Tennis, and Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg beat Vitas Gerulaitis, and Jimmy Connors defeated fellow American John McEnroe, both in straight sets on Saturday (9 September) to reach the final of the U.
GV Jimmy Connors serves to McEnroe (out of shot) and plays the ball, then view of McEnroe failing to return ball
GV Crowd applauds
GV The play a very fast rally, then at 15 ft. 4.6 metres 24 secs. McEnroe lunges for ball and falls on pavement
LV Scoreboard showing Connors winning game 40-0 with the set at 6-5 to Connors
GV Connors serves, game played and at 23 ft. 7 metres 37 seconds he wins match when McEnroe fails to return a back-hander to corner, they shake hands and walk from court
LV Scoreboard showing Connors winning 6-2, 6-2, 7-5
GV Bjorn Borg nearest camera serves to Vitas Gerulaitis with the scoreboard at 40-all in a game in the third set. Borg wins the point
GV Crowd applauds
GV The two play a long rally, ending at 56 ft. 17.1 metres, 1 Min.30 secs) when Gerulaitis falls over trying to reach a hit down the line.
SV Scoreboard showing 6-6 and 6-3 to Borg
GV Gerulaitis serves, Borg returns and Gerulaitis fails to return. At 70 ft. 21.3 metres 1 Min.52 secs. they shake hands and walk from court
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Tennis, and Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg beat Vitas Gerulaitis, and Jimmy Connors defeated fellow American John McEnroe, both in straight sets on Saturday (9 September) to reach the final of the U.S. Open championships, setting the stage for a rematch or their Wimbledon final, just two months ago.
SYNOPSIS: Connors stormed over McEnroe in the first two sets, but it was not until the third set that he produced the most dazzling tennis of the match to pull back from five-one down to level with McEnroe.
The stocky 19 year old New Yorker who gave up law studies to turn professional, has never beaten Connors in three previous attempts and the semi final was no exception.
That point to Connors made the rest of the match a mere formality. McEnroe's game simply could not match his opponent's explosive speed, depth of shot and punishing return of serve. For Connors it was a relentless move to his fifth consecutive Open final.
In the other semi final at Flushing Field in New York, Borg took one hour and fifty minutes to defeat his good friend and practice partner, Vitas Gerulaitis 6-3, 6-2, 7-6. Again it was the third set which produced the finest play. Borg, seeded number one, was trailing 2-4 when he moved into top gear, and allowed Gerulaitis only one more game in the set. Gerulaitis, although number four seed, could not compete with the superb precision of Borg's placing. Gerulaitis, who shares the international tennis circuit with Borg, has never managed to beat the Swede. In this semi-final not even the support of the crowd cheering the New York-born Gerulaitis, could break that run.
In the end it was defeat for Gerulaitis on his own serve, and the promise of a momentous final.