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Americans at the Open; History of 'Triplers' in Major Wins

Good News for Team USA

September 13, 2011 | 08:56 PM

Triplers: players who won 3 Majors in a calendar year (Bud Collins made up the word and compiled the list in his History of Tennis).

The lists are short, especially for men.

There are now 10 men who've won a tripler in their career, and one man who won 3 (Roger Federer).

In the Open era, other than Joker (2011) and Rafa (2010), only Connors (1974) and Wilander (1988) won one.

Before the Open era, there were 2 in the 30's (Crawford and Perry), 3 in the 50's (Trabert, Hoad and Cooper), and Emerson in the 60's.

In the 7 times men have done it since the majors were played on 3 different surfaces (in 1976), in only 2 has the tripler included 3 surfaces: Wilander and Nadal.

There were 8 women, 7 in the Open era. Serena (2002), Martina Hingis (1997) and Billie Jean King (1972) each did it once. Margaret Smith Court did it 4 times (2 in the Open era), as did Steffi Graf who, like Federer, did it 3 times in 4 years. Monica Seles (1991 and 1992) and Martina Navratilova (1983 and 1984) did it twice.

In the 10 times women have done it since there were 3 different surfaces, 8 have been on 3 surfaces surfaces (Hingis and Graf in her first time (1989) won it only on hard and grass).

Considering how rare a feat this is, the fact that men have done it 5 times in the last 8 years probably says more about the dominance of the top male players in the Federer era than anything else.

American Hopes Raised a Little

Don't get too excited yet, but the American men had a much improved showing in the singles and took two doubles titles.

MEN'S SINGLES: 19 Wins (vs. 13 in 2010)

Reasons for encouragement:

- 8 men won 1st rounders (including 18 year old Jack Sock and 22 year old Donald Young)

- 5 men won 2nd rounders

- 4 men reached the 4th round (Bogomolov and Fish with Isner and Roddick; avg. age: 28)

- 2 men reached the quarters


The USTA is even more excited about it's women, given the number of young women who performed well and won matches. Why shouldn't this be exciting when the women's game is wide-open and 6 of the top 10 - led by a 20 year old - are over 27 years old (not counting Serena, almost 30 who moved up to only #14 from 28, while Stosur moved from #10 to 7).

- 8 women won 1st rounders (4 were 21 or under, including 15 year old Madison Keys and 17 year old Lauren Davis)

- 5 women won 2nd rounders (including 18 year old Sloane Stephens, 19 year old Christine McHale, 21 year old Irina Falconi and 22 year old Vania King (runner-up in doubles)

- Serena reached her 6th US Open final

THE USA won the women's doubles (the 4th seeds Huber and Raymond) and the mixed doubles (Sock and Oudin, who beat last year's champions Bob Bryan and Huber in the 1st round).

The two titles we expected to win, the women's singles and the men's doubles, didn't come through. The Bryans, defending the title, lost in the 1st round while Serena was upset by the #9 seed in the final (Stosur). Had the USA won these two titles, it would have been closer to a sweep than anything in decades.

US Open Wrap-up

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