Stats Corner: Comeback Kids
Published November 17, 2010 12:00
Three times at WTA events in 2010 a player was down match point and not only went on to win the match, but the whole tournament as well. That's not as many times as in past years, but does nothing to take away from those who did accomplish the noteworthy feat. So, who did it and what were the scenarios?
Kim Clijsters d. Justine Henin, 63 46 76(6), in Brisbane final
The first week of 2010 ended in memorable fashion, with Clijsters rallying from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3 in the third set, while also saving two match points down 5-4 in that set. Clijsters actually missed out on three match points of her own in the tie-break before eventually prevailing. This was Henin's first event since ending an 18-month retirement.
"The level was so high and we were both competing our best. It's a good match when you're both playing well - that's what it's all about," said Clijsters, who would play Henin twice more in 2010 - at Miami and Wimbledon - and also won those in three sets.
Anna Chakvetadze d. Vera Dushevina, 26 63 75, in Portoroz quarterfinals
Chakvetadze was down 5-3 in the third set and had two match points against her down 5-4 but eventually won the last 11 points of the thriller against her fellow Russian.
"After I won the game to get to 5-all, things went pretty quickly. I was just stronger at the end," said Chakvetadze, who went on to win her first title in almost two and a half years two days later.
Dushevina got revenge in their only other match-up in 2010, taking down Chakvetadze in the Moscow quarterfinals.
Kim Clijsters d. Maria Sharapova, 26 76(4) 62, in Cincinnati final
Clijsters again rallied with her back against the wall in a final, as she saved three match points down 5-3 in the second set, perhaps aided by rain thwarting Sharapova's momentum.
"I was so close to losing and then this dark cloud came," said Clijsters, who was also down 3-0 in the tie-break. "I thought I was hitting well from the baseline with her but my serve wasn't working well. During the delay I had to regroup and refocus, and when we came back to the court I played aggressively and turned it around."
Amount of Events In Which Winner Saved
At Least One Match Point (Past Six Years):
2010 - 3
2009 - 7
2008 - 4
2007 - 12
2006 - 6
2005 - 9