2009 marks the anniversary of some historic 5-set comebacks at Roland Garros.
2009 marks the anniversary of quite a few epic comebacks from 2 sets to love at Roland Garros, victories that significantly impacted tennis history and the legacies of some players.
5 years ago ---2004
Gaston Gaudio def. Guillermo Coria 0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6
One of the strangest matches I've witnessed. Coria was seen by many as the king of clay at this time. It could be argued that he never fully recovered mentally from losing those two match points. In retrospect 2004 was the end of an age of unpredictability at Roland Garros, the last RG before Nadal burst onto the scene.
10 years ago --- 1999
Andre Agassi def. Andrei Medvedev 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
Agassi had not made a major final since 1995, and he was viewed by many as a lost cause. He could not match Medvedev's level in the first two sets, and he barely hung on in the third, saving a break point late in the set with a difficult low volley. Without this win, Agassi would not have the career slam. Riding the confidence and fulfillment of this win, he went on to reach the next three major finals (winning USO and AO) and end the year No. 1 for the first time in his career.
20 years ago -- 1989
Michael Chang def. Ivan Lendl 4-6, 4-6 , 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
Who can forget this David vs. Goliath match-up, with cramping, desperate moonballs, underhanded serves and returns from the service line? The 17-year-old Chang would also come back (from 2 sets to 1) to win the final against Edberg. It was to be his only major.
25 years ago --- 1984
Ivan Lendl def. John McEnroe 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5
In McEnroe's greatest year (82 wins, 3 losses), he suffered his most painful defeat. Had he won the French Open, perhaps we would feature him more often in all of our "GOAT" debates. This was Lendl's first major title. He had lost his previous four major finals, but this one gave him the confidence he needed to become a dominant force in the game.
35 years ago --1974
Bjorn Borg def. Manuel Orantes 2-6, 6-7(1), 6-0, 6-1, 6-1
Barely 18 years old, Borg wins his first major title, the first of 6 Roland Garros crowns.
40 years ago -- 1969
Rod Laver def. R. Crealy 3-6, 7-9, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4
While Laver rolled over his opponents in the other rounds, this second round clash was an epic. Without this comeback win, Laver would never have become the only man to win the Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Last of the moon-and-volley specialists.
I believe in luck. How else can you explain the success of those you don't like? ---Jean Cocteau
Last edited by MisterQ; 05-20-2009 at 12:31 AM.