US Open 2016: The past five years

Ahead of the 2016 edition of the US Open, we take a look at how the last five years have panned out at Flushing Meadows.


Men’s champion: Novak Djokovic
Women’s champion: Samantha Stosur

A maiden victory for Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows marked the end of his first year of grand slam dominance, having earlier triumphed at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Prior to 2011, Djokovic’s only major win came in Melbourne in 2008, and the Serbian was made to fight hard for his place in the US final. After making it as far as the semi-finals with relative ease, Djokovic fell two sets down to Roger Federer, who was facing the prospect of a first year without a grand slam triumph since 2002. But Djokovic showed tremendous character to rally and come away with victory, before defeating defending champion Rafael Nadal in the final.

Injury and illness had hampered Serena Williams in the year leading up to her home slam and the three-time winner was on her way back having seen her ranking fall as low as 175. Seeded 28th, the American made light work of her opponents as she stormed to the final without dropping a set, setting up a clash with Samantha Stosur, who had been pushed all the way on three occasions on her route to the decider. However, it was the Australian who took control, powering to a 6-2 6-3 victory in what remains her only major win.


Men’s champion: Andy Murray
Women’s champion: Serena Williams

Great Britain had not enjoyed a grand slam men’s singles title since Fred Perry won the US Open in 1936, but newly crowned Olympic champion Andy Murray put the disappointment of a heartbreaking final defeat at Wimbledon behind him to chalk up his first major crown. Murray had beaten Djokovic on his way to Olympic gold and once again came out on top in the US final, delayed due to extreme weather, although he had to overcome a major scare to triumph 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2.

Williams headed to Flushing Meadows fresh from becoming only the second woman to complete a Career Golden Slam with victory at London 2012, which followed on from her fifth Wimbledon title as the problems of the previous season became a distant memory. And the American was in stunning form, dropping just 19 games in six matches on her way to the final, where top seed Victoria Azarenka – who had earlier seen off defending champion Stosur – put up more of a fight but was ultimately beaten 6-2 2-6 7-5.


Men’s champion: Rafael Nadal
Women’s champion:  Serena Williams

Djokovic was left frustrated as he lost the Flushing Meadows final for the second year in a row, with Nadal adding the US title to the ninth French Open title he won earlier in the year. Djokovic may well have been feeling the effects of a semi-final in which he twice fell behind to Stan Wawrinka, with Nadal having come through in straight sets against Richard Gasquet. Nadal has won just one grand slam title since - the 2014 French Open.

Williams proved even more lethal in picking off her opponents in 2013, this time giving away just 16 matches on her way to a rematch with 2012 runner-up Azarenka. The Belarusian once again pulled a set back after falling behind, but Serena finished the job in the third to seal a 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 win and her fifth US Open crown.


Men’s champion: Marin Cilic
Women’s champion:  Serena Williams

Williams’ dominance of the event continued in 2014 as she equalled Chris Evert’s open-era record of six US titles. The top seed faced little resistance as she eased through the draw and eventually won the tournament without dropping a set, claiming a 6-3 6-3 victory over Caroline Wozniacki in the final.

And there was an unexpected winner in the men’s side of the draw. With reigning champion Rafael Nadal absent with a wrist injury, top two seeds Novak Djokovic and Federer looked to be heading for a final showdown after reaching the last four. However, the pair lost to Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic respectively, with the Croatian eventually claiming his first grand slam win with a 6-3 6-3 6-3 win in the final.


Men’s champion: Novak Djokovic
Women’s champion: Flavia Pennetta

Following victories for Williams at the Australian, French and Wimbledon, the Flushing Meadows crowd arrived in anticipation of witnessing the completion of a calendar Grand Slam in 2015. However, a shock defeat to the unseeded Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals ended any hope of history being made, with second seed Simona Halep also losing to Italian opposition in the other last-four match – beaten 6-1 6-3 by Flavia Pennetta. And it was Pennetta who prevailed in the final, announcing her retirement from the sport following her maiden slam victory.

Federer was the form player at Flushing Meadows and reached the final without dropping a set, raising hopes that the 17-time grand slam champion could win a first major crown since 2012. But the Swiss came up against Djokovic in the final and, with the Serbian having seen off 2014 champion Cilic in the semis, he broke the hearts of Federer fans with a 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 win.

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