While 25 year old Roger Federer won his third consecutive US Open title, and 19 year old Maria Sharapova won her first, past champions Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova retired from the game aged 36 and 49 respectively after the 2006 event at Flushing Meadows.
Winner of 60 career titles including eight grand slams, Agassi bowed out to Benjamin Becker (no relation to Boris), in the third round of the US Open in front of a parochial Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd last week.
The effervescent Agassi won his last grand slam event in January, 2003 taking his fourth Australian Open title in Melbourne.
Six months later at 22 years of age, Roger Federer dropped just one set in the entire tournament on his way to his first grand slam title at Wimbledon, which started a four year domination of that event.
The Swiss player has won nine grand slam titles in four years and given he is a decade short of Agassi’s retirement age he has a huge chance of surpassing Pete Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam career titles.
Roger Federer wins his third
consecutive US Open title
Andre Agassi only won eight grand slam titles, however his career spanned John McEnroe’s retirement, the peak of the Sampras era, and the beginning of the age of Federer.
The charismatic Las Vegan was runner-up seven times in grand slam finals – four times to Sampras, and in another time he may well have reached double figures in the grand slam stakes.
Women’s great retires
Maria Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Russia on April 19, 1987. By that time Martina Navratilova had won 15 of her eventual 18 grand slam singles titles.
Navratilova retired from tennis in New York last week, where she won her last of four US Open singles titles in 1987 - the year of Sharapova’s birth.
Czech born but American nationalised, Navratilova holds the all-time record for men or women’s career titles in both singles and doubles with 167 and 178 titles respectively.
4th seed Sharapova defeated the more fancied Amelie Mauresmo and Justin Henin-Hardenne on the way to her second grand slam title after winning Wimbledon in 2004, and at just 19 years of age she has many more slam events ahead of her.
Martina Navratilova and Bob Bryan
win the US Open mixed doubles
The left handed Navratilova won an amazing nine Wimbledon titles between 1978 and 1990, reaching the final 11 times in that period.
Turning 50 next month, Navratilova bowed out a winner as she took the mixed doubles title at the 2006 US Open with Bob Bryan – her 10th mixed doubles grand slam win.