US Open 1992: The 25th Anniversary of an Epic Men’s Event (Part 1)

The 1992 Men’s US Open was notable due to a large number of clashes between major winners.  While Stefan Edberg won the title by beating Pete Sampras in 4 sets, he needed three consecutive 5 set wins in order to reach that final.  More unbelievably, Edberg had to come back from a service break down in the 5th set to win each of those matches. This piece will look at the notable matches round by round:

1st Round: Jimmy Connors Wins and Turns 40

Jimmy Connors d. Jaime Oncins in 3 sets on his 40th birthday in front of a night crowd

Jim Courier d. Alex O’Brien in 4 sets in a clash between the #1 player in the world and the NCAA champion

Goran Ivanisevic d. Marc Rosset in a clash between the 1992 Wimbledon runner-up and the 1992 singles gold medalist

Ivan Lendl d. Jaime Yzaga in 5 sets

Boris Becker d. Kevin Curran in 4 sets in a rematch of their 1985 Wimbledon final.

2nd Round: Lendl and Connors’ Final Chapter

Ivan Lendl d. Jimmy Connors in 4 sets.  This clash between two former champions was interesting for 1 1/2 sets.  Jimmy Connors won the first set attacking the net at every turn. Connors even broke Lendl to open the 2nd set, but Connors tired and Lendl adjusted to the relentless net approaches and raucous crowd.  Lendl won the next 3 sets in routine fashion in his final tour clash with Connors.

Brad Gilbert d. Michael Stich in a 5th set tiebreak won 7-0

Michael Chang d. Patrick McEnroe in straight sets

3rd Round: Sampras Fends Off Martin (No Relation)

Pete Sampras d. Todd Martin in 5 sets

Jim Courier d. Cedric Pioline in 4 sets, but Pioline would upset Courier at the 1993 US Open en route to his first major final.

4th Round: Business Picks Up! 

Stefan Edberg d. Richard Krajicek in 5 sets from a break down in the 5th

Ivan Lendl d. Boris Becker in 5 sets for his only win over Becker at a major

Jim Courier d. John McEnroe in 3 sets in John McEnroe’s last US Open match

Michael Chang d. Mal Washington in 5 sets

Pete Sampras d. Guy Forget in 5 sets despite losing two sets by a score of 6-1

Consider the following:

Through only 4 rounds there had been clashes between Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors as well as Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker.  These were rematches of the 1982, 1983, and 1989 championship rounds and Ivan Lendl enacted some measure of revenge.  Pete Sampras had to fend off a hungry Todd Martin and had to overcome a lefty with a big serve in Guy Forget.  John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors each played their final US Open matches.  Stefan Edberg had to come from a break down in the 5th set against a player with a paralyzing serve.  Mal Washington pushed Michael Chang to the brink.  The supporting cast of a recent gold medalist, a NCAA singles champion, a man who won ugly, the 1991 Wimbledon champion, and the 1992 Wimbledon runner-up were also all in action.  The final 3 rounds would add more drama and big name clashes.

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