Tennis has brought us some of the most memorable moments in sporting history. Epic duels, surprise upsets, unexpected comebacks – let’s take a look at some iconic tennis moments.
Iconic Tennis Moments
Emma Raducanu stuns the world – US Open 2021
In 2022 there were plenty of controversial tennis moments, including the debacle of Djokovic at the Australian Open and the contentious ban of Russian players from Wimbledon. But for a more uplifting story, we go back to the previous year, when the virtually unknown British teenager Emma Raducanu won the US Open with the style and poise of an accomplished veteran. Raducanu had experienced a taste of the big leagues earlier in the year when she entered Wimbledon as a wild card before bowing out due to health issues.
Ranked 150th in the world before the Open, Raducanu made the history books during the final Grand Slam of the year. She became the first player ever to enter the competition via the qualifying tournament and go on to win the title. This feat is unlikely to be repeated any time soon. The last time a British woman won a Grand Slam singles competition was Virginia Wade’s 1977 Wimbledon triumph.
Marathon match – Wimbledon 2010
When Nicolas Mahut faced off against John Isner during the first round of the men’s singles competition at Wimbledon in 2010, nobody could have predicted what would play out. The ensuing marathon of a match took three days to complete, lasted over eleven hours in total, and led to a rule change to prevent a repetition of the incident.
The first four sets were unremarkable, with the players tied when the match was halted as the daylight faded. It was when they resumed with the fifth set that the unbelievable spectacle began to unfold. That set was spread over two days, with both players persistently holding serve for 168 games. At one point, the scoreboard, which had not been programmed to read higher than 47-47, broke down.
Isner was the eventual victor at 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68, and this stands as the longest professional tennis match in history. It will likely stay that way, too, since Wimbledon swiftly introduced a tie-break rule to prevent such occurrences.
Tennis matches can still last a long time, even with relatively normal scores, so viewers may need something else to pass the time. There are quite a few new online slots with a tennis theme, such as Virtual Open Tennis from Playtech. Playing the latest online slots listed here could complement watching a marathon tennis match, especially as some of the newest online slots have such realistic graphics that they can rival your TV screen.
Comeback kid – Australian Open 2022
Tennis has witnessed many amazing in-match comebacks, where the eventual victor trailed their opponent so badly that they seemed destined to lose. We remember Mary Joe Fernandez coming from behind to beat Gabriella Sabatini at Roland Garros in 1993, and Pistol Pete’s emotional win over Jim Courier at the 1995 Australian Open.
More recently, back in 2022 during the final of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal looked like he was very close to defeat against Daniil Medvedev, who had a two-set lead against the Spaniard and seemed about to break his serve. Nadal rallied at the last minute, battling back to even the score and go on to win the next three sets. The win was all the more remarkable as a five-month foot injury and a recent bout of covid-19 had plagued Nadal.
The win gave Nadal his 21st Grand Slam victory, a record-breaking achievement at the time. His subsequent win at the French Open that year cemented his place as the player with the most Grand Slam titles in the men’s game.
Serena’s star season – 2002-2003
The Williams sisters have been game changers ever since they entered the pro tennis circuit in the late 90s. Today it is Serena who stands as the greatest tennis player of all time, having won more Grand Slam contests than anyone else in the history of the game. For a while the two sisters seemed evenly matched, but the season of 2002-2003 saw Serena pull ahead and leave Venus in the dust, relatively speaking.
Dubbed the ‘Serena Slam’, that season saw the siblings battle it out in four Grand Slam finals, with the younger sister emerging triumphant in each one. Serena’s star continued to ascend in the following years, and only at age forty did she announce her intention to start moving away from professional tennis. No matter what they move on to, the legacy of the Williams sisters – and in particular Serena – will remain an indelible part of tennis history.