View Full Version : Surprise semifinalists at Grand Slams

Oct 16th, 2002, 05:45 PM
I'm rather thinking of quite unknown players who haven't achieved much besides one great Grand Slam result, those who never reached top 10 or even top 20.

These come to my mind:

Australian Open

1989 - Belinda Cordwell
1990 - Claudia Porwik
1995 - Marianne Werdel-Witmeyer

French Open

1984 - Camille Benjamin
1988 - Nicole Provis (Bradtke)
2002 - Clarisa Fernadez


1989 - Catarina Lindquist
1994 - Gigi Fernandez
1996 - Meredith McGrath (whatever happened to her ?)
1999 - Mirjana Lucic / Alexandra Stevenson

US Open


Who can add some ?

Oct 16th, 2002, 05:49 PM
McNeil was a Top Ten player, just not that year.

Werdel did get up to #17, but yes, she was surprising.

Who is C. Benjamin, '84 French? She lost to Evert 6-0 6-0 in the SF!!! :eek:

Serendy Willick
Oct 16th, 2002, 05:49 PM
Dementieva at USOpen 2000?

Oct 16th, 2002, 05:51 PM
And I think Gigi Fernandez was an even bigger surprise at Wimbledon '94! She only got up to #17 as well.

Oct 16th, 2002, 05:51 PM
lori McNeil was number 18 in wimbledon 94!

Helen Lawson
Oct 16th, 2002, 05:52 PM
Elena Dementieva was sort of a surprise (at the time) when she made the U.S. Open semis in '00.

I thought the Austrialian Semis from 88 were Graf d. Kohde-Kilsch and Evert d. Navratilova?

Oct 16th, 2002, 05:53 PM
Cordwell came through in '89.

Oct 16th, 2002, 06:00 PM
Yeah, Cordwell was 1989, sorry.

And Lori ... okay, she was top 10, but I think we can leave her in. She was 30 already, I think !?

Kohde-Kilsch reached no. 4, and she was in French semis also (I think).

I will add Elena D. and Camille Benjamin.

Oct 16th, 2002, 06:01 PM
And of course Gigi, how could I forget her ? :D

Oct 16th, 2002, 06:08 PM
"And Lori ... okay, she was top 10, but I think we can leave her in. She was 30 already, I think !?"

she was a very good grassplayer those days
she "had beaten" steffi before
and steffi was mentally somewhere but not on the tenniscourt already since Hamburg

so I don't think that match was such a suprise!

Oct 16th, 2002, 06:13 PM
I agree that Lori's win over Steffi wasn't really that surprising, and after that she had good chances to come through. OK, I will delete her.

Oct 16th, 2002, 06:55 PM
Cordwell??? She seems to be the most surprising, as I have never heard of her since. All the others, at the very least, ring a bell. But Cordwell? What became of her?

Oct 16th, 2002, 07:10 PM
No idea about Cordwell. :confused:

Claudia Porwik was certainly the luckiest among them. She beat van Rendsburg in 4th round and 16-year-old qualifier Angelica Gavaldon in the quarterfinal. Her only 'win' against a seeded player was against Sabatini in 3rd round. Gaby was leading 6-2 1-0 when she twisted her ankle and had to be carried off with a wheelchair.

Oct 16th, 2002, 07:11 PM
McNeil also made the SF of the US Open once so...I don't think she's a candidate.

Oct 16th, 2002, 07:13 PM
At the time,

Venus Williams, Irina Spirlea 1997 US Open

Oct 16th, 2002, 07:20 PM
Hurley, she's gone already. ;)

Irina also got to no. 7, so ...

Oct 16th, 2002, 08:20 PM
i had never heard of Mirjana Lucic and Alexandra Stevenson until Wimble '99. i think that was a surprise SF GS for me

Oct 16th, 2002, 08:28 PM

Oct 16th, 2002, 09:10 PM
:rolleyes: Moron

Oct 16th, 2002, 09:16 PM
:rolleyes: Moron

Oct 16th, 2002, 10:15 PM
I don't think they are trashing anyone or anything. As for the purpose of the thread, Roland Garros always produces upsets.

Oct 16th, 2002, 10:17 PM
1996 - Meredith McGrath (whatever happened to her ?)
oh, she was Jen's doubles partner in juniors :) (That's all I know, and that they mention her in ladies of the Court).

Helen Lawson
Oct 16th, 2002, 10:25 PM
McGrath had a lot of injuries that messed her career up, and I believe retired a year or so ago. In fact, I think there was something wrong with her thigh or something else wrong in her semifinal match, which I recall was a thrashing, doled out by ASV.

Oct 16th, 2002, 10:26 PM
if Dementieva was a suprise SF at US Open in 2000
Elena did go onto make top 10 18 months later.

then so could alot of them too when they made it for the 1st time

Jelena Dokic should be included too, she was a nobody when she made Semis in 1999

you could say Anke was a fluke in AUS 96 by that logic

Oct 16th, 2002, 10:34 PM
Who is Moron??

Oct 16th, 2002, 10:40 PM
Eggy, if Elena D. wins a tournament I will take her off the list. ;) (or if she makes another GS quarterfinal). Should be encouraging for her. :)

And which semifinal did Jelena reach in 1999 ? ;) (I think she lost to Alex)

Oct 16th, 2002, 10:41 PM
mala18, what exactly is your problem ? :rolleyes:

Helen Lawson
Oct 16th, 2002, 10:45 PM
Jelena got tossed in '99 by Alex in the QF's, but made the semis in 2000. Actually, though she was known in 2000, I recall that neither she nor Alex had done much with those points from 1999 and floundered around for most of the next year with first and second round exits all over the place with maybe one or two decent runs. Dokic may have been ranked 30-ish during the 2000 semifinal run, I cannot recall.

Oct 16th, 2002, 11:12 PM
depends what you mean by surprise, if you mean surprise at that time, then I have to say teh list is endless, Venus 1997 US Open, MArtina Hingis 1996 US Open when she beat Arantxa (very exciting match) Jana Novotna final in Aus Open 1991 etc. etc. Let's face it, almost every top players has been a surprise semifinalist at least once. But if you are talking about players who only made a one off appearance and disappear back into the mid level of tennis, then Clarisa Fernandez is one of the prime example recently, she has done nothing ever since. I also remeber the Mcgraf run, but I remember she was benefit with a good draw (correct me if I am wrong)

Oct 16th, 2002, 11:49 PM
Mauresmo was a surprise finalist at the AO in 1999 at the time, but we all know now that it was now fluke after her two sem-finals and quarter-final at the slams this year

Oct 16th, 2002, 11:56 PM
I have no problem whatsoever,maybe you have. My only thing is for you guys to stop Bashing players!:p :p

Oct 17th, 2002, 12:00 AM
I think we are talking more about "surprising in reflection" as opposed to "surprising at the time" semifinalists. If we were talking about "surprising at the time" then I'm sure you could add a lot more to the list. As TBE said, Dementieva shocked a lot of people by performing extremely well in the 2000 U.S Open but has since proven that she's a quality player. Huber reached GS semi-finals and a GS final so you can't compare Huber to even Dementieva.

Oct 17th, 2002, 12:14 AM
Caesar's Messenger, perfectly said. :)
OK, considering Elena's silver medal, I will take her off - for now ... ;)

Oct 17th, 2002, 12:23 AM
OK, let's have a look at the runs of these players and whether they just had a lucky draw.


128 W Barbara POTTER (USA) 6-3 6-3
64 W Beverly BOWES-HACKNEY (USA) 3-6 6-3 12-10
32 W Andrea TEMESVARI (HUN) 1-6 7-6(5) 6-1
16 W Brenda SCHULTZ-MC CARTHY (NED) 6-3 6-2
QF W Catarina LINDQVIST (SWE) 6-2 2-6 6-1
SF L Helena SUKOVA (CZE) 6-7(2) 6-4 2-6

2 tough wins, still a good run, beating Lindquist is remarkable.


128 W Celine COHEN (SUI) 6-4 6-1
64 W Judith WIESNER (AUT) 6-3 7-6(4)
32 W Gabriela SABATINI (ARG) 2-6 0-1 Retired
16 W Dianne VAN RENSBURG (RSA) 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4
QF W Angelica GAVALDON (MEX) 6-4 6-3
SF L Mary-Joe FERNANDEZ (USA) 2-6 1-6

OK, this was a kind draw. ;)


128 W Gabriela SABATINI (ARG) 6-4 6-4
64 W Sung-Hee PARK (KOR) 7-5 6-3
32 W Elena MAKAROVA (URS) 6-0 6-2
16 W Barbara PAULUS (AUT) 6-2 6-3
QF W Angelica GAVALDON (MEX) 6-1 6-2
SF L Arantxa SANCHEZ-VICARIO (ESP) 4-6 1-6

Beating Gaby was the key, and again Gavaldon in the quarters. ;)

Oct 17th, 2002, 12:23 AM
of course she won the title but was Majoli a fluke? she never reached a grand slam semi before nor after french 97(of course she still can do it again) but she proved herself on other tournaments(well mostly before french 97)

Oct 17th, 2002, 12:29 AM
irma, she's certainly a candidate for 'surprise GS winner' list.
But she got to no. 4 I think so a semifinal would have to be expected.