Saturday School: Players who have completed the Wimbledon-US Open double at least twice

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The final two slams of the year, the Wimbledon and the US Open are difficult to win with their own difficulty levels at hand. The Wimbledon being the lone slam on grass is a tough one to capture since players come in after a long clay court slam compared to which the fast paced grass season is a short one. The US Open on the other hand is the final slam of the year which is difficult to win since players near the end of the season and their fitness is put to test in the humid conditions at the Flushing Meadows. In the Open Era, sixteen players (men and women combined) have managed to win the Wimbledon-US Open double, of which nine players have managed to win it at least twice.

Jimmy Connors (1974,1982)

Five years after Rod Laver won the first ever Wimbledon-US Open double, Jimmy Connors became the second man in the Open Era to achieve the same feat. Connors defeated Ken Rosewall in straight sets to win his second grand slam title of the year. At New York, he again defeated Rosewall in the finals with a dominant scoreline of 6-1 6-0 6-1.
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Much later in 1982, Connors met John McEnroe in the Wimbledon finals and defeated him in five sets to win his second Wimbledon title. At the Flushing Meadows, Connors defeated third seed Ivan Lendl in four sets and became the first player in the Open Era to win the Wimbledon-US Open double.

John McEnroe (1981,1984)

In a battle between two titans of tennis of the 1980s, John McEnroe defeated his arch nemesis Bjorn Borg in four sets to win his first ever Wimbledon title. A few months later, Borg played the final grand slam match of his career where he lost to John McEnroe in four sets.
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In 1984, McEnroe was the defending champion at Wimbledon and he successfully defended his title dropping only one set in the entire tournament. A heavy favourite for the US Open, McEnroe defeated Ivan Lendl in the finals to win his fourth and final title at the Flushing Meadows.

Martina Navratilova (1983,1984,1986,1987)

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Martina Navratilova won eighteen grand slam titles in her career of which eight titles came jointly at the Wimbledon and US Open in the same year. In 1983,1984,1986 and 1987 Navratilova defeated Andrea Jaegar, Chris Evert, Hana Mandlikova and Steffi Graf respectively without dropping a set in each final.
In the same years as mentioned above, Navratilova defeated Chris Evert (twice), Helena Sukova and Steffi Graf to win the US Open titles. She became the first player (men and women) to achieve the Wimbledon-US Open double more than twice. This feat of hers contributed a lot to her reign at the No.1 ranking and also the year-end No.1 ranking.

Steffi Graf (1988,1989,1993,1995,1996)

In 1987, a German woman by the name Steffi Graf won her first ever Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. Such a promising player she was, that it appeared that she would be the next flag bearer of women’s tennis after Martina Navratilova’s reign. Graf did not disappoint. In 1988, she won the calendar year grand slam wherein she defeated Navratilova at the Wimbledon finals. At the US Open she would face Gabriela Sabatini for the fourth time in a grand slam and defeat her in three-sets.
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In a repeat of the 1988 finals, Graf would yet again defeat Navratilova in the finals and defend her title. Later, at the US Open, both players were yet again in the finals as the top two seeds and it was the top seed, Steffi Graf who would come back after losing the first set to defeat her Czech rival and win her second consecutive US Open title. In 1993, Graf headed into Wimbledon as the two-time defending champion and successfully defended her title, defeating Jana Novotna 7-6 1-6 6-4. The same year at US Open, Graf defeated Helena Sukova to win 6-3 6-3 and register her third Wimbledon-US Open double.
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at Wimbledon and Monica Seles at the US Open suffered losses to Steffi Graf in the finals in 1995 which made the ice-maiden record and equal four Wimbledon-US Open double like Martina Navratilova. However, like an unstoppable spreading fire, Graf would go on to defend her 1995 titles at the SW19 and Flushing Meadows by defeating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Monica Seles. The 1996 Wimbledon and US Open title were Graf’s last titles in both events.

Pete Sampras (1993,1995)

 

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Pistol Pete was the most dominant male player of Wimbledon and US Open in the 1990s. The American defeated Jim Courier in the 1993 Wimbledon final and Cedric Pioline in the 1993 US Open final to win the first of his two Wimbledon-US Open double. In 1995, he defeated Boris Becker at Wimbledon and Andre Agassi at US Open to be the third man to win the Wimbledon-US Open twice. The 1995 Wimbledon title was Sampras’ third of seven Wimbledon titles whereas the 1995 US Open title was the third of his five US Open titles.

Venus Williams (2000,2001)

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Starting from the 2000 Wimbledon till 2001 US Open, Venus Williams won four of the six grand slam titles. These four titles were won by winning the Wimbledon in 2000 & 2001 and the US Open in the same years. In 2000, she defeated Lindsay Davenport in both the finals of Wimbledon and US Open whereas in 2001, she defeated Justine Henin at Wimbledon and her younger sister Serena Williams at the US Open. The 2001 title at Wimbledon was her second of five Wimbledon titles whereas the 2001 US Open title was her last title win at the Flushing Meadows.

Serena Williams (2002,2012)

An year after Venus Williams registered her second Wimbledon-US Open double, her younger sister Serena Williams defeated her elder sibling in both the finals of Wimbledon and US Open. That year, Serena won three of the four slams and was the year-end No.1 player.
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A decade later, Serena Williams faced Agnieszka Radwanska in the finals of Wimbledon and Victoria Azarenka in the finals of the US Open. The American defeated both players in three-sets to win her second Wimbledon-US Open double.

Roger Federer (2004,2005,2006,2007)

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After winning the title at the Australian Open in 2004, Roger Federer became the World No.1 for the first time in his career. He fell to Gustavo Kuerten in the third round at the Roland Garros but found his form on grass as he successfully defended his Wimbledon title by defeating Andy Roddick in the final. At the US Open, he defeated Lleyton Hewitt 6-0 7-6 6-0 to win his first ever title at the Flushing Meadows.
He defeated Andy Roddick once and Rafael Nadal twice in 2005, 2006 and 2007 at SW19. In the same years, Federer defeated Andre Agassi,  Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic to become the first man in the Open Era to win the Wimbledon-US Open double on four occasions.

Novak Djokovic (2011,2015)

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In 2011, Rafael Nadal was defending his title at both Wimbledon and the US Open. Novak Djokovic, seeded second at Wimbledon and first at US Open, defeated Nadal in both the finals which were finished in four sets. In 2015, Djokovic was the defending champion at Wimbledon and he successfully defended it, defeating Roger Federer in the finals. Djokovic and Federer met again at the US Open and the Serb won the final to complete a second Wimbledon-US Open double.
Novak Djokovic won the 2018 Wimbledon title earlier this year and is in the finals of the 2018 US Open. If he is able to defeat Juan Martin Del Potro in the finals, he will become the second person after Roger Federer to win the Wimbledon-US Open double at least thrice.

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