Matches which were crucial for tennis history - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Matches which were crucial for tennis history

Think of matches which had a definite impact on the circuit and after which tennis history would have taken a much different road, had there been a different winner.

OK, the most famous example is of course Seles vs. Maleeva 1993, and everyone knows that. I am thinking of matches which ended in a sporting way.

Example: Graf def. Hingis at FO 1999.
Would Martina have won other slams until today if she had one this ? Probably yes.
Would she still be brattier ? Maybe.
Would Steffi have ended her career two months later if she had lost this ? Maybe not.

Other turning points of tennis history ?
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 04:35 PM
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Venus Williams def. Lindsay Davenport, Wimbledon F 2000 (or arguably, her victory over Martina Hingis in the QF) - the tournament which turned her into a champion.

I can't remember exactly when, but I'm sure there was a US Open match between Seles and Capriati which I've heard mentioned a LOT as having a huge effect on Jennifer.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 04:39 PM
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THE crucial match in women's tennis history

Battle of the Sexes II: BJK vs Bobby Riggs
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 04:43 PM
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A rather obvious choice but I'll say it anyway: Althea Gibson winning Wimbledon.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 04:45 PM
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That was 1991 US Open semis between Monica and Jennifer. Jennifer have a chance to serve for the match three times but everytime it is answered by even more agressive play from Monica. Monica eventually won in a third set tiebreak. Jennifer was in tears and have never really gone back to that level since (until last eyar of course)

The thing I think which is most cruel about this match is that afterwards, they have to do a on court interview, and the interviewer was so ahrsh on Jennifer, asking her whether she choked and ask her how dissappointed she is, which I think is really cruel.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:13 PM
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....hmmmm, interesting topic!

How about Hamburg quarters, 1993? Of course, what happened between the two players was dwarfed by what happened during a certain changeover, but the result may well have changed recent tennis history (assuming Seles continued her pre-stabbing form).

Also, Lipton semis and finals 1987 (I think...), when Graf routined Navratilova and Evert to win the title. I'd guess those two wins gave Steffi more belief than any of her previous matches that she belonged (despite her slight 'hiccups' at the Wimbledon and US Open finals) at the very top.

Majoli/Hingis 1997 French Open Final...God only knows what kind of roll Hingis would have continued had she won that match.

Evert/Navratilova French Open final 1986 - Chris's seventh victory staked her claim as the greatest clay court player of all time (at least, to date!).

Navratilova/Garrison Wimbledon final 1990 - Martina's ninth title stakes her claim as the greatest grass court player of all time (though by that time, her status was assured anyway...).

Good grief, so many more I'm thinking of as I type! Great thread
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:16 PM
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Yes, that match with Seles haunted Capriati for ages.

Beige, while Althea winning Wimbledon was a milestone, I actually think her first US Open match was more important. The USTA refued Althea's entries based on lack of results, a tortured logic since she couldn't break the color bar. A letter in 1950 by a former respected champ Alice Marble shamed the USTA into letting Althea enter. She drew top player Louise Brough and lost, but she took Louise to 3 sets. The match was interrupted by a huge storm where a thunderbolt hit and shattered a huge eagle atop the stadium. Some saw that as a sign.

It took Althea 7 more years to get a major title, but without breaking the barrier to begin with in 1950 she would have never made it.

Another huge match was Lenglen-Chambers in 1919. A world war had turned Europe upside down, and the 40 something Chambers was a respectable 7 time champ who still wore long sleeves and ankle length dresses. Her young opponent was a shocking (by 1919 standards) French girl who sipped brandy on changeovers and displayed her arms and legs. Some proper English women in 1919 walked out on her matches hissing "French hussy". Men became eager to see her.


An overflow crowd on finals day came out. Chambers was defending English honor vs. an invader, the contest had old vs. young, and even the King and Queen were there.

The battle of generations was a glory, going 3 long sets. Chambers twice had match point, and Suzanne saved one when she mishit an overhead off the wood and it just cleared the net.
Chambers hit a drop shot on another which hit the tape, bounced up, and landed on her side.

The women left court to a standing ovation. When invited to appear before the royals, both had to refuse, being unable to walk on blistered and bloody feet. Suzanne went on to become a symbol of the new woman of the 1920s, so popular that Wimbledon moved to it's new(and present) facility in 1923 largely due to her.

I'd pick the 1981 US Open as another historic event. Martina Navratilova lost in the finals, but got huge crowd support from an audience that knew she was gay. Her exciting brand of tennis was what mattered, not her sexuality. We know that now, but in 1981 many sponsors were afraid to support women's tennis because of the "lesbian thing" as some called it.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:32 PM
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us opens--88--stefsti beats gaby 63 36 61 to gets grands slams--maybe last grands slams for lady of singles ever......
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:33 PM
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For Venus: 2000 Wimbledon QF vs. Hingis

For Serena: 1999 US Open 3rd round vs. Clijsters


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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:34 PM
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I don't think that any match has affected contemporary WTA tennis history more than some certain Seles-Maleeva match.

But other than that. I would imagine things could go different way should Anna Kournikova have finished Venus off in that Lipton final..

"..just knowing that as long as i choose life, there is hope."

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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rollo for that story. I have heard of it as well and must have been a fantastic match.

I think they still had that stupid 'challenge round': the champion of the previous year only having to play one match - the Champions match against the winner of the 'normal' tournament.

In the following year, Lenglen was the defending champ, and who reached the match against her ? Chambers. But I think she lost badly.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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What about Lindsay winning the Olympics 1996 ?

Did that finally make her believe that she can reach the top ?
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:39 PM
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French Open 89

Arantxa stopped Steffi of complete the Grand Slam for the 2nd year in a row, an achivament which would be almost impossible to get in the future

CoNcHiTa ArAnChA mArTa MaRiAjO


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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:42 PM
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Agree with ys re: the Anna K match. Also important was the 1998 Eastbourne QF where she beat Steffi - but where, importantly, she got that thumb injury. She hasn't played anywhere near that level since.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2002, 05:46 PM
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Venus Williams- Wimbledon Champion 2000--Remember her leaps of joy? Fantastic to see her finally getting there!
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