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The Top 5: Summer “Hot Hands” on the ATP Tour
With a 23–3 record in singles and doubles, Nick Kyrgios is putting together a pre-US Open sizzle reel reminiscent of these summer streaks of the past.
Published Aug 13, 2022
If an MVP Award were to be given for results of the first few weeks of the North American hard-court swing, there’s no question it would go to Nick Kyrgios. Between singles and doubles, the Australian has claimed three first-place prizes in two events, including a sweep in Washington, DC.
It could be a sign of more good things to come for Kyrgios as he appears to be headed for a place among the men who have been nearly unbeatable leading up to the US Open. Here’s a look at five of them who had a summer swing to remember.
Brad Gilbert (1989)
With the likes of Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker at the top of the rankings, the time between Wimbledon and the US Open belonged to Brad Gilbert in 1989. The 27-year-old American reached the final in Washington, then won the tournaments in Stratton Mountain, Vt.; Livingston, N.J.; and Cincinnati, the biggest title of his career. Gilbert worked himself into the favorites conversation for the US Open. However, a game Todd Witsken and a stomach virus knocked him out in the first round in New York.
Stefan Edberg (1990)
A year later and fresh off his second Wimbledon title, it was Edberg’s turn to dominate on the hard courts. The Swede serve-and-volleyed his way to titles in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, the latter of which saw him avenge his loss to Gilbert there the year before and reach the No. 1 ranking for the first time. He tacked on another title in Long Island to bring his winning streak to 21 matches in a row since Wimbledon. The run surprisingly came to an end in the first round in New York, but he rebounded with titles there the next two years.
Andre Agassi (1995)
All the potential and promise around the American was fulfilled in 1995, when he became No. 1 in the world after winning the Australian Open. Playing at a high level throughout the year, Agassi really took off after Wimbledon. He won his next four tournaments, in D.C., Canada, Cincinnati and New Haven, Conn., dropping only four sets along the way and beating players up and down the rankings. Agassi battled through another six matches in New York before Pete Sampras stopped him in the final.
Patrick Rafter (1998)
What do American Justin Gimelstob and Frenchman Guillaume Raoux have in common? They were the only players to stop Rafter during his 1998 romp on the North American hard courts. Surrounding those losses in Los Angeles and New Haven, Conn., the Aussie triumphed at the Masters tournaments in Canada and Cincinnati, then tacked on another win in Long Island right before the US Open. Rafter went on to defend his title in New York, bringing his summer hard-court record to 25–2.
Andy Roddick (2003)
Bursting onto the scene as a teenager in 2000, Roddick’s career reached a new level in 2003 after teaming up with Gilbert in his coaches’ box. After a semifinal Wimbledon run, Roddick won Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Canada, and reached the semifinals in Washington, DC. The young American then capped off his dream summer with a victory at the US Open.