Top 6 Roland Garros Upsets
Published June 07, 2012 11:56
PARIS, France - Barely a day has gone by at this year's French Open without an upset of some description grabbing the headlines. Virginie Razzano got the ball rolling with a stunning victory over Serena Williams, which was soon followed by premature exits for fellow big names Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska.
But while these shocks have undoubtedly kept the headline writers busy, where do they stand in the history books? With that question in mind, wtatennis.com takes a short trip down memory lane to relive six of the most memorable French Open upsets from the past 20 years.
Martina Navratilova vs. Kathy Horvath
Fourth Round, 1983
When Martina Navratilova touched down in Paris for the 1983 French Open she was invincible. Her brand of attacking, all-court tennis had brought her three of the last four Slams and a staggering 84-match winning streak. However, for one afternoon her cloak of invincibility was removed by American teenager Kathy Horvath, who played the match of her life to hand Navratilova a 64 06 63 defeat.
Martina Hingis vs. Iva Majoli
During the first half of 1997, Martina Hingis was a woman on a mission. And that mission was to establish herself as the WTA's undisputed Queen Bee. Going into Roland Garros, the 16-year-old had played 31, won 31, a run that had taken her to six titles - including the Australian Open - and the No.1 ranking. Six more wins followed in Paris, setting up a final with Iva Majoli. But here was where the run ended, as Majoli ripped up the form book to take the title with a 64 62 win.
Venus Williams vs. Barbara Schett
First Round, 2001
Serena is not the only Williams sister to come a cropper in the opening round in Paris. Venus' tale of woe came in 2001, when she was dumped out by unseeded Barbara Schett. The pair's four previous meetings had all ended in straight set wins for the American, but it was a different story altogether this time as an inspired Schett overcame a nervy start to overcome the World No.2, 64 64.
Justine Henin vs. Tathiana Garbin
Second Round, 2004
Between 2003 and 2007 Justine Henin was almost untouchable on clay. Over this period, the Belgian amassed a staggering 78-6 record on the surface, including four titles at Roland Garros. The solitary blip came in 2004 when, after missing much of the clay court season with a virus, she crashed out in the second round. Her opponent that day was World No.86 Tathiana Garbin, who capitalized on an uncharacteristically error-strewn display - Henin hit 30 unforced errors - to triumph, 75 64.
Dinara Safina vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm
First Round, 2010
The French love a good underdog story. And underdog stories don't come much better than a 39-year-old taking out the former World No.1 in the first round of a major. The 39-year-old was Kimiko Date-Krumm, who became the second oldest woman ever to win a match at Roland Garros and the oldest to beat a Top 10 player by overcoming a one set deficit - and 14 year age gap - to stun 2008 and 2009 losing finalist Dinara Safina, 36 64 75.
Kim Clijsters vs. Arantxa Rus
Second Round, 2011
Twelve months later it was the turn of Kim Clijsters to satisfy the Parisian crowd's thirst for an upset. In a match certainly not lacking in drama, Clijsters threw away two match points before going on to lose 11 of the last 12 games as she crashed out to World No.114 Arantxa Rus, 36 75 71. The result was all the more surprising considering Rus was appearing in just her third Grand Slam and Clijsters was the defending US and Australian Open champion.