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Sports Then and Now



Bjorn Borg Blames “Bad Luck” For Never Winning the U.S. Open 9

Posted on July 15, 2010 by JA Allen

Bjorn Borg lost in 4 U.S. Open finals in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1981.

U.S. Open 1976

The year was 1976 and 20-year-old Bjorn Borg was playing Jimmy Connors in the finals of the U. S. Open.

The ice man or “Is i magen” in Swedish paced the baseline like a tiger ready to leap forward into the court at the slightest provocation.

The players battled on skimpy-looking green clay under the lights after beginning the match in the bright sunlight.

In 1976, Borg had won his first Wimbledon Championship after losing in the French Open quarterfinals to Italian Adriano Panatta, the only man who ever beat Borg at this event––twice.

It was the Swede’s first final in New York and it was on clay.  1976 would be Borg’s best chance to win what would prove to be his most elusive final.

Connors, however, was aiming toward his fourth grand slam title and his second U.S. Open title. Since 1974, Connors was clearly struggling to quiet his critics who touted that the American could no longer win the big tournaments, especially the majors.

In 1974 the American triumphed in three of four majors––all except the French.  In 1975 Connors made all of the major finals, except the French––losing them all.  So far in 1976 Connors had added no major trophies to his mantle.

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A Decade’s Worth of U.S. Open Appearances for Roger Federer 0

Posted on July 12, 2010 by JA Allen

Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open under the lights offers thrilling action.

Is there anything more exhilarating in all of tennis then the famous night sessions on Arthur Ashe Stadium?  This is when all the stars shine in the stands as well as on the court. Celebrities pack Arthur Ashe to see the best the tennis world has to offer and generally they are not disappointed.

The last slam of the season sizzles in dying shades of summer as the northern hemisphere begins to edge toward desultory fall and sobering winter.  The extreme heat often reappears during the two weeks of the U.S. Open that may stretch over the Labor Day weekend.

Roger Federer continues to be one of the staples of the U.S. Open, having reached the finals there for the past six years.  Will he make it for a seventh?  That seems to be the question on everyone’s lips these days.

Let’s look back on a decade’s worth of Federer matches.

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    • Earl Morrall: The Perfect Backup
      November 16, 2019 | 10:46 am
      Earl Morrall

      In a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1976, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was never really a leading man, but he seemed to be part of the supporting cast for many huge moments in NFL history.

      The second overall pick in the 1956 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, Earl Morrall joined a San Francisco 49ers team that already included the famous “Million Dollar Backfield” of Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson.

      Morrall started four games during his rookie season, but just before the start of the 1957 season was traded along with guard Mike Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for linebacker Marv Matuszak and two first-round draft picks.

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