| Roland Garros 1984 + 2005 |
The first Roland Garros triumph of Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal… One of the most memorable finals of the Open era occurred in 1984. John McEnroe prior to that final had been playing unreal tennis from the beginning of the season, he was on a 42-match winning streak, including five wins over his final opponent – Lendl, who had failed to win his four previous major finals. In Paris ’84, McEnroe displaying brilliant offensive tennis led 2-0 in sets against Lendl, and everyone could expect he would overcome a theory that serve-and-volley guys cannot triumph at Roland Garros. However, he lost his composure in the 3rd game of the 3rd set and his magic touch as well, allowing the Czech(oslovak) to get a second wind. McEnroe was two games away in three consecutive sets from taking the title, but couldn’t break his biggest rival in those most important moments, couldn’t also hold his serve under pressure. Read more…
All eyes were on Nadal, the 18-year-old muscular Spaniard, who had missed two previous editions due to injuries, in 2005 was fit and enjoying a top form for the first time in life (triumphed in Monte Carlo and Rome prior to Paris). Nevertheless “I am not the favorite” he insisted at the start of the tournament. During press conferences he was modest, but on court very eager to show different behavior – he was amazingly self-confident and merciless for opponents. Only Mariano Puerta in the final threatened him seriously. Puerta rose like a phoenix from the ashes after a nine-month suspension because of taking an illegal substance. Unfortunately he was a habitual offender and was once again banned at the end of 2005, this time after it was revealed that he had tested positive for the use of the cardiac stimulant, etilefrine – he was forced to forfeit all his rankings points and prize money from the 2005 French Open onwards. Read more…
I’ve also added Australian Open 1993 & 2007 this week.
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