Roland-Garros: The 10 most legendary comebacks all-time

In tennis, no match is finished until the last point is won. In this video, we compiled 10 legendary comebacks that took place at Roland-Garros, from Lendl to Federer.

June 4, 2020

The history of Roland-Garros is full of dramatic comebacks. Here are 10. Including six in finals.

1969 – 1st round – Stanley Matthews vs Ilie Nastase (6-3, 0-6, 0-6, 6-4, 8-6)

Nastase is one of only two players to have lost a Grand Slam match in the Open era after winning two sets 6-0.

1974 – Final – Bjorn Borg vs Manuel Orantes (2-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1)

Bjorn Borg and Orantes at the French Open in 1974

Orantes won the first two sets. But Borg conceded only two games over the last three sets.

The Swede became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a Grand Slam Open Era final.

1984 – Final – Ivan Lendl vs John McEnroe (3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5)

The trophy was practically in McEnroe’s grasp when he led two sets to love. But the American collapsed and never won Roland-Garros.

“It’s the worst memory of my life”, McEnroe wrote in his autobiography.

1989 – Round of 16 – Michael Chang vs Ivan Lendl (4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3)

Between serving underarm and returning serve standing close to the service line, Chang flipped the script of the match and left Lendl’s brain scrambled.

A few days later, the American became the youngest winner of the tournament at 17 years old.

1993 – Quarterfinal – Mary Joe Fernandez vs Gabriela Sabatini (1-6, 7-6, 10-8)

Gabriela Sabatini earned her first match point while serving at 6-1, 5-1. But she hit two double faults and lost her grip.

In total, Mary Joe Fernandez saved five match points before completing the epic turnaround.

1999 – Final – Andre Agassi vs Andrei Medvedev (1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4)

André Agassi won the 1999 French Open

When Medvedev had a break point at 4-4 in the third set, history seemed to repeat itself for Agassi, a two-time loser in Roland-Garros finals.

But after an exceptional comeback, the American finally won Roland Garros, the only major title which was missing from his record!

2001 – Round of 16 – Gustavo Kuerten vs Michael Russell (3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1)

While battling an American qualifier, Kuerten faced a match point in the third set. “Guga” survived after a rally of 26 strokes. He ended up winning the match.

The defending champion, Gustavo Kuerten lifted the trophy again a few days later.

2004 – Final – Gaston Gaudio vs Guillermo Coria (0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6)

Guillermo COria and Gaston Gaudio posing with their trophy, with Guillermo Vilas

Pushed to a decider after winning the first two sets, Coria obtained a match point at 6-5, on his serve.

But Gaudio climbed out of danger. He became the first player since Rod Laver in 1960 to save a match point before winning a Grand Slam final.

2009 – Round of 16 – Roger Federer vs Tommy Haas (6-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2)

Tommy Haas clinched the first two sets and had a break point at 4-3 in the third against the Swiss maestro.

But it’s saved by a brilliant Federer forehand on the line! The Swiss won 15 of the next 17 games, the match, then the title. His lone triumph at Roland-Garros.

2017 – Final – Jelena Ostapenko vs Simona Halep (4-6, 6-4, 6-3)

Halep led a set and a break in the French Open final in 2017

Simona Halep found herself in a comfortable position, being one point away from a 4-0 in the second set.

But Jelena Ostapenko was an unrelenting force of nature. The innocence and passion of youth proved too much for the Romanian to handle.

If you are missing Roland-Garros this year, these memories surely have a lot to do with it.

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