Top 5 Greatest Tennis Comebacks Of All Time

STARNBERG, February 18, 2020

Over the years, tennis fans have witnessed a lot of talking points in their beloved game. There have been controversies and a considerable amount of disputes in different tournaments across the world. We have documented upsets of all times, where top-seeded athletes have fallen to little-known opponents, and we have also seen some great comebacks in the sport. In a sport that features prominently in the Betway88 platform, we highlight five of the biggest comebacks of all time, yet.

#5. Jimmy Connors Vs Mikael Pernfors – Wimbledon Open 1987

The younger generation of tennis fans may not remember these names, but they gave us a match to remember in the fourth round of the Wimbledon Open. Jimmy Connors appeared dead and buried losing the first three sets embarrassingly to an inspired Swede Mikael Pernfors before pulling one of the most stunning performances to turn the match on its head. 

Pernfors was ahead 6-1, 6-1, and 4-1 in the third set, but a rejuvenated comeback from Connors saw him claim a five-set win of 1-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.

#4. Jana Novotna winning the Wimbledon in 1998 after losing in 1993

In what has been described as the biggest choke not just in tennis but in the entire sporting world, Czech Jana Novotna played a big game against favorite Steffi Graf, and was within a single point of a remarkable 5-1 lead when the worst happened. Graff took the following 5 straight sets to win the coveted title.

The Czech import was not expected to recover from the damaging loss, but she managed to secure the 1998 title on her third final appearance against French Nathalie Tauziat. 

#3. Kim Clijsters resilience

Kim Clijsters lived in unlucky times where she was always in the shadows of fellow Belgian Justin Henin. She may have found herself playing during the times of the dominant William sisters, but when she managed to beat them, she would always stumble on Henin who would spoil her party. She lost in three major finals, in 2003 and 2004, all to Henin, before winning the 2005 showdown against Mary Pierce in the US Open. 

She retired almost immediately after winning the US Open, but she would come back in 2009, where she added another US Open title.

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#2. Jennifer Capriati career comeback

Capriati had everything going for her in tennis at the age of 14, and was deservedly seen as the golden girl of the sport. A string of bad judgements and probably ill-management caused her to quit the sport at only 18. 

She would be arrested for shoplifting and marijuana possession, becoming the world’s number one mugshot in the world.

Her long and enduring comeback saw her secure two titles in 2001, when she won both the Australian and the French Open tournaments, before retaining her Australian title in 2002.

#1. Goran Ivanisevic winning the Wimbledon Open, finally

There was no way you could have faced the legendary Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras in three successive Major finals and still be expected to win. That is what happened to Ivanisevic in 1992, 1994, and 1998. He lost motivation, and eventually dropped down the rankings to a point that only a Wild Card ensured his Wimbledon Open entry in 2001. 

How he beat the likes of Marat Safin, Tim Henman, and eventually Pat Rafter to win the 2001 Wimbledon Open remains a mystery. He became the only man to win the Open as a Wild Card.