The final of the Men's Singles in the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at Forest Hills,?
The final of the Men's Singles in the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at Forest Hills, New York, on Sunday (7 September) ended with a surprise victory for Spaniard Manuel Orantes over title-holder American Jimmy Connors in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
The aggression which took Connors to the finals with a three-set victory over Sweden's Bjorn Borg on Saturday was much in evidence as he tried to contain the Spaniard. But a sprinkling of errors on key points by the American was all Orantes need to clinch his skilful win.
With Connors the number one seed and favourite for the title, few spectators -- apart from a band of patriotic Spaniards -- expected Orantes to win ... especially as he spent three hours 43 minutes on the court late the night before to beat Argentinian Guillermo Vilas in five sets in the semi-finals.
But after losing the first two games, Orantes strung four together to take the lead in the first set, which he won 6-4 in 39 minutes. Orantes used the lob with subtlety, forcing Connors to overpress his approaches, and leave a gap for the winning passing shot. By using the court to its full extent, he also took the seconds set without too much effort.
Connors came back in the third with twelve successive points to turn a 0-2 deficit into a 3-2 lead. But the Spaniard countered firmly and relentlessly to take the set, the title, and the 25,000 U.S. dollars'prize money (11,666 pounds sterling).
SYNOPSIS: American Jimmy Connors -- nearest the camera -- serving to Spain's Manuel Orantes in a bid to stay in the first set of the Men's singles final of the United States Open at Forest Hills, New York, on Sunday. Connors took an early two-game lead but the Spaniard fought back to bring the score to five-three. He showed all the grit and ability that brought him through a marathon five-set semi-final against Argentina's Guillermo Vilas late on Saturday night. Connors couldn't hold his serve ... and Orantes took the first set six-four.
Connors -- number one seed -- was fighting to retain the title ... and gave a display of hard, aggressive tennis.
But Orantes also plays with high skill on a clay court and he forced the usually unshakable Connors into error to take the second set six-three.
But the Spaniard's control of the match wavered early in the third set ... and he had a hard fight back to lead five-three.
Connors' needed all his court skill and concentration to hold the service game ... but Orantes matched him shot for shot to force the young American into another error ... giving the Spaniard match-point.
In the end, it was Orantes' subtlety and determination that finished the contest ... beating his opponent with a brilliant shot to the back of the court to take the match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
Orantes' win was the upset of the Championships ... and it earned him a cool twenty-five thousand dollars.