Re: Players who came back from being 0-6 down in a TB
It was Jan Siemerink over Richard Krajicek at the US Open 1994.
Krajicek d. Siemerink 7-6(2) 6-4 6-7(2) 6-7(8) 6-4
U.S. OPEN '94; Krajicek Survives Nightmare on Court 16
By HARVEY ARATON
Published: August 31, 1994
The match points kept passing, one after another. Richard Krajicek, who had six lined up, whose mind was already drifting to a shower and back rub in the locker room, couldn't win any.
First, Jan Siemerink clocked a service winner off his racquet. Then Siemerink rifled a passing shot by him. Krajicek tapped a volley wide. Siemerink served and volleyed for6-4. He served and volleyed again for 6-5.
Krajicek, who stands 6 feet 5 inches, who is the only player to defeat Pete Sampras this summer, appeared to be shrinking across the net from his Dutch rival and former traveling partner, before a packed house out on Court 16 at the National Tennis Center.
Soon, as he admitted later, he was also choking, double-faulting for 6-all, blowing another match point at 8-7 and ultimately losing the fourth-set tie breaker, 10-8, to an opponent he had had in the hole, two sets to love. Dutch Death Struggle
"Six match points in a row, seven in the tie break, I couldn't believe what was happening," Krajicek said, after he somehow righted himself in the fifth set and survived a 3-hour-41-minute Dutch death struggle, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-7 (8-10), 6-4, in the first round yesterday of the United States Open. "I really felt the match slipping away, not only the set."
And maybe more than that. After reaching a high ranking of No. 10 in 1992, an injury-plagued Krajicek went sliding, all the way to No. 30, the skid ending when he beat Sampras in Davis Cup play last month. If Krajicek had lost this match, he guessed, correctly, that it would have been the worst defeat of his four-year professional career.
Losing his serve at 15 while serving for the match at 5-3 in the fourth was one thing. The tie-breaker nightmare was another thing. But the worst thing would have been this inexcusable collapse against Siemerink, ranked 100th, of all people.
"He tightened up because it was another Dutch player, especially Jan," said Krajicek's coach, Rohan Goetzke, an Australian. Together Again
If anyone understood what was going on between Krajicek and the left-handed Siemerink, it was Goetzke. He coached both during their first two years on the tour. The players, who were born less than a year apart and grew up within a half-hour's drive of each other, traveled together, practiced together and played doubles together.
It was, in fact, after Krajicek reached the semifinals of the 1992 Australian Open and the pair reached the semis of the doubles draw that Goetzke made the choice to drop Siemerink and to exclusively coach Krajicek. He realized Krajicek, one of the biggest servers in tennis, had the better chance of powering his way close to the top.
Siemerink suspected that Krajicek might have figured in that decision. Both players have since taken up residence in Monte Carlo, Monaco, tennis tax-shelter heaven, but, in reality, they have gone their separate ways.
"We know each other very well, but a friend I call somebody that I trust everything to and, no, I don't do that with him," said Krajicek. A Penalty, Please
The tone of the match didn't suggest there was any relationship between the two. Krajicek even asked the chair umpire to assess a point penalty against Siemerink when the latter whacked the ball sky-high in disgust after netting a backhand volley on break point at 4-all in the fifth set.
By that time, it was Siemerink who was stuck in the what-might-have-been. After holding his serve to start the fifth set, he had triple break point against Krajicek in the second game. Given Krajicek's state of mind at the time, a break there might have finished him off. But Krajicek saved himself with a couple of high-kick first serves to Siemerink's forehand, and slowly put aside his frustration.
On match point, Krajicek looked up to serve and saw Siemerink fidgeting, delaying the inevitable.
"What is he, Boris Becker?" Krajicek said.
This time, he converted the match point, his eighth. The two Dutchmen shook hands, grimly. There was no embrace, and Siemerink stalked off, refusing all comment.