Nobody went on hot streaks like Borg, who won at least 29 straight on four occasions. His 1978 run included his third titles at the French Open and Wimbledon. He didn't drop a set in Paris. Borg's streak nearly fell apart in the first round at Wimbledon. Unheralded American Victor Amaya had a two-sets-to-one lead, but the Swede ousted him in five. After beating Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon final, his run finally ended at the hands of Connors at the U.S. Open.
2 of 9Bob Martin/SI
Known best for his play on clay, the Austrian had his best season in 1995. Beating Michael Chang for the French Open title -- his only Grand Slam -- marked the highlight of Muster's streak. Before going off for 35 straight wins, all on clay, Muster had lost four straight matches, none on clay. In all, Muster made 14 finals in 1995 and won 12 of them (11 clay).
3 of 9Simon Bruty/SI
Federer failed to make the final of either the Australian Open or French Open in 2005, but he ramped up quickly with the start of the grass season in June. Federer dropped Andy Roddick for his third Wimbledon title and stayed hot going into the U.S. Open, where he dispatched Andre Agassi for his second title in New York. Federer lost his final match of the season, coughing up a two-set lead to David Nalbandian in the year-end championships.
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Borg's longest streak came at age 23. He trumped Jimmy Connors in consecutive finals to finish 1979 and then went on a tear to open 1980. One of his most impressive wins was a 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 thrashing of Guillermo Vilas in the Monte Carlo final. A month later, Vilas exacted revenge with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 win at the Nations Cup in Germany. Borg's run was over, but he bounced back pretty well. He won his next two events -- the French Open and Wimbledon.
5 of 9Caryn Levy/SI
Like in 2005, Federer was almost unbeatable on grass and hard courts. Andy Murray, then 19, tripped him up a Masters event in Cincinnati in August. Federer wouldn't lose again in '06, capturing his third U.S. Open and his third year-end championship. The calendar turn brought two more titles: his third Australian Open followed by Dubai. Guillermo Canas brought Federer's streak to an end in Indian Wells and beat the Swiss again two weeks later.
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McEnroe compiled perhaps the greatest year on tour in 1984, going 82-3 with 13 tournament titles. The loss that ended the streak was extremely close, a 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 defeat to Ivan Lendl at the French final. McEnroe never won the French Open. Following that loss in Paris, McEnroe won 21 straight matches.
7 of 9Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Djokovic was been the hottest player on the planet to open up 2011, piling up victories at the Australian Open, Dubai, in the U.S. (Indian Wells, Key Biscayne) and finally in Europe (Belgrade, Madrid, Rome). Roger Federer finally ended the Serb's run with a 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) win in the French Open semifinals. Djokovic's winning streak to start the season, 41, trailed only John McEnroe's 42 in 1984.
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Lendl didn't start winning majors until 1984, but he was a phenom in the late 1970s and early '80s. The Czech won his final seven events of 1981, defeating Guillermo Vilas three times, Vitas Gerulaitis twice and John McEnroe and Yannick Noah once each. Lendl finally succumbed in his second event of 1982, falling to Noah.
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The Argentine holds the longest streak, winning seven straight tournaments in 1977, including the U.S. Open. Both Vilas' 46-match winning streak and his 53-match streak on clay ended that October, controversially. Vilas lost the first two sets to Ilie Nastase, who was using a novel racket with strings that did not intersect, the so-called "spaghetti-string" racket that created unusual spin. Vilas quit in protest of the racket rather than play out an expected loss. Vilas won 28 straight matches after that, and the spaghetti-string racket was banned the next year.
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