova beat her rival and good friend Chris Evert in the 1984 US Open to win the second of her four US Open titles.
Riding a 12-match winning streak against Evert, Navratilova was the strong favourite ahead of the final. Being taken to three sets, however, it was a closer duel than many expected.
Navratilova had won her previous 54 matches. The run extended to 74 – smashing the Open Era record – after the US Open final triumph. Against Evert in New York, though, Navratilova was under pressure early on as she dropped the first set.
The clashes of the two were always fascinating. Their styles were contrasting, and despite letting a set lead slip, this was somewhat of a breakthrough for Evert, who had barely been competitive in the 12 previous matches.
Evert went on to beat Navratilova in their next meeting and went toe-to-toe with the Prague-born left-hander in the following seasons.
2012 US Open: Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic
British tennis fans know all too well about Grand Slam heartache. Andy Murray arrived at the 2012 US Open having lost in four Grand Slam finals, but he left New York as the first British man since 1936 to win a Grand Slam singles’ title.
Murray faced Novak Djokovic in his fifth Slam final after suffering defeat in the Wimbledon final just a few weeks before. Djokovic was number two in the world at the point with five Grand Slams to his name.
It was an epic in every sense. Errors were rare, lengthy rallies were common. The match lasted just short of five hours, and the first-set, 22-point tiebreaker was a tournament record.
Murray won it and then went two sets up, but the great Djokovic battled back to force a fifth set. Murray raced out to a 3-0 lead in the fifth and held on to win his first Grand Slam title.
Murray is limited to doubles action in the 2019 US Open, while Djokovic is the favourite in the men’s draw. Follow their latest odds in 888sport’s online betting.
2009 US Open: Juan Martin Del Potro vs Roger Federer
Heading into the 2009 men’s US Open final, Roger Federer had won the tournament five years in a row.
In a year that saw a heartbreaking Australian Open final defeat, and a first taste of Roland Garros success, Federer was looking to become the first man in the Open Era to make it six in a row.
The 20-year-old del Potro started slowly with nerves crippling his performance. With Federer serving for the second set, however, the young Argentine dug deep to fight back and win it in a tie break.
Federer claimed the third before another tiebreak win for del Potro in the fourth. Fatigue got the better of the great Swiss as del Potro cruised to a 6-2 win.
At the height of his powers, Federer was denied a third Grand Slam of the year. Still looking for his sixth US Open, check out our US Open 2019 guide for how to follow Federer’s 19th US Open push.
2018 US Open: Naomi Osaka vs Serena Williams
At just 20 years old, Naomi Osaka faced Serena Williams – 16 years her senior – in the 2018 women’s US Open final.
Osaka was brilliant, as she had been all fortnight, and defeated a disgruntled Serena in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Williams’ conflict with the umpire snatched the headlines despite Osaka’s glorious performance.
Given a penalty for an outburst, and smashing up a racquet, Williams refused to shake hands with the umpire after the match, but Osaka remained calm and composed throughout, taking advantage of Serena’s distraction.
While the moment wasn’t how Osaka will have dreamt it, her 2018 US Open success was still the moment she announced herself as a contender at the top of the game.
Osaka followed it up with another Slam title in Melbourne a few months later and is one of the favourites for the 2019 US Open.
1995 US Open: Steffi Graf vs Monica Seles
While the final was fascinating on the court, it was the off-court activity that made it historic. Monica Seles was returning to the sport after a long absence after being stabbed by a fan who wanted Steffi Graf to return to number one.
Graf was under intense pressure throughout the tournament, being stalked as she went shopping and with journalists outside her accommodation after her manager and father had been jailed for failure to pay millions of income tax on her earnings.
The first set went to a tie-breaker. Seles thought she’d won it on an ace, but the serve was called out and Graf smashed a winner on the second serve to save the set, which she went on to win.
Seles bounced back to win the second set to love, before Graf cruised to a 6-3 victory in the third set and her 18th Grand Slam. Seles and Graf are two of the biggest figures in tennis history - the 1995 US Open final is a big part of that.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*