Breakout Tennis Stars who made a splash at Grand Slams
Tennis is a sport which, despite it being quite hard to win a match, has managed to serve up some great surprises over the year. With lower scoring sports, like Soccer, it can be easy to have shock wins as teams only need to score one goal and the defend for their lives. Tennis, especially in five set grand slam matches, does not have the same characteristics. You have to win, at the very least, 81 points, to win a match. And that presumes you win a match without losing a game.
That is what make Grand Slams so special, as well as their unique and varied profiles. The French Open has all the style and class of Paris, Wimbledon has a unique history and elegance, the US Open is huge and is bombastic, like the rest of the United States and the Australian Open has a sense of mystique as it is the first Grand Slam of the year and arguably, the one people know the least about. In fact, there are some amazing facts about the Australian open to discover, which can give you a new perspective on the Down Under Grand Slam. When looked at together then, the Grand Slams are one of the most enthralling sets of events in any sport.
This makes shocks at the tournaments stand out and stick in people’s minds. There are lots of tennis players who start out at a low level but make such a splash at slams that they are catapulted into the spotlight. Here are some of the most exciting examples, one from each slam.
Boris Becker (Wimbledon, 1985)
Boris Becker was just 17 when he turned up to Wimbledon as an unseeded player in 1985. He was seen as talented but nowhere near ready for such a big stage. He shocked the world through, playing fast, exciting and gripping tennis to take down stars like Kevin Curran, Anders Järryd and Tim Mayotte to take his first Grand Slam title. Becker went on to show that it was not just a fluke by winning six major titles.
Jelena Ostapenko (French Open, 2017)
In similar fashion to Becker, Ostapenko won her first slam at a tender age, in her case it was at 19. She came into the French Open ranked outside the top 40 and was barely even a regular at Grand Slams, never mind in their latter stages. Amazingly, she blitzed her way through a host of top players including Carolina Wozniacki and Monica Puig, before taking out then then world number three Simona Halep in the final to win a shock first slam title.
Marin Cilic (US Open, 2014)
This is a little bit of a cheat as Cilic was not exactly an unknown player when he finally won a Grand Slam at the US Open. Rather he makes the list because of what a shock it was. He had played in more than 40 Grand Slam mind draws before finally taking a title. Novak Djokovic was by far the best player in the world that year but Cilic managed to win.
Novak Djokovic (Australian Open, 2008)
Djokovic is now a household name but in 2008 he was still building his way to the top. He managed to beat Roger Federer in a tight quarter final before sealing his first slam title in Australia.
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