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Rafael Nadal & This Week in Tennis History

After winning his record-breaking ninth French Open title, Rafael Nadal has a major role to play in this week’s edition of ‘This Week in Tennis History.’

June 9th

1984 Martina Navratilova wins her 4th consecutive Grand Slam title after defeating Chris Evert-Lloyd 6-3, 6-1 in 63 minutes at Roland Garros. Navratilova is awarded a $1 million bonus from the International Tennis Federation for her feat.

1990 16-year-old Monica Seles becomes the youngest player to win the French Open with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Steffi Graf.

“I didn’t think I would do this well, I thought it was too much to believe I could win.”

1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov becomes the first Russian to win a Grand Slam singles title when he defeats Germany’s Michael Stich 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 at the French Open.

2001 Jennifer Capriati captures the French Open title with a gripping 1-6, 6-4, 12-10 victory over Kim Clijsters. The 22 game final set marks the longest final set in a women’s final ever at Roland Garros.

2012 Maria Sharapova becomes the 6th woman in the Open era to complete the Career Grand Slam after winning the French Open. She defeated Italy’s Sara Errani in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.


June 10th

1984 Ivan Lendl wins his first Grand Slam title, staging an amazing comeback to defeat John McEnroe 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 at the French Open.

1993 21-year-old Pete Sampras continues to struggle to adapt his game to the grass as he loses to No.110 Grant Stafford in the 1st round of the Stella Artois Championships [now known as Aegon Championships]. Sampras wins his first Wimbledon title weeks later.

2000 Mary Pierce becomes the first Frenchwoman to win the singles title at Roland Garros in 33 years. She beats Conchita Martinez 6-2, 7-5.

2003 Andre Agassi plays his 1,000th professional match, defeating Peter Luczak to advance to the 3rd round of the Stella Artois Championships at Queens.


June 11th

1978 Bjorn Borg completes one of the most dominant runs at a Major as he beats Guillermo Vilas 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to win the French Open for a 3rd time. Borg only loses 32 games in 7 matches during his run to the title.

1989 Michael Chang becomes the youngest man to win a Grand Slam title, defeating Stefan Edberg 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the French Open. He becomes the first American man to win the title since Tony Trabert in 1955.

2012 Rafael Nadal defeats Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in a rain-delayed final to claim his 7th French Open title. Nadal surpasses Bjorn Borg to become the most successful tennis player in French Open history. It is his 11th Grand Slam title, tying him with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver.


June 12th

1983 Billie Jean King, at 39 years, 7 months and 23 days, becomes the oldest woman to win a WTA singles title when she beats Alycia Moulton 6-0, 7-5 in just 58 minutes to win the Edgbaston Cup.

1991 Mark Keil, ranked No.224 in the world, beats future 7-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras 6-2, 7-6 in the 1st round of the Stella Artois Championships at Queens. It is Keil’s 2nd ATP tournament appearance.

2005 Andy Roddick joins John McEnroe and Lleyton Hewitt as the only players to win 3 straight singles titles at the Stella Artois Championships at Queens. He defeated Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 7-6 in the final.


June 13th

1915 Don Budge, the first man to win the Grand Slam, is born in Oakland, California. Budge completed the Grand Slam in 1938. He wins 14 Grand Slam titles during his career, including the singles, doubles and mixed at Wimbledon in 1937 and 1938 and at the U.S. Championships in 1938.

1976 Italy’s Adriano Panatta wins the French Open, defeating Harold Solomon 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6. In the women’s final, Sue Barker beats Renata Tomanova 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 to claim her first and only Grand Slam title.

1989 Defending Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg is beaten in the 1st round of the Stella Artois Championships by Nicolas Pereira, 7-6, 7-6. Edberg blames his lack of grass court preparation for the loss.


June 14th 

1963 The American Davis Cup team is introduced to the Shah of Iran before their 1st round tie against Iran in Tehran. It marks the 1st time the U.S. team competes in the Middle East. The Americans go on to win the tie 5-0.

1969 Steffi Graf, the only player to win a Golden Slam in the same year, is born in Bruhl, West Germany. Graf wins 22 Grand Slam titles during her career, winning every Major at least 4 times. During her peak, Graf ruthlessly beat opponents in under an hour, including her 6-0,6-0 victory over Natasha Zvereva in 32 minutes at the 1988 French Open.1988 also marks the year she completed the Golden Slam. She won 107 career titles and spent a record 377 weeks at No.1.

2007 French player Marc Gicquel is dragged off court to be treated after being on the receiving end of a 129mph serve into the groin. He eventually returns and beats Benjamin Becker 6-2, 7-6 but spends the night vomiting and in serious pain. He withdraws from his quarter-final match the next day.

2009 Andy Murray wins his first Aegon Championships title at Queens Club, defeating James Blake 7-5, 6-4.


June 15th

1981 Telling fans to “go jump in a lake” and “shut up you jerks,” John McEnroe wins the title at Queens for a 3rd straight year, defeating Brian Gottfried 7-6, 7-5.

2003 Andy Roddick wins the first grass court title of his career at Queens, defeating Sebastian Grosjean in straight sets. Roddick would go on to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals weeks later, where he was defeated by Roger Federer.

2008 Rafael Nadal wins his 1st grass court title, defeating Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5 in the final of the Artois Championships at Queens. Nadal becomes the 1st Spaniard to capture a grass court title since Andres Gimeno won at Eastbourne in 1972.

Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.