US Open Tennis 2012: Power Ranking the 5 Best Past Men's Champions

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US Open Tennis 2012: Power Ranking the 5 Best Past Men's Champions
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

When one thinks of the all-time greats in tennis and where they made their mark, the U.S. Open has to come to mind.

The final Grand Slam event of the season has been a practical showcase for the immortals and a spawning point for legends.

While Wimbledon arguably gets more attention from the casual fan, those who follow tennis regularly will passionately debate you as to how the U.S. Open is actually the toughest of the four Grand Slam events to win.

Whether they are right or wrong, what is not subject to debate is how some of the all-time greats in the sport honed their craft at the U.S. Open. The list of past winners is both long and distinguished.

But who is the best? Who is the greatest past champion of all time? It is a subject that can be hotly debated, and to state that there is an absolute answer would just not be fair or accurate.

What follows is my power ranking of the top five past men's champions in U.S. Open history.

One caveat to note, though, is that for purposes of this discussion, I am limiting the candidates to the Open era. The Amateur era had great champions, to be sure. But I figured most of the folks reading this will be much more familiar with the champions of the Open era.

After all, many tennis fans will have heard of Bill Tilden but not know why or where they heard of him.

In any event, let's take a quick look at a couple of past champions who did not make the top five but were worthy of mentioning as the great champions they were.

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